Sunday, December 04, 2005

Promises, Promises

Pioneer Press Columnist Mark Yost stirred up a hornet's nest when he suggested that the mainstream media was delinquent on their coverage of good news in Iraq. But Yost's accusation doesn't go far enough. The MSM doesn't want to report any good news. This isn't just a criticism that they are biased against the Republican administration and are therefore deep-sixing good economic data. I'm suggesting that journalists are primarily a bunch of whiners who seek to complain, belittle and afflict others with their opinions, rather than to report events or, God forbid, highlight possible solutions to problems.

Case in point: how many of you have heard of a program called the Kalamazoo Promise? Probably very few. I Googled the term and the only major media outlet to cover it was MSNBC.
For those who haven't heard of the program here is their summary:

Basically, a group of very rich people in the Kalamazoo area wanted to do something to improve the college opportunities for kids who attended K-zoo public schools. So they chipped in a few hundred million dollars and created a program where any Kalamazoo high school graduate who spent at least four consecutive years in the school district would receive a scholarship paying between 65% and 100% of tuition to any Michigan public or community college over the four years following high-school graduation (with deferment for those who join the military - not sure how they coordinate this with the GI Bill, but that's incidental). The payment would work on a sliding scale, depending on how many years the student attended the district. There are also some eligibility criteria, including taking at least 12 credit hours with a 2.0 GPA each semester in college.

Since Michigan's state college system is debatably the best in America, this scholorship would provide students with tremendous value.

Anyone can sit back and pontificate on the importance of education or the shortcomings of public schools. However, few who do this complaining do what these anonymous donors did. A program like this will revitalize a mediocre school district and provide hundreds of kids with an opportunity the would not have had otherwise.

This is truly commendable. To everyone but the mainstream media.


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