THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER RECOMMENDS:
The Board adopts a New District Policy for Continuous Improvement and Data Transparency effective for the 2024-2025 school year and subsequent school years.
This policy shall establish the guidelines for providing stakeholders information about school and district performance against district and state-defined standards. This policy will take effect beginning with the release of performance information to each school for the 2024-2025 school year based on school performance data gathered during the prior school year. This policy will also apply to subsequent school years unless amended or rescinded by the Board.
This policy sets out a systematic means for measuring a school’s performance and identifying schools in need of support based on a demonstrated pattern of not meeting district standards of practice, and/or insufficient levels of achievement and growth based on the key indicators as defined by the Board herein. The district’s provision of information to stakeholders about these standards of practice and performance is intended to help communities identify points of celebration and growth as well as to signal where there is need for additional and targeted supports by the district for school communities. The information the district provides should also empower school communities to engage in meaningful conversations about local continuous improvement cycles and more effectively advocate for their schools’ needs. We recognize opportunity differences situate achievement differences and the district must marshal resources to support schools with greater need or that serve historically disadvantaged communities.
The Board recognizes that an effective and fair approach to improving school quality considers a broad range of indicators of success, including, but not limited to student academic progress; student postsecondary success; student connectedness and well-being; student daily learning experiences; adult capacity and continuous learning; and inclusive and collaborative school and community. Therefore, this policy establishes a comprehensive system to assess school performance in order to identify, monitor, and assist schools in need of support in these areas. This policy does not rank schools either through summative ratings (e.g. Level 1, Level 2, etc) or by any other means. Rather, this policy articulates the district’s expectation for practice in key areas necessary to improve student performance over time, as well as defining the district’s approach to accountability with respect to the supports school communities require in order to implement these key practices effectively.
Finally, this policy must be implemented in alignment with the CPS Equity Framework and the principle of Targeted Universalism, both of which are documented at length in publicly available district resources. Therefore, this policy goes beyond solely focusing on school-level outputs and outcomes by adding greater consideration to, and accountability for, inputs. These inputs include the set of resources (e.g., funding to schools) and conditions (e.g., safe and inclusive learning environments) that impact a high-quality educational experience in schools.
All CPS managed schools are subject to this policy, including, but not limited to, neighborhood schools, magnet schools, selective enrollment schools, contract schools, district managed Options Schools, and schools with non-traditional grade structures. CPS charter schools are subject to the performance standards set out in this policy by and through the accountability provisions in their charter contract with the Board, and charter school stakeholders shall annually receive the same information about charter school performance against district standards of practice as those in non- charter school communities. The district shall separately propose a revised Charter School Academic Accountability Policy that articulates how the below standards will be applied to charter governance issues such as charter contract renewal, revocation, and extension.
A. Applicability to Non-Standard School Models
Where appropriate, the indicators listed below should be applied to and reported for non-standard school models, such as Options schools; Specialty High Schools; schools in detention centers and early childhood centers. However the Board recognizes that many traditional and well established practice and outcome indicators are not appropriate for those instructional contexts. As such, the district shall develop models for those contexts and present them for Board vote no later than April 2024.
Context and Values
In keeping with prior Board action and district collaboration with stakeholders, it is critical that the below description of components, indicators and standards be understood in the following context:
- Between June 2019 and March 2023, the district collaborated with stakeholders to define the framework for the approach to accountability that is articulated in this policy.
- The district’s approach to accountability must articulate the required elements of a high- quality educational experience for all students in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade that is grounded in and supportive of the district’s Instructional Core Vision (ICV); sets high expectations and requires ambitious instruction for all CPS students; and reflects the essential qualities of a CPS educational experience that aligns with the values held by the district, students, teachers, school administrators, parents, and other community stakeholders.
- The district’s approach to accountability must align with the CPS Equity Framework and the principle of Targeted Universalism by articulating the inputs and practices, at the school and district level, which support the universal goal of every CPS student achieving the high- quality educational experience as outlined in both the ICV and stakeholder feedback. It must also go beyond solely focusing on school-level outputs and outcomes and adding greater consideration to, and accountability for, inputs such as the set of resources (e.g., funding to schools) and conditions (e.g., safe and inclusive professional and student learning environments) that impact a high-quality educational experience in schools.
- The district’s approach to accountability must establish greater accountability for the district, grounded in the shared responsibility of promoting the structural supports necessary to create school environments that support equitable outcomes for all students while recognizing that district-level accountability also does not exist in isolation and is influenced by many factors outside of the district’s purview. To align with the CPS Equity Framework, the district will provide stakeholders with information on how the district is establishing and meeting commitments to school communities with respect to providing equitable access to supports and resources.
Goals and Core Uses
The primary goals and core uses of the information provided by this policy are to:
- Support the whole child by enabling improved teaching and learning in schools; and
- Inform families about all the characteristics that comprise the high-quality educational experience referenced above; and
- Leverage information internally about these characteristics to diagnose where and how to equitably direct resources and supports to schools.
