Education

Chicago Mayor Threatens Teens' Diplomas Unless They Participate in Approved Post-School Education

Maybe focus on getting your own nearly bankrupt government in order, Emanuel.

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Rahm Emanuel
Jose M. Osorio/TNS/Newscom

Hey, Chicago kids! If you're expecting your high-school diploma, you're going to have to tell your school what you plan to do with it. Oh, and if you're not going to do what the Chicago Public School system wants you to do with your diploma, they might not give you one!

The City of Chicago has so ineptly financed itself that it has to tax the crap out of its citizens—literally—just to try to keep its underfunded city employee pensions afloat. It's so dysfunctional that it's the only top-10 city in America that's losing population.

Yet, today Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided that the failure of teens to map out their post-secondary education future is a big enough problem that city bureaucrats need to get involved. And what they're going to do is such a brilliant example of how disastrous centrally planned governance is. The school system is going to withhold diplomas from graduating high school seniors unless and until they provide the school system information about their post-school plans.

And to be very, very clear: This is not a "choose your own post-education adventure." You will choose from one of four government-approved options. If you want a diploma you will be required to provide proof you've been accepted to:

  • A four-year college
  • A community college
  • A branch of the armed services
  • A trade school or program

That's it. That's what the City of Chicago has decided your choices for success are after you've graduated high school. Got an entrepreneurial spirit? Go get an official post-secondary stamp of approval with a business degree, kid. Or else it doesn't count. Part of a family-owned business? The city plans to regulate and tax them out of existence anyway.

There's an entire list of ways this demand offends the conscience. First and most obvious, it treats people who are becoming adults as though they are wards of the state and withholds a diploma that they've earned unless they provide information to the Chicago Public School system that they have no authority to even ask for.

Second, note that how all of these post-school options tie the teen further into environments subject to continued government control and operations even after reaching adulthood. Granted both the colleges and trade schools could be privately operated, but both are heavily dependent on government grants and subject to significant government control.

Third, since the demand requires merely acceptance and not actual commitment to attend (at least that's what the reporting is saying now) and community colleges accept pretty much everybody, it's just insulting bureaucratic busywork when all is said and done. They can't take your diploma back if you get accepted into college and then don't attend. And that just makes it all the more offensive. It's paternalistic government nudging designed to socialize and fundamentally trick teens into thinking that this is the sum of all their choices after graduation.

Fourth, imagine being a teen and not grasping the busywork "nudging" nature of this demand, concluding post-secondary education is out of reach for you for whatever reason, and believing that you have to join the military in order to get your diploma.

And finally, this is clearly a jobs program—but not for these students. It's a jobs program for post-secondary educators and administrators, an attempt to force an increase in demand through this not-so-subtle coercion. Emanuel pretty much said so himself:

"Starting with the freshman class, right now in high school in Chicago, by the time they come to graduation they'll have — basically think of it this way — you want to make 14th grade, not high school … universal in people's educational program," he said. "And what I mean by that is if you graduate you'll have to have a letter of acceptance from a college, a letter of acceptance from a community college or a letter of acceptance from the armed services or a letter of acceptance from a trade, carpenter or electrician."

Note that Emanuel is confusing "universal" with "mandatory" here. This is the first step in pretty much mandating post-secondary educations for people who might not and perhaps should not be otherwise pursuing them. And according to the Chicago Tribune, this rule is supposedly coming into play starting with students who graduate in 2020.

Need an antidote? Listen to Mike Rowe, famous from Dirty Jobs, talk about our screwed up overpriced college system and the value of trade jobs. Mind you, Emanuel's proposal is friendly to teens pursuing trades, but with the government's oversight (and veto power) over what pursuing a post-school trade actually looks like:

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  1. The school system is going to withhold diplomas from graduating high school seniors unless and until they provide the school system information about their post-school plans.

    Just the diploma, or will they also refuse to send out transcripts?

    Second, what a cunt.

    1. For the first time in my life, I hope a shit ton of black graduates sues Chicago and Rahm claiming racist discrimination. I know there isn’t any racist angle to this, but I it would be sweet to see a hard core Dem eat that shit.

      1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

        This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

    2. Just drop out and get OJT in the crack and smack industry.

  2. “As long as we meet the state’s minimum graduation requirements, the district, the Board of Education does have the authority to have requirements on top of that, and as Mayor Emanuel just pointed out, we have several that go above and beyond the state of Illinois’ requirements,”

    Seriously, what a cunt.

  3. This is why central government is so efficient.

    You get choices and you can vote with your feet.

