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How We Ranked the Schools

The research nonprofit RTI International calculated these rankings using data and methodology provided by Chicago. The data are the most recent available from CPS and the Illinois State Board of Education. Because the type of data available for Chicago charter schools differs from that for noncharters, we ranked city charters separately. 

What the Measures Mean

Spending per pupil is the per-student instructional expenditure, reported by district. (Because all CPS schools reported the same amount spent per student—$9,778—we excluded that figure from CPS calculations.)

Freshmen on Track is the percentage of students meeting or exceeding state benchmarks for ninth grade. 

PARCC attainment is the percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards on the PARCC exam; for each suburban school the figure has been adjusted for the school’s percentage of low-income students.

NWEA/MAP growth (math) and NWEA/MAP growth (reading) are the percentages of students meeting or exceeding the national averages for year-over-year growth on the NWEA/MAP tests. (For charters, we used the NWEA/MAP national growth percentile, which shows where a school’s year-over-year growth falls nationally.) 

ACT attainment is the percentage of students scoring a 21 or higher on the ACT exam; for each suburban school the figure has been adjusted for the school’s percentage of low-income students. (For Chicago charters we used the ACT attainment percentile.)

ACT growth is the ACT national growth percentile, which shows where a school’s growth falls nationally. 

5Essentials is a rubric system based on teacher and student surveys and scored from 1 to 5, with 5 indicating that a school satisfies all the rubrics. 

Graduation rate is the percentage of students who graduated within five years of entering high school. 

Attendance is a school’s average daily attendance.

How We Weighted the Measures

Chicago Elementary Schools

PARCC attainment 20%
NWEA/MAP growth (math) 20%
NWEA/MAP growth (reading) 20%
5Essentials 25%
Attendance 15%

 

Chicago High Schools

Freshmen on Track 5% 
PARCC attainment 10%
ACT attainment 10%
ACT growth 30% 
5Essentials 20%
Graduation rate 15%
Attendance 10%

Suburban Elementary Schools

Spending per pupil 20% 
PARCC attainment (adjusted) 50%
5Essentials 20%
Attendance 10%

Suburban High Schools

Spending per pupil 10% 
Freshmen on Track 5% 
PARCC attainment (adjusted) 20%
ACT attainment (adjusted) 30%
5Essentials 20%
Graduation rate 10%
Attendance 5%

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