Here's a notion: erase the Austin border

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By Jack Crowe

How about erasing the boundaries so that students in Austin can attend school in Oak Park legally?

Warren Buffett talks about people winning the genetic lottery — the children of wealthy people inherit a fortune that they played no role in accumulating.

The genetic lottery plays out in Chicago and Oak Park, too. Born on the West Side of Austin Boulevard? Your future looks bright. You will attend solid public schools and will likely go to college. In your lifetime, you will earn about a million dollars more than those without a college degree.

Born on the east side of Austin? Your future looks dimmer. On average, your public elementary school will perform poorly. Unless you are a star who matriculates to one of the high-performing, selective-admission public high schools, your options are slim.

An African-American boy on the West Side entering high school has a 3 percent chance of graduating from college and will earn far less in his lifetime than those born west of Austin. So the cycle of poverty grinds on.

You may be able to attend one of the high-performing charter schools in Austin, but a lottery is at work here, too. When applications outpace seats, the charter schools resort to a lottery to pick the winners.

A small number of Austin students will attend Catholic elementary schools such as St. Catherine's. These students are the beneficiaries of the Big Shoulders Foundation, which underwrites most Catholic inner-city schools.

Between high-performing public, charter and Catholic schools, there are not enough seats for all the young people in Austin. Here is my question: Are these students entitled to access to a quality education or not?

If the answer is yes (and I know most of you believe this in your hearts if not in your toes), then we have some options.

We can support reforming the Chicago Public Schools, while keeping in mind the words of the famous ward healer Paddy Bauler: "Chicago ain't ready for reform." We can also support adding more quality charter seats in Austin so more students have access to a quality education.

We can, like our neighbors in Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, provide private school vouchers so that low-income students with limited access to quality schools can attend Catholic schools (and save the state approximately $10,000 per student in the process).

And I want to throw out one more incendiary device. Hold onto your hats.

If we believe all students are entitled to a quality education, low-income students in Austin who attend failing public schools should be able to attend any public school, whether it is in Austin or Oak Park or River Forest or another suburb.

Hear me? Take the $18,000 or so that Chicago Public Schools spends poorly educating these students and let the family decide where to spend it. If they see a better option in an Oak Park school, they plunk their $18,000 in District 97. (We could fix it so Oak Park schools take on only a certain number of Austin students.)

So here is my proposal: an educational system without borders where no student is denied a quality education based on the number of her zip code.

I can dream can't I?

Jack Crowe is chief operating officer and general counsel of the Cristo Rey School Network.

Reader Comments

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Tom from OP from Oak Park  

Posted: October 8th, 2013 5:28 PM

WOW. All that time my Dad was working his butt off to make our life better, and it was all really the genetic lottery that made everything good in my life happen!

Violet Aura  

Posted: October 7th, 2013 8:58 PM

@Honeypot: I know, right? I just saw Rhianna's latest opus. Very classy and artsy, that gal. She showed whitebread Miley how to REALLY twerk! Now THAT'S talent for ya!


Posted: October 7th, 2013 4:26 PM

Better yet, pass another referendum cause the arts are where it's at!

John Costello from Oak Park  

Posted: October 7th, 2013 3:36 PM

Let's just smoke some more weed and love everybody. Kumbaya and rose colored sunglasses to stare at clouds with silver linings. Raise my taxes to pay for somebody else problems. Sounds good to me!


Posted: October 7th, 2013 2:41 PM

@OP My kids don't play soccer, at OPRF that's, by and large, considered a mean clique sport. Lots of party kids and drinking in that crowd. Further, I don't think any human on this earth is garbage. If that makes me naive, so be it. I do believe it takes a community to reach out to children and families that are struggling. We'd all be richer for it. Blindly throwing $$ and iPads at students won't solve the academic gap problem. Neither will segregation. Takes a village ;)


Posted: October 7th, 2013 2:10 PM

@lux - you sound like a wonderful soccer mom but again naive. There are some hard realities that need to be addressed to move forward - the middle class is shrinking - the students are entering ill prepared and leaving no better. out your big girl pants on and deal! please :-)

Scott Stevens from Oak Park  

Posted: October 7th, 2013 1:51 PM

There will always be a disparity between the fattening lower class and thinning middle class vs. the upper class. You can't change natures will.

former d97 parent  

Posted: October 7th, 2013 1:38 PM

when my kids were at d97 the math classes seemed to be all about memorizing math facts. Not saying this isn't important but how many years do you need to spend on it? kids who don't get outside enrichment arrive at D200 ill prepared for advanced classes.


