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September 21, 2010

Chicago Charter Schools Take Top Scores on ACT
Six public charter schools appear on the list of the 10 highest scoring non-selective high schools in Chicago

CHICAGO, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- District-wide results are in for the recent ACT test, and Chicago public charter schools claim six spots on the list of the top 10 highest scoring non-selective high schools in Chicago Public Schools (CPS).  The Noble Network of Charter Schools took four spots for the performance of the Pritzker, Noble Street, Rauner, and Rowe Clark campuses, and Chicago Virtual Charter School as well as Chicago International Charter School's Northtown campus round out the list.

"These impressive results indicate the power of charter schools to drive student achievement gains and prepare students for college," said Andrew Broy, President of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools.  "Despite the fact that charter schools in Chicago enroll 10 percent of public school students, they represent 60 percent of the highest performing schools based on high school ACT performance, one predictor of future college success. It speaks volumes about the impact our schools are having on the lives of their students when you consider that most charter students come to the charter sector performing below grade level in several key measures," remarked Broy.

The ACT composes part of the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE), which is the standardized test taken by all juniors in the state of Illinois. Several colleges and universities across the country use the ACT as part of their admission process.

Selective schools in CPS require students to pass exams in order to attend, but public charter schools are open to all who apply. Since demand often outstrips seats in a classroom, charter students are admitted by random lottery.

"The sad reality is that ACT scores are still too low in Chicago and indicate that far too many students, in charter and traditional public schools, are not prepared to enter the workforce or attend a four-year college," added Broy.  "We want to see all students in the city perform at high levels, and charter schools are helping show what is possible."  

With new charter schools opening this year, the charter sector is poised to serve an additional 6,000 students across the state, more than 5,000 of whom will be in Chicago. The waiting list for charter schools has more than 15,000 families on it as of this year.  "Demand for charter schools is at an all-time high, and, with academic results like this, it's easy to see why," concluded Sylvia Ewing, Deputy Director of INCS.  

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) is dedicated to improving the quality of public education by promoting and invigorating the charter school concept. The voice of the state's charter schools, INCS advocates for legislation to strengthen charter schools, educates the public about the value of charter schools, and supports the dissemination of best practices throughout the system.

CONTACT: Jim Publicover of INCS, +1-312-235-0798 x14, jpublicover@incschools.org

SOURCE Illinois Network of Charter Schools

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