Chicago Schools To Deny Diplomas To Students Without Post-Grad Plans
In the next three years, making passing grades won’t be enough to earn a high school diploma from Chicago Public Schools.
Now, kids will have to provide proof that they either have acceptance to college, a job lined-up, enrollment in a formal gap-year program, or enlistment in the military to cross the stage and turn their tassels.
According to The Washington Post, Mayor Rahm Emanuel thinks it’s pertinent to setting children on a path to a successful future.
“We are going to help kids have a plan, because they’re going to need it to succeed. You cannot have kids think that 12th grade is done.”
However, there is currently a shortage of counselors in the school system to even help high school students choose a set path after high school. Furthermore…forcing kids to prove their plan may lead kids with fewer resources and less support to simply drop out, since they won’t be awarded a diploma in the first place. The plan also doesn’t take into consideration the kids living in impoverished areas with few job opportunities. Also, everyone simply doesn’t get accepted to college right away.
President of the Chicago Teachers Union Karen Lewis says that the idea is empty and ultimately strips some kids of their accomplishments:
“It sounds good on paper, but the problem is that when you’ve cut the number of counselors in schools, when you’ve cut the kind of services that kids need, who is going to do this work? If you’ve done the work to earn a diploma, then you should get a diploma. Because if you don’t, you are forcing kids into more poverty.”
Hmm, what do you think? Some kids have it sewn up after school, but it takes many people a bit of time to figure out what to do after graduating. Is it fair to force everyone to prove their plans to validate their degrees?