Bill O’Reilly forgot to mention one thing in his now viral rant about broken neighborhoods in Chicago. He forgot to talk about the schools. Violence in Chicago is out of control. And I 100% agree with O’Reilly that if this reality were playing out in the streets of richer, whiter communitties the problem would have already been solved.
But, make no mistake, the single greatest dereliction of leadership in Chicago is allowing the public schools to fail generations of students, families and communities. The graduation rate for African Americans in Chicago cracked 60% last year for the first time a decade. Don’t forget that a 60% graduation rate is nothing to really celebrate…it means that 40% of children did not graduate. And we don’t even want to talk about even more meaningful metrics like college graduation and attainment.
The number one solution to poverty, crime and violence is education. We need an all out, take-no-excuses approach to providing access for every child to high quality education NOW.
What are your thoughts?
Chris worked as deputy campaign manager and field director for A+ Illinois where he developed a strong, statewide field operation including over 500 organizations and 50,000 individuals around the state working to bring adequacy and equity to Illinois’ school funding system and as the director of advocacy and outreach at New Schools for Chicago, a leader in school reform in Chicago.
Chris is a 2006 graduate of the Ministry Training Institute and holds a degree in civic and political engagement from Northeastern Illinois University.