by Joshua Dwyer
Illinois Policy Institute
March 20, 2014
Students in Illinois’ lowest-performing schools should be able to use the money being spent on them in their public schools to attend higher-quality schools. That’s not the Illinois Policy Institute talking—it’s the parents and relatives of students attending some of the state’s persistently low-performing schools. A look at the performance data shows just how poor of a job these schools are doing. Seventy-two percent of students at Illinois’ lowest-performing elementary schools failed to meet math standards, and seventy-two percent of third-graders at Illinois’ lowest-performing elementary schools failed to meet reading standards. Research shows that students who lack basic math and reading skills are more likely to drop out of high school, less likely to graduate from college, and more likely to be incarcerated, unemployed, or enrolled in public assistance. It’s time for legislators to give parents the option of sending their children to better quality schools.

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