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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Chicago spends $29k per student for 19% math proficiency

Chicago Public Schools doubled per-student spending since 2012, according to a report by the Illinois Policy Institute. Achievement is down, writes Stephen Green on Pajama Media. Fewer high school graduates are enrolling in college, Chronic absenteeism has skyrocketed. Per-pupil spending is up to $29,028.


State test data released yesterday show 31 percent of Chicago students in grades 3 through 8 could read at grade level and about 19 percent could do math proficiently. That's considered good news: It's up since last year, though math remains below the pre-pandemic numbers in 2019.


Chicago students were out of school for a ver long time during the pandemic: Schools closed in March of 2020 and didn't reopen for all students until fall of 2021.


Where is the money going? Among other things, CPS is spending a lot more money on low-performing schools that follow the "sustainable community schools" model promoted by the Chicago Teachers Union and Mayor Brandon Johnson, a former union official. The money goes for social services for families and after-school and summer programs.


But the 20 sustainable community schools are underperforming, writes Hannah Schmid for the Illinois Policy Institute.


Only 13 percent of community-school students test as proficient in reading in grades 3 through 8, less than 5 percent in math. Four percent of 11th-graders are proficient in reading, 2 percent in math.


"Students at sustainable community schools on average have the lowest reading and math proficiency, highest absenteeism, highest high school dropout rate, lowest graduation rate and lowest postsecondary enrollment rate" compared to students at other traditional public schools. Furthermore, 90 percent are under-enrolled, writes Schmid, and "half are less than half full."


In its 2024 contract demands, the union wants the district to create another 180 "sustainable community schools," she reports.


A Chalkbeat analysis last year compared Chicago's 20 sustainable community schools to other high-poverty neighborhood schools that didn't receive the extra funding, which can be as much as $500,000 per school. Sustainable community schools did the same or slightly worse than other high-poverty schools on attendance and graduation rates, wrote Mila Koumpilova. "So far, the overwhelming majority of those 20 campuses have not staved off steep districtwide enrollment losses."

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10 Comments


Richard Rider
Richard Rider
Jun 21

If kids (primarily black kids) are raised in a "don't act white" culture -- viewing education as an anti-black plot by white supremacists -- no amount of good teachers are more spending will improve their performance.

Combatting this attitude starts at home -- be it a 1 or 2 parent family. Perhaps parents should be bluntly asked "Do you want your kids to grow up to be stupid?" Okay, okay -- TACTFULLY asked. If the answer is "yes" or "I don't care," and their kids are disrupting classes, inform the parents that their kids will be put in "rubber rooms" with the worst teachers -- basically day care/incarceration centers (which is what many inner city minority schools are in now) --…

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mcra99
Jun 14

No one asks why in the same district, in the same schools, with the same administrators and the same teachers, some students are able to pass the tests? What makes them different?


We know why - don't we? Why is there no discussion of their successes?

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Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
Jun 17
Replying to

There is plenty of discussion of their successes. The classic nature vs nurture debate attempting to account for disparate scholastic intelligence development has been going on for decades; it is only relatively recently that the ideologues dominating the universities have tried to lead a pretended consensus that environmental factors are the only ones worthy of discussion, to the detriment especially of the youth they care most about, since those whose comparative advantage lies outside the higher education sector have nonetheless been encouraged to "reach higher" and have unintentionally run up massive debt that is being transferred onto the rest of us by the irresponsible Biden-Harris maladministration.

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superdestroyer
Jun 14

This just shows that school performance is based upon the type of students and not the teachers or the amount of money spent. Remember, Utah spends less per student than any other state and has schools that perform in the top half.

In Illinois, the lowest funding level schools are the rural schools with mainly poor white students. Those schools are not eligible for as much Title I money and have low property bases for taxes but still have test scores well above the Chicago Public School levels.

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superdestroyer
Jun 15
Replying to

One should review what Richard Reeves writes about the importance of non-cognitive skills in succeeding in school, especially middle and high school. A private school or charter school can screen/retain students with the necessary non-cognitive skills or having helicopter a parent that doing well requires. A neighborhood public school cannot.

One cannot have a neighborhood public school are has high standards along with a high failure rate or one can have a school that promotes students who are are lousy students. One cannot have a public neighborhood school in Chicago with high standards and a high success rate. That is the main issue in education and one that everyone refuses to discuss.

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rob
Jun 14

There seems to be an opposite correlation to what you might expect: spending more money leads to less achievement. After some optimal point, more money just clogs the system with more useless administrators and progams.

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m_t_anderson
Jun 14

Perhaps the Chicago Public Schools should take Arnold Schwartzennger's weight-lifting advice: "Stay hungry."

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