Posts filed under ‘Test scores’
Thanks to the wonderful HSObsessed (I think I owe you dinner at this point) we have another insightful posting – this time about the new ISAT scores that are out. As a fellow data lover, I’m excited to start poring through them. In a nutshell, she’s scared me into thinking that the parents of young kids need to get on the ball to expand the high school options, as there will be a glut of high scoring kids in the system in about 5 years. Read on….
I just noticed that the 2010 ISAT scores are now available for viewing, which is like Christmas morning for data geeks like me.
Take a look here to find a school of interest:
Input the school name and scroll down to the ISAT over time Excel files. Without ELL are the scores that exclude English Language Learners (who by nature of language barriers, will likely bring down a school’s test scores.) For the whole school, look at ISAT Over Time with ELL.
Column G is Grade. For the whole school scores, scroll down to the rows that say 3rd through 8th grade combined and look at the row that says 2010. Columns I,J,K show the % of kids who Meet/Exceed IL State Standards. If you scroll to the right, you’ll see more breakouts. If you scroll down, you can find breakouts by race, gender, and free lunch status. Interesting stuff.
In other news, I just found out that the big CPS School guidebook (like the phonebook of CPS) will not be published in printed form this year, but will only be online. This is such a shame. I get it, but it can be handy to have it in a form where you can flip through page by page. I hope it’s redesigned for online usage, as it didn’t always translate well to the web. That will be ready in late October.
Every year the Sun Times does a handy ranking of the test scores that were just released by CPS for the previous school year. Here’s the most recent link. I like this way of ranking them because it takes an actual average instead of the % of kids who meet the minimum requirements.
There are a few schools at the top of the list that don’t require testing in, meaning there is either something great going on there or there’s a group of parents who choose that school/neighborhood who place a strong value on education. Or both.
Oriole Park (neighborhood)
Hawthorne (magnet via lottery)
Norwood Park (neighborhood)
If you click on the link, off to the left are some other rankings that are fun to look at.
North Side College Prep and Walter Payton are the top 2 scoring schools in the state (of course they require testing and grades to gain admission.)
Make a comment if you notice anything interesting. Keep in mind the elementary scores represent grades 3 – 8.
As an LSC member at my neighborhood school (I’m on as a community member) I received and interesting pamphlet from CPS call “On the Same Page.” It’s filled with some of the key data about CPS and some of it is very eye-opening.
The test score information by race is particularly interesting (and simultaneously depressing.) By overall race, results in CPS vary dramatically. To CPS’ credit, scores for all races, especially African American and Hispanic have increased greatly in the past 5 years (meaning the # of kids who meet ISAT standards.) But mainly because they were so abysmally low back in 2004. Here’s some numbers:
2008 % of Elementary Kids Meeting ISAT Standards
2008 % of Elementary Kids Exceeding ISAT Standards
2008 ACT Score of 20+
2008 Graduation Rate
So those Asian/Pacific Islander families are utilizing CPS quite well, it seems. 44% exceed ISAT standards?! That is pretty good! In fact I’d like to have some seminars called “How to Get Your Child Through CPS Like an Asian Family Does.” Hopefully that doesn’t sound impressive… I would just truly like to know how this group stand out above the others. I imagine a strong focus on education and academics above all else must be involved.
White kids fare nearly as well, but their graduation rate is a lot lower than the Asian kids.
Obviously something is lacking in the system for Af-Am and Hispanic students. Of course that is the million dollar question in school systems like Chicago, LA, and NYC. From the little reading I’ve done, it’s much more than just inadequate schooling, but a range of social and socio-economic issues that come into play that are challenging to incorporate into a school system’s strategy. From other CPS newsletters I get, it seems that some schools with large minority populations have started to crack the code to success, as have some of the charter schools, but clearly there’s still quite a ways to go. I wish I knew what the answer was….
New CPS test scores (for tests taken last Spring) have been published. I cannot for the life of me find them on the CPS website (www.cps.edu) but you can locate your school here:
One important thing to note is that for this testing period, students who are considered English Language Learners were required to take the English ISATs for the first time. As a result, schools with a large population of ELL students likely suffered some declines. There had also been talk of some type of score inflation last year that was never fully explained, which could also lead to declines at some schools.
When you look at a school’s overall test scores, keep in mind that ISAT scores are reported only for grades 3rd-8th. Younger kids are tested, but not reported (not sure if they are given ISATs or something else.) The typical % you will see is the % of kids who are at or above the state’s acceptable level for that subject. You can also find the % of students who are exceeding that level, which to me is often more telling – is the school going above and beyond somehow?
Things can look depressing in some schools, in some classes. You can find North side schools where only half the kids in a certain grade are reading at the acceptable level. I used to cringe at these and wonder what CPS was doing wrong. But now that I actually have a child in school and have helped in the classroom, I also have to wonder about the parents. Why don’t the parents of those kids all march into the school and try to figure out a way to teach their kids to read? If I found out that half my child’s class was reading below where they should be, I’d be rallying the troops. And I don’t mean getting on the case of the teacher or principal. I think it’s gotta be a team effort somehow. There is not enough time in the day in CPS for every kid to get the special attention they deserve. It’s just a fact. A sad fact. So mobilize, parents! Be a village! An intrusive, meddling village if need be. Just get in there and figure out how to help the kids and how to help the parents who don’t realize that they can butt into the educational process.
UPDATE: From the comment below, here is another way to look at school test scores for 2008 (I did notice that the 2008 parent survey results are still not posted.)