CPS: Students' scores in reading, math improve for grades 2 to 8

Written By Lauren FitzPatrick Posted: 08/07/2014, 10:39pm

Chicago Public Schools released its analysis Thursday of the standardized test scores it uses to rate teachers, schools and principals, saying that students in grades two through eight showed improvement in both reading and math — though only seventh- and eighth-graders met national reading averages.

The district did not release school-by-school results for the Northwest Evaluation Association tests, as it has in past years. John Barker, CPS’ chief of accountability, said those scores will be released next Friday. That makes it impossible to see whether students scored higher across the district or just at certain schools. The analysis comprises all district elementary schools, including charters.

The analysis did break out “welcoming schools” — the 49 schools designated to take in kids from the record number of schools closed in June 2013 — and touted rises over 2013 in reading scores but not in math. 

“I am also confident if we stay the course, if we continue that one more year, I expect to see the reading and math to continue to improve and math to catch up,” in those schools, CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said, calling the overall results “incredibly encouraging.”

Overall, CPS said about 51.5 percent of elementary school students scored at the national average in reading and 49 percent in math, up from about 46 percent in reading and 45 percent in math in 2013. Students in grades two through eight made gains, though all grades remain below the national average in math, and grades two through six remain below the average in reading, the analysis shows. Seventh-graders matched their peers nationally, and eighth-graders surpassed them, Byrd-Bennett said. 

“This data is positive for us even though it’s not quite above the national norm, because we’re moving in the right direction,” she said.

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