Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mindy Adnot
For my project, I used the Chicago Data Portal to find meaningful data on the performance of Chicago Public High Schools. The data specifically focuses on the School Progress Report Card from the 2015-16 school year. I wanted to focus on Chicago education because Chicago is my hometown and because I believe education is a primary factor in determining a child’s success. In analyzing Chicago education data I hope to visualize trends in data that can help CPS recognize where they need improvement. I have three main research questions. 1) Does family involvement affect student success (ACT scores and college attendance rates)? How does school safety affect school performance? And are high/low performing schools grouped together geographically? Through data manipulation and visualization I was able to learn more about the performance of Chicago public schools overall and how family involvement and supportive environment affect the academic success of high school students. The schools with the top ten highest college enrollment rates have either strong or very strong families. In addition, a majority of high schools in CPS have a weak or very weak safety rating. What is even more alarming is the fact that the only place a weak supportive environment is visible is in the weak or very weak safety rating. Furthermore, weak supportive environments have much lower ACT attainment scores than strong supportive environments. Finally, the schools with the highest college attendance ratings and strongest safety ratings are all located in the north side of chicago while the schools with the lowest college attendance rating and weakest safety ratings are located in the south side. Overall, the environment of the school and the involvement of families have a very strong impact on a student’s educational success. A child is not able to choose their family. How can Chicago Public Schools create equal opportunity independent of family involvement? It the responsibility of the state and the municipal government to address these concerns and ask themselves the difficult questions in order to provide equal opportunity for educational success regardless of location and family.