Less to this than meets the eye, but it’s still easiest to read by nose...

The Substance editors had every intention of publishing both the elementary and high school test scores for Chicago in this issue. Until we saw the lists.

After wrestling with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) website to separate Chicago’s scores from the rest of Cook County and then trying to see more than the simplest patterns in them, we realized that would be impossible. There is both more and less to this than meets the eye. The simple-minded headlines (and “best” and “worst” lists) that ran when the scores came out in the Sun-Times — or the equally simplistic stories that were on TV — don’t explain anything. As the notes to our elementary data show, there are more questions than answers. So: This month, elementary. Next month, high schools.


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