Thursday, March 20, 2014

Priorities

Last year, Chicago's public high school system bragged that they had achieved a "record" high graduation rate of 63%.  Not so fast, came the quick analysis: the rate was only the highest since a new method of tracking started being used back in 1999.  And the graduation rate counted those students who  took five years to graduate, and did not reflect the dismal reality that many of these students weren't at all ready for college.

So roughly a third of Chicago's high school students still won't graduate, not even in five years, and many of the ones who do aren't literate enough even to apply to college, let alone to succeed there.  But we can rest assured that CPS is paying attention to its real priorities with today's news:
CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended a plan to make free condoms available at 24 high schools starting next school year, expanding an effort to reduce teen pregnancy and prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases among youths.

“I want everybody to understand that doesn’t mean you’re absolved either as a parent or an adult to talk to an adolescent about responsible behavior, respecting who you’re with, and doing what’s right not what’s convenient,” the mayor said. [...]

Chicago’s teen pregnancy rate is double that in New York City. The expanded condom distribution program will be funded by a five-year, $20 million federal grant.

So, to recap: $20 million federal dollars to make sure Chicago's high school students, roughly a third of whom won't graduate at all and many of whom will not be college-ready if and when they do.  But they'll be able to have Sex Without Consequences, which is the most important American pastime anyway.  Ah, priorities.

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