There's no shortage of things going wrong in CPS, and writing about even occasional or partial successes seems like it's gone out of style among education reporters in town, but a new report from a Hillary Clinton-affiliated DC think tank has the gall to single out CPS for praise when it comes to transparency and information provided to parents and the public around -- yes! -- district testing practices.
The report looks at 14 districts in 7 states, and finds that much of the testing going on is district- not state- or federally-required, and that while test administration time isn't such a problem test preparation and testing-focus within schools can be excessive.
What does CPS do right, then? "While parents may know when their children are being tested, the purposes of the tests students are taking, whether the state or district is requiring the test, and how much time tests take may not always be clear from the information that districts provide. Chicago Public Schools stood out among all the districts for its transparency regarding district assessments," according to the CAP report. "Most districts examined post some information regarding their district-level assessments on their websites, but the information is often limited in its usefulness for parents and other stakeholders."
That doesn't mean CPS tests kids less than other districts, or that test prep isn't a problem. It's possible that CPS pulled one over on CAP and isn't nearly as transparent as possible. There's no shortage of educators and parents who hate outside tests (or the pressures that come from them), though classroom teachers don't seem to mind administering their own tests (quizzes, assignments, etc.).