ISAT Scores, Contract Report

Preliminary ISAT scores are finally out -- interesting timing -- and they're up slightly citywide. But today's big news is probably the fact finding report (or whatever we're calling it) related to the budget negotiations, plus perhaps the Clout Street story noting that Rahm's honeymoon is officially quite over. More below -- let me know if I missed anything.  

ISAT SCORES

Elementary test scores hit record but up by tiniest margin since ’05 Sun Times:  Chicago’s elementary test scores hit a record high during the first year of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s watch but rose by the smallest margin — only 0.9 of a percentage point — since 2005, preliminary data released Monday indicated.

Record-breaking number of Chicago students meet state standards WBEZ:  More Chicago Public Schools students are meeting state standards than ever before, according to preliminary test results. But the overall increase was the smallest it's been in years, just 0.9 percentage points up from last year.

CPS sees improvement in state test scores — but it is the lowest ISAT increase in 7 years Tribune: For reading, 70.3 percent of students met or exceeded standards — an increase of 0.8 of a percentage point — and math scores went up by 1 percentage point to 79.2 percent of students meeting state standards. Science scores also moved up by 0.8 of a percentage point districtwide.

FACT FINDING REPORT

Chicago teachers best paid, or not, depending who you ask Chicago Sun-Times: An independent arbiter is expected to issue his recommendations by Wednesday on how to resolve the dispute over the Chicago Teachers Union contract that expired June 30. At the heart of the dispute is teacher pay.

CPS, teacher's union set to reject arbitrator's report Tribune: The arbitrator is expected to recommend that teacher salaries be increased 15 to 20 percent in the contract's first year, based largely on the longer school day that begins in the fall, sources said. The increase would include hikes for experience and for pursuing graduate degrees, compensation that CPS has tried to eliminate.

VIOLENCE PREVENTION

Anti-violence program boosts academics WSBEZ:   The young men who participated in the Becoming a Man-World Sports program were 44 percent less likely to commit a crime than those not in it. But when they left the program the following year, the gap between the two groups narrowed and the young men from the program were almost as likely to commit crimes as the youth who did not participate.

Good marks for mentoring program aimed at reducing violence Tribune: The district cut mentoring programs by 64 percent, nearly $10.7 million this last school year. The church-based Safe Haven summer program has been cut by $665,000. In the coming year, the district plans to reduce Culture of Calm anti-violence initiatives by  $7.7 million.

BUDGET

Crime, schools and race all hound Rahm Emanuel Tribune: Even his closest political allies acknowledge that the honeymoon — at least in the news media — is drawing to a close.

CPS budget favors special programs, charters WBEZ:  The number of teacher positions allocated to schools for magnet, selective enrollment and other programs increased by 615. The number of regular classroom teachers, allocated based on student enrollment, decreased by 515 positions.

Mapping Chicago Public Schools priorities WBEZ:  Schools with admissions policies—charter, magnet and selective enrollment—see an increase in both funding and positions. About 87 percent of the city’s 100 charter schools will get more money from CPS, compared to just 30 percent of traditional public schools.

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  • Maybe the compromise is to give double digit increases only to the teachers in schools that will have the longer school day. These LSD schools would be the lowest performing schools - additional time for interventions as necessary. All other schools would be on the standard school day with the standard pay increases or not, depending on the reality of fiscal reality.

  • “This is inaccurate, misleading and dangerous,’’ Radner said. “Clearly the minutes were not the magic….

  • But “on aggregate — for CPS and the charters as a whole — the results are basically flat. There is no cause for celebration,” Knowles said.

  • ISAT test data is unreliable as far as determining whether students are actually smarter. The state develops the tests and they are constantly replacing the hard questions with easier questions every year. They are also changing the standards of what is considered passing. The conversion scale between ISAT and the Stanford is also seriously flawed, originally based on minority students not having enough time to finish the test, yet students now are allowed to finish the test after time has expired thus distorting the conversion scale to reflect an inflated higher score.

