June 23, 2010

Mayor Daley, CPS Officials Say Students Again Show Improvement In State Test Scores

71.7 Percent of Students Meet or Exceed State Standards – Up 1.9 Percentage Points From Last Year
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334
Mayor Richard M. Daley today joined Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman in announcing another year of gains for CPS students on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT).
Preliminary data from the Illinois State Board of Education show that CPS students meeting or exceeding state standards in 2010 reached 71.7 percent, up from 41.1 in 2002. The “meets/exceeds” score is 1.9 percentage points higher than last year’s “meets/exceeds score.” (Scores do not include students who are English Language Learners.)
“To me, these scores are good news for our city and our students. They demonstrate that we continue on the right path to success,” Daley said in a news conference held at Jonathan Burr Elementary School, 1621 W. Wabansia Av.
The ISAT measures what students have learned in reading, math, science and writing and compares District results to state standards. CPS has shown continued progress in the numbers of its students both meeting and exceeding state standards and those exceeding state standards since 2002.
In addition to higher scores on the “meets/exceeds” composite, the Mayor and Huberman said that District students posted “meets/exceeds” gains in all subjects:
  • Reading scores are up .5 percentage points to 68.3
  • Math is up 2.8 percentage points to 76.4
  • Science is up 3.6 percentage points to 67.9
CPS officials said that since the launch of the Chicago Math and Science Initiative (CMSI) in 2003, the percentage of students meeting/exceeding standards in ISAT math has nearly doubled. Further, through the Algebra Initiative for middle grade students, some 3,500 students in 150 elementary schools are now taking a high school Algebra 1 course.
In science, the CMSI-recommended program has been implemented across all grades and classrooms. Professional development resources have been better aligned to support teachers and teachers continue to pursue science endorsements.
 “So far, we haven't experienced major setbacks in our efforts to transform our schools. Just the opposite -- we've seen year-to-year progress,” Daley said.
“Most people appreciate that we're in this for the long term and that our students will incrementally improve year to year. Of course, we can always do better and we're constantly looking for new ways to transform learning in Chicago so that every student is given the same chance to reach their potential and succeed in life,” he said.
In fact, test scores were up in all grade levels in all subjects with the exception of seventh grade reading, Huberman said. However, the largest grade-level gains were also in grade seven for math (up 3.4 percentage points) and science (5.6 percentage points).
Grade 8 math also posted a large gain with a 3.5 percentage point increase in students meeting/exceeding state standards and a 4.8 percentage point increase in students exceeding standards. Gains in specific grades on the ISAT composite were reported as follows:
  • Grade 3 -- up 2.8 percentage points to 69.5 meets/exceeds; up 1.6 percentage points to 22.9 exceeds.
  • Grade 4 -- up .9 percentage points to 68.9 meets/exceeds; up 1.4 percentage points to 14.8 exceeds.
  • Grade 5 -- up 1.6 percentage points to 68.4 meets/exceeds; up 1.9 percentage points to 14.1 exceeds.
  • Grade 6 -- up 2.5 percentage points to 73.3 meets/exceeds; up .3 percentage points to 15.3 exceeds.
  • Grade 7 -- up 2.4 percentage points to 72.3 meets/exceeds; up .5 percentage points to 13.4 exceeds.
  • Grade 8 -- up 2 percentage points to 78.1 meets/exceeds; up 3.1 percentage points to 14.2 exceeds.
“We will need to analyze the numbers and the programs employed in these disciplines,” Huberman said. “We look forward to leveraging and improving upon strategies that might have led to these improvements.”
This year’s ISAT data also indicate progress in closing the “achievement gap” among racial groups. Composite scores for African-American students compared to white students narrowed by 2 percentage points; for Hispanic students compared to white students the gap narrowed by .3 percentage points.
For students with individualized education plans compared to those without IEPs, the gap narrowed 1.7 percentage points.
“Today, parents, teachers and principals from schools and neighborhoods across Chicago have reason to be proud. Our students and teachers have once again made all the people of Chicago proud. This is their shared accomplishment and they should be pleased,” Daley said.
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