Chicago Mayor’s Graduation Initiative Aims to Help Students Compete in Global Economy

495
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joins "CBS This Morning" from Chicago to discuss his proposal. (CBS)

“Learn. Plan. Succeed.” That’s the slogan of a new graduation initiative Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to implement at Chicago Public Schools (CPS) by 2020.

Flanked by students, teachers and graduates at Malcolm X College Wednesday, Emanuel announced the first-of-its-kind policy that will require CPS students, starting with the current freshman class, to present one of the following in order to graduate:

  • College acceptance letter
  • Military acceptance/enlistment letter
  • Acceptance at a job program (e.g. coding bootcamp)
  • Acceptance into a trades pre-apprenticeship/apprenticeship
  • Acceptance into a “gap-year” program
  • Current job/job offer letter

Without a “post-high school education plan,” they won’t graduate.

“We live in a period of time where you earn what you learn,” Emanuel told CBS This Morning. “The school system of a K-12 is not applicable to the economy of the world that our students are graduating to. […] We want to make 14th grade universal now.”

Right now, 59 percent of graduating seniors in CPS already have a “concrete post-secondary plan.” The goal is to have an impact on the harder-to-capture 41 percent of students who don’t have one.

Emanuel’s initiative recognizes the fact that a 4-year degree may not be the right path for everyone, but every student should have a path for themselves once they leave high school. There are many options out there for students, and CPS will give credit to several recognized postsecondary paths to ensure a level playing field for all students.

WorkingNation has been highlighting programs, employers, and organizations that offer pathways for students outside of the 4-year degree. Some of these include:

YearUp: Connecting young adults who need opportunity with companies who need their talent.

Girls Who Code: Organization that gives girls grades 6-12 access to peers and mentors that help them learn to use computer science to solve problems in their day-to-day lives and make a positive impact on the world.

Toyota: One of the world’s leading auto manufacturers to recreate secondary schooling from the ground up with a goal of creating the perfect employees for their specialized needs.

For more organizations that can help young adults find their way during and after high school, click here.

Facebook Comments