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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Strivers succed in Chicago charters

Noble charter network students in Chicago are more likely to enroll in college than students who applied to Noble but lost out in the lottery. 

Chicago’s charter high schools are helping underdog kids get to college, according to a study by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, writes Maureen Kelleher on Education Post.

As a whole, Chicago’s charter high schools take in eighth-graders who score lower on tests but have higher attendance than average for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students. . . . Charters make them work harder to pass to the next grade. They provide more challenging instruction, student surveys suggest. And, most importantly, they set the uniform expectation among both teachers and students that all their graduates will go to college. This appears to be paying off. Many more charter high school graduates enrolled in college than did high school graduates from other CPS high schools: forty-five percent of charter graduates versus 26 percent in other public high schools.

“Attending a charter high school in Chicago led to substantial improvements in test scores, high school attendance, college enrollment, and college persistence,” writes Matt Barnum on Chalkbeat. However, high school graduation rates were no higher.

The study controlled for factors such as “poverty, eighth grade test scores and attendance rates, and special education status,” he writes. “This strongly suggests that differences between students are caused by the quality of their schools.”

Another recent study found much higher college attendance for students at Noble, a large charter network in the city, Barnum writes. It compared students who won the admission lottery with those who applied but lost the lottery.

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