HomeSchool Reform NewsPritzker Defends Illinois’ Education System Despite Dismal Data

Pritzker Defends Illinois’ Education System Despite Dismal Data

(The Center Square) – As the latest math and reading scores show a drastic decline among U.S. school children, the debate continues on the state of Illinois schools even before the COVID-19 pandemic led to shutdowns and remote learning.

The nonprofit Wirepoints reported on Illinois’ dismal education outcomes. The Wall Street Journal picked that up and said the “Land of Lincoln is failing its children and covering it up.”

During the first gubernatorial debate against Republican candidate Darren Bailey, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (pictured) disputed the report.

“That was provided to them by a right-wing, carnival barker organization here in the state of Illinois,” Pritzker said. “It’s wrong, they are wrong.”

Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski said all the data it used came directly from the Illinois State Board of Education.

“I think it is really sad and indefensible that Gov. Pritzker and other educational leaders in this state refuse to acknowledge just how bad things are in education and how we need dramatic reforms in school choice,” Dabrowski said. “If they’re not willing to acknowledge the problems then they’ll never have any plans to fix them.”

The report gave numerous examples of poor reading scores, including just 16% of white 3rd graders in Decatur Public Schools being able to read at grade level, and only 7% of Black 3rd graders in Rockford were at grade level.

The education community has anxiously awaited the release of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores, also known as the Nation’s Report Card. The 2022 scores for fourth and eighth grade students reveal steep and historic declines in student math and reading performance.

The scores give an inside look at the learning loss suffered during the pandemic after schools were shut down and remained closed in Illinois well after the pandemic began.

“There will be an appropriate amount of attention on who or what to blame for these devastating NAEP results,” said Heather Peske, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality. “Instead we should be laser focused on how to make this right for our children.”

Illinois scores were right in line with national results.

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

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Kevin Bessler
Kevin Bessler
Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.


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