CPS - Chicago Public Schools

06/13/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/13/2024 08:55

Chicago Public Schools Elementary Students Post Continued Gains in Reading and Math on Preliminary 2024 Spring State Assessment Results

Chicago Public Schools Elementary Students Post Continued Gains in Reading and Math on Preliminary 2024 Spring State Assessment Results

13 June 2024

Preliminary state assessment data show continued academic progress in grades 3-8, with Black students driving the growth

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Website: www.cps.edu
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CHICAGO - For the second consecutive year, 2024 state academic assessment data show Chicago Public Schools (CPS) elementary school students continuing to make strong academic progress, achieving gains in both English Language Arts and math when compared to 2023, according to preliminary results from the spring Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) exam administered to third through eighth graders. The IAR serves as the state assessment and accountability measure for Illinois students enrolled in public schools and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will issue the final state results, including school-level data, this fall.

Just as they did last school year, CPS' third through eighth graders made the greatest gains in English Language Arts, resulting in a five percentage point increase from the previous school year and yielding a higher percent proficiency than before the pandemic. Importantly, Black students drove these gains, achieving a six percentage point increase over the previous school year. Third through eighth-grade students also posted an increase of two percentage points in math between spring 2023 and spring 2024.

"We know that state assessments are only one metric, but it's very satisfying to see yet another sign that our investments in the classroom are yielding positive results, and that students are moving in the right direction," said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. "These gains are a testament to our vision, and the dedication of our principals, teachers, support staff, and parents - as well as our hard working students. The academic progress of our elementary school students bodes well for their future success in high school and beyond."

District leadership plans to share more evidence of student and educator success at the June 27 Board of Education meeting. CPS leaders note that School Year 2024 represents the second year of the CPS Blueprint to support pandemic recovery, implementing intentional, results-driven strategies. The District's practices emphasize strong core instruction, social-emotional supports, and holistic offerings for a more joyful and well-rounded school-based experience. Specific investments include the following:

  • A high-quality, culturally-responsive curriculum

  • More professional development offerings for teachers and staff

  • Academic coaches to work with teachers in the classroom to hone practices in the classroom

  • Intervention teachers to provide targeted supports for students who are struggling

  • High-dosage tutoring in reading and math through CPS' landmark Tutor Corps Program

  • Extended learning time through out-of-school time and summer programs

  • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) resources, and access to community mental health providers and partnerships at the school level

This preliminary IAR data also builds on positive academic news from earlier this spring, when research from Harvard and Stanford universities ranked CPS as No. 1 for growth in reading from 2022 to 2023. This study also showed CPS as having the greatest net growth in reading among large school districts in the country from 2019 to 2023. In addition, CPS' combined 2022-23 growth in reading and math ranked as the third highest among these districts, making CPS one of just four large urban school districts where students' reading proficiency scores were better than they'd been before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In aggregate, the preliminary IAR data show CPS students continue to advance academically, with 31 percent of elementary students (third through eighth) achieving proficiency in English Language Arts compared to 26 percent in SY23 and surpassing the District's pre-pandemic levels of 28 percent in School Year 2019. Black students outperformed their peers in advancing literacy skills, increasing proficiency rates by six percentage points to 23 percent in SY24, from 17 percent in SY23. Latino students followed with a growth of three percentage points, up to 25 percent from 22 percent for the same timeframe.

Math performance continued its steady upward trajectory as 19 percent of students achieved state-defined proficiency in SY24, a two percentage point increase from SY23 at 17 percent but still below the SY19 rate of 24 percent. The District continues to implement stronger math strategies and practices to help elementary students develop positive math identities and apply fundamental math concepts at an early age. The implementation of targeted supports such as in-school small-group tutoring time, the use of academic coaches to hone instruction, as well as stronger schoolwide support practices have increased students' access to grade-level materials and created more opportunities to accelerate and take algebra by eighth grade.

Federal pandemic aid allowed CPS to invest fully in the day-to-day core instructional strategies and the District is continuing many of those investments in School Year 2025 while continuing to advocate for greater and more steady sources of funding amid years of historic disinvestment in the city's South and West Side neighborhoods and years of inequitable public education funding. CPS proudly serves a student population that is more likely than their peers statewide to face daily challenges, including poverty, high mobility, and insecure housing. The number of students with disabilities and English Learners in CPS also continues to rise. The state's own public education evidence-based funding formula, or EBF, is not fully funded, shorting the District the $1.1 billion in additional funding that the formula defines as necessary for "adequate" education funding.

"It is clear that when given access to strong Districtwide resources and supports, our students will succeed," said CPS Chief Education Officer Bogdana Chkoumbova. "We look forward to accelerating academic growth in the coming school year with strong core instruction and intentional classroom staffing, programming, and resources to provide a safe and joyful school experience for all students."

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About Chicago Public Schools (CPS)

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is dedicated to providing a high-quality education to all students, beginning with the District's free full-day preschool programming for four-year-old scholars and continuing through neighborhood, magnet and selective-enrollment elementary schools that provide a rigorous K-8 education with schools that specialize in the fine arts, world language and culture, dual language, STEM, International Baccalaureate (IB), classical programs, and more. The rising District-wide freshmen-on-track and high school graduation rates reflect the hard work of the CPS community, including families, staff, and students across 635 schools. CPS celebrates the diversity of its more than 323,000 students who cite 182 home languages. Learn more about CPS at www.cps.edu and connect with CPS on Facebook, X, Instagram, and LinkedIn.