Take some time to read this series in the Washington Post, which tracks the lives of the “Seat Pleasant 59,” who were fifth-graders in 1988 when they received a gift from two wealthy businessmen. The men promised to pay for the students’ college educations.
The series looks at the paths taken by the students, some of whom went on to success and some of whom did not. As the first story notes:
“More than 20 years later, the answers are sometimes surprising, sometimes satisfying and sometimes heart-rending. One would become a doctor. One would become a cellist. One would become a UPS driver. One would kill herself. One would kill his father. One would become a politician. One would become a cop. One would become a drug dealer.”
For education reporters, the story is worth examining as a look at the complexity of factors that often stand between low-income, minority students and success in school, college and life. Solving those problems takes more than the offer of a free scholarship or standardized testing.