Monday, February 25, 2008


I was listening to NPR this morning when I heard that a study was conducted regarding high school drop out rate in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). They followed 9th graders thru to their 12th grade year for x number of years to see how many students dropped out, why they dropped out, and to pinpoint exactly who is most likely to be a dropout.

I was SHOCKED to hear how many students dropped out of Chicago Public High Schools between 9th and 12th grades. Are you sitting down? 44%

Yes, 44% of all high school students do not finish high school in CPS. That's a lot of fucking kids! Approximately 30,000!!!!

They were able to pinpoint 3 distinct groups of dropouts:
1. Students who started freshman year at age 15 or over.
2. Students who fail a core subject (reading, math, social studies, or science) in their first year of high school.
3. African-American students (49%!!!!!!!!)

This study is going to prompt some action on CPS's part, as it should. I'm sure it'll also cost us a bazillion dollars. Supposedly, they will hold countless meetings, offer mentoring to students in the 3 at-risk groups, now that we know exactly who they are, and create "freshman on-track labs" in 6 high schools that have the highest dropout rates that will investigate the problem further and come up with strategies to address it. Oh, and this study will also create, for the first time ever, a freshman orientation for incoming freshman.

Are you kidding me? These kids have never had a freshman orientation???? 8th graders in CPS go to school at a K-8 school. Yes, they share a school with 5-year olds, and you're telling me there's never been any kind of help with transitioning them from their elementary school of, let's say, 700 kids to a high school that has perhaps 3,500? Hell, I'd drop out, too! Not because I didn't want to finish, but because I probably wouldn't be able to find any of my classes!

Who's running the show here? [Insert monkey commerical here].

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