Derrion Albert's Preventable Death


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.

Continue reading in the Chicago Daily Observer


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  • "to the tin ear of Daley and his political/school establishment"
    ...of which Duncan was in charge up to last January. And who instituted this policy? Duncan.

  • I was raised in the burbs , moved to the west side of Chicago.
    I am white & my husband is black. I chose to live in K town.
    After 2 years, I was totally sick of the wanna be gang kids,
    dope, shootings. I could not leave my appartment without a knife.
    CPD needs to take the gangs out!!!!

  • What about dismantling, or at least downsizing, the lab where gangs are planted, incubated, and grown?

    Chicago does not have the most violent schools, DC does. But there are over 1700 kids in the district shielded from the violence because they are part of a school voucher program. Guess how many of their parents like the program: 100%. Guess how much is costs: 50% of the failed and dangerous public schools. The congress just authorized an extension because of immense grass roots pressure from the inner city of DC. If you throw more money at a failed system it's still failed. At some point you have to just grade the idea's that the power structure in Chicago have as a bad idea. Guess who won't even entertain the idea of improvements through vouchers: Chicago. The irony of it all is the shining example of a poor student in a failed school system that caught a break, went to a private school, and made something of himself: Obama.

    The answer is not more money for the power structure, it's better ideas.

  • In reply to convenienttruth:

    Well said. Charter schools are the best we can get in Chicago because of union opposition to vouchers. Charter schools are better than what the unions have given us; vouchers would be way superior.

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