There are signs of improvement, but not enough to take a couple of public school districts away from state control. “We’ve been talking about East St Louis since 1970, with Jonathan Kozol’s Savage Inequalities (published in 1991),” said board member Vinni Hall. “Putting pressure on this school district without involving everybody who lives in that area, and our just spending money, is not going to solve this.”
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East St. Louis is not the only district under state control. North Chicago is, too. “They started in different places, but we’re seeing really good improvement in both of them. We’re seeing more in terms of the student performance in North Chicago. They’re really exponentially growing in that regard,” said state superintendent Chris Koch. He says the East St. Louis situation is “a little more difficult dealing with some different issues than in North Chicago. They are showing some gains. It’s not commensurate with the other district, but I wouldn’t have expected that from the start.”
Board chairman James Meeks suggested the board visit East St. Louis.