Bilingual education programs in Chicago schools are paying off, according to new study

Chicago Public Schools students who aren’t proficient in English when they enter kindergarten tend to have better attendance and in some cases higher test scores than their peers who are native English speakers, according to a new study by the University of Chicago.

Researchers and officials in CPS, where about a third of students are identified as English learners at some point during their schooling, said the findings should help dispel misconceptions that children in English learning programs are less likely to succeed academically than their peers...

Study

Chicago’s recipe for EL success includes providing an early intervention platform that features professional development, tutoring and its new Curriculum Equity Initiative, which focuses on ensuring that teachers have standards-aligned materials that are "free from bias; fair across race, religion, ethnicity and gender, and culturally relevant."

Bucking misconceptions, many English language learners in Chicago keeping pace with fluent English speakers

Wilma Milagros David knows that her bilingual students at Sandoval Elementary in Gage Park are working hard. As principal she sees them at school, improving in math or focusing on work even when they may be tired or have trouble at home. 

But the progress David sees her students make hasn’t always shown up in the research about bilingual students...

U. of C. study indicates that bilingual students’ performance is equal or better than their peers

The University of Chicago’s Consortium of School Research recently published a report that shows English Learners who start in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in Kindergarten progress to eighth grade with similar or better academic achievement than their peers who are proficient in English.

Madison West High School tries new equation to boost GPA

Freshmen students at Madison high schools won’t receive any grade lower than 40 percent in some of their classes as part of a new grading system meant to improve students' GPA.

The practice diverts from the norm in most classes, where students are graded on a 100-point scale and anything lower than 60 is failing. But that system makes it more difficult for students to move from a failing grade to a passing grade, said Karen Boran, principal at Madison West High School...

English-language learners are matching, exceeding other CPS students

Many students learning English when they arrive at Chicago Public Schools go on to not only match their peers, but surpass them academically, according to a new long-term study released Tuesday that flies in the face of previous research that showed the group far behind.

The study by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research followed the progress of 18,000 such CPS students — referred to as English learners (ELs) — from kindergarten through eighth grade...

Common Core

Ten years ago, states across the country began to embrace a new set of tougher learning standards in public schools. This new model, called Common Core, was meant to transform how students are taught and what they learn. The goal was to raise the bar and level the playing field for schools across the country.

Today, Common Core is well-established across classrooms in Illinois — and many teachers say it has indeed transformed the way they teach and given students the critical thinking skills they need for the modern world...

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