Innovation, high standards, and tracking student progress. These three items seem to be motivating factors in the growth of academic achievement by Chicago Public School students. A new report from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research showed nearly 3 in 4 CPS students graduate, up from 52.4% in 1999.
But what drove those gains? The Chicago Tribune published an editorial recently, pointing to high standards as one leading reason. “In little more than a decade, graduates’ average ACT scores surged from 16.7 to 18.6.
Indeed. Not only are ACT scores getting better, but programs like Advanced Placement classes and International Baccalaureate have expanded at CPS, too. CPS has also improved tracking of students’ progress. CPS now helps teachers and principals to help at-risk students, providing “intensive academic help, including tutoring, to prevent them from dropping out,” wrote the Tribune.
With all the progress being made by CPS students, this only underscores the need for action from our leaders in Springfield. Illinois needs fair school funding now. Not simply for CPS, but for all schools across our state. Contact your elected officials today and tell them that Illinois’ students can’t wait any longer for fair school funding.