Chicago, IL - During the seven-day Chicago Teachers Union strike, the only public school students who went to school were the city's approximately 50,000 charter school students. Union President Karen Lewis denigrated charter schools, stating they were not "real schools." But a new report from the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute shows that charter high schools in Chicago actually outperform traditional public high schools on the ACT exam.
In 2012, charter schools held the top nine spots for open-enrollment, non-selective public high schools in Chicago when ranked by average ACT exam score. The average ACT score of the top 10 charter high schools in Chicago was 20.5 out of a possible 36. Meanwhile, the average ACT score of the top 10 traditional public schoos in Chicago was just 18.5.
Opponents of school reform, such as the Chicago Teachers Union, have long claimed that Chicago ACT scores were low because urban students can't produce results. However, these charter schools are proving that when given the opportunity, Chicago's low-income students can succeed in the classroom.
"While the parents of CPS students were scrambling to find a safe place for their children to stay during the strike, real learning was happening at Chicago's charter schools," said Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy at the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute. "The top charter high schools are posting some of the highest ACT scores in the city, and continually raising the bar year-in and year-out. Instead of forcing kids to be stuck in a failing public school, Chicago should continue to give families the opportunity to attend charter schools that are turning the tables on urban public education."
Not only does the Institute's new report show that charter high schools are posting some the highest ACT scores in the city, this has been a success story occurring for years. The average ACT score of charter schools has been higher than traditional public schools for four years in a row.
To read the report, visit: http://illinoispolicy.org/news/article.asp?ArticleSource=5127
The Illinois Policy Institute is a nonpartisan research and education organization dedicated to making our state a beacon for liberty and prosperity for all citizens. As a leading voice for economic liberty and government accountability, the Institute engages policy makers, opinion leaders and citizens on the state and local level by promoting free market principles and liberty-based public policy initiatives for a better Illinois. To learn more about the Institute or review our policy work, please visit: www.illinoispolicy.org