From Last to Leading: How Chicago Public Schools Made the Leap

Beth Swanson:

Thirty years after being labeled the worst school district in the nation and after two decades of fiscal crisis, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) welcomed more than 381,000 students back to class last month as a leader among the nation’s urban school districts. If Education Secretary William Bennett intended to motivate the city with his harsh critique in 1987, mission accomplished.

A recent spate of independent studies documents substantial gains made by Chicago students: