Detroit Public School Board-The joke that keeps on giving!

I’ll admit I’m a white male Detroit suburbanite.  I have no children enrolled in the Detroit Public Schools.  I pay no Detroit City taxes, although I once did as an employee that worked within the city boundaries.  However, the sad joke that is the Detroit Public School Board affects my life and the life of the entire Southeast Michigan metroplex.

Graduation rates are around 25 percent.  Buildings are falling apart.  Text books are inadequate.  School violence rears its ugly head on an all too regular basis.  Enrollment is quickly dwindling as people leave Detroit looking for jobs or, more importantly, better schools.

In the midst of all these problems, what does the Detroit School Board do?  Fires Detroit Public School Superintendent Connie Calloway after a year and a half on the job, because they’ve suddenly realized the school is 400 million dollars in debt!

I’d go into the details of this more, but why bother.  It’s the latest excuse of the week to do nothing to improve the not even Third World nature of the Detroit Public Schools.  If you want to see what passes for school board leadership you can read the “details” here.  (Detroit Free Press article)

The school board is a joke.  It seems as each board member has his/her personal agenda and almost none have the students welfare as their main focus.

Without quality education in Detroit, the city will never turn around.  Would you want to move into a city that has no quality schools, education achievement going down, and the physical welfare and safety or your son or daughter a daily concern?

I’ve now watched the Detroit Public School board in action for 20 years and not one thing has changed.

The State of Michigan took over the system for several years but they also ran into intransigent public officials, church/community leaders, and teachers’ union.  The State currently is taking over the fiscal area of the school system since the Board can’t seem to make any decisions to fix the multimillion dollar deficit they face.

The DPS  board fights charter schools. They fight change.  They even fight amongst themselves! 

What the Detroit Public School system needs is strong leadership that isn’t worried about upsetting the apple cart.  Leadership that isn’t afraid of various community factions that have their own agenda.  Leadership that isn’t looking for political advantage.  Leadership that has only one focus, the student and making life better for them through the quality education each American is entitled to have.

Will it happen?  One can hope and pray, but so far neither have been answered, but the fight must continue or we are all to blame.


~ by detroitvoice on December 16, 2008.

One Response to “Detroit Public School Board-The joke that keeps on giving!”

  1. If we want to ‘fight’, then we need an army…one like the Obama army, that will knock on doors in Detroit and campaign for folks who have the children’s best interests at heart.

    It can be done, but first the army needs candidates to fight for.

    born & raised in Detroit, attended DPS

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