GAPS AND LAVIZZO: The search for kids who need extra help!



Part 3—Sadly, not hard to find: Chicago’s schools seem to have improved, a lot, over the past dozen years.

That apparent fact is easily demonstrated. A second claim is a bit harder to assess or define.

Based on a poorly explained metric, Chicago’s public school students learn much more than their counterparts nationwide in the five years encompassing Grade 4 through Grade 8. Or so the New York Times has said, citing a study by Stanford’s Sean Reardon, whose work we’ve often cited.

For various reasons, Reardon’s claim is a bit hard to assess, based on the Times’ reporting. Still, Chicago’s apparent improvement is easily demonstrated using more straightforward measures.

How are Chicago’s black kids doing in math? Based upon our most reliable data, they seem to be doing much better:
Average scores, Grade 8 math, Naep
Black students in Chicago
2017: 259.45
2005: 244.83 Applying a standard but very rough rule of thumb,

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