CHICAGO – Don’t tell D’Andray Jackson hope is lost; he’ll have none of it.
His arms tucked inside a sweatshirt on a cool morning, D’Andray shrugs off the hard math that suggests he, as a young black male, isn’t supposed to make it.
His school, Beidler Elementary on Chicago’s west side, ranked 1,531 out of 2,068 elementary schools statewide. It’s a poor showing, but with 26 percent of the students meeting state averages in reading and math – up from just 2.7 percent eight years ago – there have been gains.
“I have a lot of hope,” said D’Andray, 15, an eighth-grader standing atop busted concrete early on a school day. Asked about career dreams, he shoots high.
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