An Open Letter to Governor Rauner

Governor Rauner,

Yesterday, you made this comment about the one- day strike organized by the Chicago Teacher Union that shut down many Chicago Public Schools and displaced nearly 400,000 students for the day:

“It’s shameful that Chicago’s children are the victims in this raw display of political power. Walking out on kids in the classroom, leaving parents in the lurch and thumbing their nose at taxpayers — it’s the height of arrogance from those we’ve entrusted with our children’s futures…” -Rauner, 2016

I really want to point that you have just said exactly what the city and state have been saying about you.You were elected at the end of 2014 and we trusted you to get the state in shape, yet you are failing us.

For over 8 months, Illinois has been facing a budget crisis, and as a result, Illinois’s social service programs and schools have been greatly affected. You even stopped funding the MAP program that gives out grants to low- income college students.

I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but by not passing a budget, you are playing politics with student education and people’s lives.

That is why people are fighting and protesting. They are fighting because of the lack of funding for public schools in Chicago and universities all over the state.

Chicago State University, along with other universities, are facing possible shut downs. Students are thinking about transferring to schools that lack appropriate resources, or worse, are thinking about dropping out of college entirely.

A student who is unable to continue college, may now have to get a job that pays lower than a living wage, hindering any means of returning to school and leaving them without a college degree. If economic growth is so important to you, then how is this person supposed to appropriately contribute to society when they can barely making a living?

What I am getting at, Governor Rauner, is that you have a position of privilege and power and yet are misusing it. You are standing against unions and standing against MAP funding. You are marginalizing people and making them powerless as you shape Illinois, not to the needs of the people who reside in it, but rather your own.

The year before your election, news outlets reported you owning nine “houses”. I point this out because you have the luxury of living the way you do, yet so many others are struggling to get by.

Referring back to your comment about children being the victims, I agree they are. However, not passing a state budget is making things worse for them. In an article published March of 2015, found that one in four children who reside in the Sangamon County live in poverty. 

Another article, featuring yourself, stated:

“What we’re focused on is the current situation and the future,” [Rauner] added. “Change is difficult. Change causes pain. We believe very strongly that we’re going to go through some short-term pain for some very long-term gain.”-Rauner, 2015

I agree there must be change occurring. But I also do not think that change has to be this painful and this desperate. If we are analyzing the current situation, you should realize that you are not helping to solve it, rather, you are making matters worse for the present and for the future. Parents, teachers, students, and staff are holding such protests to catch your attention. We cannot reform our systems without your help. We are asking you to come and see the problems that people are facing on a daily basis; to understand why we are protesting.

 

Sincerely,

one student of thousand others being affected by your actions,

Bianca I. Mena

Engineering being brought to the classroom

   Living in the twenty-first century has become competitive in the work field. Education seems to have gotten at its highest in hopes to gain knowledge of the never ending advancements of today’s technology.
   With technology growing every day, engineering has become a daily routine in some of the physics classrooms of Lane.
   “A lot of the jobs now a days are highly technical and in high technical fields. Without skills involved in engineering, you are not competitive in those markets,” said Ms Finchum, Honors and Alpha Physics teacher at Lane.
   According to an article on chron.com, named Engineering futures are always  bright,  it stated that “Seven of the top ten highest paid college degrees are in engineering.”
   According to another article on usnews.com, named Seven occupations with the highest hiring demand, engineer was brought up twice and technology was in more than half the occupations listed.
   With the results from both articles mentioned and several other articles online,  it is safe to say that education amongst these topics are most needed to become successful.
   Along with the want of student’s success in a fast paced, technological world of today, Finchum also believes that by incorporating the engineering sciences, a student will show his or her way of thinking.
   “Engineering builds critical and divergent thinking skills which is, above all, a skill that [the students] need to have by the time they leave high school,”  Finchum said.
   Thus far in her physics class, she has had the students create a mouse trap catapult out of the materials that she, herself, has provided to teach the students about projectile motion.
   In the future she plans to continue enforcing engineering by building mini hydro electro generators to study magnetism and build photo voltaic cells. Finchum also plans on having her physics students design and make a sports shoe that will minimize or maximize friction depending on a specific sport.
   One of the things that Finchum most looks for in students is the need to stay active in a classroom so that the students will not become disinterested.
   “[Engineering] keeps the students engaged,” Finchum said. “A lot of the students, especially now, have a lot of trouble just sitting and taking notes.”
   Finchum’s ultimate goal for the students is to not only gain knowledge and understanding of the subject on physics, but to also enjoy the moments of learning.
   “If we have fun in class and we have a good day together then it is worth it, ” Finchum said.