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Life in the Motor City

Re TIME's cover story by Daniel Okrent [Oct. 5]: The violence that has beset Detroit is, sadly, well known, but the utter collapse of the public-school system is just starting to be understood. Nothing captures that collapse better than the video, popular on YouTube, that shows the shocking condition of the building that once housed Detroit's famous Cass Technical High School. Cass Tech meant a lot to me and other graduates for the opportunities it gave us. The old building, abandoned for a newer facility for the school, was a war zone--a ruin of overturned desks,...

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