Chicago Public School District

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1 Synergy Site Profile Chicago Public School District Compiled by National Institute for Urban School Improvement January, 2004 Introduction The purpose of this profile is to surface and report on the conditions that exist at various levels of a school district with an eye toward their relationship and influence on four outcomes across the Institute s synergy sites: Increased numbers of students with disabilities served effectively in general education settings Increased use of research validated culturally responsive practices in early intervention, reading, behavior, and universal designs for learning Increased numbers of inclusive schools with records of effective, achievement oriented, culturally responsive success with students with disabilities Increased number of effective, improvement strategies for special and general education professional development and technical assistance that are unified and coherent across schools within large, urban school districts To provide a cohesive framework for assessing these outcomes, a systemic change model 1 was developed that provided a way of describing the work of school districts and schools, thus organizing change efforts in ways that were meaningful and effective for all. This unified system is based on the principle that each student represents a unique combination of abilities and educational needs and may require individual assistance at varying times during the school year in order to achieve important outcomes. The key belief is that schools are organized around services, not programs. In a unified educational system, human and other resources are employed to provide a range of services in a range of settings to students with unequal educational needs. Central to this approach is accountability for all students: children in poverty, children with disabilities, children with limited English proficiency, children from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and assurance that all students are being appropriately and effectively educated. For a unified system to be 1 Ferguson, D., & Kozleski, E.B., & Smith, A. (2001). Transformed, Inclusive Schools: A Framework to Guide Fundamental Change in Urban Schools. Denver, CO: The National Institute for Urban School Improvement.

2 successful, educators must believe not only that all students can learn but also that they are capable of teaching all students. As a result, the lines between regular education, special education, Title I, bilingual education, migrant education, vocational education, and other categorical programs become blurred and eventually reformed in ways that may not be specifically calculated. Furthermore, these programs become unified in a new educational system anchored by student content, performance, and skill standards that are embraced by local communities and families while informed by national and state standards, curriculum frameworks, and assessment strategies. Creating the Profile A variety of sources informed this profile. Some of the information about the district itself came from the district s website, which provides a broad spectrum of information. In other cases, we pulled information from the Chamber of Commerce, the Historical Society and the Census websites. Additionally, site liaisons assisted by reading through working drafts of this profile and updating information as needed. National Institute staff developed and updated information as necessary, including Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, Steve Kennedy, and Tamra Scheetz. The Policy Environment The urban school systems that partner with the National Institute for Urban School Improvement (NIUSI) operate in complex state and national policy environments that shape the kinds of initiatives and reform efforts that are possible in local situations. The single biggest influence on state and local policy in the last 19 months has been the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), passed by Congress and signed into legislation in spring of The Education Commission of the States has analyzed the implementation of No Child Left Behind across all fifty states. In brief, NCLB creates a tough new accountability environment for schools and school systems around their capacity to make adequate yearly progress for every student and to ensure that every classroom is staffed with a fully qualified teacher. The Education Commission of the States (ECS) developed a framework to evaluate each state's progress on the requirements of NCLB based on a review of each state's policies against the 40 key elements from the Act (see Table 1). The ECS analysis is somewhat suspect since it scores Kentucky as non-compliant against the criteria that students with disabilities are part of the state's accountability system. Since those of us who work closely on assessment and accountability for students with disabilities are well aware of Kentucky's leadership in this arena, the ECS data are to be taken as a benchmark of progress knowing that this policy analysis does not tell the full story. Inclusive Schools: Good for Communities, Families & Kids 2

