Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2012, 10:48 pm

Moline class sets records in growth, achievement

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By Nicole Lauer, nicolellauer@gmail.com

Moline School Board members on Tuesday heard about testing records set and tied by the Class of 2013.

Wayne Cabel, assistant high school principal, said the class set records in both achievement and growth. Over the past decade, Moline's test scores have improved 2.7 times the state average, he said. The district's number of low income students has increased, but so has their performance on the ACT and the Work Keys test, which gauges whether a student is prepared to enter the work force.

Mr. Cabel said there is more work to be done and he said administrators are far from satisfied, but there are several positives to highlight:

- The average ACT scores for the Class of 2013 was 20.6; the state average score is 20.1.

- Overall, 21 percent of students tested ready for college-level coursework in English, math, reading and science. This matches the state average. The percentage of students that tested college ready was greater in individual subject areas, including a record 68 percent of students who tested college-ready in English.

- The district had 171 low-income students who tested; 40.9 percent of them met or exceeded standards in writing. Among the 96 Hispanic students who tested, 50 percent met or exceeded standards in writing.

- Almost 74 percent of students who tested earned a Work Keys applied math test score high enough to designate them prepared in math for 85 percent of available jobs.

Superintendent David Moyer said the district has seen a trend of significant assessment growth, with teachers embedding items in their curriculum to help students be successful, not just simply teaching to the test.

In other business, district CFO Dave McDermott said the district expects to adopt a tax rate of 5.05 percent and expects the levy to generate $41.8 million. This means the owner of a $100,000 house could expect to pay $1,684.74 in taxes. If adopted, the rate would mean that same homeowner would see a tax bill that is $1.93 less than the prior year.

Mr. McDermott said this is the first time the district has seen a 1.7 percent decrease in its equalized assessed value. Still, he said, the district has made it a priority to keep the tax rate similar to past years. In 2011, the district had a tax rate of 5.06 percent and collected $42.5 million.

Board members plan to host a public hearing on the tax levy on Nov. 26 and to adopt the levy at the Dec. 10 board meeting.

Lincoln-Irving Principal Sharon Lantzky also reported on the success of Watch Dogs, a program that encourages dads, uncles and other male role models to volunteer in the school. She said about 50 dads and other men volunteer in the school two to three days per week.