Ultimately, the information the district provides to stakeholders in accordance with this policy should be designed so as to drive continuous improvement efforts at both the school and district level and meet stakeholder needs.
Where available and appropriate, all metrics will be disaggregated by student race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, Diverse Learner status, English Language Learner status, socio-economic status and Students in Temporary Living Situations. The reporting of student groups will be implemented to support targeted universalist initiatives in the school district with a focus on most impacted students and schools rather than to highlight achievement differences or uphold a deficit-based approach.
In order to ensure reciprocal accountability between the district and its constituent schools, it is imperative that the district articulate the resources and support schools need in order to reasonably meet district expectations. To satisfy this imperative, the district shall provide stakeholders with information regarding the extent to which it is prioritizing support and resources to schools in the following areas:
Daily Learning Experience
The foundation for our academic progress is our Instructional Core. Students must experience daily core instruction that is responsive to and sustaining of who they are and what they bring, and empowers them to connect, imagine, and act as ethical, critical actors that shape the world.
Adult Capacity and Continuous Learning
The success of our schools is built on talented and empowered educators. To that end, the district commits to providing support to develop the capacity of all educators, provide leadership development trajectories, and nurture the school-based adult cultures and structures that lead to academic progress.
Inclusive and Collaborative School and Community
We abide by our Core Value of the "Whole Child" to support our students so they are healthy, safe, engaged, and academically challenged.
The district’s approach to accountability will account for opportunity differences in order to situate achievement differences. Reflecting the guiding principle of targeted universalism in the CPS Equity Framework, a set of indexed socioeconomic indicators will be utilized with discretion to contextualize school quality measures in Section III.D and any related reporting measures. For SY24-25, based on data from SY23-24, CPS will use the CPS Opportunity Index indicators included below to guide the approach to targeted universalism. The CPS Opportunity Index is an analytical tool to align how we measure opportunity differences at CPS so we can most equitably support communities most impacted by inequity and structural disinvestment with the resources and decision-making power in our locus of control.
The Opportunity Index includes socioeconomic indicators related to race, socioeconomic status, education, health, and community factors. Beyond closing opportunity gaps, the Opportunity Index will allow the school district to Inclusively Partner and create transparency, from how we allocate resources to how we factor opportunity differences into targeted universalist considerations to support most impacted schools and communities. Below we outline the current CPS Opportunity Index with the understanding that the Opportunity Index may change in the future based on validation and evolving district priorities:
School Factors Community Factors Resourcing Factors Percent of students...
- with diverse learner needs
- who are English learners
- experiencing temporary living situations
- eligible for free and reduced lunch
- eligible for but not enrolled in Medicaid
- who identify
- employed one year who are employed with CPS the following year
- Average student hardship score based on home address
- Community area life expectancy
- Percent of students living in prioritized South/West communities
- Historical change in school budget and student-based funding
- Historical Capital investment and Tax Increment Finance Investment
Indicators - Evidence of Student Learning and Well-Being (Student Outcomes)
As noted above, past Board action and stakeholder feedback have clearly articulated the need for the district’s approach to accountability to be inclusive of practice and supports (inputs) as well as information about student performance (outputs). Discussions about continuous improvement, equity, or other strategic priorities must be driven by data, and the following section outlines the key performance indicators the district identifies as critical to those discussions.
The indicators described here are all lagging (i.e., reported after the conclusion of a given school year) but can and should be complemented by the use of aligned leading indicators by school or district staff. While those leading indicators are not listed as part of this policy, the policy does acknowledge their critical role in driving effective cycles of continuous improvement. Each of the indicator descriptions listed here includes a definition, guidance for interpretation and use, and a broad description of a "standard" for that indicator. This information is included as guidance for eventual implementation, during which work decisions about final measurement and reporting must be made in accordance with the ultimate goal of this policy as described in III.B above (i.e., to provide information in support of continuous improvement and stakeholder needs).
The prioritized lagging indicators (and metrics to measure them) are as follows:
- Academic Progress:
- Student Growth to Proficiency
- Definition: The district will develop a summative measure of growth that uses shifts in standardized achievement over time to measure the rate of student progress toward meeting proficiency standards over multiple years and with multiple cohorts of students. Growth will be based on the appropriate state-required assessment for each applicable grade band.
- Interpretation and Use: This measure is not intended to be a measure of school quality. More appropriately, it is a strong indicator of where students and schools are showing accelerated learning trajectories (or not) over time as compared to their statewide peers. Identifying schools where students are showing below-average growth should be the first step in a root cause analysis to determine what kinds of additional support are needed. Student Growth to Proficiency should also be used to identify schools where exemplary practices can be studied for potential replication at scale.
