August 29, 2018

Mayor Emanuel And CPS Announce Record High Math Scores And Strong Reading Scores On National Exam

Chicago’s Expansion to Free, Full-Day Pre-K for All 4-Year-Olds Lays Even Stronger Foundation for Elementary Students

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Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress

Graphic from NWEA on CPS Math and Reading Attainment 

Mayor Emanuel and CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson today announced that more Chicago elementary students than ever before are meeting or exceeding standards for math, and that reading scores held steady at their previous record high.

Over the past seven years, CPS has attracted the attention of national education experts by making significant investments to support academic gains in elementary reading and math. Most recently, Mayor Emanuel and CPS announced a major pre-K expansion to help all children start elementary school with an even stronger foundation. Additionally, the transition to the full school day and full school year ensured that students in all schools receive high levels of math and literacy instruction. 

“With the first day of school around the corner, Chicago’s students have a running start as they continue to shatter academic records,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “More CPS elementary school students than ever are outperforming the national average, making great progress in the classroom and getting a head start on the path to success.” 

During the 2017-18 school year, a record 56.6 percent of students met or exceeded the national average in math scores, and 61.4 percent of students met or exceeded the average in reading scores on the 2017-18 NWEA MAP assessment. NWEA MAP is used by districts throughout the country to measure the academic achievement of more than 11 million U.S. students. In CPS, the assessment is used to evaluate math and reading attainment and growth for students in grades 2-8. 

“As CPS students outscore their national peers, it’s clear that the district’s focus on expanding proven academic programs throughout the city is helping students lay the foundation for a successful future,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “We’re building on this momentum into the school year as our students continue to shatter expectations and achieve record-breaking accomplishments.” 

The percentage of CPS students meeting or exceeding national average test scores has increased by 35 percent in reading and 25 percent in math since 2013. With steady progress over the past six years, CPS students are scoring higher in reading and math than their national peers and gaining national recognition from institutions such as Stanford University for their progress.   

CPS students also continue to exceed national growth averages in reading and math. In 2018, 58.1 percent of students met or exceeded national averages for reading growth, and 56.8 percent of students met or exceeded averages for math growth. These numbers confirm that a majority of CPS students are equaling or exceeding the growth of their peers nationwide.

“These positive trends speak to the tireless work and dedication of our principals and educators who work to provide every student with the education and support they need to be successful in school and beyond,” said CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade. “This is the latest in a long list of academic achievements that show significant accomplishments for Chicago’s students, and the district will continue to support and invest in our students to build upon this progress.”

The NWEA results are only the latest example in several independently confirmed data points that show the tremendous improvements and achievements CPS students are making. A recent study from the University of Illinois – Chicago’s Center for Urban Education Leadership showed that Chicago students outperform their Illinois peers in every major racial and socioeconomic group. This study came on the heels of research from Stanford University’s Sean Reardon, who found that Chicago students improve academically faster than students in any large urban school system in the country.    

Expanding Investments in Proven Programs: CPS is dedicated to investing in research-backed programs to improve students’ elementary academics.  

Free Full-Day Pre-K for All 4-Year-Olds

Early childhood education lays the foundation for a successful academic future, which is why Mayor Emanuel began expanding free full-day pre-K for all 4-year-olds starting this year. Children from the lowest income households will be offered spots in the expansion first, and all 4-year-olds in the city will be able to attend free, full-day pre-K programs by 2021.

In fact, a new analysis of pre-K programs conducted by Chicago Public Schools shows that students who attended a preschool program had higher academic gains than their peers. By 3rd grade, students who attended CPS pre-K programs had higher GPAs, better attendance, and higher NWEA test scores than their peers with no pre-K education.

Expanding Programs

Mayor Emanuel and CPS also continue to support student advancements by making significant investments to improve and expand programs such as Classical programs, IB, STEM magnet, and Dual Language across the city. CPS is also expanding academic enrichment opportunities, like chess and debate, providing professional development opportunities and leveraging university partnerships to continue to implement evidence-based policies to put our students on the path to success.

Over the past two years, elementary academic programs have been expanded or introduced to the following schools:

  • Classical Programs: Bronzeville, Decatur, McDade, Poe, Sor Juana
  • IB Programs: Agassiz, Belding, Byrne, Fiske, Kinzie, Little Village, Lavizzo, Pickard 
  • STEM Magnet: W. Brown, Claremont, Jungman
  • Dual Language: Azuela, Bateman, Chase, Cooper, Darwin, Hurley, Moos, Mozart, Spry, Stowe