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Dear Shepard Smith: Button It

Yikes. I'd bet Shepard Smith of the Fox Channel wishes he had a "rewind button."

On Wednesday, the popular Talking Head took on the recent story about poor Detroit Public Schools test scores during an interview with Sharlonda Buckman of the Detroit Parent Network and Detroit school board member Tyrone Winfrey. Smith told viewers:

"69 percent of the kids who took the test scored as if they just guessed on every one, and you're talking about adequate, adequate advancement. I don't care. If my kid were in Detroit, I'd try to burn the place down."

He came back today and said people "are taking his comments out of context and should not divert their focus away from the real problem, low test scores and poor student performance," according to Fox 2 Detroit.

Here's the whole comment he made on air:

"During that segment, I offhandedly remarked that if my kids were in Detroit, I'd burn the place down. Now, I immediately said that I meant that figuratively, that we'd all be upset. Obviously, who in the world would advocate such a thing, burning the place down. But these words have become a story in Detroit with the comments taken out of context. The real story here, Detroit, is seven out of ten of your fourth graders answered math questions with no greater accuracy than one would had a person not even read the question, as if at random. Seventy percent. Some parents say teachers and administrators should be jailed. The basic truth of all this is Detroit, you have a problem. Diverting attention to the sideshow that is outsiders' observation of this crisis will not make it go away. You fail tomorrow's leaders in the fourth grade, it's all lost."

I don't think he needs to apologize, but can we PLEASE avoid the "burn the place down" reference? That's so tired.

Detroit Public Schools superhero (and emergency financial manager) Robert Bobb told some reporters "there's nothing wrong" with the minds of Detroit's students, according to

Here's a link to the discussion about it on the DetroitYes! forum. Always a great place to sound off.

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