02/11/2013 05:47 pm ET Updated Feb 11, 2013

Leaders Wrestle With How To Compare Quality Of Choice Vs. Public Schools


On a recent Friday at a south side Catholic school, classes were dismissed so teachers could spend the entire day poring over an increasingly critical element to modern school improvement: student-performance data.

St. Rafael the Archangel School is a private school where 97 percent of the 408 students attend with the help of a publicly funded voucher. Teachers went over assessment results, from state test scores to marks from a national skills test favored by private schools. Attendance was factored in, and teachers identified students who were the farthest behind and what tactics might help them catch up.