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The Commercial Appeal
December 12, 2004

Editorial: East gets a lift

Prominent alumni of Memphis's East High School are putting their money where their sentiments lie, by raising $3 million for some worthwhile upgrades of the school.

Commodities trader and East High alumnus Charles D. McVean organized the Greater East High Foundation last month with the hope of persuading about 150 individuals and local businesses to contribute.

The group has already installed computers and made plans to outfit the auditorium with audio-visual equipment. One of its most intriguing ideas is to pay students in the top 20 percent of their class to tutor the bottom 20 percent.

It seems like a good way to make academic achievement cool. You wouldn't want to encourage campus brains to write papers for bullies. But if they might inspire fellow students to perform better, the effort would be worth pursuing.

East has a proud tradition in Memphis, but it has slipped considerably in terms of academic achievement. A concerned and involved alumni may be the key to restoring the school to the prominent position it once held in Memphis and inspire graduates of other Memphis schools to follow suit. How about it, Manassas? Booker T.?


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