CHICAGO

Citywide Education Progress Report

Key Takeaways: Student and School Outcomes

Chicago schools are showing improvement, but there is still work to be done. Over four years, math and reading proficiency rates have shown statistically significant improvement, and graduation rates gained on the state. However, both remained below state averages. Low-income students in the city are performing slightly better on state assessments than their peers nationally. However, black students had disproportionately low enrollment in high school advanced math coursework.

STEPPING UP  >  CITIES  >  CHICAGO  >  OUTCOMES  |  REFORMS

Is the education system continuously improving?

► Chicago’s graduation rate slightly improved. However, in 2014-15 it was still below the state’s.

Data: This chart shows the percent of first-time 9th grade students graduating in four years, citywide and statewide.
Source: EDFacts Initiative, U.S. Department of Education, Assessment and Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rates Data, 2011-12 to 2014-15.


► Between 2011-12 and 2014-15, the math proficiency rate gap between the city and state was closing. In 2014-15, the city’s proficiency rate was 8 percentage points below the state’s.

Data: This figure reflects the city’s estimated gains in proficiency rates across elementary and middle schools, standardized at the state level and controlling for student demographics.
Source: Illinois State Board of Education, 2011-12 to 2014-15.


► Between 2011-12 and 2014-15, the reading proficiency rate gap between the city and state was closing. In 2014-15, the city’s proficiency rate was 8 percentage points below the state’s.

Data: This figure reflects the city’s estimated gains in proficiency rates across elementary and middle schools, standardized at the state level and controlling for student demographics.
Source: Illinois State Board of Education, 2011-12 to 2014-15.


Do students have access to a high-quality education?

► TThe Education Equality Index (EEI) identifies how students from low-income families are performing in cities and schools across the country. See this interactive tool to explore individual school performance.

Data: The Education Equality Index (EEI) was supplied by Education Cities and GreatSchools. See their site for more detail.
Sources: Illinois State Board of Education, 2010-11 to 2014-15; National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2010-11 to 2014-15.

► Students from low-income families in Chicago are performing somewhat better in math and reading than low-income students in the average city. EEI scores in Chicago have improved by 1% over time.

Data: The Education Equality Index (EEI) was supplied by Education Cities and GreatSchools. See their site for more detail.
Sources: Illinois State Board of Education, 2010-11 to 2014-15; National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2010-11 to 2014-15.

► In 2013-14, white students were enrolling in high school advanced math coursework at rates above their enrollment, while black students had disproportionately low enrollment.

Data: Enrollment of students in math courses above Algebra II. Rates calculated by dividing the number of students enrolled in advanced math by the number of students in the school. Sub-group rates determined at the school level.
Source: U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection 2013-2014.


Data & Scoring

Where did we get this data?

► Publicly available state and federal data, making our results comparable and reproducible.

► The most up-to-date data available for all 18 cities at the time of our data collection. See Methodology & Resources for more information.

What makes the data citywide?

► We include all charter and district schools within the municipal boundary of a city.

► In Houston, Indianapolis, Memphis, New Orleans, and San Antonio we use school data from multiple districts within the municipal boundary.

Background

About Chicago

Over the past several years, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has devolved authority to schools while raising standards and student achievement. Funds are distributed to district schools on a per-pupil basis, autonomous leaders are supported through an Independent School Principals program, and Local School Councils drive school-level decisions. Janice Jackson, who attended CPS and then served as teacher, network chief, and chief education officer, became chief executive officer in 2018.

School Choice in the City

Families attending district schools choose among schools in their neighborhood. The majority (but not all) of traditional public schools allow students living outside the neighborhood to apply and are admitted based on a lottery system. The district also has magnet and selective admission schools. Charter schools offer open enrollment across the city using lottery systems.

Governance Model

Chicago Public Schools has been under mayoral control since 1995. The seven-member Board of Education is appointed by the mayor. Most Chicago charter schools are authorized by CPS. Six are authorized by the Illinois State Charter School Commission.

2017 District and Charter Student Body

Enrollment: 381,349 students
Race and ethnicity: 47% Hispanic, 38% black, 10% white, 5% other
Low-income: 78% free and reduced-price lunch

2017 School Composition 

Note: Enrollment and demographics data for CPS and CPS-authorized charter schools only.
Source: Chicago Public Schools, 2016.
School data from researcher analysis of public records, 2016-17.

The Center on Reinventing Public Education is a research and policy analysis center at the University of Washington Bothell developing systemwide solutions for K–12 public education. Questions? Email crpe@uw.edu.