Good News Friday: A teacher writes a beautiful letter to reassure her students. An awesome Fisher-Price commercial on the future of parenting. And finally, some good news out of Michigan


And a Happy Friday to all of you out there in Internet-ville. I’m still bummed over the Duke-Oregon game last night won by the Ducks (who were the better team by far) but whether you’re feeling the same way for other reasons, or you’re already happy anyway, it’s time for some good news stories.

First up, anyone who’s been alive the last 10 years knows that one of the biggest issues in education has been the incredible over-reliance on standardized testing results. Teachers and students and parents ALL agree that there’s been way too much pressure put on students and teachers to perform, and that this is now way to educate kids, by making so much about the test.

Kids get so nervous and stressed before these state exams that they literally get ulcers and suffer anxiety attacks.

Well, one third-grade teacher in Indiana decided to do something wonderful for her students. A mom of a boy in this anonymous teacher’s class shared the letter above that was sent home to her son, Rylan, right before some state tests coming up.

Rylan was so moved by the letter that he cried in school, his mom reports.

The whole thing is great, but this was my favorite part:

“These tests do not define you. There are many ways of being smart. YOU are smart! YOU are enough! You are the light that brightens my day and the reason I am happy to come to work each day. So in the midst of all these tests, remember that there is no way to “test” all of the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU.”

So, so great. I wish we knew who this teacher was; she ought to get a big raise or at least some Teacher of the Year award. Bravo.

**Next up today, this is a very cool little commercial from Fisher-Price that I really liked. It’s called “The Future of Parenting,” and it deals with the thorny question of how we can keep our kids from becoming screen-obsessed zombies without taking technology and innovation out of their toys and play time.

If this is what the kids of 2025 are going to play with, then I want to buy a Zoltar machine and come back as a kid in about 10 years. The books at the end are my favorite part…

**And finally, it’s been one bad news story after another coming out of Michigan over the past few years, with the despicable lead poisoning in the water supply in Flint finally garnering the headlines and changes it deserves.

But every once in a while, some good news pops up everywhere, even in Michigan.

This week it was announced that thanks to a new Detroit Promise Zone program, any graduating high school senior who is accepted to one of Detroit’s five community colleges won’t have to pay a dime for tuition.

The Detroit Promise Zone program, officially launched on Tuesday, will make it possible. At first the funds will come from a private scholarship foundation. But starting in 2018, some of the money will come from property taxes already earmarked for the program.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a high school senior preparing for college now or a second-grader whose college career is years away. The Detroit Promise will be there to help make a college education a reality,” said Mayor Mike Duggan.

He hopes that the program will eventually expand to cover the cost of four years of college tuition at a state school for each Detroit student.

No, it’s not a scholarship to Harvard. But it’s a start, and it’s a wonderful thing for a student in the inner city of Detroit to know they have a chance to make something of themselves. A hand


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