CPS Fails to Close Performance Gap

Joel Hood, Chicago Tribune, November 14, 2011

Twenty years of reform efforts and programs targeting low-income families in Chicago Public Schools has only widened the performance gap between white and African-American students, a troubling trend at odds with what has occurred nationally.

Across the city, and spanning three eras of CPS leadership, black elementary school students have lost ground to their white, Latino and Asian classmates in testing proficiency in math and reading, according to a recent analysis by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research.

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Since the early 1990s, black fourth- and eighth-graders in the U.S. have improved their reading and math scores at a greater rate than whites on the annual National Assessment of Educational Progress tests, a key performance indicator across demographics. Educators and politicians hailed this as an important step toward closing an achievement gap that had confounded them for decades.

This is an important issue in Chicago, where almost half of CPS students are black, the vast majority from low-income households. Yet for all the talk and attention paid to boosting African-American achievement in recent years, there has been no such breakthrough.

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Poor test scores are only part of the equation. Only 1 in 2 African-American students in Chicago graduates from high school, a number that has increased over the past decade but not at the rate of other racial and ethnic groups. School suspensions, expulsions and disciplinary cases also affect black students disproportionally.

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If school closings destabilized certain neighborhoods, other efforts were ineffective–millions of dollars pumped into countless after-school initiatives and tutoring and mentoring programs geared toward African-American students, only to see math and reading scores languish and many students fall further behind.

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The same report found that Latino performance on NAEP tests since 1990 had improved at a faster rate than whites and blacks.

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  • chuck

    Its too bad the money squandered over the twenty year period had not been directed to worthy students who had the capacity to learn. The upside down of logic of the real politik of school boards bleeding hearts that does not good for anyone. In some societies the lower achieving students are pushed towards the trades, military service etc.

  • Mike Harrigan

    Billions of dollars spent, free breakfast,lunch and now supper, the hiring of “role model” teachers that look like the minority students, tutors, busing so each class can have the mandatory diversity, calculators, computers, revisionist books to instill a sense of pride in the poor darling’s ancestors, mandatory worship for all students of mlk, black history month etc, nurseries for high schoolers, middle schoolers and probably some elementary students as well, school boards, teachers, principals and student bodies who all bend over backwards and walk on eggshells in their presence so as not to offend the fragile dears, and on and on, and STILL no improvement. SO what could it be?? White racism will probably be blamed. The possibility that some races may not be as intelligent as others wont even be considered.

  • Jennifer

    In the past twenty years, immigration from China and India has also increased and the kids of Chinese and Indian immigrants do much better than whites in school. How come no liberal is trying to close the gap between the kids of Asian immigrants and whites? How come no one is complaining that the tests are culturally biased towards Chinese kids?

  • Bill R

    Money, extra and after school classes, nor any amount of cajoling can fix stupid and inattentive. Never. We all know that. We all accepted that in our schools prior to 1970. I just picked that date more or less at random. That’s about when all the liberal ideas for “improving” schools started. Open concept – fail. Pick your own class to attend each period – fail. Put bright students in same class as dull students – fail.

    Throw money at it for tutors – fail. All their wild ideas have failed in making the black man anything other than what he is. Stupid in comparison, and far, far more inattentive.

  • Anonymous

    Another MSM article on the intelligence/IQ gap, referred to as the “performance gap”. More people every day are seeing the light.

  • Chicagoan

    They’ve wasted a huge amount of tax money over the years, most of it coming from the white part of the city. Whites pay while blacks play. Racial schemes of balance, integration and the like have pretty much exploded public school systems throughout the country, driving whites out of them everywhere and being the single most destructive element in the decline of public education.

  • Jeddermann.

    The gap widens! And the one time superintendent of the Chi school system is Arne Duncan who is now Secretary of Education. You can see what a great job he did. And is probably doing now for the entire USA.

    And it should be realized contrary to what is said in the media that there is nothing wrong with the American educational system. ONLY some groups just seem to do poorly, the others such as the whitey and the Oriental actually do quite well compared to almost anyone else in the world.

  • Madison Grant

    The article claims it’s “troubling” that the black-white gap in Chicago hasn’t lessened like in the rest of America.

    That’s not troubling, it’s encouraging: since the gap narrowed across America due to test fraud caused by No Child Left Behind it may be that Chi-town’s school system was less dishonest than the others.

  • Cogitator

    I’m waiting for one of these great thinkers to notice that boys are bench-pressing more than the girls, and begin a program to close the gap. It will be just as successful as the attempts to close the education performance gap.

