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The report from Wirepoints found that at 30 Illinois schools, no students can read at grade level, while at 53 schools, no student is proficient in math. The schools are primarily located in the Chicago area, and the spending per student varied in 2022 from about $6,000 to more than $50,000.
“The absolute failure to teach even a single child to read and do math in so many schools is yet another indictment of the state’s educational system,” the report says.
One school referenced by Wirepoints is Spry Community Links High School, located in Chicago, where none of the 88 students are proficient in either math or reading despite the school spending more than $35,000 per student each year.
Another Chicago school, Douglas Academy High School, spends over $56,000 per student yearly, but none of its 44 students can read or perform math at a proficient level.
Twenty-two of the 30 schools with dismal reading scores were located in the Chicago area, while more than 30 of the 53 schools with students who aren’t proficient in math are also in the Windy City.
Wirepoint noted that in 622 Illinois schools, only one in ten students could read at grade level, while the same ratio stands true for math at 930 schools.
“Defenders of the current system are sure to invoke COVID as the big reason for the low scores. But a look at the 2019 numbers show that the reading and math numbers were only slightly better than they are now,” the report added.
According to Chicago Public Schools, the lower scores can be attributed to the pandemic, and several schools included in the Wirepoints report are designated for those who have previously dropped out.
“The majority of schools listed in the recent Wirepoints report are CPS Options Schools which serve students who re-enrolled after dropping out. Options Schools serve some of our most vulnerable students who face higher rates of challenges related to special education, housing instability, involvement in the justice system, and victimization. The combination of these challenges lead to higher rates of mobility, transiency, chronic absenteeism, and disengagement from school for extended periods of time,” the school district said in a statement to Fox News.
The report comes as Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker has voiced support for elements of a proposed AP African American Studies curriculum. In a letter to the College Board, Pritzker said it was necessary for the curriculum to include the history of “black queer Americans.”
He also asked for a nearly 10 percent increase in state funding for education in his recent State of the State address.