Education in Chicago has ignited many protests, boycotts, and anger, and the education system now has more bad news to report. A new report from the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) says that Charter School students are 11 percent more likely to get expelled from school compared to other traditional school systems. This is a problem for Chicago-area parents, as well as for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Charter School Woes
Last year when the decision was made to shut down almost 50 Chicago Public Schools, it put some parents in a position to have to choose a charter school for their child. The closures meant a big expansion for charter schools, but the data is showing that they might not be the best alternative for kids. After hearing the report, Mayor Emanuel has decided the problem stems from discipline. He thinks the difference is because CPS has implemented a new discipline system that keeps kids in school. Instead of out of school suspensions, they find alternative ways of dealing with the problem. “I can’t make ’em. But, I can persuade them, show them a different model,” Mayor Emanuel said. While Emanuel holds onto hope that Charter Schools can be more like CPS, I cringe as a parent knowing that CPS isn’t where it needs to be either.
Chicago Education System Leaves Parents Desiring More
As a parent of a young child that is approaching school-age, I am very nervous about the education system in Chicago. I do not want my child in a charter, and would move to make that happen, but I also do not feel comfortable putting her into the Chicago Public Schools either. This new data makes me even more uneasy. Instead of disciplining students who are behaving poorly, they are finding alternative methods to reach them, but are they just enabling the kid? Since that kid will not be sent home for his or her actions, are they still in class setting a bad example for my child? I’m all for finding creative solutions, but is the punishment equal to the action now?
This is only a small fear that is coupled with others. CPS gives testing to put kids in better schools, but the testing seems to be excessive and stressful for students and parents. I don’t want my child to need to score an insane percentage on a standardized test to decide if she qualifies for a decent school. I want her to be able to attend a great school either way.