Let's work together for our children's education
Letter to the editor
04/27/2011 10:00 PM
People across Chicago have complained that we have not had strong, effective leadership in reversing the serious problems that our children face in terms of Education. The recent naming of the new Chicago Public Schools CEO will likely amplify these complaints. Many claim that there has been a lack of leadership on education here in Chicago. However, I feel lucky to live in the 25th Ward, where Alderman Danny Solis has provided stellar leadership on education for our children. Some in the 25th Ward have pointed at systemic problems in education such as high school dropout rates and made the hasty conclusion that this is simply a matter of leadership, and unfairly have placed this on our alderman.
We cannot look to Alderman Solis solely solve all the problems in our schools, we must work with him. Time and time again, he has demonstrated his dedication to bringing a better level of education to the 25th Ward. Danny Solis is committed to working with the community in doing so.
During his 15 years as Alderman, he has added after-school programs and facilities to give our children an alternative to being out on the streets. This not only improves our childrenís educational opportunities, but also crime rates. The crime rate in the 25th Ward has dropped by 25 percent; the dropout rate has significantly decreased during his tenure. Further, we can look at his history of bringing resources to the ward for school improvements including the multi-million dollar expansion of Benito Juarez High School using TIF resources. TIF money is being brought to the Whittier School for a new library.
Alderman Solis not only understands that more educational resources are needed but also realizes which kind of resources area needed for our children to effectively compete in todayís global environment. Case in point, he has ushered the creation of a new science, technology, engineering and math or S.T.E.M. school in the ward.
Itís this kind of innovation that leads me to believe that rather than be quick to blame their alderman, individuals must examine the educational landscape as whole in the 25th Ward. I hope that we in the community will not be so hasty to point fingers, but rather to take active roles and work with our capable leadership.
Co-Founder, Near West Neighbors