Friday, April 21, 2006

Not-so-great expectations for CPS kids

News Items: 1. Only 35 percent of Chicago Public Schools graduates who enroll in college graduate within six years.
2. The numbers for freshmen are downright depressing:
* 54 percent will graduate high school by the age of 19
* 18.6 percent will enter a four-year college
* 6.5 percent will graduate from a four-year college in six years
These findings are especially troubling when one considers that to get any job with benefits these days, such as at Starbucks, you need a college degree. And with so few of our children succeeding in school today, who will pour our coffee tomorrow?

The numbers, found in a study by the Consortium on Chicago School Research, very closely mirror the findings of a six-year study by FACT, an international nonprofit think tank. FACT studied Chicago high school juniors and seniors and asked them about life and plans for the future.

What do you want to do after you get out of this hellhole?
58%: Be a professional athlete
12%: Go to college
30%: Move out of Mom's house; after that, don't know/don't care

Of those who want to be professional athletes, how many play sports on the school team?

Why don't the rest of you play?
29%: Academic ineligibility
31%: Don't get along with the coach
40%: Saving up my talents/Taking a year off

Of those who want to go to college, what do you want to do there?
25%: Undecided
25%: Party
50%: Play sports

What's your favorite class this year?
25%: Lunch
12%: Chillin'
8%: Creative Writing
5%: The underclass
50%: No answer

What is something motivational that a teacher has said to you this year?
33%: Get out of my classroom!
30%: You're late. Go get a pass.
30%: You can do it! Nah, just kidding.
7%: You'll never amount to anything. Well, maybe you'll be an OK drug dealer. Until you get killed.

What has been the most positive interaction you've had with an adult in the building this year?
54%: Lunch lady gave me extra fries
27%: Bought drugs from security guard
10%: Teacher didn't yell at me because he was absent
9%: Guy at attendance office let me use the phone

Have your parents graduated from college?
44%: I don't live with my parents
41%: No
10%: My Mom's taking the year off
5%: Maybe/Not sure

What do you think about your odds of making it?
18%: I'll be one of the survivors
82%: What does "odds" mean?


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