While Mayor Daley and Ron Huberman were touting the college preparedness of Chicago Public School students,
“students achieving an ACT score of 20 or better — rose by 2.6 percentage points, from 21.8 percent to 24.4 percent,” they, of course, did not relate how pathetic a score of 20 is! And since the average CPS student’s ACT score is 17.3% that is nothing to be proud of even though that is the highest number in a decade. In comparison, the average ACT score statewide is 20.8; so Chicago students performed more than 15% worse than other students in Illinois.
Does that mean downstaters are smarter or do they just have better schools? Maybe breathing the fresh air on a farm helps with being smart?
As a state though, Illinois still has nothing to be proud of either because, by comparison, many other states have higher scores. The states with the highest average ACT test scores are Massachusetts (23.6), Connecticut (23.3), New York (23.1), and Washington (23.1). So Illinois fails miserably also.
With the exception of community colleges, a student cannot expect to gain entrance to an institution of higher education with an American College Testing (ACT) score lower than 20; that means that 75.6% of CPS students do not have scores high enough to attend and succeed in college. No school official or the Mayor ever relates that information because it would make them look bad.
ACT scores (along with an applicant’s high school grades, curriculum, and class rank) are the largest determinants into whether a college will accept an applicant. The average ACT score of all 1.4 million test takers nationwide remains consistent from year to year, and was just above 21.1 in 2009. So, with an average ACT score of 17.3%, Chicago lags woefully behind the national average.
Do the students of the Chicago City Colleges perform any better in school now that they have matured a bit? All city colleges, which are two year higher education schools, are open-admission institutions; they accept an applicant based solely on the following criteria:
--Are graduating from or graduates of accredited high schools --Are General Education Development (G.E.D.) certified --Are transferring from another college or university --Are 18 years of age or older, not completed high school, but, do qualify for college-level work.
So basically anybody who is breathing and older than 18 years of age can attend. Since the graduation rates range from 3.4% at Harold Washington College to 13% at Malcolm X , we’ve answered the question of whether the students perform better after they leave high school. NO! They still do not succeed.
So Chicago students fail miserably in high school and the trend continues at the Chicago-run colleges. And it can only get worse as the Board of Education is sending out layoff notices to 1,000 teachers in preparation for raising high school class sizes from 28 to 33 this fall.
Since it is inconceivable that Chicago high school students are just dumber than teenagers in the rest of the state, the answer must be that the teachers are failing to educate properly.
I have not written anything here that most people don’t already know. I just get so frustrated when Mayor Daley and CPS officials boast about test scores that are so pathetic, that I have to vent somewhere.
Mayor Daley took control of CPS in 1995 when he successfully convinced the state legislature to hand over the keys of education to him. As Reverend Meeks has said about the Mayor,”Public schools is not his expertise. It's just not. You could be passionate about something but it doesn't mean you're good at it.” Meeks, a product of Harper High school in Chicago, might exhibit bad grammar in his speech, but what he said is correct.
It has been 15 years since the Mayor has been in charge of public education and he gets a big F for his efforts.