Illinois School Report Card Shows Progress and Proficiency

  • Date Posted
    October 30, 2023
  • Category
The Illinois State Board of Education has released the 2023 Illinois Report Card, which provides a snapshot of academic achievement; student and teacher information; and financial data at the state, district, and school levels.

At the statewide level, the 2023 Illinois Report Card data indicate strong progress in students' recovery from the pandemic, progress with increased proficiency rates, and the highest graduation rates in 13 years. Gains for Black students, who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, led the significant improvement in many indicators.  

According to ISBE, the statewide data also show that proficiency rates remain below pre-pandemic levels and chronic absenteeism remains alarmingly high, indicating more work must be done to ensure full academic and social-emotional recovery from the pandemic.

“We are moving fast toward recovery, but we still have a significant distance to travel,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tony Sanders. “Even once we exceed pre-pandemic achievement, we are not done until we have a system that graduates each and every student ready for success. Educators and families should be proud of the remarkable progress we see on the 2023 Illinois Report Card, while remaining focused on understanding and meeting students’ needs at this phase of recovery.”

Other highlights reported by ISBE include that tthe Class of 2023 achieved the highest high school graduation rate in 13 years at 87.6%, driven by gains for Black and Hispanic students, whose four-year graduation rate increased by 4.7% and 4%, respectively. Illinois’ rate of ninth graders on track to graduate continues to climb and now exceeds pre-pandemic levels at 87.4%. The number of students participating in Career and Technical Education (CTE) and in advanced coursework, including dual credit, Advance Placement, International Baccalaureate, and honors, all increased in 2023.

Teacher retention reached an all-time high in the 2022-23 school year, with a retention rate exceeding 90%. Chronic student absenteeism, which skyrocketed during the pandemic, improved modestly in the 2022-23 school year, dropping from 29.8% to 28.3%.
As required by federal accountability law, Illinois assigns an annual summative designation to each school. The law requires states to provide more rigorous support to schools that have not improved in the initial school improvement cycle. Schools designated as Targeted in 2018 that have the same student group(s) still performing in the bottom 5% now move into Comprehensive Support. Schools designated as Comprehensive in 2018 still performing in the bottom 5% and high schools with a graduation rate of 67% or below now receive a new designation of Intensive Support.
ISBE has added new visuals to the Illinois Report Card website to increase transparency pertaining to how the summative designations are calculated. The public can now see how many points a school earned for each accountability indicator. The public also can see a school’s total index score, how that score compares to other schools statewide, and the thresholds for the top 10% (Exemplary designation) and bottom 5% (Comprehensive and Intensive designations).
Local data is available upon the release of the Illinois School Report Card on October 30. ISBE’s media information, release notes, and other resources for understanding the Illinois Report Card are available online.