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Survey Ranks CPS Teaching at the Top, Family Involvement at the Bottom

By Sam Cholke | June 30, 2015 5:59am
 A survey found CPS students and teachers rank their schools high for collaborative teaching and ambitious instruction than peers in the suburbs or country.
A survey found CPS students and teachers rank their schools high for collaborative teaching and ambitious instruction than peers in the suburbs or country.
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HYDE PARK — Chicago Public Schools came out with top marks for teaching and instruction over suburban and rural peers in Illinois, according to a new survey from the University of Chicago.

The university’s Consortium on Chicago School Research on Tuesday released the results of a survey that found CPS students and teachers were more likely to feel their school had effective leaders, collaborative teachers and ambitious instruction than other schools across the state.

The survey also found that CPS teachers and parents were the least likely of any district in the state to feel their school had involved parents.

The survey conducted in 2014 asked more than 104,000 teachers and 750,000 students across the state to rate their school on whether it had effective leaders, collaborative teachers, ambitious instruction, a supportive environment and involved families.

The study has been conducted in individual CPS schools since the 1990s, but this was the first time it was expanded statewide.

Ambitious instruction and effective leaders were rated higher for CPS schools than urban, suburban or rural schools.

Suburban schools were rated the highest in family involvement.

It is unclear exactly why CPS schools were rated so low for family involvement.

The report says it was possible that teachers and students were more negative on questions about safety in their community, trusting adults and neighborhood connections, which would have driven the rating down.

“A high level of crime and violence in some Chicago neighborhoods may undermine building social capital within these neighborhoods,” the report says.

CPS representatives had not responded to questions by late Monday.

The study also found a correlation between schools with lots of students from poor families and lower ratings in all five areas.

“The more disadvantaged a school is socioeconomically, the less likely it is to have three or more strong essentials and the more likely it is to have three or more weak essentials,” the report says.

The report says the most disadvantaged schools in CPS are the most likely to be scored low marks in the five areas by teachers and students. The best off schools in CPS, though, were less likely to be ranked low in any of the five essentials than other schools in the state.

The report found a substantive relationship between students and teachers scoring their school highly in all five areas and students testing well in reading and math.

The effect was found to be more prominent in CPS schools, but the researchers said it could be an anomaly based on how the questions were worded.

The full results and results for individual schools are available online at cps.5-essentials.org/2014/.

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