Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

Congratulations Chicago… you’re getting what you voted for

Mayor Brandon Johnson is looking to prevent smart kids from attending selective-enrollment high schools. No longer will a brilliant kid from a bad neighborhood get to leave his crappy high school and attend one of the many college prep high schools in the city.

I applaud Mayor Johnson for this move. We need smart kids in dumb schools. How else will you be able to bring those school’s grade point averages up? Who cares about the kid’s future and helping his prospects for attending the college of his choice. What is needed in the Chicago Public Schools is equity. Everyone needs to be brought down to the lowest level just to make it fair.

Another nail in the coffin for the city of my youth.

During his campaign for mayor, Brandon Johnson put out a statement saying that he would not get rid of Chicago’s selective-enrollment schools. Those of us who kept receipts know that precise words released by his campaign were, “a Johnson administration would not end selective enrollment at CPS schools.”

At the time, Johnson and his Chicago Teachers Union backers well knew that any attempt to mess with Chicago’s superb little clutch of 11 selective-enrollment high schools — Northside College Prep, Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, John Hancock College Prep, Jones College Prep, Lane Tech, Lindblom Math and Science Academy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School, Walter Payton College Prep, South Shore International College Prep, Westinghouse College Prep and Whitney M. Young Magnet School — would have been met with howls of parental anguish, a surge in business for companies offering moving services from Chicago to the suburbs and voters throwing their support elsewhere.

But Johnson’s in office now, in case you haven’t noticed. And see if you can square that campaign commitment with the language of a resolution up for a Thursday vote by Johnson’s school board.

The resolution is fertilizing the soil for a five-year “transformational” strategic plan, apparently coming this summer from Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez. The resolution calls for “a transition away from privatization and admissions/enrollment policies and approaches that further stratification and inequity in CPS and drive student enrollment away from neighborhood schools.”

That’s obfuscating language, of course, which is this administration’s preferred mode of communication, especially when it comes to launching trial balloons like this one.

Chicago Tribune