Last May, the Supreme Court faced a textbook case of pay discrimination. Lilly Ledbetter was one of a few women supervisors working at a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant in Gadsden, Alabama, and she remained at the plant despite her bosses' bias against women. One even told her that "the plant did not need women," that women "caused problems." For almost two decades, the company systematically downgraded her performance evaluations to pay her less than male colleagues who performed the same duties. Her pay eventually fell 15 percent to 40 percent behind her male counterparts.
Education for all is a defining value of our country, and living up to it takes more than lip service. It takes dedication, hard work, and financial commitment. It means working in partnerships to create the best federal, state, and local policies to increase educational opportunities for all. It also means starting early.