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New Marine Corps High School Opens In Chicago

Critics Say Chicago Public School Is Preparing Students To Serve In Armed Forces

CHICAGO (CBS) - LINK ― A new school just opened in Chicago to a lot of pomp and circumstance. As CBS 2's Mike Parker reports, students will learn more than the usual academic subjects.

Some of the first students at Chicago Public Schools' new Marine Corps Academy of Math and Science presented the colors Monday.

The new school was formally dedicated with the mayor and other officials looking on. It combines college prep classes with the order and structure of a military academy. It will be run and taught by Marine Corps officers.

"You see other high schools and students are running around, undisciplined. Here, we all look nice in our uniforms," said student Alejandra Duenas.

Enrollment is expected to climb from the current 130 to about 550 students within three year. Mayor Richard M. Daley insists the role of the school is not to bring young people into the armed forces but to instill discipline and self awareness.

"This is not a recruitment effort, our Junior ROTC program and the military academies. This is to educate," Daley said.

One local anti-war activist is more than a little skeptical.

"What it does prepare them to do is be good little soldiers, which I'm afraid we've got all too much of these days," said Andy Thayer.

"Be not afraid of the criticism you have," Daley said. "You get stronger because of the criticism against the military academies, because you are going to outperform."

Despite the critics, more of this is on the way. In 2009, look for CPS to open an Air Force Academy high school.

Argonne National Labs is partnering with the new Marine Academy and will offer internships for students.

(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


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