53 Illinois high schools fail to achieve grade level proficiency in math: Report

By Alexander Hall 

According to Illinois news outlet Wirepoints, there is a serious problem when it comes to reading and math proficiency at local state schools.

Education policy has become an increasing concern in American politics, whether due to polarizing curriculum or lockdown policies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Wirepoints, however, schools across Illinois are being criticized for failing to bring many high school students even to grade level educational standards.

The organization, which describes itself as “an independent, nonprofit company delivering original research and commentary about Illinois’ economy and government,” called out one particular high school at the top of it’s article for having low standards toe begin with.

“Spry Community Links High School, in the Heart of Little Village in Chicago, says its vision is to ‘provide a challenging and supportive environment…to enable our students to succeed in the 21st century,’” Wirepoints reported. “Number one on the school’s focus list? “Increasing reading and math scores to or above grade level.” The article went on to note that “Not a single one of its 88 kids at the school can read at grade level. It’s the same for math. Zero kids are proficient.”

Many students struggled to learn amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the problem of education across the country is far larger than the health policies of the last few years. (FNC)

The issue of a failing education system is reportedly far larger than one particular high school, however.

“Spry is one of 30 schools in Illinois where not a single student can read at grade level. Twenty-two of those schools are part of the Chicago Public Schools and the other eight are outside Chicago,” Wirepoints wrote. “The failure list in math is even longer. There are 53 schools statewide where not one kid is proficient in math.”

Wirepoints went on to suggest that this problem was largely present even before the COVID-19 pandemic devastated so many in the public school system, noting, “a look at the 2019 numbers show that the reading and math numbers were only slightly better than they are now.”

At the same time, the issue also does not appear to be a matter of funding either, “Data from the Illinois State Board of Education shows spending at Spry was already at $20,000 per student before the pandemic. Today it spends $35,600.”

The outlet also scorched the Illinois State Board of Education for praising such schools.

“What’s really incredible is that many of these schools are rated ‘commendable’ by the Illinois State Board of Education. That’s the 2nd-highest of four ‘accountability’ ratings a school can receive,” Wirepoints wrote. “Not a single one of the 113 students at Sandoval Sr High School can read or do math at grade level. And yet the school is ‘commendable.’”

Fox News digital reached out to Chicago Public Schools for a comment. A representative of the school system stated: 

“As 2022 academic scores were reported last fall, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) saw that, by and large, our scores were consistent with other large urban districts. We have reminded our community that these scores are a direct reflection of the pandemic challenges, not a reflection of the extraordinary talent and potential of our students and staff. We expect a strong recovery this year and next and are hopeful these gains will be reflected in our internal assessments, grades and classroom engagement, as well as State assessments. 

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 statement added that “we remain optimistic about the strides that we believe all students will make this school year.” 

A teacher named Heather Marie Godbout at Crete-Monee High School in Chicago recently slammed “right-wing conspiracy theorist nut jobs” for opposing the woke indoctrination of children in a TikTok video.

“All you right wing conspiracy theory nut jobs who seem to think the teachers are out here just indoctrinating children into some sort of woke agenda that you can’t actually define, I’m just going to come clean. I am, in fact, indoctrinating your children,” she said.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JANUARY 14: Public school students protest outside of the Chicago Public Schools headquarters after walking out of their classrooms on January 14, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) ((Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images))

She also defended using non-traditional methods to grade students.

“They don’t need points assigned to their papers. They don’t need letter grades to come to school and learn. They’re excited to learn… So why do we take those children and turn them into point gathering individuals? We have to stop doing that,” Godbout said.

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