  • Anonymous

    The CPS school system is barely a functional school system. It is much more a jobs program for union members. A decade ago, there was an annual strike that put back the start of school, sometimes weeks long. While that is now avoided, and the local politicians, (ALL Democrats) shovel every nickel they can towards building new school and an unending array of programs.

    Westinghouse HS on the west side was demolished two years ago and rebuilt as a state of the art building. The same dysfunctional people populate the halls though.

  • Jack Krak

    Only half of black kids graduate high school even after years of dumbing down, hand holding, test coaching, and curriculum manipulation – all done in their name and for their benefit. Lots of school districts – probably Chicago included – even pay students for various “achievements” like signing their name correctly or appearing at the correct school in the morning. All they have to do graduate is physically show up & I’m sure there’s lots of wriggle room on that too. This is repeated in district after district, state after state, country after country, year after year. But watch as teachers, bureaucrats and others tell us it’s a question of funding or some such nonsense. And watch as everyone else quietly stares at the floor and nods their heads.

  • Jersey Guy

    Hold onto your hats for the next big ‘fiscal rape’ by low-scoring nubians.

    My father retired from teaching black students with disabilities two years ago. When he started his career, his school district was virtually all-white and his students were mostly mentally retarded. Thanks to forced Section 8 housing in the district and subsequent white flight, his high school turned all-black in only a few years, and he suddenly found himself teaching “emotionally disturbed” hoods and crack babies with hyperactive attention-deficit disorder.

    One of these crack babies was a particular pain-in-the-butt, and, with an obnoxious black principal on dad’s case for four whole years, my father essentially CARRIED this ignorant thug on his shoulders to get him graduated and into a tech school. Now here’s the kicker: THE KID GOT THROWN OUT OF TECH SCHOOL FOR HITTING THE TEACHER AND HE’S NOW SUING MY FATHER FOR $180 G’s FOR “FAILING TO ADEQUATELY ADDRESS HIS ACADEMIC NEEDS” while he was in high school. The school district, of course, is adopting a “hands off” approach to the thug’s lawsuit and hanging my 68 year old father out to dry.

    THIS is the reward white teachers can expect for a lifetime of service.

    In the future, look for a LOT more of these lawsuits from angry black punks who can’t make the grade in college. It’s just a new twist on an old, old fleece.

  • john in germany

    I guess it’s not even allowed to speculate on the remote possibility that whites and asians do better in school because they’re smarter.

    Maybe the liberals secretly believe that blacks may be intellectually inferior but they just don’t want to hurt their feelings.

    Decades and billions of dollars wasted just so you don’t run the chance of hurting someones feelings.

    Crazy.

  • Tab Numlock

    The solution has been mentioned many times. Just hit white babies in the head with a hammer at birth.

  • Bandmo

    We need to close the “gap” between the ears of the fools that keep coming up with these stupid ideas on acheiving racial equality in the schools.

  • Anonymous

    I love watching the equality crowd tie themselves into knots trying to close the “performance gap.” They can’t do it, of course. All their efforts are futile. There’s nothing they can do and even the dumbest politicians, school administrators and “community activists” have to know or at least suspect deep down that there’s nothing they can do, but they have to keep trying to square the circle because the laws they pushed through compel them to keep trying–over and over and over again–with no hope of a solution. That’s poetic justice, if you ask me. The hilarious part is that the “youths” they’re so concerned about couldn’t care less about getting an education and think the white liberals are even bigger idiots than we do.

  • elitist

    Given the high level of teacher burnout, it is likely that most teachers, social workers, psychologists, etc., even very liberal ones, are perfectly aware of the fact that most blacks cannot be educated, that the gap is ineradicable.

    Incredibly, this farcical charade goes on year after year, decade after decade, and shows no signs of collapsing like the house of cards it actually is.

    All it would take would be a significant bloc of reputable geneticists, anthropologists, psychologists and other scientists to issue a simple public statement that the black-white gap is caused by evolution & genetics.

    There would be a firestorm, and all would be threatened with firing, but if they held together and refuse to be intimidated into recanting, the public discourse on racial differences in intelligence would be changed forever.

    It really is depressing to realize that this grotesque farce is likely continue to continue for decades simply because we cannot find circa 50 prominent American scientists to stand up and tell the truth.

    Who knows, maybe they will surprise us with a full-page ad in the New York Times.

    One thing is for sure, once the genes from human intelligence have been identified, it is going to be hard to keep the cat in the bag

  • Sheila

    God, Jennifer, give it a rest, would you? Yes, you love your uniformly brilliant Chinese and Indian students. Yes, you are undoubtedly Chinese or Indian yourself. We get it, already. Not a little obsessed here, are you?

