Friday, September 27, 2013

Reader: Three families tell us why they ditched CPS

Graphic from Chicago Reader
In reading this I did the usually unthinkable, taking a physical copy of the Chicago Reader and read this article. I basically read about the first family skipped the second and hoped to see an opinion from a "minority" group. That's the last family you see here and the family that likely represents a majority of students at CPS at least ethnically.

Unfortunately these three families are troubled by the issues that occur in many of our neighborhood schools. They made the move to suburban areas because of it. Before they talk to the individual families therein, they make sure to point out why CPS needs families such as those in the article:
The exodus has had a deleterious impact on the city's schools. Middle-class parents tend to be zealous advocates. They're more likely to know an alderman or a reporter, and make noise about a problem their children's school is facing. The clout of a school system as a whole increases when middle-class parents have a stake in it. Middle-class parents can afford to contribute financially to their kids' school.

Most important, many studies have also highlighted the importance of "peer effects" in schools. They've shown that kids benefit from classmates whose parents have stimulated them cognitively from an early age, and who have helped them develop self-control and other social skills—the kind of parenting more common in middle-class homes than in poor homes.
While I started this article off talking about race/ethnicity, it's mostly about income. What can we do to keep children of middle-class parents in CPS schools where - according to this article - 85% of students are from low-income families?

BTW, I suggest you read the whole thing!

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