Chicago (CBS)–The controversial move to close more than 50 Chicago Public Schools five years ago has caused an academic struggle for many students, according to a new study from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research.
Of the 48 schools that closed, six were studied for the report.
“When we look at math test scores they were lower that expected by two months,” said Marisa De La Torre, co-author of the study.
De La Torre and her co-author Molly Gordon say students who were sent to so-called “welcoming schools” after those schools shuttered are still lagging behind their classmates in some test scores.
“Some of the benefits they thought would accrue did not pay out in reality,” Gordon said.
Staff training and support have also suffered as a result of the closures, the report says.
“For example, needing support and strategies around how to address divisions that may arise in terms of conflicts or divisions that may arise when the two communities come together,” Gordon says.
CPS CEO Janice Jackson acknowledged the transition has been imperfect, but said she believes the report actually shows CPS is on the right track.
“The trends we’re seeing throughout the system where individual schools are getting better, individual students are performing at a better rate than they did in the past—still holds true—but the report also outlines that there’s still more work to do.”
The report shows the closures had no effect on attendance rates and suspensions didn’t increase.