The controversial Chicago mayor has advanced a new proposal requiring all high school seniors who want to get a diploma to show that they have post-graduation plans by providing written proof that they have been accepted — not merely applied to — by a college, a gap-year program or the military. Proof of a job works too.
Emanuel can’t enforce his plan without approval of the Chicago Board of Education, which he can strongly influence, but the proposal has already been attacked on so many quarters that it is not clear what will happen.
Emanuel at a news conference this week said he wants students to think beyond high school and plan for what comes after. “Just like you do with your children, college, post-high school, that is what’s expected. If you change expectations, it’s not hard for kids to adapt.”
The Chicago Tribune noted a reality that appears to make the whole thing a useless exercise, reporting:
A top CPS official also acknowledged, however, that every Chicago public high school graduate essentially already meets the new standard because graduation guarantees admittance to the City Colleges of Chicago community college system.
Students could apply to community college, get accepted, show the proof, get the diploma and not attend if they didn’t want. That makes one wonder why Emanuel raised the issue in the first place, opening himself up to enormous criticism from people saying he is out of touch with how many of the residents in the city he leads live.