The Kalamazoo Promise: Every kid who graduates gets free college. Pink is awesome. A love story in 22 pictures. And the “West Wing” cast reunites for a hilarious commercial.

Today’s Good News Friday starts with a plug for moi: I’ve been writing for an environmental blog for the past year at ThomasNet.com, a publishing company that goes back over 100 years. If you’re interested in solar panels, wind turbines, electric cars and the like, you can find my musings on all things environmental at this link and in my blogroll at the homepage. Thanks.

There are so many challenges facing educators today: budget shortfalls, overcrowded classrooms, disinterested students, and the list goes on and on.
And education reforms seem to be all over the place these days, with ideas being thrown out, tried for a few years, then thrown back.
But there are certain “fads” that never go out of style. Things like opportunity, and a promise of college to every student in one town in America who wants to go.

It was really heartening for me to read this story in last Sunday’s New York Times magazine about The Kalamazoo Promise, which is this: In 2005, a series of wealthy anonymous donors decided to donate money for college tuition to every single student in the Kalamazoo school system who graduated from high school.

Every single kid gets a scholarship to a state school. What an incredible incentive, what a wonderful program, and man oh man if every city had the money to do this, what a difference it could make.

Read the story, and realize what’s possible.

**Brief interlude: Pink is awesome. She’s fierce and powerful and a hell of a good singer and songwriter.
She’s going on tour this winter and I hope to see her live for the second time. She was on “The Daily Show” this week and was awesome; here’s a clip from the show of her singing one of her excellent old hits, “Who Knew,” and here’s a clip from the first single off the new album, the very catchy (and NSFW lyrics) “Blow Me (One Last Kiss”).

Pink rules.

**If a picture paints a thousand words (hat tip to Bread there), then here’s a whole lot of words in 22 pictures (one of them is at the top of the page.

My awesome friend Victoria C. alerted me to this beautiful photo essay on buzzfeed.com about love, which starts happy, dances with tragedy in the middle, but ends up happy, too.
What a beautiful story.

**Finally today, you know I like to feature “The West Wing” clips on here from time to time, because it’s my second-favorite show, ever (behind “The Wire.”)  While I still pine away hope for a real “West Wing” reunion, this will have to do. In real life, the sister of former “West Wing” cast member Mary McCormack is running to be a Supreme Court judge in Michigan, so McCormack recruited her old castmates to help her sister.

The writing and the facial tics of all the actors are so perfectly in tune with their old roles, it’s scary.

Enjoy…

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