Every Illinoisan that has paid precious tax dollars to his or her local school district should be up in arms this morning. Despite billions upon billions being spent over the last few decades to heed the heart-wrenching cry from teachers' unions and administrators for more and more to schools "for the children's sake," up to a third of our next generation is not prepared for college, a new evaluation of IL students' ACT scores shows.
And it gets worse - much worse.
The Chicago Tribune reports the new data also show continued gaps in performance between white and minority students. In Illinois, for example, only 7 percent of black students met the college-ready standard in science. That compares with 41 percent of white students.
What President George W. Bush called "the soft bigotry of low expectations" continues.
And who's to blame? That's always the question. Parents blame teachers and administrators. Teachers blame testing, administrators, lack of respect, students and parents. Administrators point fingers elsewhere.
All the while, private school and home school students excel in academics because they've been allowed choice in education. Education freedom stirs a common trait in human nature. Individual responsibility leads to personal accountability, and intellectual and emotional engagement results.
All the teacher striking and school financial demands for more and more that have been met over the years, and has brought us to this educational disaster. Parents and taxpayers should be up in arms that minority students are so poorly taught. Without education, those numbers become societal dependents rather than contributors. America's finances are headed off a cultural cliff.
Teachers, you abhor national testing and evaluation. But we ask as taxpayers ask, if not the professional accountability Bush's education program "No Child Left Behind" brought, then what?
For us, it's not just about the money. It's all about concern for the next generation.
Maybe some concerned parents will put these stats on leaflets to distribute in front of Chicago public schools to counter the Chicago Teachers Unions ongoing "informational pickets."
Taxpayers should demand more than what they've gotten thus far for their hard-earned, mandatory dollars to pay for this disaster. Right now, Illinois' public school system is guilty of educational malpractice.