An editorial Oct. 31, "Can Illinois learn from failing grades?" fails to admit some of the other problems with failing grades.
All of the numbers in this editorial are accurate, but they are not seeing some of the other problems. The numbers say that nearly 49 percent of students are classified as low income, and 66 percent of schools failed the standardized test. The editor states that this is due to Springfield's failing economic and tax policies, since the percent has risen nearly 13 percent since 1999. However, from my experience of attending public schools in Illinois for 13 years, the only problem is not just poverty -- it is the lack of effort by students.
Regardless of income level, if a student does not have the desire to succeed, he will not. I have known students who would be considered low-income students, but if they cared they performed well in school. On the other hand, I have known kids who have been high-income level but just do not care at all and struggle mightily in school.
As for the teachers, all of them I have been around put all the time and effort they possibly can into helping their students. Even with that, a student who does not care cannot be helped.
A standardized test is not the way to test how schools are performing. We have to find a way to get these students to care or these scores will never improve.