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OT: Is Chicago Public Schools the most effective

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, December 05, 2017, 10:59

school system in the country? A massive nationwide study by Stanford University says yes:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/05/upshot/a-better-way-to-compare-public-sc...

My own sense is that there's a ton of composition effect going on here to influence the scores (e.g., the composition of Chicago's child population changed dramatically over the course of the study) but perhaps that doesn't explain everything? Maybe more interesting to me was seeing that high-tax suburban districts like Oak Park and River Forest don't appear to add much value above replacement level over the course of an elementary schoolkid's career

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Im not sure I believe all of it

by DEM, Chicago, Tuesday, December 05, 2017, 12:03 @ Mike (bart)

but it is difficult to dismiss entirely.

I do think that the gentrification of some of the elementary schools is probably skewing the number somewhat. For instance they had the chart at the bottom showing net gain of various districts where OPRF showed slightly less than a 55 year gain over 5 years while neighboring North Berwyn schools were showing almost six. I would guess most of this outperformance was as a result of inflows into the district.

Regardless, something is going right at CPS. I had this discussion at Thanksgiving with some of my siblings who were very down on Illinois and Chicago. I think everyone gets caught up in the headlines and they miss what is going on right in front of them. Chicago is booming right now.

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I would guess inflows and outflows both

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, December 05, 2017, 12:20 @ DEM

for every well off family moving into Chicago's North Side, 1.15 families (across the economic spectrum) are leaving the South and West sides


I do agree that things are going right at a lot of CPS schools though: longer school day, longer school year, even the closure of mostly-empty schools a few years back - now is when you'd be seeing the benefits of those things start to accrue. The principal autonomy piece is a really interesting point. The charter network my wife teaches at (Noble) really believes in this and it has worked great in my wife's school. Great principal, great school culture ---> highest performing non-selective enrollment high school in the city

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I've been beating this drum for awhile

by DEM, Chicago, Tuesday, December 05, 2017, 12:38 @ Mike (bart)
edited by DEM, Tuesday, December 05, 2017, 12:46

Urbanologists continue to point at Chicago as a model of urban decline on the back of it slightly declining population while failing to note the socio-economic change within that static population number. I think that's where much of the incorrect narrative on Chicago is born.

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