Comparing Charters To Traditional Neighborhood Schools In Chicago


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Jean Pierce, League of Women Voters, January 14, 2009

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  • Headings highlighted in Yellow represent Educational Management OrganizationsLEARN and the University of Chicago appear to be very similar to EMOs, but represent themselves as “Networks”.1st and 2nd Clicks: Noticeably absent from this list is the Concept School, Chicago Math and Science. Concept has proposed 2 of the new charters being considered by CPS.This organization needs to be researched more carefully before accepting new proposals: a number of teachers and Board Members of CM&S have come from Turkish boarding schools run by FethullahGulen for underprivileged children. In Turkey, there are allegations of brainwashing and testing scandals associated with his schools. 3rd and 4th Clicks: Another charter is being proposed by Insight, but their existing charter just opened in fall, 2013, so there are no test scores yet.5th, 6th, and 7th Clicks: I am excluding Aspira because of allegations of test tampering, Noble Street because of selective retention, and UNO for reasons that Mr. Sicho will explain.8th Click: I have selected the highest performing schools from three EMOs/networks to represent theirs
  • These are the schools I am comparing with descriptive data tonight.All are elementary schools – none serves higher than 8th grade7 can be considered “Stand-Alone” – not affiliated with an EMO or networkThe Neighboring Traditional Public Schools were all chosen solely on the basis of proximity. None is a Magnet school.
  • The Illinois Network of Charter Schools urges us to look at school scores on high stakes tests. Using that standard, this chart shows performance by the top performing charters and their neighboring tps.
  • Mobility is afactor which needs to be considered relative to achievement. What does it mean for achievement if one fourth or more of a school’s students are caught in a revolving door? This is true for 8 of the comparison TPS.It is far less of a problem for charters. Performance discrepancies between charters and traditional public schools may be explained by mobility for Legacy/Hughes and for Butler/Lawndale.
  • A large body of research has affirmed the relationship between low income and achievement. So it is important to see how these schools compare.Asian Human Services Passages is the ONLY one of these charter schools which had proportionately more low income students than the TPS.The discrepancy in low income is particularly noticeable for 5 of the six comparisons which had the greatest performance differences. Percentagesof low income students are more comparable for North Kenwood/Ariel, for Legacy/Hughes and for Butler/Lawndale.
  • When there is a difference, traditional public schools tend to have higher percentages of homeless students. Homelessness helps explain the large discrepancy in performance for LEARNR.Butler and Lawndale. Although Hughes has a higher percentage of mobility, it is interesting to note that Legacy has a comparable amount of homelessness.
  • Student Academic Growth is a measurement of students advancing from one performance level on the ISAT to another performance level (or “growing”) from one year to the next. Unlike test scores, which only show a one-time snapshot of students’ achievement, Student Academic Growth compares students’ achievement from one year to the next to measure improvements over time. This growth measure is expressed as a number between 0 and 200 where a value above 100 represents positive growth and/or consistently high achievement, and a value below 100 represents negative growth and/or consistently low achievement. In the slide, these values were converted so that 0=100, and bars above the line represent positive growth. About half of the schools show growth. It appears that traditional public schools may have shown more growth than charters.Legacy appeared to have some growth, while Hughes fell backwards seriously. Though Butler did not make progress, Lawndale fell farther behind. The mobility and homelessness in Hughes and in Lawndale would not have a direct effect on these scores, but it is possible that peer effects are at work.
  • Math growth is somewhat similar to reading growth, Though students at Ward showed the most impressive growth. Again, Hughes and Lawndale lagged behind their charters, but peer effects might be invoked to explain the differences.
  • Comparing Charters To Traditional Neighborhood Schools In Chicago

    1. 1. Comparing Charters to Neighboring Traditional Public Schools (TPS) in Chicago
    2. 2. Traditional Reasons for Preferring Charter Schools Reasons Counter arguments* Innovation Parents often choose schools with more traditional methods Frequently, achievement does not affect parents’ school choices Not evident outside of Chicago. What about here? Competition Equity --*Lubienski & Weitzel, The Charter School Experiment, 2010
    3. 3. • Over 120 Charter School Campuses plus Contract Schools in Chicago • 99 managed by 17 educational management organizations • Recent CREDO report*: --In Reading 80% of charter students showed growth no different or worse than tps -- In math, 63% showed growth no different or worse than tps --Possible benefits for Latinos and low income -Charter School Performance in Illinois CREDO, 2013
    4. 4. Chicago Charters with at least 50% students meeting or exceeding standards * Concept: Chi M&S Intrinsic *
    5. 5. Charter Neighboring Traditional Public School (TPS) Polaris Ward, L. Asian Hum.Ser.Pass/American Quality Peirce, H. Kenwood Oakdale/U of C Ariel A.Locke Faraday, M. Legacy Hughes, C. Namaste Greene, N. Providence-Englewood Earle, C.W. Irving Park/Distinctive Schools (CICS) Cleveland, G Academy for Global Citizenship Hearst, P.A. K.Nkrumah Schmid, T. R.Butler/LEARN Lawndale
    6. 6. % Meet or Exceed State Standards for ISAT (new cut scores) 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Charter Neighbor
    7. 7. % Mobility – More for TPS 80 60 40 20 0 Charter Neighbor - Illinois Interactive Report Card, 2012-2013
    8. 8. % Low Income – More for TPS 35 30 99 25 20 89 15 10 79 5 Charter Neighbor 0 69 - Illinois Interactive Report Card, 2012-2013
    9. 9. At the intersection of Low Income and Mobility LOW INCOME HOMELESS MOBILITY HOMELESS LOW INCOME Compared to Housed Low Income: • Less preventative healthcare - immunizations • Severe hunger • Higher percentages of fair/poor health according to parents • Developmental or psychiatric disorders • American Journal of Public Health, Sept., 2013
    10. 10. % Student Temporary Living Status 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Charter Neighbor - CPS, STLS end of year stats for 2013
    11. 11. Reading Growth – above the line 15 10 5 0 Charter Neighbor -5 -10 -15 -Illinois Interactive Report Card, 2012-2013
    12. 12. Butler/Lawn Nkru/Schmid AGC/Hearst Irv.Pk/Cleveland PE/Earle Nam/Greene Legacy/Hughes Locke/Faraday N.Knwd/Ariel Asian/Peirce Polaris/Ward 25 20 15 10 5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 Math Growth – above the line Charter Neighbor - Illinois Interactive Report Card, 2012-2013
    13. 13. Conclusions • Charter Schools in Chicago do not appear to be promoting equity. In fact, there is fighting over limited resources. • Apparent differences in performance between relatively successful charter schools and their neighboring traditional publics may be explained by – Percentages of low income students – Homelessness – Peer effects • At a time when the state is seriously underfunding public education, there does not appear to be a convincing reason to give preferential treatment to charters