Posted: October 7th, 2013 1:16 PM

People are not garbage. I cannot imagine that anyone could be so cruel to say such a terrible thing.

NE OP FAM from Oak Park  

Posted: October 7th, 2013 1:12 PM

Garbage in, garbage out.


Posted: October 7th, 2013 12:57 PM

@PPE - You're right that tracking is no secret, but the lack of diversity in classrooms seems unacknowledged. Evanston HS just blew the lid off the segregation problem and now only math is tracked. Here is an older article about the situation: Not sure if WJ lets links appear.

long time resident   

Posted: October 7th, 2013 12:50 PM

The gap shows in HS - but it begins in elementary school. Its time to hold teachers accountable for student learning. There are many ways of measuring progress from beginning of the year to end of the year . All kids should be making a year's progress in a year's time.

Pro-Public Education  

Posted: October 7th, 2013 12:46 PM

I don't think tracking at the high school is a secret. More of a grim reality. My kids are not there yet. But the answer is not one-size-fits-all classes. Besides, the white people wouldn't stand for that.

Pro-Public Education  

Posted: October 7th, 2013 12:29 PM

Brooks has after school study help and this summer offered several math classes. Should participation in these extra opportunites to learn be mandated? With Powerschool, a student's progress is tracked in real time. I'm not sure what else can be provided.


Posted: October 7th, 2013 12:19 PM

What I am trying to communicate is that the achievement gap is actually an economic and cultural gap. Lots of $$ have already been thrown at the issue with few results. I'm not optimistic this is a problem that can be readily solved. In the meantime, when high school hits, white folks tuck their kids away in the honors program. You can wax poetic about erasing the Austin border but you will not find true diversity in the classrooms in high school. This is Oak Park's dirty little secret.

OP Transplant  

Posted: October 7th, 2013 10:34 AM

Substitute the work "government" for "district", then substitute the words "white people" for "government". What we're really asking is, "Why aren't white people doing a better job with our kids?" The obvious answer, "Why would they?" The government is not going to solve our problems, because it doesn't benefit them, or their children, if our children are better educated. Our children will only succeed if we, as parents and as communities, provide the kind of support that white kids get.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: October 7th, 2013 10:26 AM

Lux, exactly. So how do you propose Oak Park and the schools fix something that is clearly falling squarely on dysfunctional families? Until we fix the root cause which is baby mama syndrome, the issues will continue.


Posted: October 7th, 2013 6:23 AM

Many of the children who do not complete assignments have lives that are up for grabs. It's not that they aren't capable and their grades suffer. The middle schools kindly give a second math text to be used at home, eliminating the need to carry a heavy book to and fro daily. If a child is shuffling among homes nightly, that text likely won't follow him. Hence, missing work/poor grades, Lastly, spell check is a truly wonderful tool for those who aspire to use words that they cannot spell.

Pro-Public Education  

Posted: October 6th, 2013 7:16 PM

If a child is capable of succeeding in a more rigorous class at OPRFHS, he can move up to that level. Where a student is placed is based on where the child demonstrates he/she is capable of performing. Students who can succeed in tougher classes deserve to be challenged at the highest levels. Those who aren't there should be trying to get there. The middle schools offer three levels of math. Otherwise everyone gets the same curriculum. What happens is some kids don't complete all the assignments


Posted: October 6th, 2013 4:03 PM

Sorry.... There are kids entering OPRF today with three and FOUR year reading deficits.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 6th, 2013 4:02 PM

Not sure where you got that I was "spellchecking" your comments, OP. My point, which was directed at Lux, not you, was that there's a distressing acceptance of the need for high schools to take on educational responsibilities that experts long ago concluded belong in elementary school. There are kids entering OPRF today with three and year reading deficits. That's a failure of the grade school system, whatever grade school system the child attended, and the child's parents.


Posted: October 6th, 2013 2:45 PM

@ Lux and Bill. Exactly my point, worried about spelling words than critical thinking. Rather than using your intellectual horsepower to spellcheck my comments (that any 1st grader can run), why think about the logic? Go beyond your casual observations and add value.