    What you can do, which is much more reliable as far as determining whether curriculum is more effective, is compare Illinois school districts against each other, since they all take the same test. It means nothing for CPS to make gains, if other similar school districts are making greater gains. I would like to see CPS scores in comparison with East St. Louis, Rockford, Elgin, Country Club Hills, Lansing, Calumet, etc. school districts for the past 15 years. I would like to see CPS scores of "Exceeds" in comparison with Winnetka, Oak Park, LaGrange, Wilmette, Lake Forest, and others for the past 15 years. And then I would like to see the correlation between ISAT scores and ACT scores, which are reliable since they are national standardized tests used to determine college entrance exams.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Really going back 15 years is simply out of the question unless you are using raw data from ISBE. But the ISBE's Interactive Report Card site can do district to district comparisons back to 2009. Go to http://www.isbe.net/ and click on the interactive report card, bring up CPS district 299 and go to the top where it says "compare districts."
    I use this feature on a regular basis.

    As CPS's test scores have risen over the last few years the district is getting into an area where significant additional gains will be very difficult to produce. In my opinion this is in part due to regression to the mean (RTM). I have commented on this many times. Look at Smith, R. A. (2005). Regression to the mean. In B. S. Everitt, & D. C. Howell (Eds.), Encyclopedia of statistics in behavioral science (1st ed., ). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. for a deeper understanding of this statistical phenomenon that can make natural variation in repeated data look like real change.

    Rod Estvan

  • Here's the Sun Times database of scores:
    http://www.suntimes.com/data/13797981-515/cps-data.html (only schoolwide composite data)

  • Chicago Teachers Union to Hold “Press Briefing” on Fact Finder’s Report at 1 p.m. Today PRESS RELEASE: "The Chicago Public Schools has placed significant emphasis on the “fact finder’s report,” and now that an independent arbitrator has reportedly ruled CTU members should receive a significant pay increase, the District is now attempting to downplay those findings by emphasizing CPS’ ever-changing fiscal matrix. The Union has said all along that the state law that mandated the arbitration process was deeply flawed and would backfire on the Board. In addition to wage and benefit protections, CTU is fighting for job security for its members, better school days for its students, and more resources and social services for neighborhood schools."

  • From everything that I am reading, CPS cannot afford to fairly compensate teachers to work the longer day. They offered a mere 2 % , which was quite ridiculous in terms of what they are asking of the teachers.

    It is simple, if they have no money, then simply forget the longer day. I mean it is the only sensible thing to do. They cannot even afford to back up this longer day with funds, let alone pay the teachers fairly for it. I cannot understand why they would push for a longer day to begin with if they had no money to fund it or pay the teahcers! It is an easy fix here. I mean come on, there have been studies that have said a longer day likely will not even change much. There are countries out there that have a way shorter day than what CPS has now, and they do fine!

    I mean if they cannot afford it, forget it. It would be like me going into a department store to buy a $1000 jacket when I can only afford a $100 one.......

  • In reply to fedup:

    Well we will shortly get the number the independent arbitrator put on the longer school day and the impact of CPS removing all work rules from the contract based on SB7 rules. If the arbitrator puts the raise in double digits and both CPS and CTU reject it because CPS does not have the money, clearly the fiscal viability of funding for the longer school day is, as was apparent to anyone who looked at the budget, a problem. CPS needs to restore bargaining related to work rules and come to a deal on the extent of how long a school day is possible with the money it has.

    As I have said, over and over again, SB7 was a deeply flawed law and it needs to be revoked. Stand for Children's strategy really is a complete mess now and labor relations are at a new low. Mayor Emanuel needs to calm down about obsessing over campaign promises for the longer day and deal with the fiscal reality of the situation.

    Rod Estvan

  • fb_avatar

    15% first year of contract not including steps and lanes.

  • It is apparent that the Board's eyes are bigger than its stomach.

    The Board wants to close more schools, privatize more schools, and subsidize more charter schools, but cannot afford it.

    The Board wants a longer day (not a better day), but cannot afford it.

    When I go to the store and put items in my basket that I cannot afford, I must put them back. That is the adult thing to do. It is the responsible thing to do. I do not ask the store employees to make up the difference for the expenses I cannot afford.

    The Board needs to stop closing schools, privatizing schools, and subsidizing charters, and needs to give up the longer day.

    The Board can do those things when they have the money to pay for those things. It is the adult thing to do. It is the responsible thing to do.

