Byline: Christie Hart Daily Herald Staff Writer
The Rev. Jesse Jackson should have no trouble on Sunday pointing out the differences between an older high school on Chicago's South Side and the freshly minted Neuqua Valley in Naperville.
But leaders in Indian Prairie Unit District 204, which opened Neuqua in the fall, want visitors who come on tour with Jackson to leave knowing that it's more than the $62 million building that drives their students to succeed.
Jackson plans to lead a delegation of students, teachers and state lawmakers through DuSable High School in Chicago and then to Neuqua to urge legislators to more evenly distribute money for education. Chicago students should have the opportunity to learn in a facility with the modern amenities built into Neuqua, he said.
Having modern buildings and abundant computers would help urban students, but it's not enough to account for the disparity between the scores DuSable and Neuqua students post on standardized tests, District 204 Superintendent Gail McKinzie said.
"There are so many other issues in an urban setting. It's hard to compare just the facilities," she said. "Yes, we have nice facilities, but they are a byproduct of other values we have in this community. …