Originally Posted by brian_b
That's a very simplistic assumption. A LOT of parents can't go to parent teacher night because of things like working multiple bad jobs just to make rent and put food on the table. A LOT of parents in the city would love for their children to do well in school but simply don't know how to make that happen - and nobody is helping them out.
We've all been told that the we as parents are able to exercise control and hold schools accountable through our elected local school councils, which makes up for the fact that the CPS board is appointed with no public input. Are you aware of all the schools on the south and west sides that have had their elected local school councils abolished and full control of those schools handed over to organizations that are unaccountable to parents, taxpayers and even CPS?
Go ahead and FOIA one of those contracts. Once you've read one, I dare you to claim poor school performance is simply a lack of parental involvement.
No one is saying these parents are evil bad people because they don't give their kids the resources they need. That's obviously at the root of the problem; as I said above: "Parents who are unwilling or unable
to be involved in their children's education". It is also worth mentioning that there is another issue where you have parents who are probably able to help their kids do well, but unwilling to do so because they simply don't know any better. That's a huge problem in the African American community where family structures have been repeatedly broken down since they were first brought over as slaves. They may have the time to help their kids, but because there is no social norm encouraging them to read to their kids daily or whatnot, they don't do it. Many people simply weren't raised themselves to know what things need to be done to help a kid do well in school.
None of these issues are the parents fault, it's an endless cycle that results in generation after generation not filling their full potential and therefore passing an uphill battle to reach their full potential on to their children. Ultimately that's why the gradual dissolution of these areas of concentrated poverty is necessary and a good thing. The only way you break that cycle is by breaking the entrenched feedback loop that occurs almost solely in these communities (or for poor rural communities in Appalachia for that matter). Unfortunately we still have very racist laws that allow white suburban communities with the resources to free some of the people from these areas from that cycle to deny access to section 8 tenants. Frankly the biggest positive step in the direction of ending racial poverty lines would be to have a court ruling it unconstitutional for places like Lake Forest or Barrington to not participate in Section 8. We already have a law making Section 8 a protected class in Cook County, but the fact remains that Chicago and a few of it's inner suburbs continue to carry almost the entire burden of poverty in the whole metro area. That's not right.
If every wealthy suburb took in just a dozen families a year from Lawndale, Austin, Englewood, etc via section 8, there would be no noticeable impact for the residents of those communities, but for the dozen families it would be life changing. In suburbs like that the norm is that everyone goes to college. The question for a Barrington High Junior is "where are you going to college?" not "will you graduate high school". Those types of basic social expectations alone go a long way towards pushing kids to excel and once they are out of the cycle of poverty, it's unlikely they will ever fall back into it.