Among the most ridiculed governmental institutions in the country is certainly the Chicago Public Schools. Regardless of the reason, there are numerous problems surrounding the district and many believe that the education provided is not as strong as it should be.
There have been numerous propositions made in the hopes of improving the educational systems. Proposals have included calls for school choice, increases in funding, and countless other potential changes or new programs.
But Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel now has a new idea, in the hopes of improving the job outlook for students. He now wants to make it a requirement for students to obtain an acceptance into a college, military, trade, or “gap year” program.” Although this would certainly not require a student to pursue any of these, they must at least be accepted into such a program.
During a news conference last week Mayor Emanuel stated, “Just like you do with your children, college, post-high school, that is what’s expected,” he went on to add, “If you change expectations, it’s not hard for kids to adapt.” Part of the idea of this program besides changing expectations, is presumably to make it so that the students begin to look at their future options and to begin to even explore what could be done upon graduating.
Interestingly though, virtually every student graduating from Chicago Public Schools would already fulfill this obligation. Upon graduation from a CPS school, students are already admitted to a city community college. Nonetheless though the initiative would act to make it so that students at least symbolically have to explore their options.
Critics have argued though that this could potentially hurt the graduation rate. As students who already struggle to stay in school would see just another barrier to obtaining their high school diploma.
Emanuel called the proposal “groundbreaking,” as it would be the first major metropolitan district in the country to have such a requirement. Although it has been proposed, it is not clear if this will be adapted into official policy.
(h/t Chicago Tribune)
What do you think? Is this a good idea to help students prepare for life after high school? Be sure to let HYPELINE News know what you think in the comments!