CPS Sees Strong, Steady ISAT Growth Among Elementary Schools 

Full School Day Pioneer Schools More Than Triple the District’s Average Growth in Meets/Exceeds; Every Grade in Every Subject Experiences Growth for the Third Time Since ISAT Started in 2001


July 16, 2013


Chicago Public Schools today released preliminary data from the 2013 Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) showing that the District’s Meets or Exceeds (M/E) composite scores grew by 1.8 percent this year marking 12 years of progress made by CPS elementary school students with 65% of all schools increasing their M/E scores. Additionally, every grade level (3 through 8) across all District elementary schools increased their M/E and the Exceeds scores across all subjects.


Highlighting the District’s growth were schools that participated in the Full School Day (FSD) Pioneer Program. Beginning in the fall of 2011, 11 schools extended the school day from 5.45 hours to 7.5 hours as part of this initiative. Since pioneering the FSD two years ago, these schools more than tripled composite M/E growth both years and are now just shy of the District’s overall average ISAT score. This year, the Full School Day was expanded district-wide along with the implementation of Common Core State Standards.


Welcoming Schools composite M/E scores grew this year by .8 percentage points and exceed their Sending School counterparts by 12.1 percentage points. Additionally, all students by race, gender and English language Learners (ELL) experienced increases in both composite M/E and Exceeds scores.


“The continued progress being made on the part of our students is encouraging, but there is more work to be done. The District, our school communities, elected officials and business leaders all share a responsibility to do everything possible to protect the investments made to support student growth and ensure our children can live up to their potential,” said CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “Our school community faced a number of changes and challenges this past school year, including the strike, a lengthy community process around our utilization crisis, and the implementation of both the Full School Day and Common Core curriculum, and our educators and school leaders deserve tremendous thanks for their commitment and dedication to their students and their learning during this time.”


This school year, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) raised the performance levels of the ISAT for students in grades 3 through 8, and changed the assessment to make 20 percent of this year’s ISAT questions align with more rigorous Common Core State Standards.


By raising performance levels and aligning questions to Common Core, students will be better positioned for a successful future in college and career. This year’s M/E and Exceeds scores were adjusted to reflect these changes; today’s M/E composite score is 52.5 percent, while the adjusted Exceeds score is 10.7 percent.


These changes will also pave the way for the state to replace the ISAT tests in math and English language arts with the rigorous and Common Core aligned Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams. The new PARCC tests are scheduled to begin in the 2014-2015 school year.


In addition to the 1.8 percentage point growth (PPG) in composite M/E and 1.4 PPG in composite Exceeds, other ISAT highlights include:


  • 1.3 PPG in M/E and 1.5 PPG in Exceeds state standards in reading
  • 1.8 PPG in M/E and 1 PPG in Exceeds state standards in math
  • 2.9 PPG in M/E and 2.3 PPG in Exceeds state standards in science
  • 6.2 PPG in M/E and 3.9 PPG in Exceeds for FSD Pioneer schools
  • 2.9 PPG in composite M/E scores at AUSL Turnaround schools
  • 8 PPG in composite M/E scores at Welcoming Schools
  • .4 percent decrease in composite M/E scores at Charter Schools
  • African American students M/E composite growth rose 1.7 percentage points; Exceeds rose 1.8
  • Hispanic students M/E composite growth rose 1.4 percentage points; Exceeds rose 1.1
  • Female students M/E composite growth rose 1.7 percentage points; Exceeds rose 1.5
  • Male students M/E composite growth rose 1.9 percentage points; Exceeds rose 1.3
  • ELL students M/E composite growth rose .7 percentage points; Exceeds rose .1

About CPS

Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.


Press contacts

Page Last Modified on Tuesday, July 16, 2013