Monday, December 26, 2011
To Improve Urban Public Schools
I attended the Chicago Public Schools from 1967 to 1980. My teenagers attend the Chicago Public Schools. Basically Chicago Public Schools haven't changed for decades. The CPS works well for the student who has at least one good parent and one good teacher for thirteen years. The CPS does not work well for students who have uninvolved parents and a series of non-effective teachers.
I have visited hundreds of CPS classroom during the 90's and 2000's giving a career day presentation. The vast majority of students are good but there always seems to be a few of students who weakens the growth of the entire class. Anyone who visits a good Chicago Public Schools then visits a poorly performing Chicago Public School can quickly figure out how to improve a "bad" public school. It will not be easy and thousands of parents will get their feelings hurt. Mayor Emanuel and Jean-Claude Brizard will have to teach some parents how to properly raise a child so they can receive good grades in school.
Mayor Emanuel and Jean-Claude Brizard could be accused of hurting the feeling of Chicago Public School teachers. Collectively their feelings need to be hurt. As long as I lived in Chicago I have never seen the Chicago Teachers Union developed a comprehensive plan to improve poorly performing schools. The Chicago Teachers Union are now being backed in to a corner by Charter Schools and Turnaround Schools. The Chicago Teachers Union are go down with a fight but will they present a plan to improve failing schools?
One main challenge for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Jean-Claude Brizard and the Chicago Teachers Union is improving Chicago Public School parents. You do not need to be a parent to know the Chicago Public Schools need more good parents. You don't have to be a educator to know the good CPS students tend to come from stable homes with at least one involved parent.
I'm sure there are parents who will be offended if the CPS tells them how to raise their child, but they need be told. These parents will be offended if you give their child a new sense of hope that will help them transcend their low income urban culture. This is where the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union need a greater focus. The Chicago Public Schools will never truly improve until they create a culture that will counteract a student's low income urban neighborhood culture.