Gary Comer College Prep

Went to the grand opening of Gary Comer College Prep today.  It is a Noble Charter School in the Grand Crossing neighborhood of Chicago.  It was a dream of Gary Comer, who passed away.  It was fulfilled with the guidance of his son.

Education is the civil rights of our time. John McCain first said this in his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination for President. Others have repeated it. The people associated with Gary Comer, and Noble Schools, live it. An education stays with you for life.

Politicos were there, some dignitaries, parents, and kids. Mayor Daley was there and actually gave a very impassioned speech. Daley is an interesting character. Education is a passion that burns deep inside him. You can tell when he speaks. It’s not an act.

One thing he said that rang very true, and ought to be inscribed in stones across the land. “An education is a ticket out of poverty. No government program, no spending bill, nothing can lift a person out of poverty quicker than an education.” Daley also talked about how everyone in America when they are born have the same opportunity-but education changes that. Crappy education, don’t love to learn-you have less chance to be successful.

Two sophomores gave my wife and I a guided tour of the school. Great space. Kids know they are lucky to be there. They also work their tails off. 100% will go to college. They have a chance. That is what real hope is.

Here is the video of the initial project, The Gary Comer Youth Center. Now they have a school.


Of course, there are some people that campaigned on hope that truly do everything in their power to dismantle it.

From today’s WSJ:

“President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have made charter schools a big part of their reform agenda, but the pushback from unions has been fierce. Perhaps that explains why the new $10 billion federal teacher bailout will be dispensed in a way that discriminates against charters.”

“Administration officials say their hands are tied because the legislation stipulates that the money go to the school districts. In fact, the law is silent on contracting with outside management organizations and even the Education Department doesn’t have a problem with one school district contracting services with another school district. The education dollars in President Obama’s first stimulus flowed to charters schools based on need, regardless of how the school paid its teachers.

Many charter operators suspect that the real problem here is that most charter school teachers aren’t unionized. The $10 billion bailout was designed as a pre-election reward for unions, which will plow the greater union dues into campaign funds to help Democratic candidates. Alas for charter school teachers, all they do is teach children.”

Some talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. Gary Comer College Prep is evidence of what happens when you walk the walk.