Reporting Dorothy Tucker
(CBS) – The Chicago Sun-Times breakdown of the top 50 grade schools in the state — based on test scores — include many of the usual suspects.
But what stands out on the list is who’s NOT there. CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.
Catalyst Circle Rock Charter is not among the 50 top elementary schools in the state with the best test scores. In fact, it’s one of five charters facing academic warning.
“We did not have increases in our reading, so that tripped us up on the performance police with Chicago Public Schools,” says Gordon Hannnon, CEO of Catalyst Schools.
Catalyst isn’t the only charter that didn’t make the list. Out of the more than 60 elementary charters across the state, none of them hold a top-50 spot.
“It’s telling,” says Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union. “They’re always talking about how high they perform on tests, and yet comes a very clear indicator, the top 50 list. They don’t appear on the list.”
Stacy McAuliffe is the COO of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. She argues that other national tests give charter schools higher scores than traditional public schools.
“We like to look at student gains, we like to look at outcomes, in terms of graduation rates, college-going rates,” McAuliffe says.
Since state test scores matter to some parents, schools like Catalyst are on a mission to raise them.
“We’ve invested $300,000 in private dollars into a literacy program,” Hannon says. “We are never going to be on this list again.”