Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Rahm Emanuel's Graduation Rule Is 'Neoliberal School Reform Fantasy'

Rahm Emanuel's Graduation Rule Is 'Neoliberal School Reform Fantasy':

CHICAGO TEACHER: RAHM EMANUEL’S GRADUATION REQUIREMENT SHOWS HE HAS ‘NO INTEREST IN UNDERSTANDING THE ISSUES’

Incoming high school freshman will soon face a new graduation requirement thanks to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: provide the Chicago Public School District with evidence of an acceptance letter to a university, community college, apprenticeship or trade school, internship, or the armed services, or you won’t receive your diploma upon graduation—whether you’ve passed all your classes, or not.
Emanuel recently told CBS that this policy is one he borrowed from charter schools. “We want to make 14th grade universal. That’s the new goal line,” he said.
Members of the Chicago Board of Education are likely to approve of Emanuel’s post-high school scheme, known as “Learn, Plan, Succeed,” because they are appointed by Emanuel.
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has come out in strong opposition against the new graduation requirement. Communications manager Ronnie Reese expressed the union’s disapproval, citing “self-inflicted budget problems” which will leave most high schools without enough counselors “who would be called upon to assist students with plans for their future.”
In February, the district of Chicago sued the Illinois State Board of Education over what it describes as “separate and unequal systems of funding for public education in Illinois.” The suit further alleges Chicago Public School students, specifically those who are black and Hispanic, are treated “as second-class children, relegated to the back of the state’s education funding bus.”
“The reality is that a child’s race continues to dictate whether she or he will receive a good education or something far short. Chicago’s predominantly African American and Hispanic children still suffer from stark educational inequalities,” the suit argued. Despite this, Emanuel proposes another hurdle for Chicago students, one that ignores the impact of race, class, their intersections, and the cost of higher education.
Lauren Kaufman, a 28-year-old vocational skills teacher to students with disabilities, ages 16-22 years-old, Rahm Emanuel's Graduation Rule Is 'Neoliberal School Reform Fantasy':
Chicago Teachers Union protest. Photo by Joe Brusky on Flickr.

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