Creating Real Changes In How High Schools Prepare Their Graduates

There is a major qualitative difference between a good and effective press event; and good and effective educational policy.

A response to a question on a previous post concerning the Faux (and possibly illegal) Mayoral/Chicago Public Schools plan to make certain post high school task “requirements” for receiving a diploma:

Stop the games and gimmicks, and just educate people’s children!

Thank you ______________, yes you are right. As public school educators we absolutely have a responsibility in what happens to students after they graduate from our schools. And as a 11 year high school principal I made sure my college-career office empowered every graduate with a post-graduation plan (i.e. we also taught students interviewing techniques, how to dress (and in some cases purchased the clothes) for an interview, helped them to design a standard resume, taught business world “soft skills”, etc.). Finally, whether they were going to college, or not we had all of our seniors apply to a city and state college. The difference between our school plan, and what the Chicago mayor is doing, is that we made sure all students were attitudinally and academically prepared to pursue multiple post-graduation options. The CPS proposal in my view is just one of many “for show” pronouncements I have seen in public education over the last 40 years. High standards and expectations must be on the front, and not back end of the high school (and K-8) process. Students must be authentically equipped, socially & academically in order to have real choices after high school. School districts need to stop (and educators of conscience, and communities of color need to stop them), making our children the dogs, ponies, and worst of all the “jokes” of the education for show game! — MAJ.