To the Editor:
Beginning in 2001, all Illinois high school juniors were required to take the Prairie State Achievement Examination, which measures student achievement in reading, math, science, writing and social science. After 2004, social science was dropped from the test.
I guess that you can say that there is both good and bad news in the 2012 results. The bad news is that 49.3 percent of students failed to meet minimum standards in reading. The good news is that the scores were not even worse. What is extremely discouraging about the scores is that the students scored better in math and science than they did in reading.
Students were not assessed In writing in 2012, but in 2011 only 53.7 percent of students managed to meet or exceed standards, which means that close to 50 percent of all Illinois high school juniors are failing to meet minimum standards in the two most basic subjects – reading and writing.
Local colleges report that about 50 percent of students are unprepared to take college-level subjects. This is a disgrace that I am sure that most other countries would not tolerate. Perhaps that is why American companies have to reach out to other countries for employees to fill positions.
So who is to blame for the terrible test scores? In my opinion, the reasons for the terrible test scores are in order: lack of parental involvement, school boards, administrators/ teachers, and finally the curricula