AM News: New Scores Coming Out Today

Meanwhile: Ill. groups that backed Kirk endorsing Giannoulias: Ken Swanson, president of the Illinois Education Association, says Kirk hasn't been consistent in his support. His comments were echoed by representatives from Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club....6-week Whittier Elementary School sit-in ends ABC7: In the letter, Huberman agreed the century-old field house will not be torn down. It will be inspected, and the board will seek money for improvements. He suggested possibly putting a library inside Whittier. VIDEO... Most schools fail to push students to high levels on ISATs Tribune: Schools typically publicize ISAT "passing rates" that lump together kids who meet the minimum bar to pass and those who exceed standards, so it's not easy to tell whether schools are excelling or sliding by...How Facebook Helped Parents Win A War With CPS Change.org:  Y

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  • The district wide scores for CPS students at grade 11 with disabilities are a little better than last year. 7.8% reading at or above state standards, last year only 6.5%. For students with disabilities at grade 8 about 33.8% in 2010 were reading at or above standards, in 2009 31.8% of students with IEPs at grade 8 were reading at or above state standards. So we again see a small improvement.

    If we go all the way back to 2002 CPS was only able to get 4.6% of 11th graders with disabilities to read at or above state standards, at grade 8 14.3% of disabled students back then were reading at or above standards. Clearly there has been improvement at the 8th grade level over time at a fairly signicant level.

    But at the high school level what we are seeing is that students with IEPs who were reading at standards in 8th grade are falling off the table. The juniors of 2010 were in grade 8 in 2006. At that time 24.5% of these students were reading at or above state standards, by the time they became juniors only 7.8% could.

    This data is reflective of the crisis in teaching reading skills at the high school level generally in CPS. In 2006 for non-disabled CPS students in grade 8, 81.4% were reading at or above standards, but by the time they get to grade 11 in 2010 only 36.4% were reading at those levels. The deterioration is simply massive.

    CPS as a whole, special ed and regular ed, needs to think about changing the core high school curriculum to include the teaching of reading skills at grades 9-11 for all students. Not just those who come out of grade 8 with weak reading skills, but those testing at level 3 on the ISAT need to be in these classes too. The current graduation requirements of English I-IV and three classes in social studies that has a reading component to it are simply not making it.

    Since I have commented on Urban Prep several times I think it should be noted in 2010 that only 5.6% of students with disabilities attending that school were able to read at or above state standards which is worse than the city average. In 2009 Urban Prep had zero students with disabilities reading at or above state standards. It is also worth noting that Urban Prep's graduation rate for students with disabilities is only 42.9%, again worse than the district average of 60.3%. According to ISBE data even Manley was able to graduate a slightly higher percentage of its students with disabilities with a 43.7% graduation rate, by the way Manley could not get any of its students with disabilities to read at or above state standards in 2010. Looks like a race to the bottom to me.

    Rod Estvan

  • Rod has a good point. Why has reading been dumped on Social Science teachers. Often the ACT and other tests have multiple reading sections and only one pertains to social science. History teachers teach reading history and not literature or other subjects. Moreover, social science teachers are trained to teach their subject and are not reading specialists. This seems to be lost on both central office and the region as well as many administrators. Could we expect a math teacher to instruct a gym class with the same skill as they would in an Algebra class?

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