With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Militarization of public schooling

He turned Chicago into a Mecca for military schools. Chi-town has more than any city in the nation. A DOE media advisory informs us that today Arne Duncan will take time out from his Listening Tour with Newt Gingrich to support generals and admirals calling for students to be better prepared for the war machine.

The question arises: Duncan was certainly able, in peak athletic condition with intellectual skills honed at Harvard. Why didn't he enlist?

Minorities make up 92 percent of the cadet population. Only 4 percent are white, compared to 8 percent of the general Chicago public schools population.

There are no public school military academies in Chicago's suburbs.


  1. The military isn't a terrible option for kids whose families normally wouldn't be able to afford college tutition. I have a friend who went this route, and after she got to see the world during her service time, she went back to school and had a much better sense of what she wanted to do with her life than I did when I finished high school and then went directly into college.

    I graduated from an affluent high school in the suburbs and some of my graduating classmates chose to pursue the military regardless of what their parents could afford for them. Sure, we didn't have a military academy, but that obviously didn't stop some of my classmates from pursuing that option. Today, I know that two of those kids that went into the military are now in medical school.

    Point being, it's not like kids are forced into these academies or are forced to even join the military after graduating from high school - it's one of very many choices they have! They can always go to their neighborhood school or one of the city's many other high school options - they choose the academy.

  2. But doesn't it make you wonder why a low number of white kids choose these academies? And why military academies are in low-income neighborhoods while there is not one--not one--high school with the words "college prep" in a largely Latino neighborhood?

    Bottom line: inequities exist. We can blog about it all day. But what we need to do is act on it.

  3. "I ain't gonna study war no more..."


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