Two area public schools were named among the top 50 in the state in the annual Chicago Sun-Times ranking of Illinois schools.
Bell School was one of 13 Chicago Public Schools that met the standards for the top 50 elementary schools. The neighborhood school was one of just six District 299 schools that did not have eligibility requirements for enrollment and still was ranked by the newspaper.
Bell ranked 29th among CPS schools and 33rd in the state, the report says. The middle school classes ranked 19th in the state.
At a recent meeting of the Bell Local School Council concern was expressed that parents were pulling students from the school for the middle school Academic Center at nearby Lane Tech.
That might cause the school to experience a lower score in the future.
Although Bell was highly ranked, the school still failed to meet the requirements for the No Child Left Behind Act due to lower than accepatable reading scores among its disabled population.
Lane Tech was ranked 20th among all Illinois schools in the ranking. The large school boasts having a larger minority and low income proportion of its student body than many smaller magnet schools.
Six of those smaller schools, including nearby Northside College Prep, were ranked above Lane. The newspaper said the top three public schools in the state were all in Chicago: Northside, Whitney Young and Walter Payton.
Lake View High School was ranked 470th among 638 high schools. Amundsen ranked 536th on the same scale. Both schools were identified by the newspaper as in need of improvement for the ninth year in a row.
Lake View, the report says, is struggling with low math and reading scores among its entire population, with low scores for Hispanics and low-income students.
The problems the report highlights at Amundsen are similar, but more pronounced with lower composite scores.
Among the neighborhood elementary schools Blaine followed behind Bell, being ranked 103rd statewide and 52nd among middle schools.
Audubon and Coonley followed Blaine. Audubon was ranked 308th for elementary grades and 204th for middle schools. Coonley was ranked 388th for elementary and 391st for middle school.
Other schools and the ranks for elementary and middle school composite tests in the Sun-Times ranking:
- Audubon ranked 308 and 204.
- Bell ranked 29 and 19. The school did not meet AYP due to low reading scores among its disabled students.
- Blaine ranked 103 and 52.
- Budlong ranked 999 and 834. The Budlong composite was hurt by low reading scores. The composite fell to 80.9 percent from 81.4 the previous year.
- Bell ranked 103 and 52.
- Chappell ranked 1198 and 691. The composite score rose to 82.3 percent from 75.3 percent.
- Coonley ranked 388 and 391. The school composite score fell to 90.8 from 92.0 the previous year.
- Courtenay ranked 991 and 346. The school met the AYP, but had falling scores of 90.8 percent v 94.5 last year.
- Hamilton scored 1422 and 880. Hamilton did not meet AYP due to reading scores. Composite has increased to 78.2 from 69.0.
- McPherson ranked 1444 and 920. The school did not meet AYP due to reading scores and Hispanic reading scores (which actually exceeded that of the general school population) but had rising composite of 78.5 v 75.7. McPherson has been identified as in need of improvement by the newspaper for the 10th year in a row.
- Ravenswood ranked 1698 and 1395. The school had a composite rank of 71.8 percent, up from 67.3 percent. It did not meet AYP due to math and reading scores. It has been identified as in need of improvement for the third year in a row.
- Trumbull was ranked 1843 and 1035. The school did not meet AYP due to both math and reading scores. Trumbull has a falling composite score of 68.4 percent v 77.2. The school has been identified as in need of improvement for the first year.
- Waters was ranked 1218 and 528. It did not meet AYP due to math scores. The school had rising composite scores of 81.1 percent versus 78.9 the previous year. Waters has been identified as in need of improvement for the 10thyear in a row.