Record-breaking number of Chicago students meet state standards

But increase is marginal compared to past years

July 16, 2012

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(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, file)
74.2 percent of CPS students in third through eighth grade met state standards on the ISAT.

More Chicago Public Schools students are meeting state standards than ever before, according to preliminary test results.

The results of this year's annual Illinois Standards Achievement Test [ ISAT] show that 74.2 percent of CPS students in third through eighth grade met state standards--the highest percent to date.

But the overall increase was the smallest it's been in years, just 0.9 percentage points up from last year.

Jen Cheatham, the chief of instruction for CPS, said district leaders are pleased with the results, but added there's more work to be done.

CPS officials released the results with little fanfare, in part, because they said they are working on revamping how they measure students. Next year, all schools, including charters, will be required to take a different test that district leaders said is a better measure of student progress.

There were some ISAT scores that CPS did highlight--those for schools that piloted a longer day this year and those that have been turned around by the Academy of Urban Schoool Leadership.

Both are cornerstones of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s education agenda.

According to CPS, schools with a longer day saw a 6.6 percentage point jump and AUSL turnarounds saw a 2.5 percentage point jump in the number of students meeting standards.

Both increases were higher than the CPS average increase, but many of those schools still lag behind the district's composite.

The ISAT has been used for federal accountability standards over the last decade, but in two years, Illinois will switch to a new test.