For our final action project in our humanities class A Nation’s Argument, we had to practice using dialectics. I decided to do so with the heated debate around CPS closings. The format a dialectical argument takes is the thesis and the antithese butting up against one another and then a synthesis resolving that tension and working towards a better compromise. To explore this I took my own opinion and found a teacher who felt the opposite and considered her disagreement with me and then attempted to balance the thoughts with a middle ground that makes sense as shown below. Below the written work is the Prezi I made explaining it.
I believe that the closing of certain Chicago Public Schools is wrong. It marginalizes communities and disrespects their basic right to public education and the proximity of it to their home. It takes away a structure of it’s community and a place where the children and parents can meet, learn and build a neighborhood. Schools are a huge part of a region’s connectedness and deserve resources and respect from the government. On top of that, the neighborhoods that receive this cuts and closings, are often already disadvantaged and not getting the resources and respect they deserve generally speaking, not just with schools.
The school closings are undeniably unfortunate. It is unfair, but sadly the financially responsible thing to do. If Chicago cannot give those students the resources they need if they’re at that school, then consolidating the schools to maximize resources is the most sensible action to take. I do not believe this to be a personal statement against any one neighborhood or group of people, but rather a realistic division and cut so that everyone receives the education we all inherently deserve.
It may be true that CPS has no other choice than to close schools due to budgetary constraints and if the best way to get children the education they need to succeed further down the line, then the closings must be done. Then the school building should be used as something to still facilitate community gathering and neighborliness, even if this is not organized through CPS. Schools as a place are an integral part of a society and they foster important relationships and no area should be denied that. These communities already feel marginalized and are often treated as though their needs are secondary, if even that, so giving them a way to still use the space for themselves would not only help to alleviate that feeling but also build a stronger sense of connection.