A child’s ZIP code should only dictate where she starts – never where she finishes. But all too often, children are stuck in impoverished areas with no high-quality school choices available to them. They are forced to attend a low-achieving school that does not put them on the path for a successful future. We believe that every child in every neighborhood deserves access to a high-quality public school.
We support public schools that get results for kids, regardless of what their nominal “school type” is (whether traditional, public charter, magnet, or turnaround). We also support intervention in public schools – of all types – if they fail to deliver results for their students.
Some of the things we support to enhance quality schools include:
- Creating a welcoming environment: From the teachers and staff who work in schools to the children who learn there to the parents who entrust schools with their children’s education, building positive learning cultures in our schools is critical. We support strong family engagement programs to get schools and parents working together for the benefit of their children. Creating a positive school culture also means encouraging safe school environments, including positive behavior interventions, restorative justice, and policies to end bullying.
- Providing transparency: Parents need to have honest, accurate, and understandable information about how schools are performing so they can make informed decisions about their children’s education. Illinois’s newly-revamped national-award-winning school report card, which we supported, will provide user-friendly data to families about school performance.
- Encouraging innovation: One size does not fit all when it comes to educating our students. We support policies that give schools the flexibility to innovate and for successful programs to replicate to help provide even more students access to a great education. If schools are struggling, we support interventions to help them get on track. No matter where they live, children all deserve access to a high-quality public school in their community.