FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – As CPS elementary students continue to beat national averages for math and reading, Mayor Emanuel and CPS announced today that a record low number of elementary school students in need of summer school remediation has dropped by 46 percent in four years. With more students meeting or exceeding key academic benchmarks than ever before, this summer 5,902 students needed summer school, down from 10,986 in 2014 when CPS adopted the current grade promotion policy.
“Thanks to the excellent work of educators who now have a longer school day and school year, more Chicago students are ready to learn in their next grade, demonstrating again Stanford Prof. Sean Reardon’s observation that Chicago students are getting five years of academic growth in four years of instruction,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Kids decide in third grade whether they’re going to go to college, and our focus has been on making sure all our students feel college-ready.”
Summer Bridge and Summer Acceleration programs are designed to provide students with additional support in reading and math if they are struggling to meet crucial academic benchmarks in grades 3, 6 and 8, as outlined in CPS’ Elementary Promotion Policy
. Key indicators such as NWEA scores and grades are used to determine if a student is in a position to succeed in the next grade level, or if they need additional support over the summer. The number of students requiring summer learning opportunities has been on a downward trend for several years, indicating that more CPS students are excelling at reading and math.
“As national researchers point out, few other districts are doing as well as Chicago in improving student growth and achievement, and the fact that far fewer students need remediation over the summer is yet another indication that Chicago students are on a strong upward trajectory,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool.
This positive trend is consistent with academic gains across a wide range of significant milestones, including record high NWEA scores. In the 2016-27 school year, a record 61.4 percent of students met or exceeded the national testing average in reading and 55.9 percent of students met or exceeded the average in math, marking the fifth year in a row that CPS students have met or exceeded national averages.
“The data released today is a testimony to the educational strategies our principals, teachers and staff have implemented over several years to keep students on track to a bright future,” said Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “When students arrive in the next grade ready to learn because they have mastered the right skills, research shows that they have a far greater chance of success.”
Additionally, several other independent research studies have demonstrated that Chicago students are outperforming and outgrowing their peers across the country. Most recently, a 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 Reardon, who found that Chicago students improve academically faster than any large urban school system in the country.
CPS has prioritized investments in quality curriculum and instruction to ensure that students are meeting or exceeding academic goals. In recent years, CPS has implemented several professional development initiatives like the CPS Balanced Literacy Initiative, which helps enrich classroom literary experiences, as well as efforts to bolster math achievement by certifying elementary school teachers to teach high school algebra. Currently, CPS is also in the process of developing district-curriculum and sequencing aligned to Common Core standards. The district 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 Chicago students on the path to success.