June 7, 2007
High school dropout rates among males in Chicago spell trouble, and opportunity.
This week on ABC7Chicago we learned about eye-poppingly high dropout rates among boys in Chicago public high schools.
Blacks: 61 percent;
Latinos: 49 percent;
Whites: 42 percent;
Asians: 24 percent.
"It is a huge loss of human potential," Waldo Johnson of the University of Chicago told reporter Charles Thomas. Indeed. And it is a huge gain for the criminal element on the streets of the Windy City.
Thankfully, there is hope, and Christians are at the forefront. From the report:
"Building trust, as well as faith, is part of the House Covenant Church's mission on Chicago's West Side. Here, the hymns are hip-hop and the sermon is likely to be rapped and rhymed. The pastor is ordained Minister Phil Jackson, who says all institutions trying to reach urban young people should try new approaches during these desperate times.
"'It's rough to do work with young people. It is hard to get a young man to look back at you to consider another way of life,' said Rev. Jackson. 'Churches have to get more grittier. There should be no reason that churches are not seeking to be as creative as they can be and to have that kind of impact.'
"Jackson says the House Covenant reached about 9,000 young people last year. "
I would like to know what the term "reached" means here, but it's clearly a promising start.