- Standard: The goal for CPS schools will be to show a rate of progress to proficiency that is at or above the statewide average. This target should be reviewed annually as this measure’s implementation progresses.
- Student Proficiency
- Definition: The district will report school-level point-in-time and trend data for student proficiency as measured by the appropriate state-required assessment for each applicable grade band.
- Interpretation and Use: Standardized assessments provide stakeholders with information about how students are performing relative to Illinois Learning Standards as measured by state-required assessments. Trend data will provide a sense of how overall proficiency has changed over time. It is important to note that student proficiency on standardized assessments is highly correlated with student socio-economic status, and thus proficiency rates alone should not be misconstrued as an indicator of school quality.
- Standard: The district will report school-level proficiency data along with district and state averages (where available and comparable) for context.
- Diverse Learner Progress
- Definition: The district will report school-level data for student growth as measured by state standardized measures – Dynamic Learning Map Alternative Assessment (DLM-AA) data that is disaggregated by subgroups for Diverse Learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
- Interpretation and Use: This measure is not intended to measure school quality. It is intended to share the progress of students requiring significantly modified curriculum who are administered this assessment. Research shows that students with disabilities when provided with a comprehensive and individualized education plan see greater success in their post secondary endeavors inclusive of life skills.
- Standard: The district will report progress data results for students who receive significantly modified curriculum and are administered the required standardized assessments.
- English Learner Progress to Proficiency
- Definition: The district will report school-level data on the percentage of English Learners (ELs) making adequate annual progress on English proficiency. "Adequate" is defined as the amount of growth needed on the ACCESS for ELLs from one year to the next to ensure ELs achieve English proficiency within five years of being identified as an English Learner.
- Interpretation and Use: Research shows that EL students who don’t attain English proficiency within five years of being identified as ELs have a greatly reduced chance of ever doing so. This measure is not a direct measure of school quality, but does indicate where students are making progress towards English proficiency and identifies schools where additional support for English language instruction may be needed.
- Standard: The district will report school-level proficiency data along with district and state averages (where available and comparable) for context.
- Definition: The student On-Track indicator for grades 3-8 identifies students who are on track (or not) for success in high schools. Freshmen and Sophomore On-Track indicators use credit and grade data to identify students who are on track (or not) to graduate high school in four years.
- Interpretation and Use: Research strongly suggests that whether a student graduates high school after 12th grade can be reliably predicted by their performance in earlier years. Research suggests that students who are identified as "on-track" are much more likely to graduate from high school in four years than off-track students. Freshmen "On-track" specifically has been found to be a more accurate predictor of graduation than students’ previous achievement on standardized assessments. Research further suggests that school climate and structures play a significant role in whether or not students are on-track, more so than students' previous academic performance or student socioeconomic status.
- Standard: The district will report school-level on-track data along with district and state averages (where available and comparable) for context.
- Student Growth to Proficiency
- Connectedness and Well-Being:
- Chronic Absence
- Definition: Chronic absence is defined as students who have missed 10% or more of enrolled attendance days. The district will report school-level point-in- time and trend data on the percentage of students who are chronically absent.
- Interpretation and Use: Research shows that students experiencing chronic absenteeism are much less likely to receive high grades, graduate high school, or succeed in college. Student-level chronic absence data should be used to identify which students are in need of additional support and engagement from school communities. School-level chronic absence data should be used to identify which schools need additional district resources and supports to better meet the needs of chronically absent students.
- Standard: The district will report school-level chronic absence data along with district and state averages (where available and comparable) for context.
- One-Year Dropout Rate
- Definition: The one-year dropout rate is defined as the percentage of students in grades 9-12 who are enrolled CPS at any point in the school year but are not enrolled at the end of the school year.
- Interpretation and Use: Schools’ ability to engage and retain students, particularly in high schools, is critical to student success. Research clearly indicates that students who drop out of school are much less likely to graduate from high school or otherwise succeed. Higher than average dropout rates should be interpreted as a need for additional support at the student and school level.
- Standard: The district will report school-level dropout data along with district and state averages (where available and comparable) for context.
- Chronic Absence
- Postsecondary Success:
- Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate
- Definition: The district and school-level graduation rates are calculated based on the percentage of students who enroll in the district as first-time freshmen and then graduate high school four years later.
- Interpretation and Use: Students who graduate are much more likely to be successful in their chosen postsecondary path (college, career, etc.). The extent to which the district and individual schools are retaining incoming high school students and supporting their path to graduation is an important indicator of school and district efficacy.
- Standard: The district will report school-level graduation data along with district and state averages (where available and comparable) for context.
- Early College and Career Credentials
- Definition: This metric reports the percentage of students who are graduating high schools with one or more qualifying credentials, tied to high school coursework, that prepare them for postsecondary success..
