Aftershock

In the 1970s, white flight and disinvestment took a toll on Austin. Yet, today, the area is a beehive of activism focused on affordable housing, job opportunity and helping those released from prison reconnect with the community. One in three children in Austin live in poverty; 84 percent attend public schools.

Neighborhood snapshot
Austin
Chicago
Students in private school
14%
18%
Population 25 and over w/ high school diploma
68%
72%
Median household income
$33,975
$38,600
Children below poverty level
32%
29%
Unemployment rate
17%
10%
Residents living in own homes
47%
48%
Average sale price (single family residence)
$213,699
$331,715
Median rent (per month)
$588
$616

Source: Census 2000; Average sale price from Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois, Oct. 1, 2005 to Sept. 30 2006.

Who schools serve

Public schools in Austin are overwhelmingly poor and African-American. Only one school, Sayre Elementary, serves a sizable population of children from middle-income families; and only G. Clark reports more than 10 percent of students are English language learners. May Elementary posts a shocking mobility rate: Nearly half of its student body left or transferred in mid-year in the 2004-05 school year.

Student population
Enrollment
Poverty
Bilingual
Mobility
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Armstrong, L.
196
96%
0%
41%
Brunson
813
88%
0%
35%
Clark, G.
385
92%
12%
14%
DePriest
613
97%
1%
35%
Douglass Middle
902
99%
0%
31%
Ellington
474
98%
0%
27%
Emmet
688
97%
0%
37%
Hay
649
96%
1%
23%
Howe
798
98%
0%
30%
Leland
270
96%
0%
20%
Lewis
1059
89%
3%
26%
Lovett
669
79%
3%
17%
Key
461
96%
0%
22%
May
894
97%
0%
48%
McNair
667
92%
1%
33%
Nash
851
98%
0%
41%
Sayre
534
58%
7%
10%
Spencer
1128
91%
0%
38%
Young
1539
95%
3%
19%
HIGH SCHOOLS
Michele Clark
774
94%
0%
8%
Austin *
1032
91%
0%
31%

Note: Austin high school is being phased out; currently only seniors are enrolled.
Source: 2005 Illinois School Report Card, Ellington Elementary (mobility rate)

How schools are doing

In 2005, 3rd-graders at G. Clark posted the highest math scores; L. Armstrong’s did best in reading. By 8th grade, reading scores had improved, but pass rates in math had declined at nearly every school. Emmet Elementary was the exception.

Elementary Performance

ISAT math-3

ISAT math-8

ISAT read-3

ISAT read-8

Armstrong, L
67%
NA
67%
NA
Brunson
40%
NA
26%
NA
Clark, G.
81%
43%
65%
73%
DePriest
38
NA
23%
NA
Douglass Middle
NA
6%
NA
40%
Ellington
61
NA
39%
NA
Emmet
22
37%
31%
71%
Hay
29.5
NA
25%
NA
Howe
25
13%
21%
26%
Leland
74
NA
50%
NA
Lewis
30
18%
21%
59%
Lovett
33
21%
25%
44%
Key
33
NA
26%
NA
May
38
5%
29%
43%
McNair
22
NA
22%
NA
Nash
33%
12%
29%
40%
Sayre
51
45%
46%
71%
Spencer
35
18%
21%
33%
Young
51
10%
36%
46%

High school performance*

Graduation

Dropout

PSAE math

PSAE reading

Michele Clark
N/A
4%
14%
42%
Austin
65%
15%
3%
12%

*Note: Michele Clark, formerly a middle school, did not have a graduating class in 2005. The school added its first 9 th-grade class in 2002 and now serves grades 6-12. Austin high school is being phased out; currently only seniors are enrolled.
Source: 2005 Illinois School Report Card

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