Esther Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, has received awards before, but nothing like the Champion of Change title bestowed on her and nine others at the White House. Ms. Bush was honored Tuesday by President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan for her activism on behalf of education equity.
Ms. Bush, a former Baltimore public school teacher and a former college administrator, runs the Urban League of Pittsburgh Charter School, a successful charter with test scores that in some years have outperformed all city schools. Ms. Bush is also active in the African-American Achievement Trust, a local program that promotes black student success in science, math and technology. The program also puts young people in touch with black leaders in business and science.
The Urban League's chief has been involved in education reform in Pittsburgh for decades and has never sought validation from any occupant of the White House. Still, being recognized by Mr. Obama is a special honor for her as a longtime supporter of the president.
The Champions of Change program is a signature part of Mr. Obama's ambitious Winning the Future initiative unveiled in his first term. It was created to highlight good work across the country by individuals and organizations that are making a difference in their communities.
Ms. Bush and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh should exult in this well-deserved moment, but the work is far from done. A national spotlight on a worthy local effort should spur more interest in ensuring educational equity for all in Western Pennsylvania.