- Interpretation and Use: Students should have access to a variety of postsecondary opportunities during their high school years. Schools and the district should be offering equitable access to postsecondary opportunities that reflect the needs and interests of students. The Early College and Career Credentials (ECCC) metric should be interpreted as describing the extent to which schools are providing said access (as well as intentional or equitable support for attainment) and the district is providing schools the resources and support needed to do so.
- Standard: The district will report school-level ECCC data along with district and state averages (where available and comparable) for context.
- College Enrollment and Persistence
- Definition: College enrollment is the % of CPS graduates from a specific YOG (year of graduation) cohort that are reported by the National Student ClearingHouse as enrolled in a higher education institution in the Fall and/or Spring semester immediately following graduation. College Persistence is the % of CPS graduates who were enrolled continuously (no semesters off) for the four semesters after high school graduation in one or more two-year or four- year colleges or who completed a college degree or credential within two years. Summer semesters are not counted.
- Interpretation and Use: Alumni enrollment and persistence relies heavily on two major school supports: Postsecondary Preparation and Alumni Support Initiative programming. Schools and the district use these postsecondary enrollment and persistence metrics to measure the success of our schools at preparing students for life beyond high school. Schools should leverage multiple layers of support for postsecondary preparation including rigorous course selections, providing college and career instruction, and linking students to high quality advising through school counselors, college & career coaches, and the many college access partners throughout the district.
- Standard: The district will report school-level college enrollment and persistence data along with district averages and state or national data when available.
- Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate
- Academic Progress:
Indicators - Daily Learning Experience
Per Board and stakeholder guidance outlined above, the district’s approach to accountability must also articulate standards for the conditions and practices that facilitate a high-quality educational experience in schools. The following are the key indicators of quality practice in support of students’ daily learning experience that the district is prioritizing as most likely to positively impact the student outcomes listed above over time.
High Quality Curriculum
- Definition: The district shall provide school-level information on the extent to which all students, across all grade levels and subject areas, have access to high-quality curriculum as defined by the district's standards.
- Standard: High-quality curriculum should: be standards aligned, reflect student’s identities and lived experiences, engage students in topics, problems, and people that impact them and their communities and drive instruction that is responsive to all students’ needs. The district will evaluate schools’ curricula for different subjects and grade levels according to its internal curriculum quality rubric. At a minimum, this rubric will measure the extent to which a curriculum (i) aligns with grade-level standards, (ii) provides continuity across instructional and assessment resources and grade bands, (iii) aligns with standards for social-emotional learning, cultural responsiveness, and differentiation support, (iv) addresses the needs of diverse learners and English learners, and (v) meets additional requirements as may be reflected by content-specific, research-based practices.
- Theory of Action: If the district ensures that all schools have access to a high- quality curriculum, conditions for effective instruction and student learning will improve.
- District Accountability: Provide access to a universally-available high-quality rigorous, and culturally responsive curriculum for all schools.
- Definition: The district shall provide school-level information on the degree to which a school’s instructional practices meet district standards.
- Standard: Instruction should: be designed with the student at the center, use learning acceleration practices that give students access to grade-level standards, align to content specific research-based practices, foster positive classroom community and nurture students’ strengths, and use varied assessments in order to be responsive to the needs of students. The district will evaluate and report on instructional practices using available data as appropriate. This may include observational data from classroom observations, student and teacher responses on surveys, and other data sources.
- Theory of Action: If instruction is rigorous and includes high expectations coupled with a supportive learning environment, student learning will improve.
- District Accountability: Provide professional learning at the district and Network levels to improve learning acceleration practices.
Conditions for Learning and the Student Experience
- Definition: The district shall provide school-level information on the degree to which the student experience of classroom instruction meets the conditions that are needed in order for students to learn.
- Standard: The student experience in the learning environment should be one that: empowers students; fosters positive and collaborative classroom community; nurtures, explores, and affirms identity; provides supportive systems and structures that nurtures students’ social, emotional, growth, and leadership; and fosters creativity, empathy, curiosity, and confident self-expression that leads to inventive artistic practice and fulfillment. The district will report on students’ experience of the learning environment using available data as appropriate. This may include district wide measurement surveys, network rigor walks, and other data sources.
- Theory of Action: Students’ daily experience of their classroom learning conditions drives their engagement, perseverance, and learning; it also shapes longer term academic outcomes, identity development, and well-being.
- District Accountability: Provide training, resources, and data to engage in student experience data gathering. Provide a clean, warm, safe, and dry facility with adequate space and modernized amenities and infrastructure to ensure equitable access to a 21st century learning environment for all students.
Balanced Assessment System:
- Definition: The district shall provide school-level information on the degree to which a school has an assessment plan that meets the district’s standard for a balanced assessment system.
- Standard: The district will evaluate schools’ assessment plans across grades, content areas, and assessment types according to its standard for a balanced assessment system.
- Theory of Action: If schools implement a balanced assessment system the district will be able to measure the depth and breadth of student learning and monitor student progress towards college and career readiness as well as provide actionable data to inform planning for instruction, academic supports, and resource allocation. A balanced assessment system includes multiple measures and is responsive to the needs of all students, inclusive of Diverse Learners and English Learners.
- District Accountability: Provide universally-available meaningful assessments and assessment data tools to inform instruction.
Access to Postsecondary Opportunities
- Definition: This metric describes the extent to which schools are implementing the systems and structures necessary to support students in preparing for their postsecondary pathways culminating in the Learn.Plan.Succeed (LPS) and FAFSA graduation requirements and is ultimately measured by ECCC. While the ECCC metric described above measures actual student outcomes in this area, this metric measures the extent to which a school is meeting district standards on the practices necessary to support students’ postsecondary access and success by providing college and career readiness instruction and ensuring completion of the postsecondary individualized learning plan tasks.
- Standard: The district shall provide school-level information on the extent to which school practice meets district standards in areas such as the percentage of students participating in college and career readiness instruction, advanced coursework and career and technical education (as opposed to credits earned as measured in ECCC); grades earned in ECCC courses (as opposed to the achievement of a credential); training in college finance, expectations and systems; and exposure to career options.
- Theory of Action: If schools and the district establish systems of support that allow students to explore their college and career interests and create a meaningful postsecondary plan (LPS) upon completion of access steps, students are much more likely to experience postsecondary success, regardless of their actual chosen path.
- District Accountability: Provide staffing support and training to evaluate and improve ECCC programs in schools, as well as invest in a postsecondary goal-setting curriculum for High School upperclassmen.
Research-based Academic Interventions within a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Framework
- Definition: The metric seeks to measure the extent to which schools are implementing an equity based MTSS framework, which includes providing research- based academic interventions in response to students’ demonstrated needs.
- Standard: The district shall report information on the degree to which an effective Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework exists as defined by district standards.
- Theory of Action: If a school implements an effective MTSS framework, which includes the implementation of research-based academic interventions that meet students’ targeted skill needs, then all students will accelerate in their learning and increase academic achievement.
- District Accountability: Provide universally-available research-based academic interventions, along with an intervention platform to support schools in progress monitoring student growth.
Specially Designed Instruction
- Definition: Specially designed instruction, not to be confused with differentiation, is adapted content, methodology or delivery of instruction by a special education teacher or related service provider to address the unique needs (academic, behavioral, social) of an eligible student that results from a student’s educational plan.
- Standard: To ensure access to the general education curriculum and in some cases advanced curriculum, special education teachers and related service providers, utilize students' individualized educational support plans to develop specially designed instruction that meets each student’s unique needs as outlined in their individualized educational plan of support.
- Theory of Action: If school staff engage in high quality specially designed instruction, using general education curriculum as a foundation for all students, then Diverse Learners and Gifted Students will demonstrate significant growth in the areas targeted through their individualized educational support plan and increase access to the general education curriculum
- District Accountability: Provide professional learning and coaching at the district and Network-level to implement high-quality specially designed instruction.
Adult Capacity and Continuous Learning
Stakeholder feedback and extensive research have highlighted the importance of a school's organizational conditions (adult capacity, culture, and systems for continuous improvement) and their significant impact on student outcomes. When inclusive and learning-oriented conditions are present, individuals are more motivated to learn and share their knowledge, and they are more dedicated to making changes in their school and their own practices. The willingness and commitment to change are essential for creating optimal school cultures that support student well- being, belonging, identity development, and achievement. The following indicators are the key points of information the district must provide stakeholders moving forward to articulate the extent to which schools and the district are putting these adult support systems and culture in place.
- Definition: This indicator captures the context of current school leadership as reflected by the tenure of the current school leadership, relationships with staff and other adults in the school community, and other data points as appropriate.
- Standard: The district shall report information on leadership capacity such as the tenure of the current leadership; the stability of school leadership (e.g., the number of principals at a school over a certain time period); the current status of principal contracting; and information from student and staff surveys. The district must also provide district-level data as context where appropriate, as well as information about district response and support in cases where the data indicates a need.
- Theory of Action: If we invest in development opportunities and leadership supports for school leaders and aspiring school leaders, then will we see increased stability in strong school leadership, leading to sustained continuous improvement and growth in student outcomes.
- District Accountability: Provide new principal and new assistant principal induction programs, competency-aligned professional development opportunities for school leaders of all tenure, mentorship roles that elevate experienced, high- performing principals and support novice principals, differentiated pathways for development for aspiring school leaders, and resources for cultivating staff leadership in schools in support of best practices in succession and transition planning.
School Vision and Continuous Improvement Practice
- Definition: This indicator measures and reports on the extent to which schools have systems in place to support continuous improvement in supporting the daily learning experiences of students.
