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Study Finds Plenty of Low-Performing Schools Throughout the Suburbs

Low-performing public schools aren't just limited to the city. Many suburban and small town schools are low-performing as well.

There's an education problem in Illinois, and this one has nothing to do with students. It's the education of parents. 

Middle-class parents need to be better educated on the state of the public schools in their district. Low-performing public schools aren't solely located in the inner city, whether it's Chicago, Rockford or Aurora. Towns such as Roselle, Tinley Park and Yorkville are home to struggling schools as well.

That's according to a study of Illinois public schools from the Pacific Research Institute titled "Not as good as you think: Why middle class parents in Illinois should be concerned about their local public schools."

The Pacific Research Institute started with a study of public schools in California and are moving on to other states in the nation. Illinois was the second state they looked at. We've got a copy of the study for you to look at, plus a link to the database where you can search for the schools in your district yourself.

Regardless if your school is underperforming or not, most of the public schools in Illinois are out for the summer, and it's time for you to take advantage of the nice weather and the time off for the kids. Try one of these 25 trips to take in Illinois this summer.
This article appears on all Patch Chicago sites. The views expressed in this post are those of Reboot Illinois and do not reflect those of Patch or its editors.

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Kent Frederick June 07, 2014 at 11:50 AM
My issue is simply grading schools on standardized tests. How good are standardized tests as indicators of academic performance? When I was in the 8th grade in 1976, I was in the fast track for math. When the school got the results of the Iowa standardized test, my math teacher decided that standardized tests were a waste of time. The test indicated that everyone in my math class had the competancy of a person who had finished math at the senior year of high school. Yes, we were all bright students, but there is no way we had the math knowledge of someone who had taken high school 3 or 4 years of high school math. By the same token, my child has learned things in elementary school that I didn't learn until junior high. Fifth graders now dissect cow eyeballs in science. My first dissections was a frog in 8th grade biology.
Programmer Corner June 07, 2014 at 11:56 AM
Lake Forest HS spends $22,000 per student per year. How is that possible? I'll tell you how: NONE of you ask for a one page budget summary. You'd be VERY surprised at what some departments are getting (non-teaching). Nah. Cuts into time at the beach, eh?
seer. June 07, 2014 at 01:45 PM
I'm shocked- with the way IL citizens are taxed to death to pay for the deadbeat govt "workers" there is still a middle class left? Why can't we all just be IL state cops and make $125k a year to write speeding tickets?
Kathy Robertazzo-Pagano June 07, 2014 at 10:54 PM
Countless millions of dollars were poured into Washington DC schools, the lowest scorers in the nation, nothing changed. Funding is not the answer.
Kim Zinman June 08, 2014 at 08:45 PM
I have many questions/concerns about this study/report. First, only 600 schools in IL participated in the most recent NAEP exam, and there are 4397 public schools in IL - that's a small percent of participation to do such an analysis and draw effective results. Second, ISAT is no longer a reliable test to use to collect data (even thought the state continues to use/report data with ISAT "because it's all we've got) - they changed the cut scores last year, full well knowing IL will be moving to a new test next year, thus comparing apples to oranges in terms of student progress and students who meet standards. ISAT has never truly been an effective, valid assessment of what students know. This report then layers more confusion by using comparisons between NAEP and ISAT results. As far as the high school exam, IL uses the ACT as part of it's exam - a test that was designed for college bound students. While it's important to reach for high standards, and to hope that ALL students strive to go to college, it's not reality and more importantly, it's not necessarily the best measure to use when deciding who meets and doesn't meet standards - the test wasn't designed to correlate to IL learning standards. Despite all of that, more students are doing better and better on the PSAE, but that is rarely reported in depth in the news!! As has been previously mentioned, using one standardized test to say students meet or don't meet standards is ludicrous, and IL parents should be demanding a variety of assessments, based on learning standards, to demonstrate what students have learned.

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