The Education Trust took at look at the pass rate (that is those who get a good enough score so they can join the Army). Besides for being an interesting way to measure achievement, it provides a useful metric that is valuable in all 50 states.
The full report his here. Suffice to say the results are disappointing, in Illinois 24% of test takers who have high school degrees fail to get a high enough score to join the Army. FYI, Illinois is worse than average.
So think about that almost 1 out 4 young people who get High School diplomas in this state are not able to pass the test to join the Army. If you want your statistic on why we need to take a look at education reform in this state. I think that is it.
Also we do worse than the national average.