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New Analysis by Leading Education Expert: CPS Students Are Learning and Growing Faster Than 96 Percent of Students in the United States

02 November 2017

New Analysis from Stanford’s Sean Reardon Demonstrates How Chicago’s Academic Gains Continue to Defy Expectations; Growth Outpaces All Urban Districts and is Seen Among Every Demographic Subgroup

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
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Thursday, November 2, 2017

CHICAGO - Stanford University professor Sean Reardon, a leading expert on education equality in the United States, presented a new analysis today on Chicago Public Schools that shows Chicago’s students learn and grow at a faster rate than 96 percent of school districts in the country – including wealthy districts. Reardon and other education research presented their analysis and data at a forum today hosted by the Joyce and Spencer foundations.

“This report is a testament to the hard work, progress and success of Chicago’s remarkable students, teachers, principals and families,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “CPS students make Chicago proud every day. They not only lead in the classroom, they lead the country in academic growth, and their achievements are earning national recognition and respect.”

Reardon’s key findings include:
Chicago’s growth rate is higher than 96 percent of ALL school districts in the United States;

  • Among the 100 largest school districts in the country, Chicago has the highest growth rate between third and eighth grade; and
  • The average Chicago student’s test scores improved by roughly six grade-level equivalents in five years’ time – 20 percent more growth on average.
  • Each successive 3rd grade cohort is outperforming the cohort that came before it, which shows that students are entering 3rd grade better prepared for success than their predecessors.

"The data is clear: Chicago's students are making unprecedented academic gains across all racial and socioeconomic subgroups, and they are more likely to succeed than ever before,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “Education experts from across the country are taking note, helping change perceptions about urban education and providing the district with invaluable insights that will help us continue to make progress and tackle challenges head-on.”

"Our story is Chicago's story; our success is Chicago's success: it belongs to students, parents, dedicated educators, support staff and principals,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “We all envision a bright future for our students, one in which every student in every neighborhood has the ability and support to achieve success. That shared vision will continue to be the driving force behind the district's efforts."

A link to Reardon’s analysis can be found here:

Chicago Public Schools serves 371,000 students in 646 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.