WebExtra: Fewer schools now on probation

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Almost 140 schools that were on probation last year are no longer on the list because their test scores rose in 2006, according to CPS data.

Following the delayed release of spring ISAT scores for 2006, CPS recently released the list of 46 elementary schools that will be on probation this year. A comparison with the previous year’s list shows that 138 schools are now off probation.

For next year, under guidelines set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the district will raise the bar that elementary schools must meet to stay off probation: 55 percent of students will have to meet or exceed state standards on the ISAT, up from 40 percent this year. The district is still deciding whether to change high school standards.

The district is still looking through Prairie State scores to determine which high schools to put on probation. That list may be released later this month.

Next year’s lists may come out as soon as this fall, depending on when the district gets ISAT results.

Schools that are now off probation regain more control over their budgets and programs. They also regain absolute authority over principal hiring, at a time when Mayor Richard M. Daley and CEO Arne Duncan have called for the School Board to have more power to intervene when local school councils make what they consider to be poor hiring or firing decisions.

One school that made it off probation is Finkl Elementary in Little Village. Principal Susan Jensen says Finkl is now on an “upward swing.” Finkl teachers underwent training to help them teach children how to handle extended-response questions on the reading and math sections of the ISAT. Jensen also credits strong support from her area office and the district’s math and science initiative.

“Our science scores went from nothing to [nearly] the 80th percentile over a period of three years,” she says. “If I was going to bet in Las Vegas, I would bet in our favor.”

These elementary schools are currently on probation, based on 2006 ISAT results:

ATTUCKS

BASS

BETHUNE

BONTEMPS

BOUCHET

BROWNELL

BRUNSON

CATHER

COPERNICUS

CROWN

DELANO

DEPRIEST

DOOLITTLE

EARLE

FARADAY

FULTON

*HARVARD

HERBERT

HOLMES

HOWE

HUGHES, L.

JACKSON, M.

JOHNS, V.

JOHNSON

KERSHAW

KEY

LATHROP

LAVIZZO

LEWIS

MCCORKLE

MCNAIR

MEDILL

MORGAN

MORTON

NASH

OGLESBY

O’TOOLE

PARKMAN

REED

ROSS

SHERMAN

SHERWOOD

SONGHAI

SPENCER

TILTON

YALE

Elementary schools no longer on probation:

ALDRIDGE

AMES

ARMSTRONG, L.

ASHE

AVALON PARK

AVONDALE

BANNEKER

BARTON

BEETHOVEN

BEIDLER

BOND

BRADWELL

BROWN, W.

BURKE

BURNHAM

CAMERON

CARTER

CASALS

CHALMERS

COLEMON, J.

COLES

COOK

CUFFE

CURTIS

DALEY

DENEEN

DETT

DUBOIS

DULLES

DUMAS

ELLINGTON

EMMET

ERICSON

ESMOND

FAIRFIELD

FERMI

FINKL

FOUNDATIONS

FULLER

GALE

GILLESPIE

GLADSTONE

GOLDBLATT

GOMPERS

GOODLOW MAGNET

GRAHAM, A.

GREEN, W.

GRESHAM

GUGGENHEIM

HALEY

HAMLINE

HAY

HEARST

HEDGES

HENDERSON

HENDRICKS

HENSON

HERZL

HIGGINS

HINTON

JENNER

JENSEN

JUNGMAN

KANOON MAGNET

KING ELEM

KOHN

LAFAYETTE

LAWNDALE

LAWRENCE

LIBBY

LOVETT

LOWELL

MADISON

MANIERRE

MANN

MARCONI

MARQUETTE

MASON

MAY

MCAULIFFE

MCCUTCHEON

MCKAY

MELODY

MIRELES

MOLLISON

MOOS

MORRILL

MOZART

MT VERNON

NIA

NICHOLSON

NINOS HEROES

NORTHWEST MIDDLE

O’KEEFFE

OVERTON

PADEREWSKI

PARK MANOR

PARKER

PARKSIDE

PEABODY

PENN

PICCOLO

POPE

PRESCOTT

PRICE

RANDOLPH

REAVIS

REVERE

ROQUE DE DUPREY

RUGGLES

RYDER

RYERSON

SCHILLER

SCHMID

SCHNEIDER

SEXTON

SHOOP

SMITH, W

SMYTH, J

STAGG

STEWART

STOWE

SULLIVAN ELEM

TANNER

THORP, J N

TILL ACADEMY

VON HUMBOLDT

WADSWORTH

WARD, L.

WEBSTER

WELLS PREP SCHOOL

WENTWORTH

WEST PULLMAN

WESTCOTT

WHISTLER

WHITE

WOODS ACADEMY

YOUNG

NOTES: *CEO Arne Duncan has proposed Harvard Elementary be revamped by the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a Chicago nonprofit that works to turn around failing schools.

SOURCES: The list of current probation schools was provided by Peter Ballard with the Office of Research, Evaluation and Accountability. A list of last year’s probation schools was provided by CPS Press Secretary Michael Vaughn.