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April 10, 2011

Why President Obama should attend the CAPA Graduation: Jordan Miles

Various reports suggest that President Obama may participate in the graduation exercises at the Pittsburgh School for the Creative and Performing Arts (aka CAPA 6-12), which is one of six finalists in the Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge.

The other finalists are Bridgeport High School in Bridgeport, Wash.; Wayne Early Middle College High School in Goldsboro, N.C.; Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tenn.; Science Park High School in Newark, N.J.; and High Tech High International in San Diego.

There are probably great reasons for President Obama to visit any of these schools, which are all fine examples of best-in-class education programs. There's one great reason for President Obama to attend the CAPA ceremony: he can have CAPA alumni Jordan Miles and his mother, Terez Miles, sitting with him.


Jordan Miles is the CAPA student who was attacked, assaulted, and beaten without cause by three Pittsburgh police officers. The picture on the above-left is "before" the beating; the picture on the above-right is "after" they pulled the hair out of his head. Jordan Miles has passed polygraph tests confirming his report. There has been no action taken on the three police officers who beat him, other than putting them on fully paid administrative leave - in other words, a no-show, paid vacation including overtime, etc.

Imagine the moment when the President of the United States says to the audience, "You think I'm important? I think Jordan Miles is important."

That's a moment worth the President's time, and that's why President Obama should attend the CAPA graduation ceremony.


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