It is welcome news that the University has increased its investment in area education with its second charter school that stands to offer a cutting edge education to students from areas who are in need. President Randel, who has spearheaded the charter school initiative in Chicago, deserves praise for this move.
While enhancing education opportunities may fit with the Universitys mission statement, it also stands to have a huge positive impact on the less than cordial community relations. Showing residents of Woodlawn that we do not exist only to encroach on their neighborhood could greatly ease the town-gown relations and with the drastic shift of student housing to the south side of campus, it could not come at a better time.
Coupled with the exciting news that the University is taking new steps to encourage minority applications, this wave of University-run charter schools could further enhance the diversity of the University of Chicago. It could not only end up giving the University a head start with area students who have the backgrounds this college sorely lacks, but it would also not come at the price of the colleges academic integrity.
While charter schools remain a contentious issue, a private institution using its prodigious resources and expertise to improve the schooling of countless children is, without question, a good thing. The University, under its new president, must continue and expand this project.