We welcome Lake Forest Elementary School District 67 commitment to making curriculum changes designed to improve students' reading and writing skills.
The 2022 Illinois Report Card was a flashing red light for course correction. That's why we were happy to see the D67 send two critical email communications last week acknowledging the need for change and laying out a thoughtful plan for adopting new reading and writing curriculum (District 411 2/7/23-Matt Montgomery & Kieser Email 2/10/23-Vail Kieser). We find Director of Teaching and Learning Vail Kieser's approach to pilot three curricula before settling on the final plan to be thoughtful. We endorse her promise to emphasize "foundational skills."
District 67's communications last week give us optimism that District 67 is serious and focused on preparing our children for reading and writing success. Parents Care will monitor progress and report back.
On the other hand, Lake Bluff Elementary District 65’s response to their middle school's historically low assessment scores concerns us.
In a February 7th email to the community, the D65 Board failed to acknowledge a problem and instead diminished the significance of the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (I.A.R.) assessment:
"In our District, there are many other measures we use aside from the Illinois Assessment of Readiness to measure growth and achievement. In fact, every student in Lake Bluff School District 65 has a rich growth and achievement profile that is much more comprehensive than the single, state-issued, mandated, once-per-year assessment."
Parents Care acknowledges that the I.A.R. is not the end-all-be-all. Still, for a district that emphasizes a growth mindset, we are disappointed they would rather dismiss negative news than reflect on it. We have no doubt that our children are achieving in other ways, but that does not diminish the results of the I.A.R. or mean that we should ignore what they indicate.
Imagine if your doctor reported a potential heart issue at your annual physical, and you responded: “I exercise, diet, and have lost weight, so I'm going to ignore the results of this one medical test.” As in matters of our health, when we enter denial or become defensive over test results that make us uncomfortable, we miss critical opportunities to diagnose and treat the underlying cause.
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