Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Asking too much of high school graduates but not enough of businesses that employ them - The Hechinger Report

Asking too much of high school graduates but not enough of businesses that employ them - The Hechinger Report:

Asking too much of high school graduates but not enough of businesses that employ them
The Chicago mayor’s new preparedness initiative is good, but doesn’t go far enough



The adage, “To whom much is given, much is expected,” can’t just apply to high school graduates.
Beginning with the class of 2020, all Chicago Public School students who meet traditional academic requirements necessary to graduate must also present a post-graduation plan before they can cross the stage to receive their diploma. Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and the city’s Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson hope to raise a million dollars for the “Learn. Plan. Succeed” initiative to add eight additional counselors to 172 high schools that teach almost 110,000 students. Chicago Public Schools have reported to the mayor’s office since 1995. But critics rightly point out that underfunded mandates like this one will only add to, not alleviate, the problems already plaguing Chicago schools.
Given the natural indecisiveness of teens, I think it’s good to ask students for a concrete plan. Graduation should offer more tangible signs of preparedness than a mere certificate. The policy calls for students to present an acceptance letter from a college, a branch of the armed services, an employer, a trade school or a “gap-year” program. Students are supposed to graduate to something.
There are real ways to bolster this initiative, including expanding the city’s After School Matters program, which employs approximately 16,000 Chicago teens in various jobs in the summer. As the school year winds down, why not employ collegians, typically already back from summer break, to enhance a counseling corps to deliver the new effort?
Join the conversation later on Andre Perry’s radio show, “Free College,” hosted Tuesdays on WBOK1230 in New Orleans at 3pm Central/4pm Eastern 504.260.9265.
The youth unemployment rate is roughly twice the overall national rate, when youth is defined as anyone under the age of 24, according to a 2016 study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. The Institute also found that most young workers don’t have a degree and recent college graduates face a tough job market. Even though the unemployment rate has improved in the last decade, the class of 2016 joined “a sizable backlog of unemployed college graduates” dating back to 2009, the Asking too much of high school graduates but not enough of businesses that employ them - The Hechinger Report:



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