Something remarkable happened as the cheating case, which dates back to 2005, unfolded. Over the last 13 years, Atlanta students have made significant progress on another test, the widely respected National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), administered through the Education Department and considered the "gold standard" of educational testing in the U.S.
As the resistance continues to escalate, we will no doubt see more threats and misrepresentations. But the movement shows every sign of remaining energized and united, keeping its eyes on the prize: a more rational approach to assessment and accountability that does not turn schools into test prep centers full of fearful teachers and disengaged students.
How do we eliminate the bias against black skin which seems to be so inextricably linked to issues of discrimination that have a real impact on the progress of African-Americans? Economic investment, legal reform and improvements in education are certainly needed. But, I also believe that positive multicultural media is part of the solution.
While far too many children are at risk of hunger in our state and across the country, we believe our community has the determination to address the problem. By working together, food banks, schools and public and private funders can solve the problem of child hunger in Michigan and across the country.
I'm always wary of the argument that all problems can and should be solved at home. I think that takes some of the responsibility off of other institutions that can bring about social change yet drastically need reform. But the role of parents and families is an important one -- particularly in the prevention of racial discrimination.