OPERATION REDISTRIBUTION: THE IMPACT OF SCHOOL CLOSURES IN CHICAGO

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“Where do they go from here?”


I have been following the school closures in the city of Chicago for some time now. Some of the schools closing made sense and others didn’t make sense. The ones that did make sense had schools of only a couple of hundred students, and some smaller schools had less than one hundred students. Then you had the other places where the performances were so low that the buildings had to be closed and redistribution of students were enforced. Now my reply to all this change is once these new schools open for students, what will be the requirements and how many students will be allowed to make a full matriculation? But most of all, for those without a home school to go to, where will they go. Because there are laws prohibiting kids below a certain age to be in school. Laws that were put in place in the 19th century to keep kids from working in the labor force below a certain age. So kids between ages six and sixteen must be in school.

So with that said, kids will find a school. But will the schools be of adequate quality for them to attend, and how far away will the school be located? Some students may have to attend schools miles further from the distance they normally travel. And if they can’t make the distance, then you’re talking more overcrowding of schools close by. So what are some possible solutions because every kid is not going to have the opportunity of a new school. One of the ideas I came up with is to try to encourage home-schooling for those that are able. What used to be seen as taboo has become more popular in today’s society. Another suggestion is private schools opening their doors to students who perform well, yet are unable to get into these new public school and don’t want to attend the overcrowding, low performance schools. Because a student that performs well should always have a school to attend.

Now, a more extreme move is something that is of suggestion as well. That is to make the leap and move your child completely out of the Chicago area. And if you’re in the African American community, this suggestion makes sense considering the already disproportionate numbers of violent crime in the communities. So on top of the crime you’re now worried about how your child will be able to attend school. And in the end, what will be the ultimate decision if so many of these students can’t find a home school to attend? Where will they go, if they have any place to go? Will students be forced to attend schools so far out of the way parents are forced to pick up and move from the city? We’ll have to see once some of these schools are complete in the year 2019.


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PERPENDICULAR WORLDS: GOING TO SCHOOL IN ONE ENVIRONMENT AND LIVING IN A DIFFERENT ONE

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“Growing up in two worlds can he tough.”


Growing up going to school in one environment, but living in another can be a positive and a negative experience. For me, this was the case as well as my sisters in our lives. But unlike our small city life, when you live in major metropolitan city, the adjustment can be quite interesting. Where you have a kid that might be growing up in a housing project and going to school elsewhere. I see it all the time in New York City. Kids going to school at some academy while the other kids go to public schools. And the tough part is if you grow up as a poor child. Well, what are the good things or bad things that can come from living in two worlds?

On the positive side, you get a chance to see kids growing up in a world that is foreign to you. And when I say foreign, it’s you know kids have means above you, but not like what you’re witnessing. It gives you something to strive for, unlike the kids who grow up in your neighborhood. They’re going to schools where graduating from high school is a blessing. You’re not expected to do much after that. At the academy, you are asked your plans for the future in as early as elementary school. Kids in the academic environments of private institutions skills are cultivated at young ages. Since expectations are so low in poor areas, kids are forced to feel out life as time goes on.

But, are their any negatives in seeing so much that you don’t have access to society. The downside is that you grow to have so much resentment with the idea of so few having so much, and so many having nothing. You can’t understand as a child why your environment is in so much turmoil. Another obvious issue you run into while living in these two worlds is that the ethnic makeup of the children. A lot of poor areas in New York City are predominantly Latino and African American, while the groups who retain more economic influence are Jewish, East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean), and Southwest Asian (Indian). Your inner circle may create a bind with the people in your community and yourself.

In the end, that’s the hardest part of living in the two worlds. You lose a connection to the people in your community. Even though you live in a neighborhood, you’re actually more likely to make friends with kids you’re in school with; why? Well, because you’re in school the majority of the time. You meet kids in your neighborhood on the fly. And that loss of connection will start to make you question the environment where you live. People in the community live life as normal, but you know the other side. You’ve seen the top 15%, or %10, or even 1%. You will grow to have a stronger work ethic, yet at the same time, you may become detached from your immediate community.