  • From 675 CPS schools
    The 6 schools that came in with the greatest ISAT losses are

    Robinson: –19.7
    Schmid: –14.1
    Owens: –13.8
    Hammond: –13.3
    Madison: –13.2
    Henson: –13.1

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Schmid's decline is because of a nutzo LSC.
    Robinson was forced to take Harper's and Englewood's rejects.
    Which Owens?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Emanuel wants to know what the schools with high gains did right.

    Why didn’t he ask what the schools with big losses did wrong, or even better, how CPS did wrong to those schools.

    I imagine it has less to do with teachers and more to do with what CPS Network Chiefs put the students and teacher through - terrible school leadership, half-baked mandated curricular initiatives coerced on students and staff.

  • One can only guess but given our Mayor's inclination to use expletives I would bet that he had more than a few choice words for his CPS team members in the last two days. There is simply no question that CPS officials from Mr. Brizard on down were banking on the fact finder putting out a number they could deal with and was too low for the vast majority of CTU members to accept but high enough so the newspapers could endorse it without their faces turning red. In that case any onus for a strike would fall on the union, well throw that one out the window now. Once this is all over, and a deal is reached, with or without a strike, some heads could be rolling over at Clark Street. I have a hard time believing that the Mayor himself played any role in the CPS banking on the fact finder decision, I would suspect the responsibility for that will fall on Clark Street. The thing to do now is to make a deal that involves time, money, work rules, and possibly some containing of charter expansion. But that was the thing that should have been done months ago, but the CPS was swinging for the fences to end the game, and they just struck out so on to the next inning.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Well said... can this now be open to discussion please?

  • Rod,

    It seems like this would be the logical thing for CPS to do but I'm not so sure they're logical. Like you've stated the smart thing would have been to bargain over the permissible topics to begin with instead of throwing them out the window. Yet, CPS thought they were invincible and that the CTU would just roll over. With such a gross miscalculation I'm not sure how this gets resolved in a meaningful way now. Either CPS proves me wrong, does a serious about-face, and comes to the table willing to bargain over permissible topics or they put their foot in the ground. I guess I just doubt the folks who have been in charge at CPS thus far are smart enough to compromise. I'm afraid that this very reasonable fact-finding report will have pushed CPS into a corner that they don't know how to escape from.

  • CTU Statement on Fact-Finder's Report
    by Stephanie Gadlin | 07/16/2012
    Though Fact-Finder Edwin Benn will not be releasing his recommended report until after the parties have determined whether to accept or reject it, CPS regrettably has leaked to the Chicago Tribune information contained in the report, creating confusion in Chicago as to its contents. Due to the crush of media inquiries occasioned by the CPS leak, it is necessary to clarify some aspects of the recommended report.
    The Fact-Finder has determined that CPS’s longer school day amounts to a 19.4% increase on average that teachers will have to work, and he has determined that CPS cannot expect its employees to work nearly 20% more for free or without fair compensation. Accordingly, the Fact-Finder’s report recommends both a general wage increase and an additional increase due to the length of the school day: A general wage increase of 2.25% for School Year 2012 -- essentially a cost of living increase -- without any changes to existing steps and lanes. He also recommends an additional increase of 12.6% to compensate teachers for working a longer school day and year. This represents a combined first-year increase of 14.85%, plus existing step and lane adjustments. CPS has estimated the total first year increase to be 15-20%, and we do not disagree with that characterization.
    The Fact-Finder also recommends cost of living increases in any additional contract years.
    When the entire report is released and reviewed, it will show that Fact-Finder Benn wholly supports fair pay for a fair day’s work. For this reason, we expect that CPS -- which for months has publicly stated that the Fact-Finder should decide our raises -- will now make an about-face and try to discredit the process it championed both to Legislators in Springfield and to the public here in Chicago.
    Go to CTUCTU Statement on Fact-Finder's Report
    by Stephanie Gadlin | 07/16/2012

    Though Fact-Finder Edwin Benn will not be releasing his recommended report until after the parties have determined whether to accept or reject it, CPS regrettably has leaked to the Chicago Tribune information contained in the report, creating confusion in Chicago as to its contents. Due to the crush of media inquiries occasioned by the CPS leak, it is necessary to clarify some aspects of the recommended report.

    The Fact-Finder has determined that CPS’s longer school day amounts to a 19.4% increase on average that teachers will have to work, and he has determined that CPS cannot expect its employees to work nearly 20% more for free or without fair compensation. Accordingly, the Fact-Finder’s report recommends both a general wage increase and an additional increase due to the length of the school day: A general wage increase of 2.25% for School Year 2012 -- essentially a cost of living increase -- without any changes to existing steps and lanes. He also recommends an additional increase of 12.6% to compensate teachers for working a longer school day and year. This represents a combined first-year increase of 14.85%, plus existing step and lane adjustments. CPS has estimated the total first year increase to be 15-20%, and we do not disagree with that characterization.
    The Fact-Finder also recommends cost of living increases in any additional contract years.
    When the entire report is released and reviewed, it will show that Fact-Finder Benn wholly supports fair pay for a fair day’s work. For this reason, we expect that CPS -- which for months has publicly stated that the Fact-Finder should decide our raises -- will now make an about-face and try to discredit the process it championed both to Legislators in Springfield and to the public here in Chicago.
    Go also to see the fact finder Press Conference at ctunet.com
    Karen speaks very well on this!

  • "Is an outrageous 20 percent pay hike enough for greedy Chicago public school teachers?" | Dennis Byrne http://ow.ly/chtYT

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Touting this link as anything worth reading is disappointing and rather pathetic. Opinions are clearly like .... everyone has one. Maybe Mr. Byrne needs to assume that he will not "sell" any of his forthcoming books but will need to give them away. If not, maybe he is suggesting that he donate 20% for free. This is a new low for this blog. Simply implying that we are greedy is an easy out in the argument and one that requires no interpretation or real analysis of the situation. I guess I was expecting different.

  • Headache299
    Isn’t this Dennis Byrne the same guy who wrote, “The War of 1812”? Maybe he should concentrate his efforts on the 21st century. I wonder if he would be willing to sell his book at 1812 prices?

  • Roll the dice.

    i am sure when the mayor and his team went for SB7 it
    never occurred to them that things would work out this way.
    First the union got it's mythical 75% and more on a strike vote.
    Now the fact finder reminded the Mayor people do not
    work for nothing.
    So what does he do now? i think he will go the injunction
    route if a strike is called.But he has about six weeks until Labor
    day so we will see what happens.

  • This is what CPS website has to say about the six CPS schools with the greatest 2012 ISAT losses:

    Matthew A. Henson Elementary School: “We have a community environment emphasizing courtesy, respect, and equality”
    ..…Too bad the community environment didn’t emphasize academics!

    James Madison Elementary School: “It’s truly our season”
    ..…Yea! “Seasons In The Sun” by Terry Jacks

    Jesse Owens Elementary Community Academy: “Our perspective is to involve school personnel, students, parents, and members of the wider community as partners in a continuous process of building an environment of excellence, responsibility, and diversity”
    ..…Apparently, Jesse Owens, much like the school’s vision statement, specialized in sprints and long jumps!

    Charles G Hammond Elementary School: “Committed to providing academic literacy through a quality education for ALL students!”
    ….. ALL students?! ALL students EXCEPT those attending Charles G Hammond Elementary School!

    Theophilus Schmid Elementary School: “We celebrate our students, The Rising Stars of Schmid. Gifted classes are offered in science and math including algebra. Striving to involve all stakeholders to support the education of our students, we have many family events throughout the year.”
    ..…Gifted classes may have been offered. Too bad nobody took the bait!

    Jackie Robinson is “a small school Soaring Beyond Excellence...Where Every Scholar Is College Bound and Teaching and Learning is our focus!”
    ..…Right! Soaring waaaay Beyond Excellence and into the stratosphere of oblivion!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    CPS ‘leadership’ is a complete joke and needs to be ribbed, ridiculed and replaced

  • The arbitrator sees through the opacity of the CPS proposed budget.

    The arbitrator was required by law to base his findings on "the employer's financial ability to fund the proposals based on existing available resources" without resorting to draining of reserves, increasing revenues, extending lines of credit, etc.

    The arbitrator determined the Board CAN AFFORD to pay teachers 15% more for the extended school day without draining reserves, increasing revenue, extending lines of credit, etc.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You are reaching here. There's no way to ascertain that the fact-finder (not arbitrator) "determined the Board can afford to pay teachers 15% more." Maybe, but until his report is published, we don't know that.

