Noble Schools Named as a “Gap-Busting” School in New Charter School Study

This photo shows a staff member at Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy helping a student on her laptop.
Published On: December 15th, 2023Categories: 2023, Academics at Noble, Constance Jones, Equity at Noble, Noble Updates

“Gap-busting” schools.

That’s the title given to Noble Schools and other high-performing charter schools across the nation by a recent 2023 study from Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO). But what does it mean? Here’s what the study report says:

“Perhaps the most revealing finding of our study is that more than 1,000 schools have eliminated learning disparities for their students and moved their achievement ahead of their respective state’s average performance. We refer to these schools as “gap-busting” charter schools. They provide strong empirical proof that high-quality, high-equality education is possible anywhere.”

This week, Noble Schools’ CEO Constance Jones joined the study’s main researcher, Macke Raymond, and LEARN Charter School Network’s CEO, Greg White, at a City Club of Chicago forum to discuss these results and what it means to do this work.

“When I saw this study, there was an element of inspiration but also just a moment of pause for me because I know the hard work it has taken our students, our families, our teachers, and our staff members—so many folks—in order to accomplish those types of results,” Jones said, “There is no secret sauce, but it is certainly the people who we work with every single day.”

This photo shows Noble Schools CEO Constance Jones smiling and posing for a picture with the study researcher Macke Raymond, LEARN Charter School Network CEO Grey White, INCS President Andrew Broy, and City Club of Chicago staff.

Jones (second from left) with her fellow panelists and City Club staff members after the panel discussion.

The study, overall, found that public charter schools nationally have not only improved significantly since 2009, but that their students had stronger growth in math and reading than traditional public school students from 2015 to 2019.

On average, charter students gain an extra 16 days of learning in reading and six extra days in math per year. This “extra days of learning” metric provides a concrete way to understand the academic gains observed in charter schools.

A bar graph with two bars that shows the additional days of instruction that charter school students nationally gained in reading and math per year. The reading bar shows 16 extra days. The math bar shows 6 extra days. Both numbers are marked as statistically significant.

Think of it like this: imagine the typical school year has 180 days of instruction. Charter school students, while having the same amount of actual instructional days as other students, made so much more progress in their learning that it is as though they learned for 196 days in reading and 186 days in math.

The study also controlled for demographics and academic achievement prior to enrolling in a charter school—disproving the common claim that charter schools “cherry pick” the more academically advantaged students. In fact, according to the study, charter schools serve a higher proportion of disadvantaged students.

Noble Schools was specifically cited in the study as a “gap-busting” school because of our high achievements in reading and math. At Noble, students have received the equivalent of 168 additional instruction days in math (nearly an entire school year’s worth) and 86 additional days of instruction in reading (almost an entire semester) when compared to traditional Illinois public schools.

A bar graph showing the additional days of instruction in math that students at top-performing charter schools in Illinois gained. Noble Schools is at the top with 168 extra days. Following Noble is KIPP Chicago at 117 days, ReGeneration Schools at 87 days, LEARN Charter School Network at 71 days, and U of Chicago Charter Schools at 55 days.

Noble Schools was at the top of learning growth in math among Illinois charter schools, with our students gaining the equivalent of 168 additional days of math instruction in comparison to local traditional public schools.

A bar graph that shows the additional days of instruction in reading that students at top-performing charter schools in Illinois gained. Noble Schools is second from the top with 86 extra days in reading. The only school above Noble is ReGeneration Schools with 101 extra days. The schools below Noble are KIPP Chicago with 76 days then LEARN Charter School Network at 54 days then Betty Shabazz International Charter Schools with 53 days.

Noble Schools, second only to ReGeneration Schools, provided students with the equivalent of 86 additional days in reading instruction, in comparison to local traditional public schools.

As political pressure in Chicago is mounting to transition away from supporting charter schools (see: Chicago Public Schools Board of Education released a resolution this week to reduce school choice over the next five years), it is more important than ever to talk about the positive impact our schools have on students. This 2023 study shows that Noble and other charter schools are doing what we said we would—providing a more rigorous education for our students so they can thrive. We deserve to exist to continue this work to narrow the educational gap for all students.

“We have to come together as a city. We have to stop politicizing education. Our kids need us more than ever before,” Jones said during the panel discussion, “The way to support them is to focus on the things that truly matter and that are truly moving the needle for the Black and Brown kids that we serve in our city.”

Along with dozens of other charter schools in Chicago this year, Noble is currently in the process of getting their charter renewed from the very same CPS board. The final decision will be made in January. While Noble is confident that our charter will be renewed, despite the CPS board’s stance on charter schools, we need all the support we can get to receive a longer renewal term.

You can learn more about the charter renewal process and why it’s important for Noble to get a longer renewal term here.

If you are a parent, alum, student, staff member, or community partner at Noble Schools, we need your voices. Here’s how you can get involved:

We want to write the stories you want to read.

Take our short survey to let us know what you want to see on the Noble blog:

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

We want to write the stories you want to read.

Take our short survey to let us know what you want to see on the Noble blog:

Follow us on social media for more updates about what’s happening on our campuses:

For information about enrolling at a Noble School or employment opportunities please, click below.

There are two images in this photo collage. The larger photo on the left is a shot of Muchin College Prep's front desk. The smaller photo on the right is a shot of Muchin's colorful Dia de los Muertos ofrenda for the 2023 school year.Muchin College Prep's Latine/x Student Alliance Grows as a Space for Celebrating Identity
Ms. Swain is at the front of her classroom speaking to her students. She is wearing grey and expressively talking with her hands.A Glimpse into Ms. Swain's AP English Classroom at ITW David Speer Academy

Ensuring Positive and Equitable School Experiences for Noble Students Across Chicago

Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter!

Go to Top