August 28, 2013
CHICAGO — The Chicago Board of Education today approved Chicago Public Schools' (CPS) new comprehensive School Quality Rating Policy, a five-tiered performance system based on school performance metrics that together provide multiple lines of evidence for measuring school quality. Under this new policy, all schools, including district-operated, charter and contract schools, will be held to a common accountability framework that places a greater emphasis on student growth.
"We are committed to providing every child in every neighborhood with a high-quality education, and to help meet that goal we need a system in place that holds all schools accountable and by the same standards for student growth," said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. "With the insight and guidance of our education partners throughout the District, we have created a new school rating system that will shift our focus toward common, rigorous performance standards for all schools, whether they are charter, neighborhood or contract."
The School Quality Rating Policy is grounded in objective, research-based metrics for assessing student learning and performance outcomes while also taking into consideration feedback from students and teachers. Metrics include student attendance, freshmen on track scores, college enrollment and persistence, educator and student surveys, and academic growth with an emphasis on growth for priority groups such as African-American students, English Language Learners and Diverse Learners. The weighted emphasis on student growth and multi-tiered ratings will help guide the District in how best to provide helpful supports and interventions to improve performance among low-performing schools.
Schools that are rated Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 will be considered in good academic standing and will not be required to receive academic improvement strategies determined by District leadership. However, schools that fall under Tier 4 and Tier 5 will receive targeted interventions. Schools that remain at Tier 5 for multiple years may receive actions such as the replacement of the principal and faculty members, new Local School Council elections or be subject to turnaround according to state law.
Over the past year, CPS worked with several education partners to develop a clear and consistent framework for evaluating all schools throughout the District. Together, the following partners contributed input through dozens of discussions that informed the development of the School Quality Rating Policy:
- Chicago Teachers' Union
- Consortium on Chicago School Research
- Network for College Success
- Advance Illinois
- Chicago Public Education Fund
- Local School Council Advisory board
- Raise Your Hand
- More than a Score
- Illinois Network of Charter School
- Chicago Principals and Administrators Association
"This policy aligns directly to my Strategic Action plan," added CEO Byrd-Bennett. "The benefits and long-term effects of this new policy will offer extensive and thoughtful feedback to our schools and will ultimately better inform the way we serve and support our students."