You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

Rise & Fall: Ypsilanti Public Schools and The Habitat for Humanity thief

By Paula Gardner

One is working to see the success rate among its students improve — even if it's not in the most obvious ways. The other has taken being a thief to a whole new level of low.

Here are our picks for Thursday's winner and loser from the news.

Rise: Ypsilanti Public Schools

A look at the numbers in the school district’s recent graduation rate report doesn’t tell the whole story. The district’s dropout rate is improving, even amid challenges like a student body that’s 80 percent economically disadvantaged. Yet the most exciting number to educators in the district is that nearly 21 percent of its seniors in 2011 did not graduate on time - but they are on track to finish high school in five years, thanks to a range of programs available to them. As assistant superintendent Jennifer Martin said to the school board, that’s saving children - and helping them be successful.

Fall: The Habitat for Humanity thief

Criminals are easy targets when you’re looking for something to complain about. And it’s not like “cold-hearted” is a unique phrase when you’re describing a thief. But it’s with special disgust that we’ll call out the person who targeted Habitat for Humanity for a recent caper. The person hid in the store after it closed, then grabbed a locked cash box before leaving via the door. This store survives on public donations so that it can fund homes for people who need them - and it generated more than $500,000 in sales in 2011. We have no doubt that the store will recover, but it’s a shame that it has to.