Heartland Events

Michael Bakalis: 'The Achilles Heel' - A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding and Closing the Black-White Academic Achievement Gap in Our Schools

The Heartland Institute
One South Wacker Drive Suite 2740
Chicago, Illinois 60606
June 26, 2013, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

About the book 

According to Greek Mythology, when the warrior Achilles was an infant, his mother was informed by one who could foresee the future that her child would be killed in battle. To prevent the prediction from coming to pass, Achilles' mother took the child to the River Styx, said to have magical powerrs of invincibility, held her son by the heels, and dipped his body into the water. All of his body except for the heel was covered by this mysterious water.

As an adult, Achilles became a courageous warrior and survived numerous battles. But in the Trojan War a poisonous arrow struck his heel, and he was killed. From that story has come the concept of "The Achilles Heel," a metaphor for a fatal weakness in something having overall strength.

According to Bakalis in the American educational system, the seemingly unfixable academic achievement gap between white and black students is our nation's Achilles Heel. 

About the author

Dr. Michael J. Bakalis  is founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Quality Schools. He also served on the faculty of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where he taught in the field of public and not-for-profit management and educational entrepreneurship. Bakalis' administrative experience has been in government and higher education.

He has served as Illinois State Superintendent of Education and as Illinois State Comptroller. President Carter appointed him Deputy Undersecretary of Education in the U.S. Department of Education where he administered ten regional offices of the department across the United States. He has also held positions as Dean of the School of Education at Loyola University and President of Triton College. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University.


Watch the video of the event below: