Chicago Public Schools By The Numbers

The Chicago Teachers Union wants you to know they have the votes necessary to keep your children out of their classrooms.

As the Chicago Tribune reported last week, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) took a preliminary poll of its membership across the city and believe they have the necessary 75% majority to call a strike if their demands are not met by the start of the next school year.

The statement from the CTU is a warning to Mayor Emanuel, the city council and parents across the city: the teachers union intend to hold your student's education hostage until they get massive pay increases. Their ransom demands also include not accepting any additional accountability for their work and refusing to allow their best teachers to make more money than their worst. And if you don't give them what they want, they will throw a kindergarten-like temper tantrum and stay home rather than teach young minds eager to learn.

Over the next several weeks, I will be a posting a series of blogs dedicated to the Chicago Public Schools and education in general. Before diving into the specifics, I think it is useful to examine CPS by the numbers and compare it to the next 9 largest Illinois public school districts. CPS is listed first. All the other school districts are presented in their order of enrollment with parenthesis showing the comparison of their statistics with CPS.

(All statistical information derived from the 2011 Illinois Interactive Report Card):

Chicago Public Schools (CTU teachers represent faculty here)

  • District Enrollment: 403,770
  • 44% Hispanic, 43% Black, 9% White, 3% Asian
  • Number of Schools in District: 617
  • All Subjects Meets and Exceeds: 66.30%
  • Avg. Teacher Salary: $71,236
  • Avg. Teacher Experience: 13.7 Years
  • Instructional Expenditure Per Pupil: $7,946
  • Operational Expenditure Per Pupil: $13,078
  • Low Income: 86%
  • Average classroom size: 26.5 for 8th grade; 20 for high school
  • 11th Graders Meeting College Readiness Benchmarks: 21% in Reading, 19% in Math, 11% in Science, 38% in English

EDITORIAL COMMENTARY: The gap between white and black student achievement in 11th grade has actually gotten statistically larger based on standardized test scores. In 2001, 51% of white students met or exceeded standarized math tests, while only 16% of black students did, marking a 35 point gap. In 2011, that gap had widened to 42 points, which was better than 2007, when the gap was a whopping 47 points.

Similar achievement gap regressions are occurring between low income and non-low income students in CPS.

Elgin SD U-46 (serving communities in and around Elgin in Kane County)

  • District Enrollment: 40,689
  • 49% Hispanic, 33% White,  8% Asian, 7% Black
  • Number of Schools in District: 54
  • All Subjects Meets and Exceeds: 74.40% (+8.1% compared to CPS)
  • Avg. Teacher Salary: $72,198 (+$962)
  • Avg. Teacher Experience: 14.3 Years (+0.6 Years)
  • Instructional Expenditure Per Pupil: $5,935 (-$2,011)
  • Operational Expenditure Per Pupil: $9,860 (-$3,218)
  • Low Income: 52% (-34%)
  • Average classroom size: 25 (-1.5) for 8th grade; 19 (-1) for high school
  • 11th Graders Meeting College Readiness Benchmarks: 32% (+11%) in Reading, 36% (+17%) in Math, 21% (+10%) in Science, 48% (+10%) in English

Indian Prairie School District 204 (serving parts of Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook, & Plainfield)

  • District Enrollment: 28,990
  • 58% White, 19% Asian, 10% Hispanic, 9% Black
  • Number of Schools in District: 31
  • All Subjects Meets and Exceeds: 89.70% (+23.4%)
  • Avg. Teacher Salary: $69,011 (-$2,225)
  • Avg. Teacher Experience: 12.2 Years (-1.5 years)
  • Instructional Expenditure Per Pupil: $6,637 (-$1,309)
  • Operational Expenditure Per Pupil: $10,426 (-$2,652)
  • Low Income: 14% (-72%)
  • Average classroom size: 25.5 (-1) for 8th grade; 26.5 (+6.5) for high school
  • 11th Graders Meeting College Readiness Benchmarks: 63% (+42%) in Reading, 68% (+49%) in Math, 51% (+40%) in Science, 81% (+43%) in English

Rockford School District 205 

  • District Enrollment: 27,579
  •    36% White, 30% Black, 25% Hispanic, 6% Multiracial, 4% Asian
  • Number of Schools in District: 50
  • All Subjects Meets and Exceeds: 62.70% (-3.6%)
  • Avg. Teacher Salary:$65,826 (-5,410)
  • Avg. Teacher Experience: 14.8 Years (+1.1years)
  • Instructional Expenditure Per Pupil: $6,586 (-$1,360)
  • Operational Expenditure Per Pupil: $11,281 (-$1,797)
  • Low Income: 78% (-8%)
  • Average classroom size: 23  (-3.5) for 8th grade; 20 (Even) for high school
  • 11th Graders Meeting College Readiness Benchmarks: 26% (+5%) in Reading, 20% (+1%) in Math, 14% (+3%) in Science, 40% (+2%) in English

Carpentersville CUSD 300

  • District Enrollment: 20,274
  •            54% White, 32% Hispanic, 5% Black, 5% Asian
  • Number of Schools in District: 25
  • All Subjects Meets and Exceeds: 78.90% (+12.6%)
  • Avg. Teacher Salary: $63,172 (-$8.064)
  • Avg. Teacher Experience: 11.7 Years (-2 years)
  • Instructional Expenditure Per Pupil: $5,583 (-$2,363)
  • Operational Expenditure Per Pupil: $10,514 (-$2,564)
  • Low Income: 39% (-47%)
  • Average classroom size: 26.5 (Even) for 8th grade; 23 (+3) for high school
  • 11th Graders Meeting College Readiness Benchmarks: 42% (+21%) in Reading, 41% (+22) in Math, 29% (+18) in Science, 59% (+21) in English

Naperville CUSD 203

  • District Enrollment: 17,563
  • 69% White, 15% Asian, 7.5% Hispanic, 5% Black
  • Number of Schools in District: 21
  • All Subjects Meets and Exceeds: 90.70% (+24.4%)
  • Avg. Teacher Salary: $78,380 (+$7,144)
  • Avg. Teacher Experience: 13.5 Years (+0.2)
  • Instructional Expenditure Per Pupil: $7,458 (-$488)
  • Operational Expenditure Per Pupil: $11,864 (-$1,214)
  • Low Income: 10% (-76%)
  • Average classroom size: 23 (-3.5) for 8th grade; 22.5 (+2.5) for high school
  • 11th Graders Meeting College Readiness Benchmarks: 71% (+50%) in Reading, 72% (+53%) in Math, 60% (+49%) in Science, 84% (+46%) in English

Waukegan CUSD 60 

  • District Enrollment: 15,960
  •   74% Hispanic, 17% Black, 5% White
  • Number of Schools in District: 21
  • All Subjects Meets and Exceeds: 62.50% (-3.8%)
  • Avg. Teacher Salary: $56,253 (-$14,983)
  • Avg. Teacher Experience: 11 Years (-2.7 years)
  • Instructional Expenditure Per Pupil: $6,343 (-$1,603)
  • Operational Expenditure Per Pupil: $11,701 (-$1,377)
  • Low Income: 77% (-9%)
  • Average classroom size: 18 (-8.5) for 8th grade; 20.5 (+0.5) for high school
  • 11th Graders Meeting College Readiness Benchmarks: 13% (-8%) in Reading,  11% (-8%) in Math, 5% (-6%) in Science, 23% (-15%) in English

Springfield, IL School District 186 (Springfield Education Association Unionized teachers)

  • District Enrollment: 14,561
  • 50% White, 38% Black, 2% Hispanic, 2% Asian
  • Number of Schools in District: 33
  • All Subjects Meets and Exceeds: 67.60% (+1.3%)
  • Avg. Teacher Salary: $59,507 (-$11,729)
  • Avg. Teacher Experience: 12.9 Years (-0.8 years)
  • Instructional Expenditure Per Pupil: $6,893 (-$1,053)
  • Operational Expenditure Per Pupil: $12,079 (-$999)
  • Low Income: 67% (-19%)
  • Average classroom size: 21 (-5.5) for 8th grade; 18.5 (-1.5) for high school
  • 11th Graders Meeting College Readiness Benchmarks: 34% (+13%) in Reading, 27% (+8%)  in Math, 19% (+8%) in Science, 46% (+8%)  in English

EDITORIAL COMMENTARY: Once again, racial disparities are significant. Asian students in Springfield outperform other groups in every measured category. Black student achievement is easily the worst, with the most horrendous example being that only 3% of black students in Springfield public schools tested college ready for science.

The achievement gap has been more or less steady over 10 years with some slight closing of the black/white student achievement gap.

Peoria SD 150

  • District Enrollment: 14,266
  •   56% Black, 26% White, 8% Multiracial, 8% Hispanic
  • Number of Schools in District: 27
  • All Subjects Meets and Exceeds: 65.40% (-0.9%)
  • Avg. Teacher Salary: $55,811 (-$15,425)
  • Avg. Teacher Experience: 14.2 Years (+0.5)
  • Instructional Expenditure Per Pupil: $6,691 (-$1,255)
  • Operational Expenditure Per Pupil: $12,279 (-$799)
  • Low Income: 75% (-11%)
  • Average classroom size: 15 (-11.5) for 8th grade; 13 (-7) for high school
  • 11th Graders Meeting College Readiness Benchmarks: 29% (+8%) in Reading, 25% (+6%) in Math, 14% (3%) in Science, 38% (Even) in English

Wheaton CUSD 200

  • District Enrollment: 13,413
  •    69.5% White, 15% Hispanic, 6% Black, 5% Asian
  • Number of Schools in District: 19
  • All Subjects Meets and Exceeds: 87.20% (+20.9%)
  • Avg. Teacher Salary: $77,407 (+$6,171)
  • Avg. Teacher Experience: 14.6 Years (+0.9)
  • Instructional Expenditure Per Pupil: $7,271 (-$675)
  • Operational Expenditure Per Pupil: $11,990 (-$1,088)
  • Low Income: 26% (-60%)
  • Average classroom size: 26 (-0.5) for 8th grade; 21.5 (+1.5) for high school
  • 11th Graders Meeting College Readiness Benchmarks: 62% (+41%) in Reading,  63% (+44%) in Math, 49% (+38%) in Science, 74% (+36%) in English

The fact that the highest achievement large school district in Illinois, Naperville CUSD 203, still leaves 29% of its students unprepared for college level reading  is sad beyond expression. This high spending district with low student/teacher ratios and the lowest student poverty rate among the school districts reviewed here still leaves 28% of its student ill prepared for college level math, 40% for college science and 16% for college level English.

Also, keep in mind, all the numbers reported get bench-marked against fairly low expectations and standards; so, even the high achievement schools have a shadow around their numbers.

If school districts' primary goals is to prepare students for college, where they will hone their skills and pick a specialty, Illinois public schools are failing miserably.

I selected the ten largest school districts in the state for this comparison. As you can see, there does not seem to be a direct correlation between money spent on paying teachers or funding classroom work and student achievement/college readiness.

To demonstrate this, let's look at Illinois's capital and it's largest city for comparison. Neither district is performing well by any independent standard, but Springfield's public Schools are slightly overachieving Chicago Public Schools in 11th grade college readiness test scores despite paying their teachers an average of $12K/year less and spending 13% less per pupil.

In Peoria, where the student demographics are similar to Chicago, public school students score about the same or slightly better than CPS, but the district pays it's more experienced teaching force $15K/Year less to oversee much smaller class sizes. The per pupil instructional expense is $1,255 more expensive in CPS than in Peoria for very similar results.

Perhaps the most striking comparison for CPS is with the Indian Prairie School District 204. IPSD 204 spends $1,309 less on instruction per student than CPS does and pays its teachers an average of $2,225 less than CPS, yet nearly 90% of its students meet or exceed state standards and 68% are ready for college math while only 66% of CPS students meet or exceed state standards and a mere 19% are ready for college level math.

It is clear that student achievement is not directly linked to teacher compensation or instructional spending per pupil. Chicago Public Schools spend more money than most other state districts only to achieve worse student outcomes.

Please review these numbers for yourself and look up your own Illinois school district on the Illinois Interactive Report Card. If you or your child is enrolled in a Chicago Public School, you should look at your own school statistics and see how they compare with other CPS and non-CPS schools.

As Chicago nears the teachers union contract fued, it is more important than ever for every taxpayer and parent to educate themselves on schools and this blog intends to help.

 

 

 

Comments

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  • Thanks for posting the numbers and your analysis. The best way to address the issues with public education in Illinois is with numbers and with a results based approach.

    I do think it's important to put the salary numbers in perspective though. If you compare those salaries (Chicago to Springfield) based on cost of living, I was surprised to find that the Chicago teachers are relatively underpaid in comparison.

    See http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx

    One statistic that would be interesting to see is the impact of parent involvement. I don’t have any non-anecdotal evidence and it’s not good to generalize, but it seems that most parents who are heavily involved in their children’s schools and educations in Chicago are not sending their kids to CPS. I can’t blame them. It’s hard to stand on principle and try to make things better when it comes at the expense of your kid’s education. You can’t make schools better without parent involvement and you can attract parents that want to be involved if your schools are bad. Classic catch 22.

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    The teacher's salaries correlate with the years of experience for the most part making the teacher pay the same across the board, but CPS is probably the city with the highest cost of living and the only districts the requires the teachers to live in Chicago. So in reality they are making less money, because I bet housing is much less in Rockford than in Chicago.

    Chicago Public Schools (CTU teachers represent faculty here)
    • Avg. Teacher Salary: $71,236
    • Avg. Teacher Experience: 13.7 Years
    Elgin SD U-46 (serving communities in and around Elgin in Kane County)
    • Avg. Teacher Salary: $72,198 (+$962)
    • Avg. Teacher Experience: 14.3 Years (+0.6 Years)
    Indian Prairie School District 204 (serving parts of Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook, & Plainfield)
    • Avg. Teacher Salary: $69,011 (-$2,225)
    • Avg. Teacher Experience: 12.2 Years (-1.5 years)
    Rockford School District 205
    • Avg. Teacher Salary:$65,826 (-5,410)
    • Avg. Teacher Experience: 14.8 Years (+1.1years)
    Carpentersville CUSD 300
    • Avg. Teacher Salary: $63,172 (-$8.064)
    • Avg. Teacher Experience: 11.7 Years (-2 years)
    Naperville CUSD 203
    • Avg. Teacher Salary: $78,380 (+$7,144)
    • Avg. Teacher Experience: 13.5 Years (+0.2)
    Waukegan CUSD 60
    • Avg. Teacher Salary: $56,253 (-$14,983)
    • Avg. Teacher Experience: 11 Years (-2.7 years)
    Springfield, IL School District 186 (Springfield Education Association Unionized teachers)
    • Avg. Teacher Salary: $59,507 (-$11,729)
    • Avg. Teacher Experience: 12.9 Years (-0.8 years)
    Peoria SD 150
    • Avg. Teacher Salary: $55,811 (-$15,425)
    • Avg. Teacher Experience: 14.2 Years (+0.5)
    Wheaton CUSD 200
    • Avg. Teacher Salary: $77,407 (+$6,171)
    • Avg. Teacher Experience: 14.6 Years (+0.9)

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    If you look the all subjects meets or exceeds compared to the low income percentage, you will see the schools with low income kids perform worse. There are numerous reasons behind that. But if you look CPS has the highest % of low income students yet they are not at the lowest % of meets or exceeds. Anyone can take numbers and twist them to their benefit. CPS teachers are doing a great job and have had test scores continuously rising. Working in CPS, the teacher has to teach and also parent the kids most of the time. Why hasn't anyone pointed out how much the non-union school employees make. (6 figures) and they dont even do much to help the kids. How much is Rahm making, why isnt he taking a pay cut, or Brizard? What about all the politicians friends who are "teacher coaches" (whatever that is) that are making 80k + doing nothing.

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