CHICAGO — The Illinois School Board of Education released its first report card on education Thursday since the pandemic closed schools across the country.

The state superintendent of education said in a statement “The report shows we are absolutely on the right track.”

An annual snapshot of the state’s education system, the ‘Report Card’ is up. It looks at several different factors along with data. Graduation rates and standardized testing are just some of the areas that are factored into the report card.

Governor Pritzker applauded the achievements and acknowledged setbacks schools faced at Morton West High School Thursday.

“To say that these last two and a half years have been difficult for our students and teachers would be an understatement,” Pritzker said. “One could argue it’s a miracle that our state and our nation has seen academic advances in any way, especially the state of Illinois in the face of this adversity. Yet, it’s not a miracle at all. It’s testament to the hard work of teachers, students, and parents of Illinois who rose to the challenge of these unprecedented times.”

Click here to access the state report card

According to the state, Illinois is seeing the highest graduation rate in decades. While there is a national teacher shortage, officials say that Illinois is doing better than other states in hiring and keeping teachers on the job as well as hiring more people pf color.

Nonetheless, the shortage still stands in the state.

Mark Klaisner, the executive director of ‘West 40,’ an educational organization that works with districts across the state about this year’s report card, noticed no drastic surprises other than those affected by the pandemic.

According to the report, fourth graders’ scores dropped back to where they were two years ago, something that wasn’t hoped for but was expected.

“Trying to get educators for who I work to look at this as a brand-new day don’t look back. Here’s the starting line, how do we maximize education for every child in Illinois and across the country?” Klaisner said.