Report Finds Charters Struggling Like Other Chicago Public Schools

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, December 1, 2011

Poverty dogs students despite schools' flexibility, autonomy.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city leaders have long heralded charter schools' innovative approach to education, but new research suggests many charters in Chicago are performing no better than traditional neighborhood schools and some are actually doing much worse.

More than two dozen schools in some of the city's most prominent and largest charter networks, including the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), Chicago International Charter Schools, University of Chicago and LEARN, scored well short of district averages on key standardized tests.

In two of the city's oldest charter networks, Perspectives and Aspira, only one school — Perspectives' IIT Math & Science Academy — surpassed CPS' average on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, taken by elementary schoolers, or the Prairie State Achievement Examination, used in high schools.

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