City Students Post Gains on Standardized Tests

September 15, 2008

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Chicago elementary school students posted gains on this year's state achievement tests—that's despite earlier worries that scores would slip.

This was the first year that students still in the process of learning English took the regular state achievement exams. CPS officials had warned that the district's scores could fall.

In the end, scores inched up about one percentage point overall.

Despite the gain, schools chief Arne Duncan still wants a separate test for English Language Learners.

DUNCAN: These are students who often literally just arrived in our country with little or no English language skills. We're going to continue to ask the state to come up with an assessment that's a fairer evaluation of their intelligence.

District officials pointed out that overall scores jumped nearly 4 points when the English language learners' scores were left out of the mix.

Sixty-three percent of elementary students now meet state standards in reading. Sixty-nine percent meet standards in math.

I'm Linda Lutton, Chicago Public Radio.