I hope you have read the recent article by the Wall Street Journal entitled “Illinois’s Shocking Report Card” (October 4). Here is a quote in the opening lines:

“Statewide, in 2019, 36% of all third grade students could read at grade level. That’s an F, and that’s good news. That number drops to 27% for Hispanic students and 22% for black students statewide. In certain public school systems, the numbers plummet to single digits. In Decatur, 2 % of black third graders are reading at grade level, and only 1% are doing math at grade level.”

These are facts released by the state of Illinois; none of this is made up by the WSJ. And remember, these statistics are all pre-Covid, before children were shut out of the classroom. If businesses were showing only 36% profitability, or if only one or two percent of the products they put out actually did what they said it could do…what would you think of that company? But no matter, we are talking about Big Education here, where there is precious little accountability and an endless stream of revenue from tax payers.

Karen Ann Collotta’s article in the Chicago Tribune “Students Rebounded in Academic Growth in 2022” (October 12, 2022) tells us that Illinois students overall have rebounded in their academic prowess. The stats supposedly showing this will be released October 27.

The article continues:

“Although student academic growth slowed significantly during the pandemic, [you mean it got WORSE than in 2019???] the 2022 baseline student growth percentile on this year’s state report card shows that academic growth appears to be heading in the right direction.”

Then again in the article, Illinois State School Board spokeswoman Jackie Matthews states:

“Proficiency is not where it was before the pandemic, but this accelerated rate of growth shows we are on the right track.” How’s that again? They just finished telling us that academic performance is STILL not as “good” as in 2019, and the records show that in 2019 that only 36% of third graders could read at their own level!! This is progress??

It is, if you are into Orwellian “double speak”, and you are trying to hide obvious catastrophic failure.

Maybe the low performance rate is due to lack of money? But Illinois spends on average $13, 077 per student. That is more than any other state in the Midwest. By the way, nearly 50% of the funding goes to state pensions.

Why does Illinois public education have these disastrous statistics? I would expect a third world country to have a dismal education record like this…but Illinois? Why?

(I fondly remember the day when I was in the first grade, and ALL of us could read at the end of the school year. I also remember being forced to learn our multiplication tables in the third grade, and ALL of us could multiply and divide by the fourth grade. I remember very well that all the boys and girls in my class knew the names of every major leader or general, and every major battle of the Civil War, while we were in the fourth grade. We also had phonics…a real actual phonics class…every day as a separate subject, from the second to the fourth grade. In phonics we learned to “decode” English words so that eventually we could spell, pronounce accurately, and READ anything in the English language. Ah, those were the days, my friend.)

What are the parents of Illinois doing about this educational catastrophe in Illinois? What are they doing about this abuse of children and theft of their tax dollars?

What are state legislators doing to correct this criminal neglect? Will the citizens of Illinois hold the state legislators and the “educrats” accountable at the voting booth?