CPS School Quality Ratings Show Academic Quality Improving Throughout the District 

Over 80 Percent of Schools Achieve Scores in the Top 3 Rating Levels

Thursday, October 6, 2016                                                       

For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
Phone: 773-553-1620

CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools today announced School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) results for School Year 2016-17 (SY 16-17), which show that the number of schools receiving the three highest quality levels in the District has grown from 451 in SY 15-16 to 539 in SY 16-17. The growing number of schools receiving top ratings and the declining number of schools receiving low ratings tracks a positive trend line in crucial areas of CPS student achievement including graduation rates, freshman on-track rates and ACT scores, and serves as additional confirmation that CPS students and staff are reaching new heights.

“Every significant piece of performance data calculated in recent months has shown that our students, teachers and principals are pushing CPS schools to achievement levels never before seen in the District,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “Our SQRP ratings make it clear that the District is moving in the right direction, and we will act on this data to implement necessary supports that further improve the quality of our schools.”

CPS uses the SQRP to provide an overview of school quality by analyzing a comprehensive set of data encompassing student growth, performance, school culture and climate, graduation rates and attendance rates among other criteria. SQRP data allows CPS to assess school quality in a uniform manner to provide additional supports where they are needed while also providing families with a clear rating system to evaluate potential school options.

CPS uses five performance ratings to measure a school’s success: Levels 1+, 1, and 2+ (Good Standing), Level 2 (Provisional Support), and Level 3 (Intensive Support). Ratings released today show the District is now home to:

  • 202 Level 1+ schools;
  • 198 Level 1 schools;
  • 139 Level 2+ schools;
  • 96 Level 2 schools; and
  • 9 Level 3 schools.

A comparison of SY 16-17 ratings to SY 15-16 ratings shows an encouraging trend in which the number of Levels 1+, 1 and 2+ schools is growing while the number of  Levels 2 and 3 schools is declining, which strongly suggests CPS schools are moving in the right direction. Specifically, in SY 15-16, there were:

  • 170 Level 1+ schools (32 fewer than this year);
  • 162 Level 1 schools (36 fewer than this year);
  •  119 Level 2+ schools (20 fewer than this year);
  • 174 Level 2 schools (78 more than this year); and
  •  23 Level 3 schools (14 more than this year).

“The comprehensive nature of SQRP allows us to hone in on schools most in need of additional services and support so that we can strengthen educational quality throughout the District,” said Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “The positive trend shown by this year’s school ratings provides additional confirmation that the educational strategies we have rolled out in recent years are allowing educators to improve their craft, and we are optimistic that one year from now we will have an even greater number of schools in good standing.”

Under the new SQRP ratings, the number of District-run schools in Good Standing increased from 343 in SY 15-16 to 376 in SY 16-17; the number of schools on provisional support decreased from 78 in SY 15-16 to 57 in SY 16-17; and the number of schools in intensive support decreased from 108 in SY 15-16 to 96 in SY 16-17. While only 9 schools (including charter schools) had a Level 3 SQRP rating in SY 16-17, which directly qualifies for intensive support (down from 23 last year and 44 two years ago), the number of schools in intensive support exceeds that number because removal from intensive support is typically a multi-year process to ensure schools are prepared to continue their performance gains. 

By utilizing differentiated levels of school standing, CPS is able to group schools based on supports needed to cultivate success. Schools in good standing are granted greater autonomy on school improvement planning and school budgets to encourage the positive achievement these schools have demonstrated. Schools in provisional support receive additional supports to propel them in the right direction, potentially including development of a new school improvement plan and professional development. And schools in intensive supports, which represents the schools most in need for supplemental support and oversight, receive more substantial interventions to rapidly improve educational quality. Intensive supports provided to schools may include leadership change or a school turnaround.

As part of the District’s effort to expand school audits to ensure all data used for accountability purposes is reliable and trustworthy, seven schools have not received SQRP scores because their accountability data is undergoing a thorough review. Data from the seven schools (Community Services West, Prologue - Early College, Prologue - Johnston, Camelot - Excel South Shore, Banner West, Magic Johnson - Roseland, and Prologue Winnie Mandela) is being audited to ensure its accuracy, and CPS has provided the schools an “inability to rate” designation until the data quality can be validated.

Charter Warning List 

As part of the SQRP ratings, CPS also updated its charter school Warning List to identify charter schools that need to make significant improvements to remain in good standing and operation in the District. The following three schools, which is a decrease from 10 schools last year, have been placed on the 2016-17 Warning List based on their performance last year:

  • ACE Tech High School
  • Instituto Leadership Academy – Lozano High School Campus
  • North Lawndale – Collins

Instituto – Lozano is the only school on this year’s Warning List that was also on last year’s Warning List. As a result of the school’s appearance on consecutive Warning Lists, the school is eligible for potential closure by the District. CPS is closely evaluating the school’s performance record and will make a recommendation to the Board of Education regarding the school’s status in the District. No decisions on the school’s future have been made at this time.

Page Last Modified on Monday, October 17, 2016