About the ARA
Get informed. Use it to act. Explore the latest data on public schools in Chicago.

What Is It?

The ARA is a series of reports providing information on CPS enrollment, student demographics, school quality, school choice, and program offerings from the current academic year. The purpose of each report is to ensure that both CPS leadership and citywide community members are working from the same set of information about schools and the communities they serve. The reports bring together publicly available data in one format, but do not make recommendations or action steps so they can serve as a neutral input to inform community engagement and joint solution development. This allows the district and communities to have a more substantive and focused dialogue on the needs of local schools and areas for improvement.

The ARA is directly connected to the district’s Five-Year Vision, as it allows us to promote integrity and transparency with communities and families while improving equity in our school offerings. CPS working collaboratively with communities based on this information will support the district’s mission of providing a high-quality public education for every child, in every neighborhood, that prepares each for success in college, career and civic life.

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What's In It?

The ARA is comprised of a district overview report and 16 regional reports aligned to the city planning department’s Chicago Neighborhoods Now initiative. The regions were created by the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development based on research on housing and jobs. They are defined with natural boundaries, such as rivers and railroads, in mind. These elements and transportation options are likely considerations for families in choosing schools. With the goal of utilizing a consistent structure year to year, these regions are more stable than city wards and school networks.

Each report has four sections:

01

Quality

Provides information on the school quality ratings of all schools in a region in the last four years.

02

Quantity

Provides information on public school student population trends and total available seats.

03

Choice

Provides information on whether students are choosing to attend school in their region (an indication of the availability of attractive options).

04

Variety

Provides information on the types of schools and programs offered.

Within each report, the ARA pulls its foundational data from the following resources:

01

SQRP

The CPS School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) is the district's policy for measuring annual school performance. Each school receives a quality rating each year, Level 1+, 1, 2+, 2 and 3.

02

Census Data

The ARA utilizes population figures and other demographic data such as household income as provided by the most current United States Census Bureau estimates.

03

Utilization Data

Utilization is a metric expressed as the ideal capacity and enrollment efficiency of the total number of instructional classrooms available in the main/permanent building of a school.

04

Birthrates

Birth rate data are sourced through the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The ARA Glossary

For more detailed explanations of each term and links to their source data sites, visit the ARA Glossary.

Glossary

There are multiple ways to view the ARA reports, depending on your preferred method of viewing and the level of detail you are seeking:

01

Web Reports

The full text and data for the 2019 district overview and each of the 16 regions are available as live text reports on this website. There is no need to download anything, just select the report you want to view and scroll to explore its information. You can also select from multiple foreign language options and immediately translate the information.

Web Reports

02

PDF Reports

The full 2019 district overview report is available as a downloadable PDF. There are also two-page summary PDF versions of the 2019 district overview and all 16 regions. These are the best resources for those wanting a high level, quick view of ARA data. PDF reports are available in English and Spanish.

PDF Reports

03

Archives

ARA data is available for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. Each of the reports from each school year can be accessed through our archive section.

Archives

Each year, CPS collects feedback from community organizations and individuals to improve the ARA.

Based on this feedback, the 2019-20 ARA has evolved to include:

  • New data on various topics broken down by race / ethnicity (i.e., Pre-Kindergarten enrollment, distance traveled to attend school, time traveled to attend school)
  • Maps of the district’s Community Schools partnerships across the city
  • New design layout of district and regional reports, including new chart and graph presentations that are easier to read
  • PDF summary reports to provide high level, quick reference exploration of ARA data
  • New ARA website with all reports from current and previous years available for mobile, tablet and desktop viewing
  • Online report translations

Acknowledgments

CPS would like to thank our partner, Kids First Chicago, for its support compiling the ARA reports for the past three years. Kids First Chicago (K1C) is an education nonprofit that works to ensure that every family and child in Chicago has access to a high-quality education. Their work focuses on empowering families to identify, navigate to, and advocate for quality public schools for their children and communities -- supported by facts. K1C works closely with CPS’s demographics and planning department to develop the analytical framework for the Annual Regional Analysis.