3 Table Key Elements of NCLB Standards Reading Standards Single Accountability Mathematics Standards System Science Standards All Schools Included Annual Assessments in Continuous Growth to Reading 100% Proficiency Annual Assessments in Annual Determination of Mathematics Adequate Yearly Progress Assessments in Science (AYP) Assessment of English Accountability for All Language Proficiency Subgroups Inclusion of LEP Primarily Based on Students Academics Inclusion of Students Includes Graduation with Disabilities Rates and Additional Inclusion of Migrant Indicator Students Based on Separate Math State Report Card and Reading Objectives 95% of Students in all Subgroups Assessed Timely Identification Technical Assistance Public School Choice Rewards and Sanctions School Recognition School Restructuring Corrective Action for LEAs Criteria for Supplemental Services List of Approved Supplemental Services Providers Monitoring of Supplemental Services Providers Implementation of Supplemental Services Criteria for Unsafe Schools Transfer Policy for Students in Unsafe Schools Transfer Policy for Victims of Violent Crime Highly Qualified Teachers Definition Subject Matter Competence Test for New Elementary Teachers Highly Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom High Quality Professional Development Disaggregating of Results The Institute's partner school systems are located in the states of Illinois, Washington, Washington DC, California, Colorado, Florida, New York, Nevada and Texas. According to ECS, two of these states, Florida and Texas have 58% (23 of the 40) key elements currently in place. Colorado and California have 55 and 53 percent respectively. ECS's analysis indicates that Illinois and New York have approximately 16 out of 40 elements in place. Nevada and Washington have approximately 14 elements in place on ECS's rating scale. The District of Columbia, in the difficult situation of being both a state and a school district simultaneously, has the fewest elements in place 13 out of the 40 elements according to ECS's analysis. Understanding this policy environment is important to the work of the National Institute since many of the features of NCLB support whole school improvement efforts but may, because of their local interpretation or the degree of compliance that already exists, constrain the focus of resources and effort. Further, the reauthorization of IDEA this year and the uncertainty associated with potential policy shifts there make the special education environment blurry. Another important part of the policy environment is the degree to which the accountability system in states may be said to have high stake implications for students (i.e., graduation from high school depends on performance on standards based assessments) and teachers, schools and districts (i.e., funding and evaluations of staff are connected to student performance on these tests). The National Board for Educational Testing and Public Policy (http://www.bc.edu/research/nbetpp/statements/nbr1.pdf, 2003) recently categorized states by these two indices. The states where the National Institute's synergy sites are located were categorized in the following ways: (1) high stakes accountability for both students and teachers, schools and districts: California, Florida, Nevada, New York and Texas; (2) and high Stakes for teachers, schools and districts but moderate stakes for students: Illinois; and (3) high stakes for teachers, schools and districts but low stakes for students: Colorado. Information for Washington D.C. was not available in this study. Inclusive Schools: Good for Communities, Families & Kids 3

4 The Community Chicago stretches 29 miles along the shore of Lake Michigan, and is the most central and accessible city in the North American continent. The city is 275 miles from Detroit, Michigan, and 400 miles from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Chicago region encompasses the city and its surrounding suburbs, and includes six counties in Illinois (Cook, Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane, and Will). Chicago is traditionally divided between the North, West, and South sides. It has an area of square miles and lies feet above sea level. The average temperature in Chicago ranges from 21.3 degrees (Fahrenheit) in January and 73.1 degrees (Fahrenheit) in July. The total snowfall in 1997 was 40.1, and the total rainfall was Chicago has over 150 years of unique history. In 1779, Chicago s first settler, Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, established a trading post on the north bank of the Chicago River. Chicago was incorporated as a town in 1833, and as a city, with a population of 4,170, in Many significant events have occurred in the history of the city. In 1848, the city laid its first ten miles of railroad tracks brought the Chicago fire. In 1892, the first elevated trains began operation. Transportation grew in 1955 with the opening of O Hare Airport. In 1974, the 100-story Sears Tower was completed. Chicago is a town of many sports fans, and more recently the city s history includes 6 NBA Championships won by the Chicago Bulls between Chicago is a city of world-class architecture and enormous civic pride. Three of the world s tallest buildings, the Sears Tower, the Amoco Building, and the John Hancock Building, have been built in the city. Chicago also boasts the world s largest library, The Harold Washington Library Center, which is the largest public library in the world. It has a collection of more than 2 million books. Inventions are a part of Chicago s legacy, and the city produced the first elevated railway (1892), pinball game (1930), and McDonald s restaurant (1955). Chicago is home to one of the last free zoos, Lincoln Park Zoo, which is open every day of the year. The only river in the world that flows backwards is located in Chicago, the Chicago River, which was reversed in 1900 by engineers for sanitary purposes. Chicago dyes the river green on St. Patrick s Day. Chicago has a broad and diverse population of nearly 3 million people. In 2000, the population of the city equaled 2,896,016 people. As of 1996, the civilian labor force participation rate was 63.5%, the employment/ population ratio was 58.0%, and the unemployment rate was 8.7%. In 1996, the Illinois Department of Employment Security calculated that there were 3,965 manufacturing firms in Chicago, providing over 166,000 jobs. Chicago has a long established and growing tradition as a center for business and industry. It has popularity as a premier location for many corporate headquarters, such as Allstate, Amoco, Motorola, Sears Roebuck, and Walgreens. In addition, Chicago has a thriving small business community. Chicago s largest industry by employment, as of 1995, is manufacturing, followed closely by retail trade, finance, insurance, and real estate. In 1996, the top employers in the Chicago area were the U.S. Government and the Chicago Public Schools. 2 2 Chicago Fact Book Web Site (http://www.cityofchicago.org/planning/chgofacts/index.html) Inclusive Schools: Good for Communities, Families & Kids 4

