Challenge: The test scores of the students in Township High School District 214 were subjected to intense public scrutiny: local newspapers ranked the district's schools by average score, and these rankings were taken into account both by families moving into the Chicago area and by colleges deciding to which schools they would allocate recruiting resources.
Solution: In response to these and similar pressures, District 214 began a comprehensive program in 1994 to improve students' readiness for college and other postsecondary educational opportunities. Where District 214 had previously offered tenth graders the opportunity to take PLAN® at their own expense, in 1994 the district instituted systematic administration of EXPLORE®, PLAN, and the ACT® test at the district's expense. The district also began testing students with retired forms of PLAN and the ACT prior to the scheduled dates of these assessments in grades 10 and 11. This was done to measure student progress, strengthen student skills, and evaluate the effectiveness of the core curriculum.
- District 214 participation in the ACT has grown.
- District 214's average growth in composite scores on EXPLORE, PLAN, and the ACT exceed national averages.
- District 214 students have demonstrated higher than average growth at meeting state education standards.
- The number of students who are ready for college-level work in English, math, and science has increased.
Read the full report: Using EPAS in High School Improvement: Illinois Township High School District 214 (PDF; 133KB, 3 pages)