The schools in our community are in bad shape. There are 2,265 grammar schools in the state if Illinois and all four of our local schools are in the bottom 100. At John Marshall, our local high school, 3.5% of the juniors are at or above their grade levels in math and science and only 6% in reading. The average PSAT school is 4% at or above their grade level. There are 180 days in a school year. At John Marshall High School the average number of days missed is 95! Westinghouse High School, just a block away from Breakthrough, will open a new facility in the fall and none of the kids from the community grammar schools have been able to test into it.
On a positive note, we gave the Bracken test for kindergarten readiness to the kids in our Nettie Bailey Student Achievement Program. The kids who attended our Breakthrough Beginners (preschool) program tested at 72% compared to those who did not attend who are at 17%. This is strong evidence that what we are doing is important and is working. Twenty of our program graduates started college last fall. While this is significant and encouraging, we recognize we have much work to do.
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