5 The District Since 1988, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has been engaged in one of the most sustained reform efforts in the country. The 1988 School Reform Act established local control of schools through the election of parents, community members, and teachers to local school councils. Local School Councils received considerable authority to select a principal, approve school improvement plans, and approve the school's discretionary budget. This first wave of school reform was credited with improving many schools through parental involvement, innovation, and school-based reform efforts. Many schools, however, remained stagnant. Additionally, the system as a whole suffered from financial problems, decaying buildings, and labor unrest. In 1995, a second wave of school reform was initiated by the state legislature. The mayor of the city, Richard M. Daley, was given power to appoint a new school board and Chief Executive Officer. The new administration balanced the budget, improved the school system's bond ratings, and paid much needed attention to renovating schools and school properties. New schools, annexes, and additions were built to relieve overcrowding. On the education front, the new administration focused on instituting strong accountability measures for schools and students, ending social promotion, and expanding after-school, summer school programs, and early childhood education. These reforms contributed to continued improvement in the performance of students and schools. For the school year, the CPS school district houses 602 schools: 493 elementary schools, 95 secondary schools, and 14 charter schools. Of these schools, 40 are magnet schools and 17 are special schools. Additionally, CPS offers 6 Safe Schools for disruptive students and 24 sites for dropouts. In recent years many school districts have implemented forms of school-based, shared decision making in their efforts to improve results for all students. Shifting of accountability to schools has had a profound impact on the work of central district administrators. With schools as the critical customers of district work, central administrators have had to reevaluate their organizational and collaborative work structures to ensure that they provide the support that schools needs to improve results for all students. This shift in relationship between schools and central administration has been difficult to negotiate both at the organizational and at the individual level since it requires a reconceptualization of the formal and informal power structures within the district. One way of thinking about the functions of central administration is provided by the systemic change framework that organizes the work of schools into seven key areas: (1) systemic infrastructure, (2) culture of renewal and improvement (3) inquiry on schools and schooling, (4) organizational support, (5) resource development and allocation, (6) student services, and (7) district and community partnerships. Inclusive Schools: Good for Communities, Families & Kids 5

6 SYSTEMIC INFRASTRUCTURE The bureaucratic structure supports the work of schools, facilitating communication, networking, resource acquisition, entrepreneurship, and innovation (i.e. matrixed organizations, data systems, feedback loops, communication across & within levels). Chicago Public Schools serve an ethnically and culturally diverse population of students. In the school year, the school district hosted 438,589 students, 50.9% of whom were African-American, 36.4% Latino and 9.2% White. Asian/Pacific Islanders made up 3.3% of student enrollment, while 0.2% of students reported themselves as Native Americans. Of the 26,548 teachers in the Chicago Public Schools in the school year, 38.5% were African-American, 31.7% were White and 12.6% were Latino. The remaining teachers were Asian (2.7%) or Native American (0.5%) and of the 587 principals, 54.2% were African- American, 31.7% were White, 13.5% were Latino, 0.5% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.2% were Native American. The vision of the Chicago Public Schools is to lead the nation, as it has in over a decade of school reform, in taking on new challenges and continually raising expectations. Chicago has developed a comprehensive Education Plan, and its educational goals are as follows: Goal 1: Building instructional capacity Goal 2: High quality teaching and leadership Goal 3: Learning communities and professional development Goal 4: Support for student development, post secondary training and education Goal 5: Schools as centers of communities in partnership with families Goal 6: Strengthening existing high school programs Goal 7: Expanded choice within neighborhoods Goal 8: Accountability to support improvement in all schools ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT Thoughtful supports provide coherent, continuous opportunities for improved practices (i.e. professional development, reporting to parents & community, mentoring) School Board Michael W. Scott Norman Bobins Tariq Butt Alberto A. Carrero, Jr. Clare Munana Gene Saffold Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan Chief Education Officer Barbara J. Eason-Watkins Chicago Public Schools set goals, standards and policies that make a high quality public education system available to the children of Chicago. The operations of the Chicago Public Schools are overseen to guarantee their accountability to the goals and objectives set by the Board and ensure that its accomplishments meet the expectations of the citizens of Chicago. In June 1995, the Amendatory Act empowered Mayor Richard M. Daley to appoint the five-member Reform Board of Trustees to effectuate change in an educational system as it was in crisis. In July 1999, the Amendatory Act restored the original title of the Chicago Board of Education and expanded the Board to seven members and Inclusive Schools: Good for Communities, Families & Kids 6