Posted: October 6th, 2013 1:39 PM

They don't learn how to spell unsophisticated either.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 6th, 2013 12:22 PM

"Many OPRF students never learn to spell words such as naive during their 4 years (at OPRF). Very sad."........No, Lux. What's very sad is that some students haven't learned to spell a work like "naive" by the time they sixth grade. That so many kids are woefully unprepared by their elementary school education for the demands of high school.


Posted: October 6th, 2013 7:05 AM

@ OP - I observed the seemingly unfair complications that an African American girl had in middle school which I don't think is particularly naive. And OPRF does take a laissez-faire approach to students, it's called tracking. Many OPRF students never learn to spell words such as naive during their 4 years there. Very sad.


Posted: October 6th, 2013 6:12 AM

Having attended OPRF (and my brother Fenwick) as an AA, it is very laze faire in it's approach to performance/ expectations. I recall fellow athletes who nver did much work or were given extra help. The sad part is the world is far more competitive (in 68 there were 160 million people in us, 320 today and half billion in 20 years) - go to any ivy league school and now international is half class. So these kids need a good education more than ever. The gap is the failure of 97 and high school


Posted: October 6th, 2013 1:47 AM

The gap which exists by high school is sown in middle/grade school. My son (again not a statistical sample) says that several fellow African American students can barely read or write complete sentences. That is a failure of Julian - no child should perform at that level. However, the schools are a full capacity and the parents need to participate..

data minded  

Posted: October 5th, 2013 10:50 PM

Before you get too excited about the benefits a kid from Austin would experience by attending OPRFHS, keep in mind that only 42% of Black OPRFHS students meet standards in reading (compared to 89% of white kids) and only 32% of Black OPRFHS kids meets standard in math (compared to 87% of white). Maybe Black OPRFHS kids would benefit from some vouchers too!


Posted: October 4th, 2013 6:25 PM

@ lux. sorry but you sound very unsophisitcated and niave. First, one data point is considered a valid sample and your daughter's first friend on color is in middle school? not trying to be snarky... but you sound very uninformed....


Posted: October 4th, 2013 5:57 PM

My daughter went to Julian she became friends with a student who was African-American. Her life was vastly different than ours. Sometimes slept at her house, other times at her aunt's or grandma's house. She was never 100% sure where she left her book and always needed to borrow supplies. Forgetting stuff is a common middle school problem but shuffling homes is less common. Kids need consistency and structured places to do their homework. I know her mom was doing her best but it fell short

OP Transplant  

Posted: October 4th, 2013 4:44 PM

Every damn solution I read to address the problems of minorities seems to involve figuring out how white people can give us more. I'm old enough to remember a time when activism meant more than begging for the white man's scraps. Now we're looking for a way to, maybe, get some of our kids into rich, white schools. We've given up on both our educating kids in our own communities, and moving our kids into better communities. Please, sir, can we go to your schools?

OP Transplant  

Posted: October 4th, 2013 4:29 PM

"can't move out of certain zip codes" Who says they can't? The lifestyle differences between living in a bad community and a better one might be viewed as an incentive to work harder, become better educated, and move. My kids grew up with a lot more advantages than I did. Oh, I forgot. Oak Park audience. I meant to say that we're helpless and need the government to take care of us. My brown skin prevents me from succeeding. Help me, white surrogate parent. I can do nothing without you.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: October 4th, 2013 3:49 PM

OPT, so we should trap talented students in crappy schools just because they can't move out of certain zip codes? I was one of those students and thankfully my parents had a choice and I had the opportunity to attend a much better school despite having to ride a school bus more than 30 miles each way versus being able to walk to my local school which was just a glorified juvenile detention center for thugs and miscreants. It absolutely was worth it.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: October 4th, 2013 3:36 PM

News flash, OPT. The "more desirable" schools are already selective in their enrollment. If a local govt school can't draw any of the local talented kids, then its administrators & some teachers (yes, teachers) would need to be replaced with better admins & teachers. The local govt school would be forced to compete, or go away. You know, just like local private schools. The point here is that the money, & the power should follow the parent & student, not flow immediately into a govt coffer.

