Great Schools Matter is a series of education-related stories told by real Chicagoans. Chicago's schools have the capacity to dramatically impact students and families—either positively or negatively. We wanted to provide a platform for the authentic stories of real people to illustrate one key point: that great schools really do matter.
Sariah was struggling in school during 6th grade year. Her grades were slipping and she was acting out in a school that wasn't meeting her needs. Sariah and her parents found a consistent Level 1+ school to transition to in 7th grade. Since beginning 7th grade, Sariah's grades and engagement in school have improved. Her new, high-quality school supports and challenges her.
While riding his bike one day, a shooting occurred in front of Armani and his friends. Since the incident Armani says, "I'm just really scared of dying." Now, Armani rides the bus for over an hour every day, in order to attend a high-quality school in another area of the city that makes him feel safe so that he can learn. "What goes on outside, doesn't effect me in school, because I feel better in school."
For every year that Nate was enrolled in a Chicago Public School, he was provided with a consistently low-quality education. Each of his schools earned a probationary or intensive support status while he was enrolled. While Nate acknowledges many of the challenges he faces today are because of choices he made, it's also true that his life outcomes may have been different had he had different opportunities.