Interactive School Performance

Many lenses must be used to assess school performance. The Illinois Network of Charter Schools views school performance and impact comprehensively. While standardized test scores are a relevant component of school quality, other important dimensions also reflect the educational environment and achievements of a school’s leadership, staff, and students. We invite you to explore the Interactive School Performance section of the Charter School Data Finder to learn more about the information we value and the performance of public schools in Chicago.

There are many metrics that we believe inform the definition of a high performing school. We’ve listed some of those metrics here. Today, you’ll see live links to the data visualization tools for the metrics we have on hand today. While we are a statewide organization, at this time limited data is available for charter schools outside Chicago. INCS is hard at work to advocate for a richer set of data to be made available for all schools. Future iterations of this tool will include more data about schools and data for more schools outside Chicago.

Academic Attainment Measures

Standardized test scores in isolation don’t tell the complete story of a school’s performance. Yet, they offer a useful way to compare schools and may provide insight into the success of interventions and strategies that have been implemented over time. The metrics below indicate the academic data currently available as well the data we are working to obtain or develop to inform the comprehensive picture of school performance.

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Academic Gains

Growth measures allow us to compare how schools impact student learning regardless of their students’ starting point. Cohort measures, those that hold the particular group of students constant over time when measuring academic growth or gains, are preferable to simple year over year calculations at a given school. Evaluating year-over-year measures alone makes it difficult to determine whether a change in scores is due to changes in the student body or with changes in student performance. Student gains measures help us understand whether students are keeping pace with their peers in the city, state, and nationally and whether they are overcoming or deepening academic deficits over time.

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Learning Environment

The learning environment is a critical factor that offers insight into whether the school community (its leadership, staff, and families) are creating and reinforcing an atmosphere that supports academic growth. The learning environment of a school is often inextricably linked to its performance; schools leaders must start here to build the foundation for long term academic success.

  • Attendance
  • Ambitious Instruction (from University of Chicago Urban Education Institute 5 Essentials survey)
  • Family and community ties (from University of Chicago Urban Education Institute 5 Essentials survey)
  • Instructional Leadership (from University of Chicago Urban Education Institute 5 Essentials survey)
  • Learning Climate (from University of Chicago Urban Education Institute 5 Essentials survey)
  • Professional Capacity (from University of Chicago Urban Education Institute 5 Essentials survey)
  • Teacher attendance, retention, certification (from Illinois State Board of Education)
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Graduation and Beyond

The achievement of graduates is a school’s ultimate outcome metric: are students graduating with the tools to succeed at the next step on their academic and / or career path?

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How we did our analysis

This section includes a discussion of our data analysis methodology and definitions of key terms used throughout the tool.

Methods and more