Mayor Rahm Emanuel is urging Chicago residents to embrace the city's schools.
Emanuel told the Chicago Sun-Times that middle-class parents should not flee to the suburbs in pursuit of a high-quality education for their kids.
The mayor says the city will give residents a high quality life with high quality education for their children.
But recent data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that reading and math scores of eighth graders not only ranked below the national average and the Illinois average, they also ranked below the average for eighth graders attending public schools in other large cities.
Emanuel's message follows a recent promise to double the size of the International Baccalaureate program.
About 405,000 students attend Chicago Public Schools, making it the nation's third-largest school system.