It has been a difficult, emotional week for our friends, neighbors, and families all around Chicago, as more than 50 schools are closing and many more will be going through relocation or programming transitions. We are all wrestling with what the future looks like for education in our city. I personally cannot seem to make a wholly positive or wholly negative response to the school board's choice to close these schools. I believe that the dialogue around this issue is what is most important. The school board has thrown this discussion in our face: there are haves and have-nots in this city and we cannot ignore that fact or protect only our children from the realities of the environment around us. 

I hope that all of our school families and all those who are even remotely interested in what we are doing here at the Humboldt Park Montessori School will start talking about these issues: poverty, equal education, equal access to resources, what does a good education look like? This panel discussion from WBEZ's Afternoon Shift is a good place to start.

I believe that at its core, this is a discussion about poverty. It is clear that the majority of the closed schools are located in poor areas of Chicago, Humboldt Park being one of those areas. Where there are fewer financial resources, it is just a fact that we need more resources to be able to help our children fight that battle out of poverty. They have the potential in themselves to succeed, but it is education that makes the difference. If I believe that my child's education makes the most impact on his future happiness and success, I must believe that education can destroy the forces of poverty and crime weighing down on other children. 

We want the resources. We want affordable housing in our neighborhood. We want health clinics and parenting classes. We want libraries, computers, music, and art programs. 

I promise that at Humboldt Park Montessori School we will not become a place in isolation from our community, but that we will put forth our greatest effort to making the education of all Humboldt Park children the best that it can be. We will offer Montessori classes in public schools. We will welcome in low-income families. We will knock on doors and search out the funds to provide as many scholarships as we can. 

Let's keep the discussion and the work going. In the midst of this huge storm surrounding education, let's continue on as a small peaceful force hoping and working for a better education in Humboldt Park.