Chicago’s mayor wants to make college and job acceptance letters a graduation requirement

 By Office of United States Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D - Illinois) ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Office of United States Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D - Illinois) ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Andrew Pillow

Schools often talk about how important it is for students to have a plan after graduation. Rather that be college, or some other form of employment. Typically, this is where guidance counselors come into play. However, Chicago Public Schools may go a little bit further by requiring students to have proof of a plan before they graduate.

Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel is leading the charge for the post high school plan as a graduation requirement.

The plan works like this: All Chicago Public School students would have to show an acceptance letter to receive their high school diploma.

The acceptance letter can be to any of the following:

  • Four-year university
  • Community college
  • Job Training program
  • Trade school
  • Apprenticeship
  • Internship
  • Branch of the Armed Forces

Mayor Emanuel says he doesn’t want students to view high school graduation as their final goal and that the plan is simply keeping up with the real world.

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

It is worth noting that all CPS students qualify for free tuition at City Colleges via an existing partnership and low income students get their application fees waived. Additionally, 60% of CPS students already have a plan prior to graduation according to CPS.

Read more about the plan on the city’s official website here.


Andrew Pillow

Andrew is a technology teacher at KIPP Indy College Prep. He is graduate of the University of Kentucky and a Teach for America Alum. Andrew just recently finished his commitment as a Teach Plus Policy fellow, and he is looking forward to putting the skills he's learned to good use. Andrew has written for several publications in the past on a wide variety of topics but will be sticking to education for his role on Indy/Ed.