Detroit Getting an Ounce of Help

I posted a bit about Toledo's industry-funded high school. Looks like Apple is going to do something similar with Detroit. The story has a bit of a breathless tone:
Gov. Jennifer Granholm will announce Tuesday that the California computer maker and master of the red-hot iPod will help finance, equip and advise a small top-quality high school for Detroit students at most risk of being left behind.

The goal is intensely ambitious to not only graduate these students, but also to prepare them for college and careers.

If successful -- and Apple has had success with similar efforts in other states -- the school will teach all of Michigan how to move from public high schools that churn out graduates unprepared for either work or college, to nimble academies that serve as launching pads for college or advanced training.

Teach ALL of Michigan how to move from boring/hopeless/incompetent schools to "nimble academies"? BS. I'm glad to see Apple stepping into a difficult situation to put their two-cents worth in. In fact, I'm currently showing my Online Docs class Robert Cringley's "The Triumph of the Nerds", complete with over-the top narration like "This man is richer than God...and Bill Gates is richer than him" and pronouncements of Apple's failure. I show it to my class, despite it's obvious misogyny and econo-fetishism for two reasons: 1. it shows the guts of the microcomputer and Internet marketing revolution. The interviews, location shots of Silicon Valley and Albuqueruque, and hyperbolic narration all capture the time perfectly 2. The interviews with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates captures two approaches to manufacturing. Bill Gates understands working in a commodified environment and Steve Jobs understands production innovation. Apple's production innovation DNA is what intrigues me about this school. It works for changing industry, but I have my doubts as to how far it can change social institutions that aren't cranking out pieces of plastic or metal. Our public school system needs good ideas, to be sure, but I believe the answer doesn't lie in changing everything into a corporate metaphor. Just ask Brent Faber how that works.

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