- Standard: The district shall provide stakeholders with information regarding the effectiveness of school continuous improvement practices. Said information shall include indicators like the presence of a full Continuous Improvement Work Plan (CIWP) team; effective CIWP monitoring practices; and progress toward CIWP milestones and goals.
- Theory of Action: If the district defines processes and provides supports for schools on improvement science and measures and reports on those practices, then schools will improve their continuous improvement practices, which will increase the likelihood of school improvement across the district. Improvement science clearly indicates that for schools to improve their practice over time, there are clear processes and supports that need to be in place. If the district measures and reports on these practices, the likelihood of school improvement occurring at scale will greatly increase.
- District Accountability: Provide robust training for school teams to create strong continuous improvement plans, and tailor supports in response to needs identified across school-based plans.
Distributed Leadership and Teacher Leader Development
- Definition: This indicator measures and reports on the extent to which schools (as supported by the district), show high levels of trust, collegial relationships, engage and empower teachers, teachers leaders, and staff to perform their roles effectively; Have systems in place to distribute leadership and build adult capacity in leadership, to effectively support the continuous improvement of staff and teacher practice, thereby, improving the daily learning experiences of students.
- Standard: The district shall provide stakeholders with information regarding the effectiveness of teacher leadership teams such as Instructional Leadership Teams MTSS Teams, or Behavior Health Teams (BHT) the extent to which a school is properly implementing the district’s high quality distributed leadership as defined by the district; the presence, quality, and implementation of professional development plans; and the existence of a culture of trust, collaboration, transparency, and professional growth, particularly as measured by culture and climate surveys.
- Theory of Action: If the district measures the extent to which schools implement a culture with effective systems to cultivate distributed leadership in service of continuous learning and effective professional development (and are equitably supported by the district in doing so), then school staff are much more likely to improve their instructional practices and the daily learning experiences of students over time.
- District Accountability: Increase teacher professional learning, collaboration, and coaching opportunities through investing professional learning funds to provide teacher leaders with additional time and opportunities for professional development.
Teachers and Staff Capacity
- Definition: This indicator captures the context of current school teachers and staff as reflected by the position vacancy rates, teacher qualifications, tenure, turnover.
- Standard: The district shall provide stakeholders with information on the extent to which teachers and other staff members are experienced and certified for their current roles and are engaged in their work, as measured by metrics such as National Board Certification, staff attendance, and responses to climate and culture surveys. Identify and track teacher mobility in order to develop strategies to retain a high quality and diverse educator workforce.
- Theory of Action: If schools are staffed with skillful teachers who consistently provide high quality instruction as defined by the CPS Framework for Teaching, then there will be numerous benefits for students, families, and communities.
- District Accountability: Recruit, develop, and retain a high quality and diverse educator workforce, with an emphasis on supporting the hardest-to-staff schools and educators in high-needs subject areas. Invest in our teacher pathways initiatives to ensure that we’re supporting current CPS students to become the next generation of CPS teachers and that current educational support personnel have equitable opportunities to become teachers of record. Provide support for educators in CPS english learner programs. Provide universally available professional development aligned to district priorities and educator role, including centrally funded and supported mentoring and professional development for new teachers.
Inclusive and Collaborative School and Community
Themes regarding support for the whole child, school inclusivity for students, families, and communities, and the importance of partnership as key aspects of school community building were common in stakeholder feedback. In order to support conversations and improvement in practice with respect to these topics, the district shall provide stakeholders with information about the following indicators.
Healing Centered Culture, Supports and Social-Emotional Interventions
- Definition: This indicator measures the level of school capacity and quality of practices in support of student physical, social, and emotional health to the extent to which schools are implementing an equity based MTSS framework, which includes providing research valid Social Emotional Learning (SEL) interventions in response to students’ demonstrated needs.
- Standard: The district shall report information on the presence and efficacy of school systems and support for student connectedness, wellbeing, and health. This may include indicators like effective BHTs; processes for identifying and providing student interventions in support of a safe climate; a menu of evidence based tiered interventions and supports; effective community partnerships; established positive culture and climate practices as measured by culture and climate surveys, SEL skills instruction; select Healthy CPS metrics; and staff training (both participation and completion) on student physical and mental health supports.
- Theory of Action: Student health, connectedness and well-being is a clear precondition to student learning. If a school has an effective MTSS framework in place, which includes the implementation of research-valid SEL interventions that meet students’ targeted skill needs, and supports to create healthy, healing-centered school cultures, student learning and academic success will be much more likely to improve over time.
- District Accountability: Ensure that we meet the needs of the whole child by making SEL curriculum, professional development and resources universally available, as well as building partnerships with local Mental Health providers. Expand resources for students in temporary living situations, school counselor support for communities in need, and coaching for staff on restorative practices.
Inclusive and Collaborative Structures and Involved and Engaged Youth
- Definition: This indicator measures the extent to which schools increase student perspective, participation, and agency in the systems and processes of decision- making that impacts them the most.
