CHICAGO — McDermott Will & Emery is pleased to announce the success of its Chicago office tutoring program: MWE Partners in Reading. In October 2001, more than 40 McDermott lawyers, non-lawyer professionals and administrative staff began tutoring third and fourth graders in reading every Wednesday afternoon at the William H. Brown Elementary School. The Firm is delighted to report that the students have greatly improved their performance becoming one of the top ten schools in Chicago for improved reading scores, after having been on Mayor Daley’s "watch list" of under performing schools last year.
The students' improved performance was determined by this year's reading portion of the Iowa Basic Skills Test. Last year, 8.9% of the third graders met or exceeded the national standard for reading. This year, the third grade increased their scores significantly with 29.7% of the third graders meeting or exceeding the national standards. Last year, 28.6% of the fourth grade students met or exceeded national standards, and this year, 52.2% met or exceeded national standards. In addition, several fourth graders scored in the 90th percentile for the first time.
Connie Thomas, principal of the Brown School, said that the students' success is due in large part to McDermott's tutoring program. The MWE Partners in Reading program will hold its last tutoring day for this school year on June 12, 2002. However, McDermott will continue this program next school year.