OP Transplant  

Posted: October 4th, 2013 2:29 PM

A voucher system will make more desirable schools selective in their enrollment. All of the more talented students will scatter, leaving the less talented back at their local public school. This should work wonders for already low-achieving schools.


Posted: October 4th, 2013 1:44 PM

The catch is that a school doesn't have to enroll a student just because he/she shows up with a voucher. So then where does that student go?

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: October 4th, 2013 12:22 PM

P-PE, Charter schools can be one element of the solution. Another is to remove all barriers in the CPS through vouchers, & let parents choose where to send their kids. The Govt Monopoly over Govt Education (not "public education"; we need to call it what it really is) must end. Pouring $$ into a failed system in big cities is a dead end. Or is that what the Govt Union monopolies really want?

Pro-Public Education  

Posted: October 4th, 2013 9:56 AM

The private companies that run charter schools take taxpayer dollars, pay teachers less, and keep the rest of their funding as profit. And the majority do not perform better than public schools.

OP Transplant  

Posted: October 4th, 2013 9:29 AM

I'll ask again-if D97 were flooded with kids from outside our district, where, exactly would they go?


Posted: October 3rd, 2013 9:04 PM

Mr. Crowe, general counsel at Cristo Rey, is disingenuous in his post. Cristo Rey, a private network, would benefit from vouchers. However, their school in Austin is only marginally better than CPS. Quit trying to drum up enrollment for your school.

Karen Walsh from Oak Park  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 7:14 PM

It seems all this ranting and raving has gotten the discussion off track. I have 2 questions. 1) Mr. Crowe's idea seems to make $ sense for District 97, no? 2) I think one of the biggest reasons for the achievement gap is lack of direct parental involvement in the schools for reasons us white liberals might not understand. Hopefully some of the commentators who grew in low income areas can suggest ways to encourage more school support at home and in the community?

Michael Nevins  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 6:24 PM

@BD - I fully agree with the beginning of UnSen's (4:39 post) first sentence and his complete last sentence. I also know that the D's had complete control of DC in 2009 and 2010 - and could have done anything that they wished. The fact that they didn't do any thing about NCLB supports the "ALL of them, from both parties" part of your 4:27 post. My point? We must move past finger-pointing.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 4:39 PM

Bill, NCLB is a reaction to try to hold schools accountable, but Democrats and their union stooges do everything in their power to stifle any kind of reform of public schools. I don't support NCLB, but don't act like the schools were rainbows and unicorn tears prior to NCLB. and Bush. Personally, I don't think the Feds should have anything to do with public schools.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 4:27 PM

@ M. Nevins: I referred to George Bush and "his enablers in Congress," ALL of them, from both parties. But the biggest defenders of the failed policy continue to be Republicans.

OP Transplant  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 3:48 PM

Blame means nothing. It's not the 17th century working class's fault, nor is it LBJ's. If a minority child and a Caucasian child are sitting next to each other in an Oak Park classroom, with the same teachers and the same materials, they should have similar results. If not, the fault has to lie with the child, his family, and his community. Mr. Simpson offers us excuses for our own failures, but that doesn't help us. Work to succeed; don't seek white permission to fail.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 3:46 PM

I don't have any allegiance to Republicans - or Democrats. They are both pathetic and self-serving. I'm tired of the total arrogance that our elected offficials know how to educate our children - and to tie government funding to accepting a concept such as Common Core. When you need to let our government know your religious affiliation through Common Core information, let me know if that is OK with you.

Michael Nevins  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 3:44 PM

The "enablers" of NCB: "The legislation was proposed by President George W. Bush on January 23, 2001. It was coauthored by Representatives John Boehner (R-OH), George Miller (D-CA), and Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Judd Gregg (R-NH). The United States House of Representatives passed the bill on May 23, 2001 (voting 384?"45),[6] and the United States Senate passed it on June 14, 2001 (voting 91?"8).[7] President Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002." Lots of Democrats were "enablers."

