The following letter was sent Nov. 2 by Darlene Ruscitti, Superintendent of the DuPage Regional Office of Education:
School report card information was released this week. Data showed that many districts failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards set under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act. In 2002, the NCLB act set a threshold of 47 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards to reach AYP targets. Each year, that threshold has increased, reaching 85 percent this year. The AYP standard will continue to climb until it reaches 100 percent in 2014.
The ultimate goal of public education is to create an educated citizenry and prepare students for the world they will face. In any attempt to gauge performance, a level playing field may prove elusive. Each student brings with them his/her own strengths, weaknesses, and background. It is our obligation to ensure that they move forward whether they have a disability, are in special education, are Limited English Proficient (LEP), are gifted or are an average student. Schools also move beyond the academic preparation to ensure that graduates are well-rounded. Their education includes music, the arts, physical education, civic involvement and the development of social and emotional skills.
The schools of DuPage County do a great job educating our students. Many of Illinois’ top achieving schools are right here in DuPage. Further, the schools of our county have shown significant success in individual student growth -- something that NCLB measures fail to take into account.
We believe strongly in the need for accountability applaud efforts that move toward an even greater level of accountability Educators are given our nation’s most precious resource. This is a responsibility not taken lightly by the DuPage educational community. We need to demonstrate to our parents and communities the progress made toward academic success for each student. The educators of DuPage strive to meet this challenge each day and will continue in their commitment to provide the best all-round education to each and every student.