By Chicago Public Schools' own reckoning, about a quarter of its elementary schools and more than 40 percent of its high schools are failing, according to internal documents obtained by the Tribune.The whole article is worth reading. Hat-tip Capitol Fax!
Each year, district officials score each school based on academic performance. Last year, they assigned grades A through F based on the numeric scores, and schools chief Ron Huberman talked of publicly releasing them so school and community members would know where they stood. But he never did.
An analysis of the grades shows that a disproportionate number of schools scored in the D range or worse, including 48 percent of elementaries and 68 percent of high schools.
The grades skew toward the lower end of the spectrum. Among elementary schools, 47 of 474 received As, while just 4 of 92 high schools met that mark. Meanwhile, 104 elementary schools and 39 high schools got Fs. Not all schools had sufficient data to be scored.
More than 300 schools are on probation this year, the highest number since 1996-1997, according to an analysis conducted by Designs for Change, an education nonprofit.
"Probation has become a back-door method … for recentralizing the school system to strip Local School Councils, principals and teachers of their decision-making opportunities," wrote Valenica Rias-Winstead, an associate at the research group, in a February report.
Others see the grades as sad confirmation that billions of dollars and decades of reform have yielded little more than higher property taxes in the city. The data is from the 14th — and what will likely be the penultimate — year that Mayor Richard M. Daley controls the school system.
Friday, September 10, 2010
CPS report card shows many schools struggling