Citywide, the percentage of students scoring at or above national norms
in reading on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills has increased 2.6 percentage
points since 2001, the year the district launched its reading initiative.
A Catalyst analysis of reading scores at 109 schools that have been in
the program since its inception found that more than half (64) posted
smaller gains or lost ground in the three-year period. Gains at 45 schools
were better than the district average.

Still, researcher Lizanne DeStefano of the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign says it’s too early to determine the impact of the reading initiative. To determine why some schools in the program have experienced large gains or losses, “look at what’s going on in the classroom,” she notes. In some cases, shifts in student population, sometimes the result of attendance boundary changes, can result in big differences in scores.

Six posted double-digit gains
Herbert 34.7% +15 points
Attucks 35.6 +15 points
Brown, W. 33.3 +14 points
Price 37.2 +13 points
Mollison 37.2 +11 points
Warren 38.4 +11 points
Four posted double-digit declines
Cardenas 22.6% 17 points
Raymond* 11.8 15 points
Jefferson, T. 12.0 13 points
Lathrop 12.9 12 points

* Closed June 2004
Source: Catalyst analysis of Chicago Public Schools data

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