CPS ranked No. 1 among other large cities for reading improvement after COVID pandemic

John Garcia Image
Tuesday, February 20, 2024
CPS ranked No. 1 among other large cities for reading improvement
According to research from Harvard and Stanford, Chicago Public Schools, or CPS, is ranked No. 1 among other large cities for reading improvement.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Public Schools students' reading scores are improving.

According to new research from Harvard and Stanford, the students are ranked No. 1 among other large cities for improvement in reading scores after the COVID pandemic.

CPS teachers, parents and students are talking about the changes being made to help kids achieve success.

"The whole district was working on identifying what the problems were and how to get to recovery as fast as possible," Wells Academy Principal Dr. Vincent Izuegbu said.

Since the pandemic, teachers began meeting regularly, going over data to identify students in need of help.

Then, as necessary, they provided special tutoring for those students to help them get caught up and avoid falling behind.

"That immediate intervention has been crucial in the growth we've seen," said Dr. Qiana Walker, an interventionist.

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In a study of 30 states, CPS students in third through eighth grades are reading at more than 50% above their grade level.

That's the largest improvement among large school districts in the country.

Combined with math, CPS ranks third in improvement compared with peer districts.

"We're also one of the four largest districts that came out of the pandemic better than we started. I want to make it clear what better means. Better means that we are building the momentum around academic gains," CPS CEO Dr. Pedro Martinez said.

Eighth-grader Christin Cusic said coming back to in-person learning was tough.

"After a year, I got used to remote, then being in person," Cusic said.

But her grandmother said she has made a great transition.

"She can't wait to get back to school, and I want to keep that enthusiasm," Judy Cusic said.

Educators at Wells and throughout the district say they're now focused on improving math scores while at the same time maintaining the progress they've made in reading and literacy.