The following letter to the editor appeared in the Courier News Newspaper on 9/9/06.
Hold elected officials accountable for poor public school outcomes
A recently released research paper shows that out of every 100 Chicago public school freshmen, only six will earn a bachelor's degree — the certificate to a middle-class lifestyle.
When only six out of 100 Chicago students graduate from a four-year college, it means 94 percent of city school children are doomed to low-paying, low-status prospects in a changing world economy that will be driven by highly-skilled, professional jobs.
This is outrageous and unacceptable. All of our elected officials should be held accountable for this systemic failure.
In this election year, Illinois voters must demand that candidates commit to a necessary part of the solution: fixing our unfair, broken system of funding public schools based on local property taxes. Without this reform, far too many kids across Illinois will continue to struggle to learn in schools with huge class sizes, outdated textbooks and materials, and few college-bound course options.
Sadly, they won't get a second chance to repeat their school years, and neither should state leaders who fail to push for comprehensive reform have a second chance to repeat their sorry performances.