We believe in the creative potential of every student. We believe that equal access to quality education is the foundation of a strong, healthy, and prosperous society.
Early-stage education provides a fundamental building block for long-term academic and life success. A young scholar who is given the tools, inspiration, and opportunity to learn will have a better chance to obtain higher education and live a more fulfilling life.
Today, however, the public education system in the United States is not delivering results. In particular, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has been unable to provide most of its students with a realistic path to a college education.
Currently, 94 out of every 100 students who enroll in CPS will never graduate from college. That means only six of these 100 students will ever achieve academically what others might take for granted. The 94 percent who do not graduate from college will be 3.5 times more likely to be incarcerated. The cost to society, in terms of lost productivity and costs of services, will amount to $71,000 per student each year and $2.8 million over a lifetime. Our city and society are failing to utilize the human potential of this 94 percent.
It does not stop at the numbers. As the world continues to advance technologically, our nation’s next generation may lack the critical thinking skills required to fulfill the needs of emerging industries and employers. This dearth of knowledge and ability is at the root of long-standing poverty and lack of economic mobility for lower socioeconomic classes. An undereducated society cannot hope to meet the challenges of tomorrow and will fall behind in a rapidly advancing world. More than anything else, we cannot afford to be the first American generation that has a lower standard of education than the one before it.
Students need a nurturing environment in order to advance their education beyond high school. For many students in CPS, those conditions simply do not exist; however, that does not mean they cannot exist. Today, we have the power to make a change, to alter and improve the educational worlds of students and revolutionize their learning experience.