  • Swedish

    “Since the early 1990s, black fourth- and eighth-graders in the U.S. have improved their reading and math scores at a greater rate than whites on the annual National Assessment of Educational Progress tests”

    I checked the results in mathematics for 8 graders.

    Since 2000 blacks have improved their score from 2444 to 262, 18 points. Whites have improved their score from 284 to 293, 9 points. Meanwhile Asians have improved their score from 288 to 303.

    Seems like whites have lost relatively to both blacks and Asians, and also to Hispanics (who have improved from 253 to 270,17 points).

    http://1.usa.gov/t8F8pe

  • rockman

    All the money spent on the low end achievers would be better spent on the high end achievers to educate the new Einsteins instead of the dumbos. It is a great con job to blow millions on the idiots. If they succeed the money flow stops so they will never get any where to keep the money flowing

  • Anonymous

    The broader framework is the cultural psychodynamics–the Freudian-like psychodynamics, involving in our time “race” instead of “sex”. Schools at any point in time during the last

    many decades have had some new/renewed/ program in motion directed at this persistent gap. Thus, it is always possible to

    point to “something” being tried right now. This is a bit like Flip Wilson’s worship in “the church of what’s happening right now”. This permits us to ignore the past and await results. The general pattern is that results initially are promising, even noteworthy…but..but…guess what?…they are not replicated. The initial results gain headline mention. The slower failure at replication, is not even regarded in the fine print on the back pages of the media. So, before long, another new/renewed/ program is in place. We can point to it and ignore ‘the rear view mirror’. At the level of individual functioning, this sort of conduct would not pass a mental status examination and might over time form the basis for an involuntary commitment to the loony ward. At the cultural level, it appears so encompassing it is not even perceived except by thought criminals and such!

  • Anonymous

    ” In some societies the lower achieving students are pushed towards the trades, military service etc.”

    The blacks are far below what is required for the trades and military service.

  • Anonymous

    Poster #17 mentioned teacher burnout.

    You don’t know the half of it. Here are some points to think about.

    1) As whites diminish in population, the student body is rapidly browning, resulting in brown and black students with a white teaching force that started teaching just 10-20 years ago when most students were white.

    2) Black and brown students are so much harder to try and teach. Black students are mostly troubled, and brown (latino) students are from mostly illiterate, peasant backgrounds. It’s almost impossible to ‘close the gap’ on these accounts, but leftists blame white ‘raciss’ teachers, so the move to ‘tie teachers’ jobs to test scores’ took off a couple of years ago to essentially gut the white teaching brain trust.

    3) The new ‘teachers’ are mostly leftist, social justice white women, and a few emasculated ‘men’ and a generous helping of ‘diversity.’ In my long observation from the inside, most have very little content knowledge at all. Remember how when we went to school and the teachers knew almost everything? Today’s teachers know so very little in comparison!

    4) It is all downhill from here, folks!

  • Anonymous

    We need to adopt europanic american only zero tolerance zones, whole cities and eventually whole states where if any black or mexican dares to try to move into a neighborhood they will get trounced repeatedly. Theres no other option.

    A common sigh of these neighbords will be purple spots on all street signs. Soon blacks and mexicans will learn to recognize these spots and move further and further away.

  • Jennifer

    The only hope of saving America’s future is to bring on the immigrants from China and India; their culture makes it important to have children and their children are much better behaved than whites, let alone Blacks. Their kids LOVE to study and are extremely eager to please. The bright whites are no longer having children and many of today’s white teens are too obsessed with pop culture and texting in class (for the most part they are not violent though). The problem is whites see it is ‘uncool’ to study and be a nerd while Asians greatly value nerdiness and obedience. I vote for increasing immigration to the point where Asians make up 30 percent of the U.S. so that we have the future scientists that we need. Of course, we will need their brainpower when the white population drops below 50 percent. If we’re gonna be majority nonwhite, we might as well have smart, obedient, and hardworking Asians as our majority.

  • Anonymous

    I never understood how for years and years, the Chicago Public Schools could continue to spend so much on school buses to shuttle students around the city in order to achieve integration when “minorities” comprise a majority of the school district’s student population. I believe less than ten percent of the students in the CPS are white.

    Obviously, there is no need to continue hiring buses other than the politicians and bureaucrats are fond of wasting money on bus contracts for their connected pals and the shuttling of blacks throughout the city helps to destabilize outlying neighborhoods.

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