Opinion: State Union Rankings Show Strength of Labor Depends on Size of Government

Betheny Gross — The Key to Effective Personalized Learning: Rigorous Content, Standards, and Experiences

Chavous & Duplessis: Undoing ‘Separate but Equal,’ Six Decades After Brown v. Board of Education

Williams: The D.C. Enrollment Scandal Shows How Critical It Is to Guard Against Parent Privilege

Plucker: Gifted Education, Race & Poverty — How Do We Join Forces to Close America’s ‘Excellence Gap’?

Tucker Haynes: Proof That Charters Offer Excellence to All Children Goes Beyond U.S. News’s Top 10 Ranking

Avossa & Chang: As Immigrant School Leaders, We Know That No Immigrant Student Should Have to Live in Fear

Bradford — The Politics & Partisanship of America’s Education Reform Debate: A Growing Blue-Red Divide

Bradford — The Politics & Partisanship of America’s Education Reform Debate: Time for a Suburban Strategy?

Miles & Wiener: In Washington, D.C., a Road Map for Reinventing Professional Development in Schools

Analysis: From ‘Incarceration Pay’ to ‘Rule of 75,’ Surprising Contract Benefits for Teachers Union Staffers

DeGrow: New Detroit Supe Wants to Compete With Charter Schools. How He Can Start Raising the Bar

Lake: Why Personalized Learning Will Ultimately Live or Die on Its Ability to Manage Change

Bradford — The Politics & Partisanship of the Education Reform Debate: Why Being ‘Right’ Isn’t Enough

Rotherham: Why Won’t Betsy DeVos Answer Hard Questions?

Williams: When Students Own Their Academic Results, They Transform Their Schools

Fiddler: The Cost of Textbooks Is a Huge Obstacle for Poor Students. Here’s a Solution

Jeb Bush: What the Media Is Getting Wrong About Florida’s Push to Help Students With Disabilities

Bankert: If Rahm Emanuel’s Graduation Plan Is to Succeed, Colleges Must Lower Barriers for Poor, Minority Students

Student Voice: My Mother Is Undocumented. My Father Was Deported. I Am the Resistance

Illinois’ ‘Untapped Potential Act’ and Recognizing That Every Child Deserves a Bite at the Apple

April 28, 2016

Myles Mendoza
Myles Mendoza

Myles Mendoza is a CPS Parent and Executive Director of One Chance Illinois

Myles Mendoza is a CPS Parent and Executive Director of One Chance Illinois
Talking Points

.@OneChanceIL on Illinois' 'Untapped Potential Act' & the fact that every child deserves a bite at the apple

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

The prestigious Golden Apple award recognizes the best teachers in Illinois for their incredible impact on children. Recently, the Chicago Tribune highlighted Chicago Public Schools’ teacher Todd Katz. Mr. Katz is an Honors Biology and AP Environmental Science teacher at Whitney Young High School, a selective enrollment high school in CPS where children have to score highly on placement exams to qualify for entry.

One Chance Illinois would like to congratulate Mr. Katz and all the Golden Apple recipients. We recognize the immeasurable value Mr. Katz brings to his students, and thank him for his public service.

Every child deserves access to excellent teachers like Mr. Katz, equitable access to the testing to gain entry into selective enrollment schools like Whitney Young and advanced coursework like Honors Biology and AP Environmental Science.

Unfortunately, most students in the state don't have these options; especially low-income children of color. Many live in districts that lack the resources and/or the human capital to provide advanced coursework. Others lack the institutional knowledge to navigate the system, especially if they desire supplemental or differentiated educational opportunities that are not provided at their school.

It’s long past time for Illinois to face political and financial realities and help children of color break the cycle of poverty. Illinois can start by doing more to help low-income students reach their potential. Allow all children equal access to the same schools and coursework their privileged peers have.

The Untapped Potential Act — SB2970, sponsored by state senator Kimberly Lightford, is a step in the right direction. It reforms the identification system for the state’s gifted programs, allowing more low-income and minority students to gain access to the educational opportunities they need and deserve.

This is the first of several policies our organization will advocate for, in a push to level the playing field. The UP Act was recently passed in the Senate and we urge lawmakers in the House to make it law.

Still, there is more to do.

Kids only get one chance at a high quality education and every child should get a bite at the golden apple.