State offers plan for East St. Louis’ school district

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — The new Illinois State Board of Education chairman has offered a plan for East St. Louis to regain control of its school district. The Belleville News-Democrat reports the Rev. James Meeks met Thursday with the city’s school and community leaders. He told them the district could revert to local control if it works to improve performance on standardized tests, lower truancy rates and higher graduation rates. Meeks challenged parents, teachers and other volunteers to begin mentoring the district’s third-graders for two hours on Saturday for the next six weeks. He told them he would return with 600 computers if the district’s scores improve on the state’s standardized performance tests. East St. Louis School District 189 has been under the control of the state board and state-appointed superintendent since 2013.