The data are clear: Unless Chicago and the nation can find a better way
to accelerate improvement in the quality of education and implement it
in the next 10 years, we will lose our competitive edge against other
nations and another generation of children will be lost.
When I was named principal in 1978, Healy was 65 percent white and 35 percent Hispanic. At that time, families placed a low priority on education, primarily because the school is located in Chicago’s 11th Ward, longtime home to several of Chicago’s previous mayors including Edward J. Kelly, Richard J. Daley and Michael Bilandic. Political jobs were readily available to 11th Ward residents, and children knew that garbage collectors earned as much money as teachers. When Jane Byrne became mayor, the scene changed. Political jobs were no longer taken for granted.