When Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently heralded a small gain on the average Chicago Public Schools elementary “MAP” test results, I knew something wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t what he said; it was what he didn’t say. You see, this is the first year the MAP scores can provide a more decisive apples-to-apples comparison of charter schools and traditional public schools.
The result? Public school students learned far more in one year than charter school students did.
I reached this conclusion after analyzing this year’s MAP scores and I shared my results with several local reporters. Soon afterward, the Chicago Sun-Times conducted their own analysis for a story that was published on Sunday, Aug. 31. Their results differ from mine because they used a slightly different methodology but the overall conclusions are the same: student growth in reading in neighborhood schools far outpaces growth in charters.
MAP stands for Measures of Academic Progress. Public and charter school students across the city took this national assessment in 2013. Each child got an individual score to serve as a baseline. By calculating the difference between that score and the 2014 score, CPS can determine the amount of learning growth each child attained in the year between the exams.