|School Report #3|
From 5/31/02 Sun Times Article about Chicago Children
From 9/5/03 Chicago Tribune about Chicago Children
From the Chicago Tribune 11/5/03
The article reports that about 44% of Illinois Schools (1,718 of 3,919) were rated as "failing" because they did not meet academic standards for all students established by the federal Leave No Child Behind initiative. Instead of having an average student achievement score that is acceptable (over 40% passing at their grade level on the ISAT), schools now have to show that for all subgroups (high income, low income, disabled, limited English ) that the average student score is acceptable (though by 2014, all students will be expected to pass). As bad as this is, this might understate the problem though, as some schools did not meet requirements that 95% of students take the achievement tests, leading to estimates that 10% of low income students weren't tested. Some counter that Florida did worse (90% failure), but Illinois is still in bad shape.
While LD children would be expected to score more poorly on achievement tests, the article correctly notes, the problem is that many schools do a poor job of making accommodations for LD students that are allowed, waiting until the day of the test for example to plan for accommodations. The article notes that it will be tougher for poor schools to bring up their scores since they have less trained staff. They note 40% of teachers in high-poverty schools have master's degrees, while 53.1% of low-poverty school teachers do. Further, 5.4% of classes in high-poverty schools are taught by teachers who were not trained and tested to teach in that area, compared to 0.5% of classes taught in low-poverty schools.
Minorities' scores will become more of an issue in this debate as well. A Chicago Tribune 11/7/03 article discusses how in 1980 the Chicago Public School system entered into a voluntary agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to desegregate its schools, but by 2003, 45% of Chicago public schools still were not in compliance with portions of this agreement that mandated hiring diverse teaching staff. This becomes more of an issue as the 2000-2001 school year showed that the CPS student population was 9.6% White, 51% Black, and 36% Hispanic. More white students are placed at magnate schools, which, critics argue, get more educational dollars than other schools. The new plan the city has now would show how much money goes to these schools versus other schools in the future, but would not provide numbers for accountability for past allotment.
Chicago Tribune 9/26/03
Only 11% (14,931) of eligible Chicago Public School students (133,000) receive free tutoring offered by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The City gave parents three weeks to fill out reportedly complex forms which were in English, and sent to non-English speaking parents. The City held meetings about it only twice, and both were at the same Southwest Side school. While the paper notes the CPS gets to keep the unspent funding (about $20 million of the $45 million available), it also notes that other states are reporting 10-15% usage rates too. Difficulties arranging transportation to and from tutoring sessions, and lack of familiarity with the 17 private tutoring company make some parents hesitant.
Also as part of the No Child Left Behind Act, 270,000 children could have been moved from their "failing" school to a better one. While only 19,000 applied, only 530 of them were actually moved due to space issues.
What do you make of this? Remember the McLoyd Article? She noted:
But wait there's MORE!
From the Chicago Tribune 8/27/04 Sharp Rise in Poverty Reported
The tribune reported that: