By Fatima Huazano
During the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, Michelle Obama stated, “You have to stay in school. You have to. You have to go to college. You have to get your degree. Because that’s the one thing people can’t take away from you is your education. And it’s worth the investment.” It is important to go to school, but it is more important to actually succeed in school. Going to a school that actually prepares you for the future is very crucial when it comes to applying to college. One school network that stands out in Chicago is the Noble Network of Charter Schools. Students that attend Noble Schools are more likely to apply to college and perform better academically.
With 18 schools around Chicago, Noble schools have successfully increased the ACT scores of their students every year. Mr. Milkie, the founder of Noble schools, spoke about the differences between Noble schools and CPS schools, “It starts with the teachers. We work really hard to get the best teachers. Another thing we do is that Noble schools are really strict. We like to think of it as having a strong school culture, and part of that culture is students behave in a way that allows teachers to teach and minimize the number of disruptions. We thought they could achieve more academically with really great teachers and a good, strong culture in terms of respect, good behavior.”
For example, Apryll Arroyo transferred from Pritzker, one of the Noble schools, but she came back to Pritzker in her senior year. For my longtime friend named Cindy, who is now attending the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, the poverty levels of students has an impact on whether it is possible to earn a college degree. She explained, “Having the ability to be on the upper level of the social mobility curve has an impact on the accessibility of something as valuable as a college degree.” This is still a significant issue as only 14% of low-income college students graduate, according to a U.S. Department of Education study (Johns Hopkins, 2016). - MICHELLE CHAVEZ Arroyo stated, “I came back because Pritzker is different. You actually learn and pay attention. Here at Pritzker teachers actually care about you and Pritzker pushes you. I missed Pritzker because I knew I was not learning as much in my other school. Pritzker does set you on the right path.” Noble schools help students improve their ACT scores by having a strict culture, which allows teachers to teach and not have any disruptions. In addition, students learn more because they do not have any distractions such as phones, other students being loud, etc. As a result, students end up increasing their ACT scores, as shown in the graph, and attend a college.