Black and Latino Elementary Schoolers Outperform Illinois Peers | WBEZ
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Black and Latino Elementary Schoolers Outperform Illinois Peers

African-American and Latino students in Chicago begin elementary school reading at a lower level than their counterparts in the rest of the state.

But they're now surpassing them by the time they finish eighth grade.

Chicago Public Radio's Jay Field has more.

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It's the major finding of new study by the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago.

The Consortium's John Easton says the study debunks the long-held theory that Chicago elementary schoolers fall farther and farther behind---the longer they're in the district.

What researchers don't know yet, says Easton, is whether black and latino students are truly better prepared for high school.

John Easton: This suggests that when they're entering high school—they're stronger in their basic skills. But high school is about more than basic skills. So we're not sure whether we have good measures of the more demanding tasks high school is going to impose on kids.

Chicago Public Schools officials say they're confident recent progress at the elementary school level will help boost high school  achievement.

Improving high schools is one of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's top educational priorities.

I'm Jay Field, Chicago Public Radio.

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