Dan Brady voted against this bill.

Ask him why, he’s got a story.  None of it has anything to do with the Campaign Contributions from the Teachers Union.  Does showing up everywhere make a good legislator?  Evidently, nobody is running against him again.  He had a chance to free around 30,000 Chicago kids from rotten schools and the teacher’s union.  He failed.
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Can you solve the following math problem?
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Nearly half of the students in Chicago’s lowest-performing high schools can’t solve this problem.

And despite plenty of talk in Chicago about “struggling public schools” and “fixing public education,” tens of thousands of students are being left behind.

These forgotten children are trapped in Chicago Public Schools’ lowest-performing elementary and high schools with no way out.

Three years ago, then-state Sen. Rev. James Meeks, D-Chicago, proposed a bill that would have given students in the lowest-performing 10% of Chicago schools a ticket out.

These students would have received an opportunity scholarship, or voucher, which they could’ve used to attend any school they wanted – public or private.

The bill passed the Illinois Senate, but died in the House – leaving these students stuck in failing schools.

Our latest report takes a close look at just how bad the bottom 10% of CPS schools are, and makes the case for much-needed education reform.

Just how bad are these schools?

In the lowest-performing elementary schools, 75% of students do not meet state standards in reading and math.

In the lowest-performing high schools, 95% of students do not meet state standards in math and reading, which means they struggle with basic algebra and summarizing reading assignments.

And across all CPS schools, during the 2010-11 school year, approximately one in eight CPS students missed a month or more of school.

The poor quality of education at Chicago’s lowest-performing schools leaves lasting scars that follow these students well into adulthood.

A quality education shouldn’t be limited to students who are smart enough to attend a magnet school or lucky enough to attend a charter school. Every child deserves a shot at a bright future.

It’s time we give these students a ticket out of failing schools so they can reach their full potential.


Josh Dwyer
Director of Education Reform
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