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Robin Roberts' return

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
February 20, 2013 1:48:37 PM PST
They could have made it a sap-fest, with loads of tears. Instead, they took the higher ground, and it made Robin Roberts return to Good Morning America not just good TV, but the regular GMA show, with an emotional added twist that was woven throughout the program.

There are lots of clips available to see the on the Web, but I suspect more people than usual watched the triumphant return of Robin to the morning show this morning. Her recovery has been uber-covered, and it's a great tribute to her internal fortitude and discipline and strength that Robin came back months before anyone thought she could after her bone marrow transplant.

Make no mistake, she could have easily died from this procedure. She could have easily been out of work for a year. I can't help thinking that Robin's mighty tired right now, running on adrenaline and a ton of love and attention. That alarm will ring at 3 a.m. tomorrow and no one would be surprised if she were more than a little inclined to hit the snooze button till 9.

For me, one of the many alum of GMA, it was a wonderful feeling to see her welcomed back, not with all the schmaltz and fawning, but with news stories being covered from around the world, with reporters at the scene saying, briefly, welcome back Robin, and then moving on to what matters to her the most - the story.

My heart was pounding faster, like so many of you, as I watched this morning. So proud of Robin for choosing fearless over fearful, so proud of her for proving the courage trumps.

So that's the backbeat for us, her colleagues at ABC, as we prep tonight's 11 p.m. newscast.

Tonight we're looking at what appears to be a huge sea change in what has been the centerpiece of Mayor Bloomberg's tenure at City Hall: Education.

New York City Schools Chanceller Dennis Walcott now says that only the kids at the very bottom of the performance scale - the lowest 10 percent - will be held back from getting promoted to the next grade. The "social promotion" was a bugaboo for the Bloomberg Administration, with the Mayor insisting the schools would not promote kids unless they were qualified and passed tests proving they were ready for the next grade.

Now Mr. Walcott says that the rigid promotion for kids in grades 3 to 8, will be less rigid, because officials worried too many would fail the harder state tests that are coming this spring. From our perch, this appears to be a huge change in policy. So what does it mean for an educational system that already has a huge drop-out rate, especially among ethnic minorities? Our Jim Dolan is on the story, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa turned into a please-make-this-stop nightmare for a couple on Long Island. They were stranded on in the bush after they were hornswoggled by a tour operator - they thought they were all set for an adventure to end all adventures. Then they got outside Nairobi, and realized they were in trouble. Big trouble. To get their money back, they got long-distance help from Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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