Published Online: January 3, 2006

Illinois's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 4,267
Public school teachers 127,669
Pre-K-12 students 2,100,961
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $17.3 billion
Minority students 42.6%
Children in poverty 17%
Students with disabilities 15.1%
English-language learners 8.1%

Summary of Grades

Illinois scores above the national average on only one of the graded policy categories in Quality Counts, although its overall performance across the four areas is about average.

Illinois scores above average in standards and accountability. The state fares especially well on standards policies because nearly all of its standards in the core subjects have been rated as clear, specific, and grounded in content by the American Federation of Teachers. The exception is the state’s elementary school social studies standards.

Illinois’ grade in teacher quality is just below average. The state loses points on professional support and training because it lacks written professional-development standards and does not require and finance professional development or mentoring for novice teachers.

In the school climate category, Illinois is at the national average. The state does well on indicators related to parent involvement and is one of only 10 states to include information on parent involvement on school report cards. It loses points on school choice and autonomy indicators because its charter school law is not considered to be strong by the Center for Education Reform.

Illinois falls short in resource equity, scoring in the lower tier of states. Its wealth-neutrality score is among the worst in the nation, indicating that per-pupil funding is considerably higher in its wealthier districts than in its poorer districts.

State Policy Report Card
Illinois Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability B+ B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality C C+
School climate C+ C+
Resource equity D+ C
Overall Grade C+ C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 37.92 40
Assessment 23.52 30
School accountability 27 30
88 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 25.9 35
Teacher assessment 24 30
Professional support and training 11 20
Accountability for teacher quality 13.65 15
75 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 11.5 15
School safety 15.83 20
Parent involvement 12.75 15
Choice and autonomy 15 20
Class size 7.99 10
School size 7.17 10
School facilities 7.5 10
78 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 21.67 33.3
McLoone Index 21.67 33.3
Coefficient of variation 25 33.3
68 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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