Letter: Teaching the truth

I’d like to thank the Daily Illini Editorial Board for their editorial, “Tax Credit: The Rest of the Story,” (Jan. 24, 2006).

In it they maintained that, in theory, Gov. Blagojevich’s proposal that offers tax credits to underclassmen families, “. is revolutionary and would help many middle and low class families send their children off to college, whereas that dream would have been impossible before.”

While this may be partially true, it is a fact for many low class families that the dream of sending their children off to college cannot be remedied by a simple monetary gift to offset the costs of higher education.

It is also a sad fact that in the United States, 9-year-olds in urban and rural areas are already three grade levels behind their peers in wealthier suburbs.

Less than half of these urban high school students graduate. We, as graduates and professionals, must address inequities in education far before college admission time.

As a 2004 University alumna, now teaching public school in New York City, I want to urge upcoming graduates to consider Teach for America as an exciting opportunity to ensure that all children in this nation receive an excellent education.

Teach for America is a national corps made up of top recent graduates who teach in urban and rural low-income areas nationwide for two years.

We seek individuals from all backgrounds and career interests who have what it takes to excel as teachers and change agents.

The Web site www.teachforamerica.org offers information on the program and the second deadline coming up on Feb. 17.

We at Teach for America believe that the only truly ‘revolutionary’ plan to make the dream of a college education possible to all families is to give every child an equal playing field from the beginning.

Becca Woodard

2004 Teach For America corps member