Chicago is known as one of the greatest cities in the world.

It is a place that people from all different backgrounds call home. People of different ethnicities, religions, incomes, and sexual orientations all live here and- for the most partare accepted. As great of a city as Chicago may be, it is still plagued by senseless violenceusually due to illegal activities such as drug dealing, robbery, and prostitution. These illegal activities are ways for uneducated people to make money. The Chicago Police Department does a great job, but they can never completely stop the drug dealing, robbery, prostitution, nor the violence that accompanies them. The best way to stop something is at the source; prevention is the best method. If we can educate our youth, they will have more options, and be less likely to get involved in illegal activities. As of September 10, there have been three fatal shootings in an uptown neighborhood- two on the same street corner- in one week. On September 9, two teens were shot and hospitalized in South Kimbark. These acts of violence took place outside of a nursing home, and near a playground. Recently, affirmative action was put into effect in an effort to help those who have lesser opportunities get into college. Although affirmative action can have its upsides, it only helps minorities. It does nothing for whites who were not given equal opportunity, and it takes away from others who may be more qualified. Affirmative action will help certain individuals get into college, but it does not prepare them for the work ahead. If student cannot complete college, they cannot get a good job, and illegal activities seem more viable. In order to truly solve the problem, it must be addressed at the source: Chicago’s public school system. Chicago’s public school system is the third largest in the nation and has a budget of $5 billion. However, special treatment is given to magnet schools. The Consortium completed a study that followed students who graduated from Chicago public schools in 1998 and 1999.Their results stated that 6 out of every 100 freshmen would earn a bachelor’s degree by age 25. Of the students who went to college, 35% earned their bachelor’s degree within six years; this is well below the national average of 64%. This suggests that 65% of Chicago public school graduates, who attended college, were not prepared. That is a major flaw in affirmative action; the students are not prepared so they dropout or fail. The Chicago Public School System must be improved in order to provide everyone with an equal opportunity to attend and succeed in college. Chicago’s public schools are funded partially by tax dollars. This is a problem in some of the poorer areas because their tax money is not enough to fund the school. As a result, they are unable to properly teach their students, which leads to lower standardized test scores. Because of the No Child Left Behind Act, these poorly funded schools do not receive as much of the school system’s budget. It is a downward spiral that is nearly impossible to get out of. The poorer school’s budget has to be increased so that more qualified teachers will accept jobs there. In addition, any volunteer work done, such as tutoring students in need, would ease the teacher’s jobs, and keep the students motivated. Giving more money to schools with higher standardized test scores will not allow other schools to improve. The budget has to be distributed to schools that need it the most. If not, poor schools will stay poor, and standardized test scores will continue to plummet. In order to fix the situation, Chicagoans have to be made aware. We have to speak out, and fight for change.

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