DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — Decatur’s School Board and district officials are responding to a Wall Street Journal op-ed criticizing the district’s poor reading and math scores, especially for students of color.

The op-ed reviewed a recent Wire Points investigation that found just 2% of black third graders in DPS61 were reading on grade level and just 1% of the same group could complete math on grade level.

“I’m not mad at the data in that article, because the data is real and we need to own that data and say we need to improve this. What I’m upset about that article is you’re painting us as if we have nothing to offer our students– and that’s a total lie. We are offering great programs, we have a lot of success stories coming out of this district and we’re going to continue to grow,” Assistant Superintendent Jeff Dase, said at a board meeting Tuesday night.

Dase said since the 2019 data was released, the district has implemented a new curriculum and strategic plan. He said while there is still work to be done, DPS61 is continuing to see improvement in student achievement.

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