Morton Grove school earns state award
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Updated: March 22, 2013 6:13AM
MORTON GROVE — Thomas Edison Elementary School was recently recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education for improvements the school has made in state testing, something Skokie-Morton Grove District 69 officials say has been the result of three years of hard work.
The school received an academic improvement award, one of 81 schools in Illinois to receive the honor.
“We are thrilled to be recognized by the state board for our continued academic success,” Superintendent Quintin Shepherd said.
Laura Vladika, the district’s director of curriculum and personnel, said the large improvement in reading scores is the result of a new “common curriculum” adopted by the district during the 2010-11 school year.
Prior to that, she said, teachers were pretty much allowed to teach what they wanted. In some cases, students with different teachers learned different things.
“Even in the same grade, you could get an educational lottery,” she said. “Every teacher was kind of doing their own thing.”
The new curriculum covers kindergarten through eighth grade. Now, not only do teachers in the same grade teach the same subjects, but testing also is common, Vladika said.
As a result, scores on the state Illinois Standard Achievement Test in reading at Edison jumped from about jumped between 2009 and 2012 (see chart).
Shepherd said that while the district is pleased that Edison received the award, work done by teachers at the lower grades at Madison School also deserve credit.
“We also recognize and celebrate the hard work of the Madison Elementary School staff (pre-kindergarten through second grade) who lay the foundation for Edison staff to build upon,” he said.
In order to receive the award, a school was required to either show improvement of at least 7.5 points in state test scores between 2011 and 2012, or show an improvement of at least 15 points in state test scores between 2010 and 2012. In addition, the school must show an upward trend in state test results.
“We are super excited,” Vladika said. “It just feels good. We know everybody has worked hard and we have something to show for it. ... I’m just really proud to be here.”