Thursday, January 22, 2009
It is the third day of the Obama Presidency. To support his commitment to education and social justice, we've posted a new map and article on the Mapping For Justice blog, which shows the change from 2007 to 2008 of Chicago area schools on the under-performing list.
As readers and leaders look at this map, I encourage you to download and listen to the presentation from the December 2008 School Policy Forum hosted by Catalyst.
Be sure to view the power point from the December session. Note, the first part of this shows a student leadership program at Orr High School. Starting on page 16 you can find the presentation by Dr. Michael Woolley, showing the importance of extra adults in the lives of inner-city kids.
President Obama and Secretary Duncan, please look at this map, and this presentation. Use your leadership to encourage private sector investment in the growth of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in the non-school hours and in neighborhoods around every poorly performing school in Chicago, New York, Detroit and every other urban area where high concentrations of poverty and high numbers of kids have a huge influence on poorly performing schools.
Don't lock these programs into test scores and school curriculum. Give them the flexible funding to to connect kids with mentors, and keep them connected for multiple years.
If you're a business leader, at a university, or lead a faith group, you can use these maps to build strategies of engagement in every neighborhood where you have a facility and where you do business. Don't wait for the President to show you where. These maps show where you are needed and you are needed TODAY.