In my MDG (Millennium Development Goals) course, we created a local profile on education in Chicago. The purpose of this piece was to study the recent local issue around the target we are focusing on. I was focusing on education in Chicago and the teacher strike of 2012. We had to get statistics, find news articles, and conduct an interview with a person that works in that field. What I am mostly proud of is my final paper, and the interview I got to do with Amy Hill a manger of the youth program in Refugee-One, who had great information about education. My final page was a great accomplishment for me. From this project, I learned that Chicago is at risk in education, that students here need more education, and especially that the teacher strike came at a bad time.
Here is my report below:
Access to education
This local profile examines one of the Millennium development goals. The target that I am focusing on is target 2.1, “making sure that by 2015 children everywhere boys and girls will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.” I looked at the recent teacher strike to see how it affected education, created a graph of local statistics, and talked to a local expert.
In Chicago, a lot of children got affected by the 2012 strike. A recent CNN article, reported by Kyung Lah and Greg Botelho, states that “parents and city officials scrambled to keep about 350,000 children busy and out of trouble as the strike stretched into its second week.” It also quoted a CPS parent, Will White, who said, ““It is frustrating for me that the kids are not in school, and I have to find other ways to continue their education.” The teacher strike stopped 350,000 students from accessing education. That led to parents getting frustrated and try to find other ways for their kids to access education.
Before the teacher strike, the education of CPS was already at risk. As graph one shows, ISAT scores in Chicago are lower than IL as a whole. In addition graph two shows IL honor roll comparing Chicago, to the suburbs, and down state IL. As you see Chicago, the red column, is always lower than down state, the blue column, and the suburbs, which is the green column. As the graphs show, Chicago is always lower in education, meaning the teacher strike is not what we were waiting for, because we need students to be educated.
Recently, I had a conversation with Amy Hill, a manager of the youth program at Refugee-One organization. I asked her what she thought about the teacher strike and she said, “I have mixed feelings about the strike. I want students to get enough education and want teachers to have their rights to speak up. I think that the teacher strike came at the wrong timing, we need more education for the students.” From hearing Amy’s opinion and adding it to mine, I can really say that Chicago is at risk in education and schools.
In my conclusion, I can say that Chicago students are really at risk in getting the education they want. I was convinced of this by reading about the teacher strike, looking at local statistics of education in Chicago, and interviewing Amy Hill. All of this information showed the real meaning of access which is students getting the education they want. The teacher strike showed us what is an important part of access to education, if teachers are not in school to educate students, then students will not get the education they need.