2021 Illinois Report Card data for Peoria Public Schools shows continued academic gains despite pandemic

Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 11/2/2021 8:00:00 AM

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released the 2021 Illinois Report Card today at www.IllinoisReportCard.com. As part of ISBE’s multipart rollout of the Illinois Report Card this year, the information released today does not include assessment data.


However, the data that was part of today’s release does demonstrate a continued trend increase in Peoria Public Schools in graduation and 9th grade on track rates, tremendous participation in college and career preparation courses, and the highest level of teacher retention in the last seven years.


Despite the challenges to in-person learning last school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Peoria Public Schools high school students earned a 76% graduation rate in the 2020-2021 school year. This figure builds upon a continuing upward trend in graduation rates in PPS, increasing by 5% from the 2019 graduation rate and 11% from the 2015 rate. We are also proud that graduation rates across our district’s different demographic breakdowns all show increases from the 2018-2019 school year, including a 5% increase among Black students and a 11% increase among Hispanic students.


(Note: ISBE has designated that data from the 2019-2020 school year may show artificially higher metrics due to the state waiving certain graduation requirements in response to the emerging threat of the COVID-19 virus. Data from the 2018-2019 school year are a closer comparison point for the Report Card data released today).


In another key indicator for student achievement, the district’s 9th Grade on Track percentage climbed to 84% at the end of the 2020-2021 school year – an increase of 11 percentage points from 2019.


Principals at our three high schools – Peoria High, Manual High and Richwoods High – have worked tirelessly to show progress in these benchmarks reflected in the Illinois Report Card data.


Additionally, almost 750 high school students, or nearly one-third of high school students across Peoria Public Schools, took dual credit, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate courses in the 2020-21 school year. In addition, the district had an impressive 1,650 students enrolled in at least one Career and Technical Education (CTE) course.

 

Peoria Public Schools has built a reputation for rigorous studies through its high participation in AP and dual credit courses. High school students at PPS also have multiple opportunities to accelerate their education further with the renowned International Baccalaureate program and the D2 Diploma-Degree program, where 15 PPS students across all three high schools graduated with a high school diploma and an Associate’s Degree from Illinois Central College this past May.


I am also proud to highlight the fact that Peoria Public Schools teachers realized an average teacher salary of $62,000 during the 2020-2021 school year, which is a $12,000 increase since 2015. This is a richly deserved reflection of their passion, talent and dedication toward our students. Attracting and retaining a diverse staff of teachers continues to be a top priority for Peoria Public Schools. Our retention rate for teachers increased by more than 2% since the last school year and is at its highest mark in the last five years at 81.5%.


The Illinois Report Card once again did not issue new annual summative designations with that waiver extending through the 2020-2021 school year that this Illinois Report Card release reflects. Each school received the same summative designation in 2021 as in 2020 and 2019.
You can find the 2021 Illinois Report Card information for all of the schools in our district at www.IllinoisReportCard.com. I can confidently say that this year’s Report Card data reflects that Peoria Public Schools remains a local and statewide leader in providing innovative programming and personalized learning to prepare students for the modern workforce upon graduating.


Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat
Superintendent, Peoria Public Schools