In a demonstration of how the perfect often is the enemy of the good enough, Education Sec. Arne Duncan (foreground), Atty. Gen. Eric Holder (at the podium) and Mayor Richard M. Daley promise to get to the "root" cause of Derrion Albert's violent death, instead of doing what could immediately solve the problem.
Sometimes the "comprehensive solution" to "a national problem," is the enemy of the fast and good solution.
So it is with the case of Derrion Albert, the Chicago high school student whose beating death, captured on a cell phone camera, shocked the nation. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Education Sec. Arne Duncan, the Chicago Public Schools leadership and assorted education geniuses immediately lept in to advise everyone that the death called for the usual: an all-embracing solution that gets to the "root causes."
But as Duncan, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder this week descended on Chicago to give Daley political cover and unleash promises to uncover the core causes, the deadly, proximate cause of the problem persists, unaddressed and unresolved.
Which is: Albert and thousands of students like him daily have been exposed to violence because they are required to attend schools outside of their neighborhoods, often crossing gang borders to get there. Students, parents and community activists have been complaining about the problem for years, to the tin ear of Daley and his political/school establishment.