Successful schools can lead the way

What do elementary schools like Oriole Park on the Northwest Side, Otis in West Town and Beethoven in Grand Boulevard have in common?

They are among 111 Chicago public elementary schools whose reading scores displayed a trend of substantial, consistent improvement from 1990 to 1997. As a group, these schools’ scores rose from 29 percent of students at or above the national norms on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills to 44 percent at or above the national norms. For a school testing 700 students, this means that over the seven-year period, the number of students scoring at or above the norm had risen from about 200 to about 300. In our study of elementary school reading scores, we call these schools Substantially Improved Schools.