But no more.
I ran across the US News & World Report ranking of US High Schools. They rank the schools on multiple factors, but two of the most important are graduation rate and what they call their college readiness score. That is based on how many students attend AP and IB (International Baccalaureate) classes, with a factor of 3 for each student who not only took the class, but passed it. Standardized test scores are also included in their methodology. Not a single one of the schools in our area (or any of the Chicago suburbs – a couple of Chicago city schools were on the list) was in the top 120! You would think, with the second highest property taxes in the nation (only behind New Jersey, which had 8 high schools in the top 120!) at least one of our schools would be in the top 120. Ordered by state, Illinois’ high schools as a group ranked 26th in the nation. Interestingly, Illinois comes in 13th in the nation in per pupil spending.
Obviously we’re not getting our money’s worth. We pay more tax than all but one, but score right in the middle of the pack when it comes to school performance. This is not good. This has to be fixed. We need to pay less property tax to retain and attract people to Illinois and still our schools have to do better – either with less money, or they have to be funded a different way, not via the property tax.