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Third-grade reading: Tens of thousands of Illinois kids don’t make the mark

Tens of thousands of Illinois third-graders failed to meet a key reading benchmark that can predict students’ educational trajectory long after they leave elementary school.

Clusters of students in schools across Chicagoland did not demonstrate proficient reading ability on the 2011 Illinois Standards Achievement Test, with one Chicago school reporting 85 percent of third-graders falling short. Statewide, a Tribune analysis of School Report Card data found that more than one-fourth of all third-graders failed the reading portion of the high-stakes exam.

At Chicago Public Schools’ Guggenheim Elementary, 85.3 percent of third-graders failed to meet state reading standards, the worst performance in the state. Yale Elementary, also a CPS school, came in second with 77.4 percent, followed by North Chicago’s Greenbay Elementary. Schools in Chicago Heights, Aurora, Maywood, Elgin, Cicero and Wheeling also reported dismal third-grade reading scores.


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