Failure 101 at Chicago State University
Call it "Animal House" in the hood. This week in the People's Republic of Chicago (PRC) political leaders and academics met to review a number of troubling issues facing Chicago State University (CSU). The Chicago Tribune reports:
...during the 2008-09 academic year, 449 Chicago State students received state grant money even though, under university policy, an untold number of them should have been dismissed for poor academic performance.
Of those students, 106 had a grade-point average of 0.0 and still received aid from the taxpayer-funded Monetary Award Program, known as MAP.
The state's largest grant program for low-income students is persistently underfunded, and 151,000 qualified students were shut out of aid last year.
CSU alumni and chairman of the Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee, Edward Maloney (D-Chicago) echoed the sentiments of those gathered for the hearing when he said "The fact that people were getting this money who were making no progress and keeping it from people who could have used it... is a tragedy."
The policy which has allowed failing students to remain enrolled in the university was part of an intentional deception aimed at boosting CSU's enrollment figures. The state-funded university's policy requires students with a GPA below 1.8 to be dismissed from the school for "poor scholarship." CSU President Wayne Watson has been working to improve accountability at the troubled institution since his arrival in 2009.
The university dismissed 298 students for poor academic performance at the end of the spring semester, the same time the Tribune began asking for the GPA data.
Should the students be exclusively held to blame? They have been designed and built from the ground up to expect a lifetime free-pass to the American dream. They never expected to be held accountable for their failures and now that lifetime work-free government jobs and social welfare programs are evaporating in the light of economic reality, what is to become of these kids?
The students at CSU are almost entirely local kids and the products of the vaunted Chicago Public School system, which was led by Barack Obama's pal Arne Duncan from 2001 until he was elevated to the position of U.S. Secretary of Education. Mr. Duncan has been applying his Chicago-style educational reforms to the nation at large and recently began a push to upgrade public education (retaining the loyalty of the teachers union) by issuing waivers to allow our schools to avoid meeting the educational standards set forth in Teddy Kennedy's No Child Left Behind bill.
"Animal House" was released during my freshman year in college and became an instant classic on campus. Who could forget the scene as Dean Wormer reviews the academic record of the Delta Fraternity and informs them that "You're out! Finished at Faber. Expelled!" Last semester 298 students at CSU were called into the Dean's office for a taste of reality.
In 2012 when the Barack Obama Fraternity is held accountable for their 0.0 performance it will be our turn to say "You're out! Finished in government. Expelled!" Mr. Obama and his pals don't know it, but they have been on "double secret probation" since last November's election. Maybe if we expel enough of the ruling political class, real education reform will be possible.