- Standard: The district shall report information on the engagement and involvement of students in school decision making through indicators such as the school’s methods of collecting and leveraging broad and targeted student perspectives on timely topics (surveys, polls, focus groups, interviews, voting, public deliberations); the dedicated roles student representatives have to participate or lead in decision- making spaces (e.g. Rigor Walks, Student Voice Committees, Participatory Budgeting, student representatives on ILT’s or other teams); the methods of reporting to students that communicate the impact of student perspectives collected, and how and why decisions were made (e.g. newsletters, town halls); the instructional opportunities students have to learn about and engage in solution-design of community-based issues (service learning, problem-based learning, civic action projects); the level of student voice in out-of-school time and other enrichment opportunities.
- Theory of Action: When students are involved in school-level decision making, they are much more likely to feel valued by teachers and staff and to value their school in turn, leading to better student outcomes. In addition, school-level decisions will be more informed and more likely to lead to positive change if they include the perspectives of those experiencing the problem and impacted by the decision. By reporting this information, the district hopes to improve these practices and outcomes over time.
- District Accountability: Ensure policies and resources are in place to support the whole child so that all students are healthy, safe, engaged in diverse experiences and programming, and academically challenged. Provide tools and resources to schools to support increasing student voice and engagement in decision-making.
Out of School Time and Enrichment Opportunities
- Definition: This indicator provides stakeholders information on the extent to which schools are providing opportunities for students to engage in academic, athletic and arts based enrichment within their school community and beyond the classroom. These opportunities include, but are not limited to, the visual and performing arts, athletics, extracurricular activities, and other areas that are a quintessential part of the CPS education experience beyond the Instructional Core in the classroom. Enrichment activities should supplement the classroom experience, not seek to replace sequential learning in each content area.
- Standard: The district shall report school-level information on the types of enrichment opportunities each school provides students including total number of available student seats; the percentage of available programs that meet district standards of quality; level of actual student participation in enrichment activities; and equity of access to enrichment programming.
- Theory of Action: If the district measures and reports on the types of enrichment opportunities each school provides its students, then schools will be intentional in providing access with the goal of improving targeted student outcomes.
- District Accountability: Fund and support expanded Out of School time programming to give students year-round opportunities for advanced coursework, academic supports, and extracurricular activities.
School and Community Partnerships and Engagement
- Definition: This indicator measures the extent to which schools engage and partner with families and communities to increase the quantity and quality of student daily learning experiences. The goal is to operationalize Inclusive Partnerships as defined in the CPS Equity Framework.
- Standard: The district shall report information on the number and types of partnerships each school has with community organizations; the level of engagement with stakeholder groups (Community Action Councils, Parent Advisory Councils, Bilingual Advisory Committees, Local School Councils, etc.); and the level of supportive culture engendered by the school as measured by data sources like climate and culture surveys. Additionally, it is expected that schools include parents of Diverse Learners in stakeholder groups.
- Theory of Action: If the district measures and reports on these kinds of school- level activities, then schools will be incentivized to increase family and community engagement and the district will be better able to equitably provide the needed resources to ensure quality engagement district-wide.
- District Accountability: Advance funding equity by increasing targeted investments and partnerships to support our highest-need students. Leverage Local School Council members, Community Action Councils, Parent Advisory Councils, and more affinity and parent groups to help us better understand what families and partners think about our District's policies. From public community meetings and townhalls, to focus groups, to one-on-one outreach, we will work to ensure we have diverse perspectives at the table to help inform future planning and build a universal support strategy that is responsive to local needs.
The district shall develop the business rules (i.e., how metrics are actually calculated) and reporting mechanisms for each of the indicators listed above consistent with all available research and information regarding best practice in terms of psychometrics, effective reporting, and other technical considerations. Additionally, said business rules and reporting mechanisms should incorporate the ideas and practices outlined in the CPS Equity Framework. Specifically, decisions about how publicly reported metrics are calculated and reported will be made based (at least in part) on the extent to which said decisions support CPS decision makers’ ability to implement the CPS Equity Framework.
In addition to discussions that consider these qualitative factors, the district shall also quantitatively assess proposed business rules and reporting mechanisms for their equity impact. Specifically, the district shall evaluate metrics and flag potential bias across the following factors:
- Student Characteristics: Race; Gender; Race and Gender; Current English Learner Status (EL); Prior and Current English Learner Status (Ever EL); Economically Disadvantaged; Diverse Learners (i.e., students with an Individualized Education Plan); Diverse Learner (i.e., student with a 504 plan); Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS)
- School Characteristics: School size; School type (Specialty, Traditional, Options, etc.); Governance/Network; Geographic Location/Region; Community; Opportunity Index Score ( selected components of); Selective Enrollment; Attendance Boundary; Space Utilization; Program Density; Historic Funding (Both Capital and Operational); High Churn; Majority 1 race
In acknowledgement of the fact that there are cases where statistical bias signals a potential calculation problem and others where it signals useful information about systemic bias that decision makers should consider, the district will formulate a clear methodology of distinguishing between the two and incorporate these considerations into final decisions about metrics. The district will also develop and document for public consumption clear rationale for decisions regarding metric business rules that incorporate all of the considerations listed here in Section V.
