When someone in Detroit recently tried to eviscerate the school district’s chess funding—slashing it from $80,000 to $4,000—parents fought back, and most of the money was restored. Good for them. Now, in an editorial, the Detroit Free Press stands with parents, pointing out that chess isn’t some frivolous luxury to be unceremoniously canned the moment the budget gets tight. Money quote:
“In the array of critical issues confronting the Detroit Public Schools, the survival of competitive chess for students may seem trivial. It's not. Chess sharpens critical thinking and analytical skills, and interscholastic tournaments open new vistas for students. This is the kind of program DPS must preserve to attract and retain the city's best and brightest young people.”
Well said. Does anyone know what the chess budget is for the Chicago Public Schools? It can’t be much. . . . Anyone thinking of cutting chess should talk to Laurie Erdman of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, who knows it’s “not just another board game with interesting pieces. . . . It is a brain developer." Laurie has the goods in Education World. . . . And who knew there was a Martin Luther King Day scholastic chess tournament here in Illinois? Not us. Thanks to the Bloomington Pantagraph we do now. Sounds like it was fun.
What is a pantagraph, anyway?
Update (5:38 pm)
In answer to the above question, Michele Steinbacher-Kemp, author of The Pantagraph’s chess article, sends this:
“The Pantagraph was founded Jan. 14, 1837 by Jesse W. Fell. I'm told publisher C.P. Merriman created the name in 1853, which comes from the Greek ‘to write all things.’
“Our motto is ‘Independent in everything. Neutral in nothing.’"