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25 May 2008

A Lottery of Hope

A Thomas Friedman op-ed piece in the New York Times brought tears to my eyes. It concerns a SEED Academy in Baltimore that allots place by a lottery, and a recent placement round saw over 300 hopeful applicants vying for just 80 places. It was this quote in particular (and no, it wasn't the grammatical sloppiness of it):

If you think that parents from the worst inner-city neighborhoods don’t aspire for something better for their kids, a lottery like this will dispel that illusion real fast.
Ms. Lewis said she’s seen people on crack walking their kids to school. “We had parents who came into our office who were clearly strung out,” she added. “They could not read or write, but they got themselves there and said, ‘I need help on this application’ for their son or daughter. Families do want the best for their children. If they have a chance, they don’t want their kids to inherit their problems. ...

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