As I reached the train platform this morning, I noticed a high school girl wearing sweatpants and a backpack who had just exited the train and was walking down, presumably to go to school. I assume that she was on her way to nearby Schurz High School. In about 6 years, high school for The Boy will be on our minds. It's really not that far away. If schools get better by parent/community involvement and marketing power, maybe it's time to get involved in the local high schools in the hopes that by the time my 7-year-old is ready for them, they'll be worth attending?
However, high school is still a daunting thought to me. First, there are only a handful of selective enrollment high schools in the city, which means that competition is fierce. One group, the North Side High School Initiative, is trying to start the process to improve options at the high school level. Unfortunately, this group is from/focused on wards 32, 42, 46 and 47; I'm in ward 39.
Second, and slightly more upsetting, is the issue of school violence at the high school level. Last week, I attended the League of Women Voters' lunch talk on school violence in CPS. Unfortunately, I missed the first 5 and the last 20 minutes of the presentation because I had to work, and missed the speaker's name. However, he was an administrator with Chicago Public Schools and presented data from a September 2009 PowerPoint deck on school violence. While the deck did present some good information (80% of school violence takes place in 38 schools, for example), the presenter had taken the CPS spin class, and could/would not give me specific answers to some of my questions (like the names of the 38 schools).
I'm committed to CPS through 8th grade, but will we be city-dwellers after 2017? It has nothing to do with street cred; I'm not sure I can hack the politics of everything.