[“Students sitting in circle listening to teacher outside on campus of New Trier High School.” Photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt. Winnetka, Illinois, June 1950. From the Life Photo Archive. Click for a larger view. Or choose the jumbo economy size.]
There’s a maturity and sense of purpose in this photograph that I find difficult to reconcile with “high school.” But New Trier was and is no ordinary public high school. In a country committed to equality of opportunity, every school would be able to offer its students the possibilities available at New Trier.
Jonathan Kozol contrasts life at Chicago high schools and life at New Trier in his book Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools (1992). A November 2011 Chicago Tribune article sugests that little has changed since 1992: in 2011, the poorest school districts in Illinois spent less than a third of what the wealthiest districts spent per student.
[Notice the second suited man, seated at 12:00. Perhaps the class is team-taught. Notice too the striped socks at 3:00, the surfing shirt at 8:00, and the matching dresses at 11:00. Twins, or best friends?]
Monday, August 27, 2012
By Michael Leddy at 8:11 AM