CHICAGO - Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today released its School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) results for 2019-20, which show a similar percentage of schools achieving the three highest school ratings compared to last year. For the 2019-20 school year, 78 percent of schools earned the three highest ratings, compared to 80 percent of schools last year and only 68 percent of schools when SQRP began in 2014-15.While data trends demonstrate steady and sustained school improvement, the district will continue to prioritize academic supports and resources, including the district’s first-of-its-kind Curriculum Equity Initiative to ensure all schools and teachers have access to the same high quality instructional materials.
“Our annual school ratings provide parents and families with access to data through a consistent and transparent metric that families recognize,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “We will continue to invest in academic supports and initiatives to ensure students have the support they need to build upon the district's academic success."
School Quality Ratings:
SQRP provides parents and families with a transparent and easy-to-use overview of school quality. The rating includes an analysis of a comprehensive set of data including student growth, performance, school culture and climate, graduation rates, and progress among priority student groups, among other criteria. SQRP data also allows the district to uniformly assess where schools may need additional supports.
SQRP utilizes a holistic set of factors beyond traditional academic attainment performance metrics, such as community and parent surveys, college enrollment and persistence at the high school level, and a focus on test score improvement rather than attainment.
In June 2019, the Chicago Board of Education approved a new SQRP policy for next school year that was created after two years of extensive principal and educator engagement. The new policy will make several key changes, including adding the district’s Learn.Plan.Succeed. initiative at the high school level, reducing the weight of attendance for elementary schools, and adding the 3-8 OnTrack metric, which is a leading indicator for high school success that will help elementary schools better prepare students for high school. Going forward, CPS will embark on a listening tour to engage key internal and external stakeholders to continually improve SQRP.
“The district is considered a national innovator in school quality for its focus on both academic and holistic factors and equitable outcomes,” said CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade. “We will continue to engage in robust stakeholder engagement to strengthen future policy and ensure SQRP serves as the strongest and most useful school rating system for our educators and families.”
School Standing Status
Based on the SQRP ratings, the percentage of district-run schools in good standing has remained steady compared to last year, and the number of schools on intensive support decreased to the lowest number of schools since SQRP was adopted, with 7 percent of district schools moving to a higher accountability tier. Based on the accountability policy:
- 395 schools are in good standing;
- 69 schools will receive provisional support; and
- 55 schools will receive intensive support.
By differentiating levels of school standing, CPS can group schools based on supports needed to cultivate success. Schools in good standing are granted greater autonomy on school improvement planning and school budgets to encourage the positive achievement they have demonstrated. Schools receiving provisional support benefit from additional resources to propel them in the right direction, potentially including the development of a new school improvement plan and professional development. And schools receiving intensive support, which represents the schools most in need of supplemental support and oversight, receive more substantial interventions to rapidly improve educational quality.
Performance Rating Breakdowns
CPS uses five performance ratings to measure a school’s rating: Levels 1+, 1, and 2+ (Good Standing), Level 2 (Provisional Support), and Level 3 (Intensive Support). Ratings released today show the district is now home to:
- 146 Level 1+ schools;
- 195 Level 1 schools;
- 158 Level 2+ schools;
- 130 Level 2 schools; and
- 8 Level 3 schools.
A comparison to last year’s ratings shows a slight decrease of schools rated in the three highest tiers, a decrease in the number of Level 1+ schools, and increase in the number of Level 1 and Level 2 schools. While each school’s individual circumstances differ, some trends emerged among rating changes:
- Some elementary schools did not meet growth norms for NWEA scores, even as students’ actual scores for the district overall rose in math and reading.
- While PSAT/SAT attainment remained fairly stable, high school growth was not as strong as last year, particularly for 10th and 11th grades.
In order to improve upon these areas, CPS has adopted a variety of strategies to encourage continued academic progress, such as the Curriculum Equity Initiative, providing targeted supports to the highest-needs schools, and emphasizing data analysis to help school leaders better understand and address student performance.
Charter Warning List
- Curriculum Equity Initiative: The Curriculum Equity Initiative will create a standards-aligned, culturally relevant library of teacher resources to ensure that students in every part of Chicago can benefit from a high-quality curriculum and instructional resources.
- Largest-Ever Program Expansion: To build on the record-setting academic progress being made in Chicago schools, the district awarded new academic programs to benefit nearly 17,000 CPS students at 32 schools across the city as part of the largest-ever program expansion in district schools.
As part of today’s school ratings release, CPS also updated its charter Warning List to identify charter schools that need to make significant improvements to remain in good standing and continue operating in the district. The following four charter schools have been placed on the 2019-20 Warning List based on their performance last year:
- CICS - Ellison
- CICS - Longwood
- LEARN - 7
- Urban Prep – Englewood
Based on the charter accountability policy that the Board of Education passed in 2015, the following three schools could be considered for closure as a result of their status on the Warning List last year and their performance in previous years:
- Chicago Virtual Charter School (charter school eligible for revocation)
- Chicago Collegiate (charter school eligible for revocation)
- Frazier Charter School (charter school eligible for revocation)
CPS is closely evaluating the performance record for each of the three schools that are eligible for closure and will make a recommendation in the coming weeks to the Board of Education regarding the future status of each school.