100% of graduating seniors going to college from school on Chicago’s south side

I encourage you to read the story from the Chicago Tribune about the first group of soon to be graduating seniors from the country’s first public charter school. Every one of them has been accepted into college! It is so very refreshing to read a story of inspiration and hope such as this from the mainstream media that typically focuses on the negative and reinforces stereotypes . . . especially of young urban African American men. Kudos to every one of these young men and all of those who helped make their dream a reality! Props to the Tribune for running the story and including the picture of the clearly overjoyed young men from the school. Check it out for yourself by clicking here Charter school in tough neighborhood gets all its seniors into college.

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2 Responses to 100% of graduating seniors going to college from school on Chicago’s south side

  1. Rain says:

    I don’t mean to put a damper on this uplifting story . . . and I have to say that I was glad to see that a black man was behind the founding of this school, AND that it took me quite a lot of digging to find their KIPP connection (it’s not KIPP-owned, but there seem to be some loose connections via board members, etc.)

    However, I just can’t support charter schools because of the fact that they drain resources from the public school system. Either we provide public school in this country, or we don’t. Charter schools suck the life out of public schools by taking out the students who already have the most family support/resources (because of the extra effort such schools require) and leave the public schools with only the children whose parents won’t (or more often, CAN’T) contribute to the life of the school community, as they are struggling just to stay afloat.

    Also, and I don’t know this to be true of this particular school, but charter schools are notorious for “removing” the students that are likely to bring their numbers down. So while the school is claiming credit for the 100% college acceptance rate, implying that it was the school that did this, we don’t know that these students weren’t hand-picked because they had a higher chance of being successful to begin with, or that the school didn’t make sure that the non-achievers were out of the picture BEFORE their senior year (I’m not making this up; there are charter schools that do this type of thing).

    And finally . . . what he said: http://michaelklonsky.blogspot.com/2010/03/winners-losers-in-race-to-top.html

    Again, sorry to spoil the moment, but charter schools make me mad. 😦


  2. Jack Kooyman says:

    Yep . . . I share many of your misgivings about charter schools. That’s why I intentionally focused on the achievements of these young men and everyone–because it does take a village and not just a school–who helped them along the way.

    Additionally, whenever I see a positive news story from the media about young people of color–especially young African American men–I am grateful and want others to take notice as well. Why? Because stories like this can help break down stereotypes. However, I am not naieve and am fully aware that stories like this one remain the exception in “mainstream” print and broadcast media . . . but not in the real world where I live and work.

    I see young people of color from tough circumstances overcoming the “odds” and barriers every day. Yet the “mainstream” media in this country seems bent on reinforcing negative stereotypes . . . even though they receive countless news releases every day from people like me who work with and see the inspirational perseverance and achievements being demonstrated by so called “at-risk” youth.

    Again, thank you for your comments. And don’t worry, you did not rain on my parade. B-)


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