America’s public schools need more than money

Charter schools at least give parents a choice on the kind of school they want for their children.

SHARE America’s public schools need more than money
Ogden International School on Chicago’s Gold Coast. 

Stacey Rupolo / Chalkbeat

Critics of “school choice” often assume that increased funding for traditional public schools would fix those problems that drive out families in the first place.

Yet the quality of American schools varies so much, even by neighborhood, and is just one of the many problems the model isn’t prepared to address, certainly not with money.

While America once fostered a fairly basic and universal vision of education, the rate of cultural and technological change has made it unreasonable to continue forcing the bill on individual taxpayer.

For instance, more and more families today are blindsided by local schools making the switch from print textbooks and paper notes to personal laptops and tablets, even though research into the effects of screen time on young brains looks increasingly grim.

Whatever its faults, at least the charter school system gives parents important choices in the location, size, structure, and type of school they want for their children.

And many rightly believe that we shouldn’t train students to become “digital citizens” till we’ve first prepared them to be citizens on a fundamental basis. Nor should lessons in “political correctness” take priority over the learning of regular correctness.

Some will argue that both goals are achievable at once, but this is not true. You can’t erect a tower by attaching upper floors while simultaneously laying the foundation.

Dane Steven Skorup, Sandwich

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No time to move slow on climate change

With our federal government stagnated by climate change deniers; the Amazon on fire; forest fires; melting glaciers in Greenland; Lake Michigan higher than I’ve ever seen it in my lifetime and climate change occurring at a faster and faster pace, it is clear that the state of Illinois must do something drastic protect our children.

I urge Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz and Sen. John Cullerton to pass radical legislation banning the use of fossil fuels for power and replacing it with wind and solar. Train those workers in renewable energy work, subsidize electric cars and charging stations, protect our forests and trees from development.

Unfortunately we don’t have time to play politics and move slow.

Adam Smestad, Uptown

Farmers have no reason to support Trump

Midwestern farmers who continue to support President Donald Trump makes even less sense than having towatch their soybeans withering on the vine due to tariffs.

For all their hard work and suffering, our nation’s rural community must now contend with not only the weather, but our leader’s lack of compassion and understanding as well.

They deserve so much more than this president will ever deliver and that alone should decide their vote in the next election.

Bob Ory, Elgin

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