Sunday, August 02, 2009

Duncan gives us all an 'F' on protecting kids

Following another week of shootings, this one claiming a graduate of the Ariel Education Initiative, which Arne Duncan helped start, the US Education Secretary says "Our children deserve better. We as adults are failing our kids and the community at a level people don't begin to understand. "

Read the full story in the Chicago SunTimes.

Let's think about that statement "at a level people don't begin to understand".

I've been promoting volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring because it brings people beyond poverty into direct, and on-going, contact with kids and the issues of poverty. If Duncan and other leaders were encouraging this type of involvement in programs all over the city, and encouraging business and foundations to provide the operating dollars for each program to have experienced, dedicated staff who "make a long term commitment to these kids", we might be able to build the type of understanding that could lead to new forms of support for inner city kids.

Duncan promised me his support a few years ago, prior to taking over for Paul Vallas. I give him an 'F' for the level of support he has provided the Tutor/Mentor Connection, and volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in Chicago.

That can change. It needs to change.

However, leadership and support for tutor/mentor programs is not dependent on Arne Duncan, or President Obama. It's up to each of us. Anyone can be the type of leaders who mobilizes volunteers and donors to support tutor/mentor programs in Chicago.

Anyone can point to the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator and encourage people to get involved.

1 comment:

J said...


Anyone can be a mentor. You just need to know how to be a mentor.

The world needs more mentoring relationships.