7 reinstated the position of Board Vice President. The major Board Goal for FY2003 is to continue to adhere to the system wide goals stated in the Children First Education Plan, which are: Increase the academic performance of all schools, including reducing the number of schools on the State s Academic Watch List. Increase the average daily student attendance. Decrease the dropout rate. Increase the percentage of students scoring at or above the national and state norms on standardized tests. Increase the high school graduation rate. Increase the number of students pursuing higher education and the number employed after graduation. Decrease the incidence of crimes affecting student and staff safety. Increase training opportunities for principals and teachers. Increase the amount of instructional time. Improve the physical conditions of schools and reduce overcrowding. RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND ALLOCATION Districts strategically and flexibly develop and allocate resources to support the work of schools (i.e. special projects & initiatives, equity among schools, externally funded projects [private, demonstration, corporate]). Chicago s school board recently developed a list of accomplishments which outlined their efforts in improving and reallocating resources within the district. Many of the board members recommendations are outlined in the Children First Education Plan. Revised and approved a Capital Improvement Program valued at over $2 billion to reduce overcrowding, make needed capital repairs, and improve learning through technology enhancements. Led a lobbying effort to Springfield to minimize and/or eliminate any reductions to CPS funding. Assisted in coordinating the efficient planning and implementation of the integrated financial management system. Increased outreach to all segments of the general public including business, community, civic and religious organizations. Continued to review and monitor fiscal policies and practices through the Internal Audit Committee. Through leadership of E-brigade, developed programs and policies for implementing technology in the classroom, including the Illinois Virtual High School. Inclusive Schools: Good for Communities, Families & Kids 7

8 Established a cross-functional transportation committee that resulted in immediate savings to CPS. Reorganized the Academic Accountability Council. Established a centralized records retention and management system. Facilitated the intergovernmental agreement between CPS and the Chicago Department of Human Services resulting in classrooms for an additional 1,000 Head Start students. Assisted in the opening of two new School Based Health Centers at Arai and Clemente schools. DISTRICT AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS Healthy, productive partnerships exist among community, government, colleges & universities, and schools to further the renewal and improvement of schools (i.e. existing partnership, teacher preparation and induction). Chicago Public School s Board s Education Plan represents planning and program development in specific areas Human Capital, professional development, the Chicago Reading Initiative, the redesign of regions, after-school, and accountability as well as a broad planning effort designed to identify overarching themes and challenges. This broad planning effort included a careful analysis of trends in student and school performance, a review of research on effective schools and school reform both locally and nationally, and an agenda setting process that brought together diverse groups of participants to discuss the central issues facing elementary schools and high schools. In over 50 discussion groups, more than 300 administrators, principals, teachers, LSC members, parents, students, members of community groups and social service organizations came together to discuss the central issues that the school system should be focusing on, including what works what is working in their successful schools and what works for teachers, school communities and families. Therefore, the Education Plan represents broad input from key stakeholders at multiple levels. INQUIRY ON SCHOOL AND SCHOOLING Educators, families, and students are engaged in ongoing reflection and practiced-based inquiry in classrooms and schools (i.e. classroom practices that support learners with diverse abilities, backgrounds & languages, data policies & procedures, school improvement). The new Office of Professional Development is designed to consolidate and enhance the various professional development programs throughout the system. The department will expand CPS overall alternative certification initiatives, amplify teacher and school leadership training and improve the teacher induction process. The Office of Professional Development utilizes these programs to enhance professional development. The Alternative Certification program will recruit, mentor, train, and monitor 200 career changing interns to provide teachers in areas of greatest need. The program will be administered in-house and by consultants such as Teach for America and Golden Apple Teacher Education. The program is funded for a total of $1.3 million in FY2003. Inclusive Schools: Good for Communities, Families & Kids 8

