Monday, January 25, 2016

In the wake of the news...

...out of Flint, Michigan, what if I told you that Forrest Claypool and Rahm Emanuel had their own private water supply? Wouldn't it make you just a little uneasy about the water you drink in the city?

"You have nothing to worry about," the mayor might say. "We just have our own private water supply because" . . . why? What could they say that would make you more comfortable about the water you drink, cook with and bathe yourself in every day? I think I'd feel better knowing that they use the same water I use. As they say these days, they would have skin in the game. (Literally.)

So why is it that Messrs. Claypool and Emanuel send their children to private schools? What does that say about CPS? That there's nothing wrong with the Chicago public schools, they're just not good enough for our own kids? Shouldn't the guys running the schools be expected to use the product as well, just like everyone else? Shouldn't they have skin in the game? Ask yourself: If either Rahm's or Claypool's kids attended their local public school, do you have any doubt at all that that particular school would be among the very best in the city?

I'm not saying it should be a law or anything, like the one that requires city cops and firefighters to live in the city, but I think it's a reasonable expectation. I don't necessarily have a problem with private citizens sending their kids to private schools (well, I kinda do), but I just think public servants should use public services. It would be a good custom -- sends the right message.

One of the most admirable things Jimmy Carter did as president was send his daughter Amy to the local public school in Washington, D. C. And if I ever met President Obama it would be the one thing I'd say I was disappointed in him as president. After all, Michelle went to the Chicago Public Schools and she turned out pretty well, right? Why not your own daughters?

P. S. Chicago has an economy roughly the size of Switzerland's. Are you telling me we can't have quality public schools?

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