In addition to incorporating all of the above considerations listed here in Section V for the initial design of metric business rules and reporting mechanisms, the district shall also re-evaluate metric business rules at least once every three years to ensure that metrics are continuing to meet the district’s standards of equity and data integrity. In addition to equity and data integrity, this regular re-evaluation shall also consider:
- The effectiveness of district reporting of information about the indicators listed in Section III above (i.e., whether the information is presented in a manner that is easily accessed and understood by stakeholders).
- The effectiveness of district efforts to meet stakeholder learning demands regarding publicly available information about school and district quality (i.e., whether stakeholders have the requisite understanding they need to use the information the district provides).
- Whether the information the district provides is being used in the manner intended by stakeholders, including students; families; community members; school leaders; teachers; and other practitioners.
In accordance with Board resolution 22-0427-RS1, the district shall submit a report to the Board before the end of the calendar year at least once every three years inclusive of district findings of all of the above analyses, as well any recommendations for improving the policy based on said findings. The first iteration of this report will be due to the Board by December 31, 2027, and at least every three years thereafter.
Timeline for Reporting
The Board’s selection of the indicators outlined above is driven by a desire to align district practice with stakeholder priorities and needs to the extent possible and is not limited to information currently available to district leadership. As such, the Board acknowledges that information on some of the indicators described above will not be available when the district first releases updates to stakeholders in the Fall of 2024. Therefore, the deadlines for providing information to stakeholders about each of the indicators listed above are as follows:
- Indicator C.1.a: Student Growth to Proficiency : Fall 2024
- Indicator C.1.b: Student Proficiency : Fall 2024
- Indicator C.1.c: Diverse Learner Progress to Proficiency : Fall 2025
- Indicator C.1.d:English Learner Progress to Proficiency: Fall 2024
- Indicator C.1.e: On-Track: Fall 2024
- Indicator C.2.a: Chronic Absence: Fall 2024
- IndicatorC.2.b: One-Year Dropout Rate: Fall 2024
- Indicator C.3.a: Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate: Fall 2024
- Indicator C.3.b: Early College and Career Credentials: Fall 2025
- Indicator C.3.c: College Enrollment and Persistence: Fall 2024
- Indicator D.1: High Quality Curriculum: Fall 2024
- IndicatorD.2: Rigorous Instruction:Fall 2025
- Indicator D.3: Conditions for Learning and the Student Experience: Fall 2025
- Indicator D.4:Balanced Assessment System: Fall 2025
- Indicator D.5: Access to Postsecondary Opportunities: Fall 2025
- Indicator D.6: Research-based Academic Interventions within a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Framework: Fall 2025
- Indicator D.7: Specially Designed Instruction: Fall 2025
- Indicator E.1: Leadership Context: Fall 2025
- Indicator E.2: School Vision and Continuous Improvement Practice: Fall 2025
- Indicator E.3: Distributed Leadership and Teacher Leader Development: Fall 2025
- Indicator E.4: Teachers and Staff Capacity: Fall 2025
- Indicator F.1: Healing Centered Culture, Supports and Social-Emotional Interventions: Fall 2025
- Indicator F.2: Inclusive and Collaborative Structures and Involved and Engaged Youth: Fall 2025
- Indicator F.3 Fall: Out of School Time and Enrichment Opportunities: Fall 2025
- Indicator F.4: School and Community Partnerships and Engagement: Fall 2025
Final reporting for each of the indicators should, wherever possible, take place after field testing and feedback from stakeholders have informed the design, and include guidance for interpretation and use.
The principles outlined in this policy applicable to evaluating and reporting on school and district quality and effectiveness should also be applied to the extent possible to other district continuous improvement and evaluation practices. This coherence includes the content and process for the Continuous Improvement Work Plan (CIWP); Central Office and Network strategic plans; Central Office and Network staff evaluations; principal and assistant principal evaluations; and teacher evaluations. The application of these principles to these and other key aspects of district operations will align incentives, simplify activities, and increase overall system effectiveness and coherence for practitioners and stakeholders alike.
Progress Monitoring and Oversight
The CEO shall provide an annual progress report on the implementation V (A) and (B) above. This report shall be provided prior to the deadlines for reporting indicators listed V (A), include defined standards and rules for those indicators, progress updates on how said indicators are being incorporated into district continuous improvement and evaluation practices in V (B) above, and other information as requested by the Board.
|Public Comment||Pursuant to Board Rule 2-6 this Policy was posted for Public Comment from 3/3/23 - 4/3/23.|