Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Baller With a Big Heart

A couple of formal rivals on the basketball court might be able to teach something to our elected officials who struggle to agree on issues of education reform.

It was reported last month that former NBA and University of Michigan basketball star Jalen Rose will be opening a charter school aimed at helping low-income kids in his hometown of Detroit, and new details are now emerging, with the high school slated to open this September on Detroit's Northwest Side.

Watch the video below to learn more:

But wait...there's more! Rose is also getting help from former rival, fellow NBA star and college great Grant Hill, who last month pledged his support for the new school. Not only did the two battle it out on the hardwood, with their teams meeting in the 1992 NCAA championship game, but earlier this year they engaged in a brief feud following some comments Rose made in an ESPN documentary profiling his time at Michigan as part of the school's vaunted Fab Five.

Hill and Rose both say they've moved on from any past issues, and what's more important is helping kids. We appreciate their ability to look past prior differences in the pursuit of the greater good: providing children with a good education.

Rose also made a point we here at the American Federation for Children and the Alliance for School Choice frequently try to drive home—that his school isn't out to hurt Detroit Public Schools, but instead it aims give parents and students more choices in a city that desperately needs them. Here's what he had to say:
Only 30 percent of 9th graders will graduate from high school [in Detroit]. When you hear those numbers, if we were a third world country, it would be declared a crisis, and there would be a state of national emergency.
Lawmakers, are you paying attention? Sometimes, the past doesn't matter—it should only be about giving kids better futures.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MAG

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