New CPS Test Scores
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.)