School Choice by Jerry Cruz and Allison Albrecht of Radio Arte and Y-Press

April 20, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

Regardless of what high school you may decide on, it will probably look boring and institutional like this one.

Chicago Public Schools are made up of 675 schools from elementary to high school. 71 of those are charter schools. We’ve also got magnets, achievement academies,  military academies, career academies, and the list goes on.  With such a grand variety, students in Chicago’s public system can decide where they want to go for high school, but the options might not be as open as you would hope.

This is a story about students motivations and decision processes in finding which institution’s style best fits them. However, these choices involve a lot of applications. Reporters Jerry Cruz and Allison Albrecht question how much a Chicago student has exactly in “School Choice” from Y-Press and Radio Arte.


Radio Arte, a youth run radio station in Chicago’s southwest neighborhood of Pilsen, and Y-Press of Indianapolis collaborated on a series of stories called (w)indy. One four part series that has been uploaded to PRX focuses on Chicago’s school system. The other four part-er focuses on Indianapolis’s diverse population and will be up soon.

I was researching budget numbers when writing the script for this story and was totally blown away by the amount of money spent on education! It's a lot! But more unbelievable figures are the budget shortfalls that school districts across the country are predicting for the coming year. In Chicago, we are short $760 million of the $5.3 billion it costs to run the schools. In New York, the Governor is proposing a $1.4 billion cut to education (from the $17 billion NYC public schools need to run) to help the state make ends meet. Got any public school drama where you live? Leave it in the comments!


Intro by music is Hella by Broke For Free on the Free Music Archive / CC BY 3.0

Outro music by Jonphonics on BandCamp.