Inequality in our schools is unacceptable

The American school system, including our very own Chicago public schools, is grossly under-funded. As a result, CPS students, especially African Americans, are unable to compete in their quest for higher learning. As a parent of children currently enrolled in CPS, I now realize that our legislators have a myopic view of this problem. In this past school year alone, many of our Chicago high schools faced cutbacks and possible closings. It was around 30 years ago that schools such as Taft, CVS, Prosser and Foreman began to show an alarming decline in academics and attendance as white students left and blacks began enrolling. So, here we are today-in 2008-and our children are being outspent nearly 2-to-1. What if we had the opportunity to pay our teachers adequately so they could deliver challenging curriculum, smaller classrooms and better computer labs? Our children would be adequately prepared for high school, college and any other continued education they pursue.

Currently, 6 out of every 100 African American CPS students attend and successfully complete college. An estimated 2200 enroll in city colleges but only 25 percent get in because they can not pass the reading and English portions of the entrance exam. Ninety-one percent fail to comply with the requirements of the math portion, thus they are not admitted into college-level courses. We no longer can allow this travesty to continue. Our children’s futures are being dictated by individuals who show little or no interest in them. Yes, we as a people were triumphant in the Brown vs. Board of Education case, but let’s just be frank-what has really improved?

It’s time for the Illinois legislature to put up, or continue to shut up. Please level the playing field and properly fund CPS now. We are fed up with apartheid education in the Chicago public school system. September 2, 2008 will be the day we change the course of our children’s future. We will no longer send our children to second-class schools anymore. If you care and are as concerned as we are, please join us now and sign up today at

Rev. Maurice Gaiter

Low-income blacks neglected

Without a doubt there’s a class problem in the African-American community [Streetbeat, July 31]. Upper-crust African Americans as a whole are out of touch with low- and middle-crust African Americans. This has been a problem since the days of slavery (field and house slaves). The “Talented Tenth” with all its glory, honor and power has been unable to create systems that stabilize low and middle African-American communities. Thus, at-risk youth and young adults are looking to thugs and gangster rappers for their identity.

Jim Allen
Submitted at