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Chicago: Is 60 Percent Success Good Enough?

Picture 21Looking back at nearly 100 school closures and turnarounds, the folks at WBEZ Chicago Public Radio and Catalyst Chicago find that roughly 60 percent of the schools brought in to replace or transform low-performing programs are doing OK or better (Level 2 or Level 1 in Chicagospeak) -- but less than 20 percent are at Level 1 and many of those are charters or other special programs.

And so, the issue of whether the replacement schools are at all comparable to the ones they succeeded is the subject of heated debate -- as is the question whether the improvements are big enough or broad-based enough to justify continuing to do turnarounds and replacements and all the upheaval and job churn they entail.  (Like many other cities, Chicago operates under a state testing and rating system that is considered to lack rigor and has been changed several times over the past decade.)

To see the map and the spreadsheet click here.


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