I am not familiar with the elementary series of Everyday Math; however, I am very familiar with the secondary component of UCSMP including Transition, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Functions, Statistics and Trig. It has been great for my son. Until he began this program, he was bored senseless by too much repetition. He then took two years of AP Calc in high school that was from a different publisher. My daughter is now taking the Geometry component.
Here's what I liked about Chicago math:
1. There's less repetition, which is great for students who don't need to look at 20 examples of the same problem
2. There is one tiny subject section per day (about four pages of text plus problems) which is a very managable amount
3. There is alot of written explanation, so this can almost be self-taught. I think the explanations are usually clear and logical. If a student misses a day or has a poor teacher, the loss is mitigated. This is a big plus for me.
4. There is a problem section called "covering the reading" which covers the basic principles of the section. Then there is a section called "applying the math" that has problems that require a little more in depth thinking. Finally, there is a "review" section that has problems containing concepts from previous sections.
What I didn't like:
1. If you don't get it, there are not alot of problems to practice unless your teacher provides the Lesson Masters worksheets.
2. There are a few sections that seemed unnecessary, such as computer programming and graphing calculators. Our teachers just skipped these.
I agree that this might not be the best program for kids who need alot of repetition (although UCSMP offers "Lesson Masters" that are additional practice worksheets), nor for kids without good reading skills. But it worked for us!