According to the analysis, titled "From High School to the Future," nearly 80 percent of CPS seniors say they want at least a bachelor's degree, but most graduates don't have the grades to get into even somewhat selective four-year colleges -- much less graduate from one.Here are some other things that makes sense...
This is especially true among boys, and in particular African-American and Latino male graduates, about 50 percent of whom had high school averages of no more than C -- or 2.0 -- compared with 27 percent of all female CPS grads.
"Clearly, high schools are not engaging boys in ways to get them the grades they need,'' said consortium co-director Melissa Roderick, the study's principal investigator.
"The difference between a D and an F is going to class," Roderick said. "The difference between a D and a C is minimally doing homework. But the difference between a B and a C and a B and an A is really working, doing the studying.Finally there are those who contend that money is a reason for the dismal graduation rates..
University of Illinois at Chicago senior Mary Olowo said she saw widespread apathy about grades when she attended Chicago's Amundsen High.
"C was a perfectly acceptable grade to most students," said Olowo, a 2001 grad. "A lot of time, even when homework was easy, they wouldn't do it."
Olowo attributed the study's jarring gender gap to boys who struggle with the lure of gangs and the perception that it's "cool'' to cut class.
Mather High School Principal John Butterfield said the study seems to ignore the economic reality that 85 percent of CPS kids come from low-income homes and find it difficult to afford any college, let alone selective four-year schools. "If kids can't afford anything, where do they go?" he asked.What should be done to help increase the college graduation rates of CPS students? How do we get these young men in the mode to come to class and study and earn the marks? I may have a few ideas but I'll leave that for another post.
Gage Park Principal Wilfredo Ortiz cited another obstacle: "Last year, my No. 1 and No. 2 students were undocumented, so they couldn't get any financial aid."
At Northeastern, finances affect graduation timelines, said Provost Lawrence Frank. Many kids study part time while working to earn money for school. Others stop for a while to work and start up again. Yet others run into financial problems at other colleges and wind up transferring in to Northeastern.