Q&A: Grades & Test Scores

Key Takeaways

  • If we look at the overall population of college-going students, students’ course grades are consistently the strongest indicators of students’ general academic preparation.
    • If you were just going to focus on one for assessing academic readiness, grades provide the most comprehensive information. Tests like the SAT and ACT provide some additional information.
  • Some studies may find different conclusions, often because they’re looking at a restricted sample (e.g.

Best education articles of 2023

Now three years since COVID’s first classroom closures and a year before districts start to feel the true impact of the fiscal cliff, 2023 marked a pivotal moment for students and schools across America. Fresh scores revealed the stalled state of learning recovery. Educators warned about an escalating chronic absenteeism crisis that has seen students disengage and thrown off track. New political alliances formed around school choice legislation and education savings accounts. Districts became one of the preferred targets of cyberhackers, who posted sensitive student information online.

Some District 65 schools struggle with trust and safety, survey suggests

Over the last two years, after a series of physical altercations involving staff and students in early 2022 and the discovery of three nooses in a tree on school grounds, District 65 has invested lots of time and resources into improving the culture and climate at Haven Middle School.

The district beefed up its security protocols and safety staff and hired four family and community engagement liaisons at Haven. Over the past year, administrators have spoken at board meetings about turning the page to a new day at the city’s biggest public middle school...

‘The 4 years fallacy’

Struggling to graduate on time or at all from a four-year university is not an uncommon experience for Chicago Public Schools graduates.

A new study from the University of Chicago’s To&Through Project showed just 30% of CPS graduates at bachelor’s degree-granting universities received their degrees in four years. The six-year graduation rate was more than 20 percentage points higher at 51%...

Chicago Public Schools students are taking longer than four years to finish college

Most Chicago Public Schools students take five years or longer to finish college, according to a new report from the To&Through Project at the UChicago Consortium on School Research.

The report — titled “The Four Years Fallacy” — analyzed CPS students who graduated in 2015 and enrolled in college the following year. It found 30% finished their degree in four years, but when looking at college completion rates within six years, the rate climbs to 50%...

Absenteeism unveiled

Chronic absenteeism rates have increased nationwide and at M-A since the pandemic. In the 2020-2021 school year, nearly a third of California students were considered chronically absent, three times the pre-pandemic rate.

California’s Education Code defines “chronically absent” as missing at least 10% of the instructional days in the school year, regardless of excused or unexcused absences...

Matt Herndon

Matt Herndon (he/him) is the Development and Engagement Associate at the UChicago Consortium. In this role, he helps plan community events, workshops, and engagement activities, and assists partner organizations and the Consortium Investor Council with the goal of supporting more equitable outcomes for students. Prior to joining the UChicago Consortium, Matt worked as a preschool teacher and at Google in various capacities surrounding the recruitment and hiring process. Matt is currently an Education Pioneers Impact Fellow.

Dania Carr

Dania is a doctoral student in the UChicago Developmental Psychology program working with Dr. Susan Levine. Prior to graduate school, Dania worked as a research assistant in the Cognitive Development Lab at the University of Chicago. Dania’s research explores mathematical learning through a developmental lens. Specifically, she is interested in investigating the impact that different socio-emotional, cognitive, and linguistic factors have on children’s mathematical understanding.

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