  4. Emmanuel is not confusing anything. Any government goal to universality must be mandatory. If not, the benighted fools who make up the unwashed masses might choose poorly and make the goverment miss its mark.

    1. No taking a year off to travel Europe I see.

  5. Why bother going to a CPS school then? Go get a GED somewhere and be done with it.

    1. If you’re not going on to college, it’s a perfectly valid option. Most places (other than colleges) don’t really care if you have a formal sheepskin or not. High School equivalency is … equivalent!

      1. Hell, many colleges don’t care. Some don’t even care if you have the GED. Notice he said show you’ve been accepted, not actually go. What an idiot.

        And what a cunt.

  6. The mayor said the need for some kind of postsecondary education or training is simply a reality for the current job market.

    The workplace today has that requirement. All we’re doing, as a school system, is catching up to the requirements of the workplace,” he said.

    No it doesn’t, you cunt.

    1. No kidding.
      Has this useless parasite with delusions of adequacy ever held an honest job in his life?

  7. At least it’s a tacit admission that Chicago Public Schools cannot educate anyone well enough to get a low-skilled job after 12 years of incarceration.

  8. And finally, this is clearly a jobs program?but not for these students.

    Is there any Democrat that doesn’t see education as a jobs program for one of their most reliable voter bases?

  9. What a bunch of useless control freak cunts. How the heck do parents accept this crap?

    Also, just shut up and lie, get the diploma and DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT. Not what dumbass bureaucrat tells you.

    1. Far more fu to tell them ‘no’ and start a class action lawsuit.

  10. So the rules can just be changed for someone who went in under the old rules?

    Asking for a friend who wants to change the rules on current government employees pensions

  11. THIS is why we need school choice.

    I teach in a business school at a private university, and I can say unequivocally that at least 40% of the students here, where their parents are involved and footing the bill, would be better served in a trade, family business, or as an entrepreneur.

    1. THIS is why we need school choice.

      Not sure how school choice is gonna change anything, since any private or charter schools operating in Chicago would have to comply with local or fed regs.

      Need an antidote? Listen to Mike Rowe, famous from Dirty Jobs, talk about our screwed up overpriced college system and the value of trade jobs. Mind you, Emanuel’s proposal is friendly to teens pursuing trades, but with the government’s oversight (and veto power) over what pursuing a post-school trade actually looks like…

      I don’t think talking about the “value” of trade jobs is gonna work. Not because its a bad thing (nothing’s wrong with being a plumber or a craftsman or a welder), but because it completely misses the root of the issue. Kids don’t go to college because they expect to make a lot of money (although the college premium is pretty high nowadays); they go to college because of status. Modern culture has made a college education a basic requirement for being middle class (like having a smartphone or owning a home); kids who wanna work after high school have to deal with the fact that they’ll be looked down by others, especially those who go to college. Let’s face it, a guy with a HS diploma and a welding job is judged a lot harsher than a guy with a college diploma and a white-collar job (even if he makes less). THAT’s why a lot of kids go to college reluctantly: they don’t want to be viewed as society’s underclass.

      1. Sure, but I can take solace in the fact that my mortgage will be paid off in ten years while they’re still struggling with student debt in a studio apartment.

        1. Good luck getting support for the libertarian cause, then. You get more flies with honey than with vinegar, you know.

          1. Not sure how that applies here.

          2. What it should generate is opposition to fiat money, but that’s a hard concepgf.

  12. Since when does a city mayor have direct control over a school system? School districts typically fall under the umbrella of the county and state, and NOT a city government.

    Is Mayor Immanuel telling Cook County that they can’t issue diplomas? Does Mayor Immanuel think he outranks the State of Illinois? Or like everything else screwed up in the vicinity of Chicago, does the city actually run the schools?

    1. According to a statement by the head of the Ed Dept in the first article Scott linked, they do indeed.

    2. Or like everything else screwed up in the vicinity of Chicago, does the city actually run the schools?

      *Chicago* Public Schools, yes. Both the City and the State have underfunded pension obligations and at least part of the reason a budget can’t get passed it because the State wants to cut/not increase funding for CPS. CPS responds by whining that the State pays disparately less for it’s services to begin with. Emmanuel, repeatedly, has consolidated, closed schools, redistricted, and moved to build schools in already well-served areas. Frequently, to the chagrin of the neighborhoods involved. The best part is, people in their neighborhoods will simultaneously bad mouth Emmanuel and Rauner as though the Governor were a bigot who ought to be obligated to fund the Mayor’s stupidity.