    (Unless you've read the report?)

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    I haven't read the report. But the fact-finder (thank you for the correction) was required to take into account the Board's ability to pay. Is not the law very clear about what finances the fact-finder must consider in coming to his salary determination?

    The fact-finder's financial proposal must be based on "the employer's financial ability to fund the proposals based on existing available resources".

    If he did not think the Board could fund it, then he would not be following his duties as specifically outlined in SB7, no?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Well, no.

    The Sun-Times, apparently, has seen the report and claims Benn wrote this: “Because the Board has the authority to set the length of the school day and year, as an alternative, the Board can reduce its costs by correspondingly reducing the length of the school day and/or year.”

  • I figured out a way to pay the teachers the money they deserve without eliminating positions or draining financial reserves. Let’s just stop funding charter schools. Easy!

  • dude your are a silly troll. how about i give you 10 bucks to do you partner.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Now that’s an intelligent response. Do me?

  • The commenter above has a point. The CPS budget is in large part about the Mayor's priorities. And those priorities have little to do with the classrooms or neighborhood schools in Chicago. Selective enrollment schools and charters receive a disproportionate share of the Board's budget. So, too, does CPS admin for that matter. Teachers salaries used to account for 48% of the budget. In only a few years that percentage has dropped to 41%.

    CPS spends somewhere in the neighborhood of $350 million every year to close neighborhood schools and open up charters or turnarounds. That money could be directed to the classroom.

    CPS also spends upwards of $60 per year on high stakes standardized testing. That money could be directed back to the classroom.

    CPS has proposed increasing staffing by 420 positions at network offices (293!), Human Capital (59), Payroll (42), and Portfolio Planning and Analytics (26). That's about $42 million that could have gone directly to the classroom.

  • Exactly. The arbitrator’s report was supposed to be based upon the board’s ability to pay. They could have their longer school day, and pay for it, if they didn’t spend so much money on charter enterprises. Let’s get back to public education for all. If parents want a private educational experience for their children, let them pay for it.

  • All that is occurring drives home the realization that politicians cannot and should not be running school systems. Neither should folks from out of town with no knowledge of the 3rd largest system and no staff with institutional knowledge to guide them. There's no one in the CEO office with the central office experience of running a school system of this magnitude and few with school experience period. Rochester and Detroit and the Broad program are not sufficient. The mayor is the wrong person to dictate how the system should be run. You need knowledgeable educators or you have chaos which we've had for the last 4 years. At least Arne had Barbara and Paul had Cozette Lula and Blondie. The mayor has Brizard he has Broadies and the mayor which is not sufficient. In 100 years there have been no easy answers here. That's why decisions repeatedly made quick and thoughtless must be changed. It looks like they may need to scrap the full school day and pay the teachers. 7% and regular dismissal may do the trick. Maybe the FSD should be piloted???? You think!

  • Sammy - Public education is by default "political" since it is funded by public money. If the board were to be directly by Chicagoans the end result would be just as political as a board appointed by the mayor.

    Public education will always be dictated by politics and is reflective of the desires and sentiments of the electorate. The schism in public education as illustrated by the "reform" vs. non-"reform" adherents is similar to the divide in the bigger political climate I think.

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    Well then Obama better help Rahm out here--even if it is to just talking tothe guy. Or was any of this his or Arne's advice?!
    Otherwise, Romney will have another nail to hammer at Obama.

  • The

  • What bothers me about Brizard is not just literally out of town--he is figuratively too. is His general absence -did he not think this would be a 24/7 job? Well it is for (his) principals and assistant principals! His punishing of them with ALL the extra work and protocols and emails and copying and lack of professional development, and taking our days and lack of willingness to listen means he should have to do the same.
    Mr. Brizard, have you completed Modular 2 yet? Bet you don't even take it.
    The guy is getting paid as high as he is for what? To bring in a $21,500 a month education consultant. Or is he just a very expensive mouthpiece?
    Rahm-did you think his appointment by you would appease Chicago minorities--you think we are that dumb that we do not look for substance in a person? That we do not expect to be treated as professionals when we have earned this? We are not doing it for the pay-wake up! Brizard is your Sara Palin. DO something about this!

  • Would principals and assistant principals give CEO Brizard a 'no confidence' vote?

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