Scores up but schools no better

A three-year study commissioned by the Chicago public schools to examine progress under a 1997 high school restructuring plan has found that while high schoolers have posted significant gains on standardized tests of reading and math, “little significant change” has taken place in the city’s most troubled high schools.

Scores up but schools no better

The changes made to date are a far cry from the “fundamental restructuring” the district envisioned in its 1997 plan, according to the $1.8 million study conducted by Northwestern University’s Center for Urban School Policy. And while test scores have jumped since 1996, the study attributes the spike to forces outside of high schools: better-prepared students are entering 9th grade, and fewer of the lowest-performing students are enrolling in high school due to efforts to hold them back in the elementary grades.