Illinois Report Card rates South exemplary, notes achievement gap for certain students

Gigi Cepeda, co-editor in chief

The Illinois State Board of Education released a school report card for Glenbrook South designating it an “exemplary school,” while achievement gaps–inequalities in testing performance between different student groups–remain larger than the state average.

To be designated an exemplary school, Glenbrook South must be in the top 10 percent of schools statewide with no underperforming student groups. According to Principal Dr. Lauren Fagel, the administration is proud of the new rating.

The Report Card also shows higher-than-average differences in performance on the SAT between both low income and non-low income students, and Hispanic and white students. This achievement gap is measured in English Language Arts and Mathematics exams.

“[The achievement gap noted on the report card] raises the question for our students with disabilities, our students whose families qualify for financial assistance and our students who are African American or Latino, ‘What is their experience like here and what can we do or do differently to make sure they are getting access to the most challenging courses they can be successful in?’” Fagel said.

According to Josh Koo, assistant principal of student activities, the administration has chosen to focus on the opportunity gap, or establishing equity, rather than the achievement gap.

“To make it as equitable as possible, we need to find ways to even the playing field,” Koo said.