What’s the old saw about all the news that’s fit to print?
I am wracking my brain to think why two local news outlets ran a hugely – potentially catastrophically – important story without some basic context that might help readers make sense of it. A third skipped the topic altogether.
This one’s so bad I’m not actually sure what to call it. Malpractice? Ineptitude? Bias by omission? Rank shittiness?
It’s a clear and present danger to democracy, anyhow. I mean, no less than Abraham Lincoln observed that if you want to influence tomorrow’s civic culture you had best pay attention to the classroom of today.
In the name of her anti-government, pro-free-market ideology, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is considering rolling back a sweeping, landmark set of civil rights rules laid down by the Obama administration that pushed for an end to disparities in school discipline and the school-to-prison pipeline. Because, you know, protecting the least among us is “government overreach.” Continue reading
A Cross-Section of Education Advocates Set Aside Their Differences to Create a Blueprint for Reshaping the City’s Education Landscape. It Almost Happened.
The morning John Rakolta Jr. rode the bus to school with Mrs. Robinson and her two kids it was 7 degrees in Detroit. The four stepped outside the Robinsons’ apartment building exactly at 6:15 a.m. Rakolta’s bodyguard and driver trailed at a discreet distance.
Kids bundled against a wind chill that made the trek even more frigid, they walked to the bus stop and waited. And waited. What time was the bus expected to arrive, Rakolta asked, shivering. 6:50. So why get to the stop half an hour early? Because buses are few and schedules erratic; if the 6:50 came early and they missed it there wouldn’t be another for two hours.
The panoramic windows in Rakolta’s downtown Detroit office look out over the city’s main thoroughfare. Buses go up and down Woodward Avenue, but the reality of relying on them was a rude surprise to him.
The CEO of a privately held company that builds auto assembly plants all over the world, Rakolta’s sideline avocation is race relations. He’d been part of two decades of purposeful efforts to understand his own white privilege and to build relationships between black and white Detroiters. He’s both a conservative and a booster of a black, Democratic city.
John Rakolta Jr.
A major fundraiser for the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney in 2012 and Marco Rubio in 2015, Rakolta was riding the bus with the Robinsons because a few months earlier a friend had asked him to join an effort to create some stability in the city’s crumbling school system, often described as the worst in the nation. Continue reading