Thousands of Chicago Students Still Stuck in Failing Schools

Published November 18, 2013

In Chicago’s bottom tenth of schools, 75 percent of elementary students do not meet state benchmarks for reading and math, and 95 percent of high school students can hardly do basic algebra or summarize reading assignments, a study finds.

The report from the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) examines the city’s worst 50 schools, where approximately 21,372 students are enrolled.

“If you’re not rich enough to attend a private school, smart enough to attend a magnet school or lucky enough to attend a charter school, then you’re forced to attend a school system that consistently fails its students,” said Ted Dabrowski, IPI’s vice president of policy, in a press release. “We have to give these students a ticket out of failing schools so they can live up to their full potential.”

In 2010, the report notes, a Democrat state senator introduced a bill that would have given students in these schools vouchers to attend any public or private school. The bill passed the Illinois Senate but not the House.

Learn more:
“Trapped in Chicago’s Worst Schools,” Joshua Dwyer, Illinois Policy Institute, October 2013:


Image by Adam DeClercq.