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No Diploma Without A Plan

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No Diploma Without A Plan

ct-rahm-emanuel-high-school-requirement-met-20170405

ct-rahm-emanuel-high-school-requirement-met-20170405

ct-rahm-emanuel-high-school-requirement-met-20170405

ct-rahm-emanuel-high-school-requirement-met-20170405

Theresa Teresof, Reporter

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    A new graduation requirement is to be added that will affect the class of 2020, where seniors must be able to present proof of a plan after graduation. This was proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in April in an effort to get teenagers to think about their future and see beyond the 12th grade. In order to receive a diploma, a student must have proof of acceptance into one of the following institutions or programs: college, the military, a trades pre-apprenticeship, an apprenticeship, a gap-year program, a job, or a job offer.

    The plan was approved by the Board of Education in late May. It is supposed to send teens on a path to a productive future and is especially helpful for students who generally have little to no support at home. The evidence-based approach  , also called “Learn. Plan. Succeed.” is designed to steer all students on a path to success in the next steps of their education. While the proposal sounds good on paper,  there are uncertainties that arise, such as the question of whether CPS can even provide enough mentoring and counseling to students. It seems rather difficult to implement,  as there will be a need in funding and training for counselors.

     “I know we all have got 400 students on our caseload so I think it is tough to get to know somebody as my student; without knowing a whole background of somebody it is hard to have a whole plan set up  in place.”said Jacquelyn Spokas on the matter.

     Also, according to the American School Counselor Association the recommended ratio between a counselor  and students is 1 to 250. In Illinois however, the ratio in 2013-2014 was 1 counselor to  701 students. This shows the need for more counseling staff at high schools.

     These concerns were addressed in a press release stating: “In 2013, CPS began training staff to obtain the Chicago College Advising Credential (CCAC), which will best equip staff to support concrete post-secondary plans, with a goal ensuring every high school has a certified counselor or coach. To date, roughly 40 percent of school counselors have obtained this certification and as part of this initiative, CPS will ensure all counselors have the training. Working with the Mayor, CPS is raising the approximately $1 million in funding from the philanthropic and business communities to accelerate this training.”

     With a need in more counselors and training, as well as funding the plan definitely is in need of revisions, it sounds rather rushed and preparation for the future and college should be longer. Most seniors in high school do not really know what they want to do in the future and many might show proof of acceptance into community college just to receive their diploma, but chose not to go after they get their diploma. It could force some students to take a path they do not really want to go down in life, in fear of being denied a diploma. Denying a student a diploma, they worked for over the course of 4 years, on the premise that they do not have a plan is outright wrong.

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No Diploma Without A Plan