Chicago Public Schools’ annual comprehensive school quality ratings released Friday offer very good news for Rogers Park schools.
Four of our schools saw their ratings increase over last year. The remaining schools maintained their ratings from last year.
Instead of relying disproportionately on test scores, which often convey a false impression of school quality, CPS’s School Quality Rating Procedure (SQRP) looks at a broad range of indicators of student success. In addition to test scores, the analysis examines student attendance, academic growth and school culture. College enrollment and dropout rates also factor into a high school’s rating.
CPS uses five categories of performance, thus providing a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of each school. The five categories for performance from highest to lowest are: Level 1+, Level 1, Level 2+, Level 2 and Level 3.
Rogers Park schools as a whole have experienced a steady improvement in the five years CPS has employed the SQRP system. Below is a chart that measure the progress our schools have made:
New Field School led the pack as the most improved Rogers Park school this past year. As recently as 2015, New Field enjoyed a Level 1+ rating, the highest possible school quality score. By last year, New Field’s rating had dropped to Level 2. Under the leadership of its dynamic new principal, Conrey Callahan, and an engaged Local School Council, New Field soared back to the coveted Level 1+ rating.
Kilmer School, under the leadership of Principal Jean Papagianis, also has made astounding progress from a Level 3 rating in 2013, when Principal Papagianis took over leadership of the school, to a Level 1 ranking for the second year in a row.
Jordan School also saw a jump in its rating from Level 2+ to Level 1. Jordan has experienced steady progress in its ratings ever since Jordan’s principal, Gilberto Piedrahita, assumed the helm.
Gale Academy saw its rating increase to Level 2+ from Level 2 after just one full year of leadership by Principal Augustine “Augie” Emuwa. Similarly, Field School moved from a Level 2 to Level 2+ ranking under Principal Adrian Dobbins‘ tutelage.
Our high schools also are experiencing amazing success.
Sullivan High School Principal Chad Adams continued to build on his strong performance when he lifted Sullivan up from a Level 3 to Level 2 ranking in just his first year on the job. This year, Sullivan is ranked Level 2+, thanks in part to an astounding increase in its graduation rate (up from 40% in 2013 to 70% in 2017) and a 94% freshman “on-track” rate, which means that 94% of Sullivan’s current freshmen are on track to graduate high school.
Led by Principal Michael Kuran and bolstered by strong college enrollment and college persistence rates among its graduates, the Chicago Math and Science Academy (CMSA) maintained its Level 1+ rating.
Acero de la Cruz School, a K-12 charter school, maintained its strong Level 1 ranking for the second year in a row. Cruz had fallen to a Level 2 ranking just two years ago, but after Principal Molly Robinson took over the reins last year, Cruz rebounded to a Level 1 status.
After witnessing first hand the success of our schools after they experienced a change in leadership, I am convinced more than ever that the principal of a school makes all the difference. All our schools are now blessed with young, dynamic and innovative principals, who have inspired their teachers, staff and students to excel.
The success of a neighborhood is inextricably tied to the success of its local schools. Here in Rogers Park, we are achieving that success.
Congratulations to all our local schools on a job well done!