Education in Chicago for many years had been below the standard. This was indicated by low graduation rates, increased number of drop out, increased suspension and expulsion rates and low-class attendance. In addition, teachers’ strikes were rampant and led to a reduced number of class hours. To curb this situation, the government together with teachers and parents, came up with ways to heal the situation. In the past five years, improvements have been witnessed in Chicago. Improvement is not earned easily, it involves changes and moves made both at individual and group level. Appropriate changes in the education system are the major factor that has led to better education in Chicago.
1. Strong Programs and Education System
Comprehensive programs and education system introduced in Chicago has become the baseline and pillar to better education. Education system in Chicago comprises of levels, for instance, the Chicago Public Schools have vast levels consisting of primary schools, secondary schools, disability schools and universities. In this system, selective enrollment is done to ensure that qualified students are enrolled to their respective level. In the process of changing the system, many public schools were closed to give way to an opening of more chartered schools.
2. Government Intervention
A Government is a supreme body that makes final laws and legislation to govern every state. The government in Chicago intervened to improve the state of education. This intervention was in a form of contract in which the government introduced a renaissance program in form of charter to improve the performance in schools. This program was a non- profit organization that complied with the government structure and whose main aim was to better education.
3. Close Monitoring of Students Performance
The Chicago education system has embraced a more rigorous curriculum, which has boosted performance. The system entails close monitoring of grades and class attendance of students. Since data system to track progress was introduced, improvement in grades has been achieved, and hence improved pass rate. This system also has led to increased number of graduates per year.
4. Motivated and Dedicated Teachers.
Cases of striking teachers had increased in the past years. The striking teachers demanded for better pay, proper evaluation and other benefits such as allowances. The government and other agencies in Chicago have been dedicated in making sure that the teachers’ grievances have been fulfilled. The dedicated teachers have worked to improve the students’ performance as well as improving their social lives.
5. Increased Focus on Attendance and Dropout Prevention.
Research studies showed that dropout cases were the main reason why the number of graduates had been decreasing. The teachers made an effort to reduce this rate by offering make up exams for students who failed to attain the pass mark. This exam is to offer a second chance for improvement, and studies have uncovered that this has increased graduation rates. Drop out has been prevented also by eliminating the state exit exam whereby it offers only a one chance exam.
6. Social Support.
Community is believed to be the key contributor to the social norm and way of living in the society. Parents and teachers in this case, offer major social support to students. Through programs developed, the students are able to interact with their teachers and parents socially. Such programs consist of seminars, leadership conferences and counselling sessions. Most of the programs are restorative and seek to reduce student suspension and expulsions. These programs have encouraged many students to join schools and not to give up on their education. There has been increased number of freshmen in institutions, this is due to the social efforts of parents and teachers to impart both knowledge and values to the students. Parents and teachers have therefore helped in cultivating habits of success and hence better education.
7. Introduction to Coding in Curriculum.
Recently, most of the institutions in Chicago have incorporated the use of online programs to either substitute lecture mode of learning or used concurrently. The students use computers to carry out their research and submit their assignments. The introduction of e-learning programs has also improved the performance of students, since students have personalized and close interaction with their tutors. Also the popularization of programming and education at top sites brought good results in level of education in whole.
8. Reduced Racial Gaps
Efforts to reduce racial gaps has transformed the education in Chicago positively towards achieving better performance. Such efforts have tried to merge the majority black students and low-income schools with more racially diverse and affluent institutions. More opportunities have been offered to the vulnerable students and hence increasing the rate of graduates. Such programs that aim at reducing racial isolation have helped reduced socio-economic hardship. The less advantage students have been lifted and their chances have been improved to being successful adults.
9. Strategic Investments
Achieving goals require well-set strategies, strategies acts as guidelines and should be invested to gear plans. Such strategies that were employed in Chicago to guide the achievement of better education are expanding childhood education. This strategy helps in focusing more on nurturing the children at their tender age, to achieve the right set of skills to help him or her to get to the final stage. Another strategy in Chicago education was to focus on complex subjects as math and literacy skills in early grades to ease the educational journey of the learner. Redefining of the schools’ structures was another successful strategy. The government also strategized on improving the students’ performance by training the teachers to meet the required level of competence.
10. Better Funding in Education Sector
Education funding gather for categorical grants such as special need education and transportation. More funds have been allocated to improving the student’s welfare and also to improve their facilities.