In 2022 the D36 School Board approved an aggregate levy increase of 6.5%, which excludes the increases from the referendum funding. Meanwhile test scores have declined the past four years with D36 ranking as the lowest rated New Trier feeder school for 8th graders passing algebra 1 and lowest IRA scores in english language arts. D36 remains the furthest behind in recovering from COVID learning loss.
The school board should be exploring why there are proficiency gaps between the three elementary schools. Many parents have voiced concern over the lack of uniformity between the schools and teachers yet the previous board has not made this a topic in recent public meetings.
U.S. News & World Report rankings, which was based on 2018-2019 school year, Greeley Elementary School ranked as the #8 elementary school in Illinois. Crow Island Elementary School ranked as #136 while Hubbard Woods Elementary School ranked as #678.
Parents have been asking for more transparency into how D36 students compare when they arrive at New Trier. According to the Winnetka Caucus Council 2022 survey over 70% of parents would like the board to share this data.
The progressive education system focused on building a foundation in early childhood centered around skills such as creative problem solving and fostering curiosity in learning. Previously, this early investment returned results of children meeting or exceeding their peers by 8th grade. We need to dig in to understand why this is no longer the case.
The School Board has not provided an opportunity for two-way interaction with the community for several years... however they decided to restart it 50 days before the election.
It starts with leadership and the willingness to ask these types of tough questions. It requires a diverse board that can approach topics from different perspectives while being willing to openly and professionally debate, knowing we all have the same goal: restoring Winnetka's educational excellence.
Long before Winnetka was famous for the Home Alone house, it was internationally recognized for the "Winnetka Plan" as a model for other schools to follow. We can get back to being a leader in education; we have the resources, wonderful teachers, and a community that cares deeply about our children (and/or our property values). We can restore the trust in the School Board and start working together to get actual results.
Patrick Conway for D36
Paid for by Patrick Conway for D36. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website: www.elections.il.gov or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois. Copyright © 2023 Patrick Conway for D36 - All Rights Reserved.