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 3:15 PM

I don't get the allegiance people like Uncommon Nonsense and Done from Oak Park have to the Republican party. It was the last clueless goof of a GOP president and his enablers in Congress who stuck us with the atrocious NCLB act, which put "teaching to the test" on steroids.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 3:07 PM

Mr. Simpson, the extent to which your bogeyman, "institutional racism" exists is due full & complete to the 1960's social policy of the Democrat party. Created by LBJ, & implemented by big city mayors like RJ Daley, it gave minorities little scraps of govt goodies while destroying the black family. This was done by design in the name of urban renewal & social justice. Eliminate self-reliance, remove fathers, create dependence on govt programs & bad schools. Recipe for disaster. Own it.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 2:08 PM

Well said, Uncommon. To me, nothing harms the learning process more in this day and age than having to teach to get test results. Away with NCLB and Common Core - which will prove to be an absolute disaster - and teach what kids need to learn - reading, writing and arithmetic.

OP Transplant  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 2:07 PM

I, too, can't understand the allegiance to political powers that don't serve our interests. Ultimately, self-determination is the only answer. We must be responsible for our own actions, both individually and as communities. In an increasingly competitive society, it is not in the interest of the white political structure to help us. Sit-ins and demonstrations are an anachronism. Only political power can force change. Why do we keep voting for those who prove to be our enemies?

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 12:39 PM

I could open a one room school house in Austin, take some retired professionals as teachers, a curriculum focused on reading, writing, and math, and 1/10th the budget of a public school and get better results. I also don't get the allegiance these communties have to the democrats who are the biggest obstacle to improving public schools since they bow down to the teacher's unions.

Hell No from Oak Park  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 12:13 PM

Our Oak Park schools will not change the lives of these kids. Their way of thinking needs to change throughout their community. School choice is the starting point for this.

Hell No from Oak Park  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 12:12 PM

I partially agree, OP Dad. I had zero support from my parents either. While I grew up on "the right side of the tracks", I floundered, got kicked of high school, and only later after reflecting on my life without the negative influences from my family did I earn my GED and put my self through college. Despite growing up in an affluent community and going to some of the best schools in the country I was brought down by a broken family. Our Oak Park schools will not change the lives of these kids.

OP Dad from Oak Park  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 12:01 PM

Pro school choice, but it's time to stop blaming others for our problems. I was forced out of HS by a policy that punished sick students, because I had a long-term, rare disease. I had to get a GED. I never remember my parents encouraging me to go to college. I applied without their knowledge. I went to a community college before transferring to a university. I've been denied opportunities because of AA. Now I'm in medical school. You can't blame "disadvantages" for your lack of success.

Hell No from Oak Park  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 11:55 AM

Over my dead body. This is the biggest pile of horse shit I've read all year. If you want to go to my schools then pay my taxes, or rent in my district. Take of the rose colored sunglasses buddy.

Bob Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 11:24 AM

I agree that lack of resources is not an excuse. Poverty is a policy in this country, not an accident of fate. We have the resources to create many more decent paying jobs to reduce our high poverty rate. This would do more for improving our educational system than all of the charters and vouchers put together. Longstanding racial divisions within the working class(first introduced in the 17th century) have prevented this from happening. The education justice movement in Chicago is working to overcome these artificially induced divisions, because a decent education for all, is in the end, a political choice. Which side are you on?

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 10:41 AM

Bob, the world is not fair. It never will be no matter how much you sing kumbaya. However, lack of resources has never been an excuse. There are plenty of examples of people who overcome adversity much worse than any kid in Austin could ever hope to see and still manage to make something of themselves. Most of the so called poor in this country live better than rich in most other countries.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 10:30 AM

Bob, I mentored a poor kid who went to elementary, middle, and high school in Oak Park. Guess what... even with all the resources of great OP Schools, the kid still was behind educationally because of the lack of structure at HOME. He had access to better schools than I had at his age, but what I had was a two parent household with parents that gave a damn so I wound up with an ivy league education where he is solidly on the path to loserdom.

OP Transplant  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 10:25 AM

Bob- The school closings took place, despite the chatter of rich, white liberals, because the groups actually affected by the closings did, and will do, little to stop them. Minority communities have to stop hoping that the same white power structure that has been our problem will also be our solution. Some of us are tired of begging for scraps from your table (provided we first prove we're helpless enough to deserve them.)

Real List  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 10:19 AM

@Bob-85% of the CPS student population is minority. Even more than that are considered low income. So in this case, the minority is the majority. Taking school performance out of the equation, at least 8 out of every 10 schools closed should have been in a "minority" neighborhood. In the real world, that is called equality.

