Latest CPS School Quality Ratings Show Continued Improvement 

Significant reduction in the lowest rated schools and an uptick in the highest rated schools
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                
Tuesday, October 27, 2015                                                                             
For more information, contact: 
CPS Office of Communications
Phone: 773-553-1620

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced school quality ratings for School Year 2014-1015 (SY 14-15), which demonstrate a trajectory of improvement, with more schools moving into the top rating category, and fewer schools rated in the lowest category. These ratings provide students, families and educators with the most accurate and comprehensive assessment of schools’ quality, as well as help tailor educational supports to meet each school’s unique needs.
“As our students continue to build on their academic progress of the past several years, we’re also encouraged to see the quality of our schools moving in the right direction, thanks to the hard work of our principals, teachers, parents and students,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “The latest school quality ratings help parents understand the best options for their children, and guide the District’s efforts to improve quality at all our schools.”
The School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) uses a broad range of indicators to measure schools by students’ success, including student attendance, academic growth and school culture. There are five performance ratings that schools can receive: 1+, 1, 2+, 2 and 3.
The SQRP ratings are based on data collected last year, during SY 14-15. In this year’s ratings 170 schools achieved the highest rating of Level 1+, 162 schools were rated Level 1, 119 schools were rated Level 2+, 174 were rated Level 2 and 23 were rated Level 3. 
This is an improvement over the previous year, when 161 schools were rated Level 1+, 154 schools were rated Level 1 rating, 118 schools were rated Level 2+, 159 schools were rated Level 2, and 44 schools were rated Level 3. 
“Ratings will help us develop and coordinate support for every school and provide a clearer picture of each school’s strengths and where they need to improve,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Janice K. Jackson. “For teachers and principals, the new ratings will help them understand what needs to be done to help students achieve. As a former principal, that kind of guidance is critical to success.”
Based on the SQRP ratings, 343 district-run schools are now in good standing, 78 schools will receive provisional support and 108 schools will receive intensive support.  Last year, 331 schools were deemed in good standing, 53 received provisional support, and 147 received intensive support. Depending on the rating received, schools will be granted the following:
  • Schools in good standing are granted greater autonomy on school improvement planning and school budgets.
  • Schools with provisional support receive needed targeted guidance to keep them moving in the right direction. This may include developing a new school improvement plan, additional training for the local school council and other supports. 
  • Schools receiving intensive support require greater intervention to quickly improve educational quality for students. Intensive supports may include principal change, school turnaround actions, new Local School Council elections or closure.
CPS also provided SQRP ratings for charter schools, including options schools. This year, 21 charter schools were rated Level 1+, 33 were rated Level 1, 38 were rated Level 2+, 29 were rated Level 2 and 3 schools were rated Level 3.  Last year’s schools that were rated had 30 charters rated Level 1+, 24 rated Level 1, 24 rated Level 2+, 28 rated Level 2 and 8 rated Level 3.
Under a more rigorous charter policy the Board of Education will vote on this week, low-performing charter schools will face a number of serious consequences, including potential non-renewal and closure.
In conjunction with this policy, the District will recommend immediately placing 10 charter schools on an Academic Warning List, which could result in the closure of these schools if performance does not significantly improve. Four of these schools are receiving additional scrutiny and could be recommended for revocation or non-renewal.
If the new policy is approved by the Board of Education, the following 10 schools will be placed on the Academic Warning List:
  • Amandla Charter High School
  • ASPIRA – Early College High School
  • Betty Shabazz – Barbara A. Sizemore Academy Elementary School
  • Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter Elementary School
  • CICS – ChicagoQuest High School
  • CICS – Larry Hawkins High School
  • Galapagos Elementary Charter School
  • Instituto – Justice Lozano High School
  • Kwame Nkrumah Academy Elementary School
  • Prologue – Joshua Johnston Charter High School 
Three of the schools – Amandla, Shabazz –Sizemore, and CICS –Hawkins –will receive additional scrutiny because they were also on last year’s Warning List. The District is reviewing the Warning List remediation plans submitted last year by these schools, and if it is determined that they have not met the terms of their plans they will be recommended for contract revocation.
Bronzeville Lighthouse will also receive additional scrutiny because it is in the final year of its contract. If the Board adopts this policy, additional action may be warranted, including contract non-renewal.
As a result of a vendor error and invalid EXPLORE and PLAN scores from last school year, in September the Board approved minor adjustments to the District’s rating policy for all high schools to provide families and educators with the most accurate and comprehensive picture of school performance.
Chicago Public Schools serves 393,000 students in 660 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

Page Last Modified on Tuesday, October 27, 2015