Rising Stars was a targeted effort at improving academic achievement by rewarding high-growth schools with both a cash incentive and public recognition. About 10 percent of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) elementary and high schools received awards, which were $10,000 per school in 2002-2003 and $8,000 per school in 2003-2004. An awards dinner and banner presentation recognized the achieving schools. Schools were evaluated based on incremental gains in state assessment scores, along with changes in high school graduation and dropout rates. The cash award was quasi-discretionary, with schools free to fund special projects as they saw fit – awards were used to purchase books and supplies, fund field trips and support school activities.
- Early example of recognition and rewards tied to student growth at the school level – now an element in principal achievement awards.