Remember what we know about the Chicago Public School (CPS) system: out of 400,000+ students, only 8 percent are white. To call it a failed system – despite plenty of money and high per pupil spending – would be a stretch: it’s not even a system, more like state-funded K-12 daycare. An incredible 82 percent of these students receive a free or reduced priced lunch at school.
|Free Nike Shoes in Detroit Public Schools to get kids to attend and $25 gift cards in Chicago Public Schools to get parents involved will get us back to moon sometime this century…|
This should come as no surprise then: the former CEO of the CPS system says “radical change” is needed to bring change and… hope [Chicago schools need radical change, Chicago Tribune, Jean-Claude Brizard, 10-30-2012]:
In 2011, fewer than 24 percent of Chicago Public Schools graduates were prepared to attend a four-year college, and only 1 in 7 African-American students tested college-ready. While we made tremendous progress in less than two years, resulting in some historic gains, transformational change will require a radical redefinition of the district.
Why does this matter? Because President Obama recently told a black radio host in Chicago that his second term will focus on “communities of color” – knowing that they represent the future workforce of America [Obama dispatches election lawyers ‘all across the country’, Washington Examiner, 10-29-2012]:
Urging supporters to vote early, as the president himself did in Chicago last week, he told black radio host April Ryan that voters should contact his campaign if they are prevented from voting. “If you try to vote early and you see that problem, we’ve got time to fix it,” said the president. Ryan, a long-time White House correspondent known for her news-making interviews, also pressed the president on the high joblessness among blacks and Hispanics. The president responded by saying he would focus on “communities of color” in his second term because those two groups are the “future workforce” of America.
Parents have long debated whether or not it’s healthy to bribe kids to do things like finish their homework on time or eat all of their vegetables. But what happens when the tables are turned and parents are the ones being bribed to cooperate?
Chicago, Ill. is considering doing just that. As part of a pilot program launched at 70 public schools, Chicago parents will be given $25 Walgreens “Balance Rewards” cards in exchange for picking up their child’s report cards and attending parent-teacher conferences, according to a press release from the city.
The program is being viewed as a way to incentivize parents to stay more involved in their children’s academic lives. All of the schools selected to participate have had continual difficulty engaging parents.
The public-private partnership appears to be a win-win for both the schools and for Walgreens, which just launched its first loyalty card in an attempt to attract shoppers with discounts, the Chicago Tribune reports. With over 150 stores in Chicago alone, Walgreen’s CEO Greg Wasson said he only hopes that the pilot program will expand to more schools.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who thought up the program, told the Chicago Sun-Times that he envisions the program will close some of the communication gaps that now exist between many public school studentsand their parents. The city’s schools plan to track and analyze the data to see how effective it is in promoting parent-teacher involvement.