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Letter: Congrats to Sycamore’s West Elementary

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Had the students and staff at West Elementary School in Sycamore garnered some sort of athletic award; perhaps it would have made the front page of the Chronicle instead of page 4.

Or maybe if Castle Bank sponsored some sort of ISAT Challenge we would get one of those green signs on Fair Street like the ones over by the high school.

In case you missed it, West was recently recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education with the Spotlight Award, which is given to schools who made adequate yearly progress and whose population is made up of more than 50 percent low-income families.

I am not a big fan of the ISAT test, but it is what it is. West is one of only 105 schools in the state to receive this award in 2012 and the only school in DeKalb County. It is one of only 15 schools in the county this year to make adequate yearly progress at all. That is a testament to the students, parents, and staff, both current and past.

There were 409 Spotlight Schools in 2008, 425 in 2009, 300 in 2010, and 167 in 2011. West probably will not make AYP next year, nor will anyone else: The state has decided to raise the bar to a level that no school can achieve. That way, they will not have to bother handing out any awards.

Everyone at West School, and in Sycamore, should be proud of this achievement.

Edward Johnson


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