Trapped in Illinois’ lowest-performing schools

03/18/2014
Can you solve the following math problem? Ninety-two percent of students in Illinois’ lowest-performing high schools struggle to solve problems like this one. Low-performing schools aren’t a Chicago-only phenomenon – the city is home to only 45% of the state’s lowest-performing elementary schools and high schools. More than half of the state’s lowest-performing schools are outside of...

TAGS: education, vouchers

The assault on school choice in Illinois

03/13/2014
Thousands of Illinois students are trapped in failing schools. These schools fail at their most basic task: providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the future. Take a look at some statistics from a forthcoming Illinois Policy Institute special report on the state’s lowest-performing schools: 72 percent of students at...

TAGS: charter schools, school choice, vouchers

Rockford: Home to the highest number of low-performing schools outside of Chicago

02/23/2014
Most people assume that Chicago is home to Illinois’ lowest-performing schools – those schools that scored in the bottom 10 percent on the Illinois Standard Achievement Test, or ISAT. But, in actuality, Chicago is home to only 45 percent of the state’s lowest-performing elementary schools and high schools. More than half of Illinois’ lowest-performing schools...

TAGS: education, rockford, school choice, vouchers

New study shows there’s no such thing as a lost cause when it comes to education

01/28/2014
It’s never too late to help a struggling student. An amazing new study conducted by the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Lab shows that intense tutoring combined with group behavioral counseling can help high school students with weak math skills, chronic truancy and disciplinary problems improve their performance. The study showed impressive gains. In fact,...

TAGS: charter schools, school choice, vouchers

Illinois is losing the school choice race

01/24/2014
It’s common knowledge that Illinois lags behind other states when it comes to embracing education reforms.  But a new report recently released by the Friedman Foundation shows just how much catching up the state has to do. The 2014 edition of the Foundation’s “The ABCs of School Choice” highlights every school choice program in the...

TAGS: charter schools, school choice, vouchers

Illinois legislators introduce bills to kill the state charter school commission

11/14/2013
The state charter school commission is under attack. State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, has contempt for the state charter school commission, even though she voted for its creation more than two years ago. It was on full display the last time Jeanne Nowaczewski – the commission’s executive director – appeared in front of the...

TAGS: Charter Authorizer Task Force, charter schools, ISBE: Illinois State Board of Education, Jeanne Nowaczewski, Kimberly Lightford, Linda Chapa LaVia, school choice, vouchers

Myth of cream-skimming

08/27/2013
The lowest-performing public school students are the most likely to use and benefit from school choice programs according to a new study on Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program. In fact, 27.9 percent of students who participated in the program were in the bottom fifth of their prior public school’s mathematics test score distribution. These findings fly in...

TAGS: school choice, vouchers