Friday, March 19, 2010

Why Do Folks Like "Bad News" So Much?!?

A common refrain when used to describe traditional forms of media is "it bleeds, it leads". Sure, blogs are new school, but they seem to follow the same ethos. And reality is, folks in general are more driven by negativity than positivity. It's just human nature. is hardly an exception to the rule. If you're new to my blog, you prolly think I spend an inordinate amount of time hatin' on random sh*t, and judging by the total post counts for the appropriate categories, you'd be correct. The "Doin' Good" tag is pretty meager when compared to Negro Nonsense. Try hard as I might, presenting a balance of "good news" stories to typical "bad news" is hard, mostly because there's simply more "bad news" than "good". And perhaps more curiously, people tend to respond (via comments, hits, forwarded posts, retweets, etc.) to negativity. So, I (and most bloggers) stay on that tip. Show me a "positive news" blog, and I'll show you a blog with post after post of zero comments. It's sad, but it's true.

All that said, I don't expect many comments, if any at all for this post, but I'd be foolish not to pass something this good along, after it's been forwarded to me, oh, 500 times or so already.
The entire senior class at Chicago's only public all-male, all-African-American high school has been accepted to four-year colleges. At last count, the 107 seniors had earned spots at 72 schools across the nation.

Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago Public Schools chief Ron Huberman surprised students at an all-school assembly at Urban Prep Academy for Young Men in Englewood this morning to congratulate them. It's the first graduating class at Urban Prep since it opened its doors in 2006.

The school enforces a strict uniform of black blazers, khaki pants and red ties -- with one exception. After a student receives the news he was accepted into college, he swaps his red tie for a red and gold one at an assembly. The last 13 students received their college ties today, to thunderous applause.

The achievement might not merit a mayoral visit at one of the city's elite, selective enrollment high schools. But Urban Prep, a charter school that enrolls using a lottery in one of the city's more troubled neighborhoods, faced difficult odds. Only 4 percent of this year's senior class read at grade level as freshmen, according to Tim King, the school's CEO.

College is omnipresent at the school. Before the students begin their freshman year, they take a field trip to Northwestern University. Every student is assigned a college counselor the day he steps foot in the school.

The school offers an extended day--170,000 more minutes over four years compared to its counterparts across the city--and more than double the number of English credits usually needed to graduate.
If this story doesn't warm your heart, even if just a little bit, then you don't have one.

It's little shock that this story isn't getting more shine. Heck, even the newspaper that reported it dropped it in a "Happy News" section, rather than "Metro/Local" or "Education", which seems to signify its status as human interest exception, rather than rule.

Either way, this is good news, so let's give props to the administrators and kids at Urban Prep.

Well done, fellas. Well done.

Question: Why do people tend to gravitate more towards bad news than good? Had you heard about this story before now?

Charter school in tough neighborhood gets all its seniors into college [ChicagoTribune]

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