      If I weren’t somewhat directly involved in the taxation, it would be hilarious drunken hobo cripple fight and, suddenly, I feel like everyone’s been missing out.

  13. How about we wont pay taxes untill you show us how you are going to balance the budget ?

    1. But we will give him 4 choices

      Cut spending
      Cut spending
      Cut spending
      Cut spending

  14. And he is my mayor for the next three years. Good thing he got the City Council and Press to play along with not releasing the Laquan McDonald video until after the run off.

    (And yes my kids go to public school — I live in Lincoln Park and the upper middle class takes care of its own)

    1. One of you better trained and funded individuals needs to go all Oliver Queen first season of ‘Arrow’ on these municipal assholes. Complete with the the tagline ‘You have failed this city’ before an arrow penetrates their heart.

  15. Yet, today Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided that the failure of teens to map out their post-secondary education future is a big enough problem that city bureaucrats need to get involved.

    I wonder how many rough depictions of Illinois with arrows leaving the state they get?

  16. So, not only are kids mandated under penalty of law to attend high school ‘for their own good’, now if they aren’t accepted into a program that isn’t guaranteed to take them after they graduate the government will withhold the piece of paper that was intended to be for their betterment all along under the worst case scenario.

    Or, to put it another way, the government is going to withhold a diploma that might help you get a job (spoiler: it won’t) if a third party won’t accept you or if you’re unwilling to take out student loans or die for your country. (not to mention that this is a great way to build up an army of brownshirts or ruin you with debt, comrade!)

    Ergo, the state has forced you to attend an institution that was inflicted upon you against your will and, on top of that, will withhold the promised fruits of that institution if you don’t go on to more education that you might not be able to afford and have no guarantee of being accepted into. Bear in mind even the military doesn’t take everyone, in fact they don’t take anywhere close to everyone.

    Got that, poor people? You’re fucked! I’m sure it feels better to know that it’s for your own good.

    I honestly don’t say this very often, but FUCK! OFF! SLAVER!

  17. First thing I noticed is that going into politics is NOT allowed.
    Nor is becoming a community organizer.

  18. Have the squirrels fixed the commenting yet?

    I will submit the OT to see if it is working – it took half an hour and multiple submissions to get any kind of first time presence on the site.

    It seems short comments that reflect short attention spans work best.

    Let see.

  19. Well only two refreshes, so far so good.

    Okay here goes ………

    Bit of background … I am a newly naturalized citizen (2/29/17) after being a legal immigrant / permanent resident since 2003, and a L-1B visa holder since 1995. My wife and I have had employer insurance, experienced COBRA, and ‘enjoyed’ the benefits of the PPACA both jointly and individually. I am a registered Libertarian and, with the exception of ‘asset forfeiture’ (knock wood) and the totally irrelevant discussions associated with sexual preference and other personal views, have experienced of most of the topics on this ‘website’.

  20. I really cannot understand you people!!

    Student debt is out of control and could out perform the 2008 loan shambles and Shackford and you lot castigate someone who is calling the ‘children’ to give some thought to there future??

    RE: “Yet, today Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided that the failure of teens to map out their post-secondary education ……”.

    In the UK in the early sixties I was making my decisions, with some (resisted) nudging from my parents, at the age of eleven! At fourteen the public school advisors, supported by the local industry, supplied advice as to my future education. The advice of these folks and my parents I took into consideration and largely ignored. I had thought about what I wanted to do and at the age of sixteen embarked upon my career in the aerospace engineering as an apprentice.

    1. You appear to disregard the compulsory nature of these limited choices. No one has said kids shouldn’t get career advice.

      The city government is telling students they must pick one of four paths or they don’t get the diploma they earned. Do you object to starting a business, doing charity work, or travel immediately after high school? Chicago does. So if you have otherwise earned your diploma and want to do charity work upon graduation the government is now saying we can’t stop you but you won’t be given your diploma. How does that promote career planning?

    2. Observe the sockpuppet misspellings and grammatical errors.

  21. Got an entrepreneurial spirit? Go get an official post-secondary stamp of approval with a business degree, kid.

    Any kid with an entrepreneurial spirit, will be right now be setting up his web site, to sell forged acceptance letters to other students.

  22. I applaud the principle that young adults should be ‘encouraged’ to plan their future, and the sooner the better.

    Of course some folks on this site will say any advice will in some way be intrusion in someone’s ‘rights’; by some government organ.

    Any advise that enables someone to avoid a wrong decision is a good thing; Recognize though, a wrong decision is your responsibilty. You literally must live by it.

