While I was eating dinner last week, a good friend of mine, whose child attends Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory High School, had informed me that the technology/entrepreneur program was being eliminated from the school's curriculum.
Brooks which is located on Chicago's far south side at 111th and King Drive, is one of the top academic performing public schools in the city of Chicago. Brooks has a predominantly African American student enrollment, with a high percentage of the students, residing in low income areas, with some who are currently living in shelters, and a small percentage that are homeless.
The news immediately struck me with profound sadness and great disappointment. An onslaught of expletives aimed toward the responsible party, had ensued from head, rushing down to my throat, and out of my mouth. I immediately begin to think about the impact that this would have on these young men and women, who viewed this program as an opportunity, that normally would not ever come their way.
The department, which was headed by Mr. Scott Steward, was one of the most innovative and dynamic programs in the Chicago Public School System. In my most recent post on Morgan Brock, a former graduate and student of the program, who had invented a wash cloth infused with a bar soap, she was one of many students, who have greatly benefited from this program, and acknowledged that Mr. Steward was one of the driving forces behind the development of her invention.
The responses that I received, from current students, who was either taking the class, or who had decided to take the class next year, as a result of Ms. Brock's story was tremendous. Over 85% stated, that they were now inspired to develop an idea that they thought, would mirror what Ms. Brock has done, and maybe surpass it. Some even went into graphic detail, on how they thought this class could potentially change their lives.
Change their lives?
The other three words that we all want to hear.
Whomever was responsible for this does not matter at this point. What matter is that, a program that was designed to help children who would not have an opportunity other wise will not have the opportunity to come to fruition. It carried with it, a track record of outstanding performance, including a majority of the students who had previously taken the technology/entrepreneur class, had scored higher on their college entrance examinations, as compared to students who had not taken the class.
Now it's time to take action!
Parents must now become involved.
Contact the school's principal Mr. De Andre Weaver to find out more information.
Get in touch with the Board of Education.
Call the local Alderman.
Local church's and advocate groups. Shortly after they appeared on local news broadcast, stating that Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard must go, he was released.
Sounds like they may have a lot of power.
The time to act is now. The next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, may have been sitting in one of those classrooms waiting to be unleashed unto to the world, but unless action is taken, we will never know, and the change in that person's life, will never come to past.
Filed under: Uncategorized