The lack of literacy in CPS is humiliating, and it is especially affecting minority students. Over the last two decades reading scores have not improved among African American students, University of Chicago’s research has identified. Further more surprising is that “one in seven African American students scored at or above a 20 [on their ACT], which represents a 43.2 percentage point gap between Caucasian students.” Chicago’s goal is to provide students in every community with a “world-class” education, and they are failing to meet this goal.
Based on the data collected among my research, I believe that teens struggle with literacy, because they don’t have access to the types of facilities that promote literacy, lastly society deems reading “un-cool”. Social norms in inner-city Chicago do not include reading and writing. Popular music does not promote literacy, rather it promotes Money, Drugs, and Violence. According to Ralph J. Decrement, a researcher at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, who conducted a research among 522 African American Females, Ages 14-18, Found that students who listen fourteen hours a week or more, are 3 times more likely to hit a teacher, and over 2.5 times more likely to get arrested. Statistics such as these demonstrate that we need to get students to spend more time reading that listening to objectionable music.
Many different solution that have been proposed to fix the literacy problem, but no solutions has created flawless results. Sen. Karen Morgan, D. UT, deduced that “reading is the foundation of all learning” and “if kids don’t have the basic skill, they just slip through the cracks” (Deseret News, 2010). Sen. Morgan pushed a bill that would prevent illiterate students from passing beyond the third grade. Alaina Wilcock, A Reading specialist in Utah, is an opposition to this bill because she views it as a “quick fix” to a complicated situation. In Ginny Wiehardt’s article “Realistic Ideas to Get Teens Reading” discusses many ways in which educators and parents