BUSINESS
03/28/2008 02:46 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Steve Schwarzman Tells Bronx Kids Good Grades Are Over-Rated

"How do you get from here to the rest of the world?"

The question is one of the most heart-breaking moments on this season of the Wire. It's asked of Cutty, an ex-con turned proprietor of a neighborhood boxing gym. The youngster asking it is Dukie, of the desperate kids caught up in the mess of youthful drug dealing but who is told by friend and foe alike that his talents lie elsewhere. "I wish I knew," is Cutty's humble answer.

One guy who might know is Steve Schwarzman, the billionaire head of private equity giant Blackstone. And last week he went to the Sacred Heart School in the Bronx to deliver his answer. Unlike conventional advice--that it was important to work hard at school and stay out of trouble--Schwarzman seemed to propose that doing well in school isn't all it is cracked up to be.

"I used to do homework and got a 90, but not much above that," he told Victor Anoiske, who Schwarzman called "handsome" and the the New York Times describes as "a quiet, reed-thin fourth grader." "But I couldn't get 96's like you did," he told the kid.

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