Analysis: “All They Want is a Choice” by Unknown (Chicago Tribune editorial)


This article is an opinion editorial called “All They Want is a Choice” that was published in the Chicago Tribune today (February 4). However, the name of the author is unknown. In essence, the article tells the story of fifteen at-risk families in Chicago that were given a chance to choose a private school for their children to attend basically for free – the tuition would be covered by the Illinois Lottery. It goes on to explain how there is a bill being proposed that would give more and more families in Chicago whose children are “stuck” in dangerous public schools a chance to choose to leave those schools. The article ends with a clear call-to-action directed at lawmakers to not “let another three years slip away without implementing a school choice program”.

Most of the article is factual information – information about the proposed bill, statistics, etc. But there is definitely a lot of opinion riddled throughout as well. Phrases like “They deserve a chance” and “It’s about time” are used, and that as well as a few rhetorical devices give away the author’s view – that school choice program needs to be instilled in Chicago, and it needs to happen soon.

The tone is very much subjective and clearly biased, and the overall style is very informal. Short sentences and paragraphs are used, and interesting syntax is implemented as well – like at the end of the seventh paragraph, when in order to emphasize a point, the author separates three words with periods: “…And many of the schools Meeks identified in his legislation remain failing and overcrowded. Three. Years. Later.” It helps with emphasis, definitely, and you can almost hear the author speaking the words out loud as if trying to hammer the point into your head. I quite like it.

Some attributes of an editorial are present here. There is no clear lead – the article starts with a story rather than a blurb of information – and it ends with an obvious call-to-action. These things were seen in the previous editorial, as well.

Paragraph Analysis:

The third paragraph of this article contains reasonably simple word choice, but the imagery of fifteen poor children walking out of a gym with new backpacks “and a chance” the author uses is rather potent. The paragraph is reasonably short – only four sentences – but its impact is substantial when it comes to the point that the author is trying to make: that more than fifteen children should be able to get a private school tuition.

SOURCE ARTICLE:,0,4461235.story


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