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posted: 11/21/2013 4:40 AM

City, suburban school rankings flawed

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In the Herald it was stated that a number of suburban high schools were not ranked in the top 50 on the Prairie State Exam. These rankings are fundamentally flawed.

Chicago high schools are segregated by test scoring ability. That is, schools such as Walter Payton and North Side Prep, top scorers on the PSAE, admit only top test scorers -- students with naturally high scoring test ability, excluding naturally average and low test scorers which the suburban schools do not exclude.

Therefore, those top Chicago schools always score high on the PSAE with no average or low test scores to pull their scores down. Schools such as Downers Grove or Glenbard always have average and low test scorers which pull down the average test scores from the high scores. A Glenbard score was in the top 50, but actually if the top scores of Glenbard were compared to those of Walter Payton, the top scorer, it would rank very high.

Therefore, the Illinois State Board of Education should really make it clear that when Chicago schools and suburban schools are compared that the scoring represents vastly different kinds of testing populations. In reality Chicago and suburban high schools taking the PSAE should not be compared at all.

Stewart E. Brekke

Downers Grove

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