The north-south divide in public education

Chicago Public Schools need to be revamped to allow the city as a whole to benefit from a great education system.

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Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey (center, right) and Vice President Stacy Davis Gates (center, left) march with members of the CTU and SEIU Local 73 through the Loop after a rally, three days before the unions could walk off the job on strike, Monday afternoon, Oct. 14, | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Chicago is a city that many think is divided between north and south. I grew up with the same understanding.

The North Side always seems to thrive, while the South Side always seems to have issues involving violence or drugs. Another underlying divide, though often overlooked, is within Chicago’s public schooling system.

Schools on the South Side made up of African American and Hispanic populations have seen high numbers of school closures. Chicago Public Schools need to be restructured in order to allow the city as a whole to be able to have a great education system, not just one part of Chicago.

The selective enrollment high schools have created opportunities that otherwise some students on the South Side might not have received before, but that still affects just a very small percentage of students.

Every parent wants their children to receive a great education in order to have a bright future no matter where they live.

Arturo A. Monroy, West Rogers Park

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The state of our democracy

Our so-called democracy is all hat and no cattle, a plutocracy in democracy clothing.

Other industrialized nations (e.g. Germany, Great Britain, Canada, the Nordic countries, Australia and New Zealand) have made democracy work without spending remotely as much money, time, labor and energy on elections.

Research at Princeton and Northwestern universities shows that Americans have little influence on policy. Because of the power of ultra rich campaign donors and their corporate codependents,

Americans suffer humongous wealth disparity, minimal upward mobility, ludicrous minimum wage, paltry or no pension, no universal health care, no common sense gun regulation, skimpy social safety net and unfair and taxation at every governmental level.

To put it bluntly, the U.S. is an aberration among developed nations.

We need to look to the values, programs and progress evident in other more liberal democracies on rooting out or at minimum reducing institutionalized corruption.

If big changes are not made, unbridled crony capitalism will continue to harm and inevitably destroy our country and other nations beyond our borders.

Lanlan Hoo, Wheaton

‘Corporate blight infects all farming states’

Call it a corporatocracy, a modern from of plutocracy, a legally protected kleptocracy.

Rural America ironically supports President Donald Trump without realizing that Republican corporatism through corporate (anti and non-family) farming has sucked rural profitability dry and the whole of small-town America.

When corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes, the whole infrastructure collapses for small towns.

The sheer despair, the lack of spirit, the absence of optimism, the hopelessness, the abandonment of the American Dream, caused by Grover Norquist and his anti-government no-tax attitudes, clouds our sense of the common good and America’s community spirit.

It culminates in rural America and its support for Trump.

Recent reports are aboutArkansas, but corporate blight infects all farming states and small-town America.

Marion J. Reis, Lombard

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