In the Chicago Public Schools system, enrollment has been declining, the budget is seldom enough, and three in four children come from low-income homes, a profile that would seemingly consign the district to low expectations. But students here appear to be learning faster than those in almost every other school system in the country, according to new data from researchers at Stanford.
A novel, large-scale study from Stanford University shows Rochester-area primary schools are dead last among the 200 largest cities in the country for academic growth.
The study, from Stanford's Center for Education Policy Analysis, examines standardized test score results for all Rochester children and reports the apparent progress by cohort year — that is, how much more 2017 eighth-graders know compared to 2016 seventh-graders.
There are many relatively high-poverty school districts where students appear to be learning at a faster rate than kids in other, less poor districts,” said Reardon, who holds an endowed professorship in Poverty and Inequality in Education. “Poverty clearly does not determine the quality of a school system.
I study inequality and equity, and central to that are the questions of what we mean by equity, what we mean by justice, what we mean by inequality. I constantly have to think about what our definitions are and what we are striving for. You can’t figure out how to get there unless you can identify the target. Those are very similar conversations to what I used to have in PLS.
Reardon used scores from a standardized test all Illinois students are required to take to measure that growth. But because other states rely on different tests to gauge the same thing, he averaged actual scores in math and English across the nation to benchmark proficiency.
"We define grade level as the average of that grade in the country," Reardon said in a phone interview. "The proficiency levels that states set for their tests are defined by groups of experts that say, 'This is what we think a kid should know in this grade.’ "
“This report is a testament to the hard work, progress and success of Chicago’s remarkable students, teachers, principals and families,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “CPS students make Chicago proud every day. They not only lead in the classroom, they lead the country in academic growth, and their achievements are earning national recognition and respect.”
“Chicago moves from being relatively low-performing even among similar school districts to having test scores that are much closer to the national average,” he told the audience of education experts from the University of Chicago, the Council of Great City Schools, the University of Illinois at Chicago and several foundations. “So that’s remarkably fast, that’s like an extra year of schooling squeezed in somehow between third and 8th grade.”
Evidence shows that Haikala has reason to be concerned. A 2011 Stanford University study showed that a wave of resegregation has flowed across the South as courts have released school districts from their desegregation orders. An example of just this sort of resegregation existed not even 70 miles down Interstate 20, in Tuscaloosa. After years of resistance, the Legal Defense Fund and the Justice Department managed to integrate most of the city’s schools by the late 1980s — every black and white student in Grades 6-12 attended the same middle and high school.
The distribution of private elementary school enrolments in the US has changed over the last half century. This column shows that, overall, fewer middle-class children are now enrolled in private schools. Non-Catholic religious schools play an increasing role in private school enrolments, and today serve more students whose family incomes are in the bottom half of the distribution than Catholic schools do. The increase in residential segregation by income in the US means that urban public schools and urban private schools have less socioeconomic diversity today than they had several decades ago.