9 Additionally, the Troops to Teachers program will recruit 40 military retirees as teachers. The National Teachers Academy is a state-of-the-art new facility designed to attract, train, support and retain quality teachers. The NTA has a dual mission of providing the highest quality education for children as a neighborhood school and serving as a training institute for teachers. The school will accommodate 850 students, infant/toddlers through eighth grade. The Human Capital Initiative is a collaboration with McKinsey & Company and numerous CPS stakeholders and partners to ensure recruitment, support, development and retention of highly qualified teachers as well as increased support for principals. The department will assist in the new teacher induction program and the new instructional technology program that will provide technology based instructional professional development. The department will be responsible for all re-certification activities for the district. More than 28,000 teachers will be in the re-certification process in FY2003. One of the major goals of CPS is to ensure teacher quality and the recruiting of high quality teachers. Established the Chicago Urban Leadership Academy as a professional development school and exemplary academic institution for students. STUDENT SERVICES A range of services are available to students, designed to realize all students potential (i.e. alternative schools, second language, services to students with disabilities). Chicago Public Schools feel that graduating from high school is no longer adequate preparation for employment, so all students need post-secondary education or training if they are to get a job that can provide a future for themselves and their families. CPS has made great strides, but still has a long way to go. Many of their schools, even in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods, have shown that it is possible to build effective communities where adults are engaging students in learning, developing their fullest capacities, and securing their futures. Successful urban schools provide a comprehensive education that combines quality instructional programs, high expectations for student achievement, and social and academic supports. Effective instructional programs require a focus within and across classrooms. In urban classrooms, teachers often face a range of student abilities and behaviors, and students often come to the classroom with limited basic skills and large gaps in their knowledge and experience base. There are two challenges facing CPS teachers: first, how can they ensure that all their students are building the basic skills they need to be successful at each point in their school careers? And, second, how can they ensure that their students are being exposed to the kinds of instruction and content that will allow them to meet standards that are appropriate for their grade going beyond the basics to be able to apply concepts? The complexity of the task facing Chicago teachers makes it even more paramount that all teachers are using rigorous and structured approaches to instruction that they know lead to growth in achievement for all students which include: Extensive academic support Summer school and after-school programs provided academic support. Inclusive Schools: Good for Communities, Families & Kids 9

10 New transitional framework for English Language Learners. Special needs student inclusion expanded and supported. Expanded social skill and student development support After school programs developed in elementary and high schools. Sports programs-both intramural and interscholastic-expanded. Comprehensive health curriculum and vision programs established. A focus on Early Childhood Tuition-based pre-school program developed. Early Childhood programs expanded significantly. Early Childhood programs recognized by the American Medical Association. School options and academic program diversity Magnet programs developed in school clusters. Options increased for all students-career and military academies, small schools. International Baccalaureate programs and advancement placement courses. CULTURE OF RENEWAL AND IMPROVEMENT There s a culture that supports growth and development - personally, professionally, and organizationally. Risk taking and failure are seen as opportunities for growth (i.e. district vision, risk-taking climate, district standards, investment in collective & individual, professional development). Chicago Public Schools plans to be the premier urban school district in the country by providing all their students and their families with high quality instruction, outstanding academic programs, and comprehensive student development supports to prepare them for the challenges of the world of tomorrow. All of CPS students must have equal access to effective schools that provide strong instructional programs, high quality teaching, and student-centered learning environments. Schools must prioritize instructional programs that build a strong foundation for success. Schools must further work to develop school environments that engage students in developing aspirations, identifying talents and motivating them to do well in school. Involving families as partners in their children's education is also a critical part of the school environment. Additionally, throughout their school careers, students must develop technological proficiency. At the early childhood, primary, intermediate, middle, and high school levels, schools must provide differentiated learning experiences that meet individual student needs while maintaining high expectations. Students must demonstrate competency in basic skills in all content areas and proficiency in applying knowledge and skills to solve problems and effectively evaluate and communicate results. All students must set goals beyond high school. Therefore, the Chicago Public Schools provides high levels of social and academic support so that students are prepared for higher education, careers, and citizenship. Inclusive Schools: Good for Communities, Families & Kids 10

11 NIUSI District Partnership, School Year Chicago Public Schools Profile Chicago Public Schools and the National Institute have collaborated on several levels to bring services to CPS. Chicago has introduced 11 schools each year for the three years of the CPS/NIUSI partnership, so there are currently 33 schools participating. In addition to National Institute staff site visits, Chicago has hosted a Site Liaison meeting, has developed a schedule for the summer leadership academy, and has designed and developed participation in the Research Project for over three years. In concert with the Research Project, CPS has also modified the existing district level data collection, analysis and dissemination of critical data needed to assess progress on school change. Inclusive Schools: Good for Communities, Families & Kids 11

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