Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks a lot about the improvement of public school education. He announced on many occasions that every child should be entitled to a great education regardless of his economical status. It is a noble goal and I totally support it, especially when my child for the most part of her life attended the Chicago public school until last year when we decided to send her to a private high school.
There was a clash between Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union, the later accusing the former of withholding resources from Chicago Public Schools, true or not. Emanuel also received criticism for his decision to leave Chicago amidst plans of a Chicago-wide teachers’ strike in 2012 in order to speak at the Democratic National Convention.
Politics aside, the issue of Chicago Public Schools still remains unsolved. If you are poor, you are resigned to send your kid to a neighborhood school of your residence, which more often than not is the worst kind. If you belong to the working middle class, you have several choices: move into suburbs, send your kid to a private school, or try to compete for a spot in the selective enrollment in Chicago Public Schools, which is stressful for children and parents alike. Of course, if you are wealthy, you will bypass all this non-sense and send your child to the best Chicago private school your money can buy.
As a parent who is not wealthy but wants the best for her child in terms of education and living conditions, I had to make a wise decision whether to send her to a public or a private high school. In our situation, we basically had no choice but send our daughter to a Chicago private school and this is why.
We love Chicago and did not want to move to suburbs just for schools.
Our child is not an academic genius and was not able to get into the best Chicago Public Schools, such as: Walter Payton, Whitney Young, or Northside College Prep, to name a few. Our primary residence was in Lake View and our child would have attended the Lake View High School, which is one of the worst public schools in the city. We had no choice but to send our only daughter to a Chicago private school, Gordon Tech.
We pay property taxes for two homes we own in Chicago to support public schools, while paying a private school tuition.
This is ironic in itself to live in Chicago and pay the highest property taxes for residing in the best neighborhood in the city (Lincoln Park/Lake View) and not able to send our own child to the best Chicago public school of our choice. I hope that in the near future parents and children would not have to face this problem and choose schools freely and without reservation according to their own intellectual inclination and interests, not because they are forced to.