Be very afraid for Chicago’s stellar selective-enrollment schools

In his now-concluded campaign for mayor, Brandon Johnson promised to refrain from abolishing Chicago’s selective-enrollment schools. Specifically, his campaign stated, “a Johnson administration would not end selective enrollment at CPS schools.” These selective enrollment high schools are known for academic excellence and have played a crucial role in the Chicago educational system. However, concerns have recently emerged that the leadership may be considering a shift away from the current system.

Now holding office, Johnson appears to be considering a shift from this original promise, with a resolution being voted on by the city’s school board that calls for a move away from current admissions and enrollment policies, leading to unease and frustration among parents, teachers, and students who value the quality education provided by selective-enrollment schools. This indicates a potential change that may negatively affect the system.

The resolution hints at a five-year strategic plan that could pave the way for a transformation in the city’s education system, advocating for a shift in focus from privatization and a desire to reduce the disparity between schools. The use of complex and ambiguous language in the resolution has caused confusion and given rise to skepticism about the administration’s intentions.

Furthermore, this decision seems to disregard the desires of working-class Chicagoans, particularly those from minority communities, who value selective-enrollment schools for their quality and diversity. It is perceived by some that this move might lead to increased disparities and a lack of opportunities for students who wish to receive a quality education, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds.

The potential shift in the education system has raised concerns and criticism among various stakeholders, including teachers’ unions and parents. There is a belief that the administration’s choice to pursue this plan without transparent community engagement is a cause for alarm and indicates a lack of democratic values. Furthermore, the proposition is being met with skepticism, as people fear it might create more harm than good to an already struggling city.

Some argue that the system is necessary to encourage competition and ensure quality, as it provides an opportunity for all students to pursue excellence. Selective-enrollment high schools have played a crucial role in Chicago’s education landscape and have been vital to retaining the city’s middle-class families. The potential change could lead to an exodus to the suburbs and create unnecessary stress for students and parents, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds.

For decades, Chicago has grappled with the flight of its middle class to the suburbs due to concerns about the quality of its educational institutions. While the city has made attempts to offer more educational choices over the years, these potential changes raise doubts about the future of education in Chicago. The implications of this resolution are vast and have the potential to affect the lives of many families in the city.

Ultimately, it is hoped that the Chicago Board of Education takes the concerns of the community into account and refrains from proceeding with this resolution. The future of Chicago’s educational landscape is at stake, and it is crucial to approach any changes to the system with caution and consideration for the well-being of the city’s students and families.

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