    Others should not have to pick up the tab if you cannot think about your options.

    1. Of course some folks on this site will say any advice will in some way be intrusion in someone’s ‘rights’; by some government organ.

      It’s not “advice,” it’s coercion into one of four particular post-high school job paths, and it’s telling that you have to lie about it to make your point.

      And I noticed up above you were screeching about student loan debt. You know who doesn’t have student loan debt? People who choose not to go to college!

    2. And who decides what a ‘wrong’ decision is?

    3. What’s a “wrong decision?” Chicago has enumerated what they think that phrase means, and they appear to be poised to force that very limited view on everyone else. That’s the problem. Nobody is criticizing the idea of “thinking about your options.” Ironically, we’re actually criticizing the idea that the state plans to limit students’ options.

  23. The exodus of chicago will be even greater after this,i wonder if it will take 40years of wondering the mid west to find a new home for this people

  24. Just reminding people that when this douchebag was Obama’s head minion, he was pushing for universal conscription under the “national service” euphemism. Fuck him, and fuck the assholes who voted for him.

    -jcr

  25. Planning for the future is good. But receiving a higher quality education NOW is more important. Apparent from studies I’ve seen is that the quality of education continues to sink compared with many other nations. Unfunded and/or underfunded retirements funds for city/county employees is getting much worse and I fear, without detailed knowledge, that this plan is intended as a distraction from funding and other problems. Very hard to vote for ANY big city politician, many or most are in big financial messes.

  26. Hey, I’m sure the IBEW will step in to help out with new apprenticeship programs.

  27. The exact technical term is Continuing Extortion. The idea is you earn credentials that attest to competence. Some rent-seeking charlatans then kidnap those credentials for ransom/Danegeld. There are entire Associations of predators-on-trade-associations that elevate the hustle into an art form.

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  29. Rahm Emanuel would look so very good dangling from a lamp post. Shrieking out his life on a short stake would be good too.

  30. The whole concept is BS and there’s plenty to get mad about, but I feel a shout out to the alt text is also called for.

  31. this is more controlling than any Socialist society to date and it never worked for them either.
    I think someone could sue over this or will they continue to just be sheep to get their sheep skin

  32. Here in Maryland one of our most beloved lawmakers went out and experimented with doing volunteer work which she said she was shocked at how fulfilling she found the experience. Being an older lady she felt shortchanged that she had missed so many opportunities to stoke that dopamine level and wished someone had turned her on to the idea when she was a schoolgirl. The result of her experience, feelings and the fact that she was a State law maker conspired together and now all high school students in Maryland have to perform 40 (or is it 80?) hours of mandatory volunteer work in order to get their diplomas. I bullshit you not.

    1. Mandatory volunteer are contradictory words and when most kids get done with their forced volunteerism will never volunteer again by claiming they’ve already done their part.

  33. Fascinating new turn by progressives here. Will they also embrace the idea of immigrants not being allowed into the country unless they are sponsored by relatives, have marketable skills and a job lined up here?

  34. seems like fascism to me. children seen as resources to be molded into productive members of society so we can tax them or send them to war or wahtever else the State wants. However I seen the Dems reasoning here. People accept money form the state in the form of welfare and the state has a right to see that these kids become “useful”. In reality its just the Democrats resurrecting slavery. The never got over the passing of the 15th Amendment.

  35. after these kids decide on a scholastic course as required at what point will Rahm then decide that before they graduate from higher education they then must prove they have a job within his district to continue as his tax base?

  36. NYC is losing people too. Albeit not at the rate that Chicago is.

  37. A complete and utter waste of taxpayer money, educator time, and student morale. I didn’t have a plan after high school. I just went and worked and partied for a couple years, took a break, and then went on to get a masters in science 6 years later. It’s all good, not everyone needs to have a cookie cutter existence, especially 18 year olds.

  38. Well we can’t ban college (cuz of the children), so of course mandatory is the only option left. It’ll be fun when parents start getting penalized for their kid not going to college.

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  42. This is interesting to follow.
    No comments on how effectively local control is working in contrast to federal and/or state mandates to local schools. Just wailing against the choices made at the local level. Just because the locals elect idiots is no reason to go against principles. After all, it is just Chicago.
    Maybe they will expand the list of approved choices to include the web spammers above?

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  44. Sounds like living under a dictator to me. None of the governments business what anyone is doing after finishing school. GEEZE!!!!!

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  46. At least it’s a tacit admission that Chicago Public Schools cannot educate anyone well enough to get a low-skilled job after 12 years of incarceration.

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