Friday, April 21, 2006

6.5% of CPS freshmen finish college

This article is courtesy from the Chicago Sun-Times. They talk about specifically about a gender gap especially amongst Latino and black males. Check this out...

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.

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.
Here are some other things that makes sense...

"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.
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.
Finally there are those who contend that money is a reason for the dismal graduation rates..
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.

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.
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.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Interesting that you quoted Butterfield. Next time you talk to him, why don't you ask him about the little program they have that allows you to "buy" a ticket for a sports event for $1, then are excused from all classes that you should be attending to go to the event. Amazingly, you don't even HAVE to go to the event. No one checks, but you get a pass anyway - regardless of how poorly you are doing in school.

Then ask him how it's possible for an African-American boy to cut 135 classes, miss 35 days of school and still pass their finals. The boy missed all these classes because he said "I love to learn, but they aren't teaching me anything. They're wasting my time"

The boy now has a 3.2 average at Columbia college after getting his GED without attending one GED class. He took the pretest and they said there was nothing they could teach him, just take the GED. You'll pass.

You might also ask him why a student who is a member of their basketball team was not expelled for cold-cocking a kid in the hallway - with teachers as witnesses. Not only was he not expelled or suspended, but they tried to blame the kid who was punched - the basketball player was 19, the kid 16.

There's a real problem with CPS, but the people who run it don't have a clue what it is.

You want to engage kids? Challenge them.

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