Forced to Choose

Key Findings

  • All parents in our sample had visions for what an ideal learning environment would look like for their child: a school that was safe and supportive, with a strong academic environment which provided their children with the supports and services they needed within an inclusive climate.
  • Yet many parents of students with IEPs did not have viable options to engage in school choice. This was partly because:
    • Many parents perceived the short list of school options they received from school- or district-based officials

Chicago Public Schools enrollment is stable for first time in more than a decade

Enrollment in Chicago Public Schools is flat for the first time in more than a decade, according to preliminary data obtained by Chalkbeat.

New preliminary numbers for this school year show just over 322,500 students are registered at CPS schools. The data represents enrollment as of the end of the day Monday, the 20th day of the school year, when the district traditionally takes its official count. On the 20th day of last school year, 322,106 students were enrolled according to official data...

CPS elementary students’ IAR test scores show partial gains in reading and math — and also disparities

While releasing new standardized test scores Tuesday, Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez celebrated elementary students’ gains in reading and math scores that, according to the district, constitute a partial rebound from learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chicago Public Schools is becoming less low-income

About six years ago, Lori Zaimi’s daughter told her mom that another longtime friend was leaving their elementary school in Edgewater on the North Side. The friend’s apartment building, she explained, had been sold to someone who was going to renovate it.

Zaimi recognized the familiar story of gentrification, when higher-income families move into a working class neighborhood and drive up property values. She’d seen property demolitions and pricey single family housing go up across Edgewater, the formerly working class neighborhood where she grew up...

Training and Retaining Effective School Leaders

Key Findings

  • Principals had immediate influence on student learning and school culture, and they also had lasting impacts on students’ outcomes into young adulthood.
  • CPS’s principal residency program appeared to increase principal effectiveness at improving achievement in the first two years of the principalship.
  • The slow pace at which residency completers became CPS principals dampens the potential benefits of the residency program to the district.
  • CPS’s principal merit pay program led to improvements in student achievement, but there were some

Beyond the Student

Key Findings

  • Students were more likely to be retained if they lived in census tracts with high rates of unaffordable housing, high rates of neighborhood poverty, low rates of home ownership, or limited access to green space.
  • Students were more likely to be retained in grade if they attended elementary schools with high poverty rates and high suspension rates, even when comparing students with similar achievement.
  • Overage students who attended high schools with a great racial equity climate were twice as likely to graduate high school in four years as overa

Is the Best Teacher the Best for Everyone?

Key Findings

  • Teacher impacts on Black students varied widely.
  • The teachers that were more effective for Black students often were also more effective for non-Black students, but not always.
  • Race-specific value-add scores were predictive of teachers’ subsequent effects on students.
  • Experienced teachers and teachers with a master’s degree tended to be highly effective overall, but much less effective for Black than non-Black students.
  • Incorporating teachers’ revealed comparative advantage into policy decisions has the potential to increas
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