One might say they were just making mistakes, but the pattern is pretty clear.
But the number I find most disturbing is: 19.
That’s what the average Chicago Public School teacher scored on the ACT test if they took it when attending high school, according to a 2008 Southern Illinois University study.
Despite all of the bright teachers, there are enough who scored so badly on the ACT that they dragged the average down to 19 out of a possible score of 36.
The study actually paints a much more nuanced view and 19 is the average of experienced teachers through 2006, but showing a significant increase in ACT scores of inexperienced Chicago teachers as well as an increase in the academic quality of the institutions newer teachers attended. How do I know this? I bothered to read the damn report (co-authored by Karen DeAngelis a professional colleague who held my current position before me). The Chicago inexperienced teachers had an average ACT of 21.5 by 2006 which was about the same as non-Chicago experienced teachers and about one-half to a full point below the average of non-Chicago inexperienced. In fact, the inexperienced Chicago teachers hailed from more competitive institutions than any of the other 3 groups. So while Chicago was lagging in what the authors called academic capital, it was rapidly improving and the data were from six years ago.
In fact, the study is titled, “Leveling Up: Narrowing the Teacher Academic Gap.“ Seriously. This tool took an article pointing out a rapidly improving Chicago Public School teacher credentials and academic capital and tried to claim it was evidence of how bad the CPS teaching corps is. In the past, the CPS had done a fairly poor job of attracting the best and the brightest, but over the period of time in the study there was dramatic improvement and as far as I can tell, that improvement continues.
When someone doesn’t link to a study, there’s usually a reason. Especially at IPI.