Strategy Area 4
MOVE THE MOVABLE MIDDLE
Despite significant improvement in the number of high-quality options available for Chicago families today—particularly in low-income communities—there are still far too many children in low-performing and struggling schools. And our analysis shows that there are more than 75,000 kids in mid-performing schools that are “just okay”, with a 2-year SQRP average of level 2+.
Unfortunately, these mid-performing schools are often overlooked as the district and other partners focus on the lowest performers with more severe challenges—and fewer students. We believe that the return on investment for a strategy to improve middle-performing schools for CPS is likely to be far greater than turnaround strategies and more viable than opening new high-performing schools in a district with significant enrollment challenges.
Since 2015, we have partnered with the following schools on school improvement: EPIC Academy, Perspectives, Madison Elementary, Foundations College Prep, CICS Chicagoquest, and Northwest Middle School.
In the years ahead, we will pursue expanded school improvement research aimed at finding exemplary schools, understanding how they are structured for continuous improvement, and helping mid-performing schools apply these best practices to catalyze improvements within their schools.