Real List  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 10:09 AM

Computer simulation: Switch one of the best school districts (Wilmette) with one of the worst (Englewood). Englewood students now have access to all the teachers and tools, that only those on the North Shore once had, for 12 years (and vice versa). What happens? Will more Wilmette kids now drop out and be left behind? Will highly educated Englewood kids go to college and break the poverty cycle? Or will the same problems exist? By addressing only one element to learning, does anything change?

Bob Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 10:05 AM

Denial that institutional racism exists is one reason for its persistence in our society. To fix a problem one must acknowledge the problem. One of the consequences of institutional racism was the recent round of school closings in Chicago which deliberately targeted schools in low income black neighborhoods. These closings were overwhelming opposed by the affected communities as well by their allies around the city. Thousands of people attended public meetings. There were protest marches and sit-ins. Opinion polls showed the unpopularity of the closings. Schools that were doing a good job in the face of disinvestment and lack of support from the CPS administration were among those shut down. Austin was one of the targets in the crosshairs. The excuse was "underutilization", yet the formula that CPS used was deeply flawed. In cases where there was unused space, West Side policy analysts proposed using them to help provide much needed social and economic services to the community. They also pointed out that "underutilization" was actually a code word for increasing class size when it is smaller classes that provide a better educational experience. Rightwing ideologues love to talk about "school choice", but public neighborhood schools with local school councils and deep roots in their communities are apparently not one of the "choices" they favor.

OP Transplant  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 9:21 AM

"Cruel racial caste system" - Absolute paternalistic nonsense. Many of us were born into low-income, non-white families and have worked our way into the upper-middle class and beyond without the charitable assistance of our white, liberal surrogate parents. It's demeaning to minorities to imply that they are helpless to improve their own lot without the self-righteous generosity of our affluent, caucasian superiors. I sometimes hate Mr. Simpson's attitude more than I hate overt discrimination.

Sara Mitchell from Savannah  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 8:10 AM

Great thinking Jack, love your articles.......without access to good education kids are going nowhere fast!@

Bob Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 7:01 AM

The way schools are funded by property taxes in multiple school districts favors wealthy communities. Because of the USA's cruel racial caste system this is also fundamentally racist. Vouchers and corporate run charter schools do nothing to deal with the underlying problems of poverty and racism that are the enemies of education. Equalizing funding on a state-wide or regional basis would be a step forward, but until we fix our broken economic system which manufactures poverty in such a vast scale, it would be a small step at best.

Why have any borders?  

Posted: October 2nd, 2013 11:25 AM

Why should there even be a "border" between Mexico and the US? Why shouldn't Mexicans be able to come over the border and take the jobs of those living in Austin? Oh, that is already happening....never mind.


Posted: October 2nd, 2013 10:52 AM

Why not just take that $18000 spent per CPS student for 4 students, and pay a tutor $72000 a year to teach those 4 kids personally?


Posted: October 2nd, 2013 10:36 AM

One axiom of good education is parental invovlement. Now that I beg the question; but simply putting any student in a "good" educational environment without 24/7 support is not the answer.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: October 2nd, 2013 9:55 AM

A better solution would be for Chicago to implement a voucher system. It would accomplish the same thing, without Oak Park taxpayers having to foot the bill. Jack, you really don't believe that your idea is viable, do you? I'm sorry, but I don't buy the "genetic lottery" nonsense. It's disrespectful of individual achievement & liberty, as well as forgoes the personal responsibility of all Chicago residents & elected officials. Chicago Democrats have made this bed. They can lie in it.

OP Transplant  

Posted: October 2nd, 2013 9:25 AM

Your suggestion seems to imply that D97 has hundreds (thousands?) of empty desks waiting for students from other districts. I've spent a lot of time in the schools here, and I haven't seen these desks. Where exactly to think these new students would go?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 1st, 2013 10:47 PM

Such nice sentiments, Jack. Taking it just a bit further, why have any restrictive governmental boundaries at all? Just allow Chicago politicians to dictate how Oak Park residents conduct all aspects of their affairs. Really... why should Oak Parkers balk at Rahm Emanuel following Richie Daley's precedent of privatizing public infrastructure? It's worked out so well, right? Or maybe, just maybe, the truth is that for all it's faults, Oak Park conducts its public business better than Chicago?

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