Motor City meltdown

Detroit’s incompetent school board could regain control of the city’s worst schools, reports the Detroit News.

The state’s Education Achievement Author, modeled on Louisiana’s Recovery District, took control of the lowest-achieving schools last year under a contract written by Roy Roberts, the emergency manager. When Michigan voters repealed the state’s “emergency manager” law, the Detroit Board of Education canceled the contract, writes Education Gadfly in Meltdown in the Motor City. The Detroit school board, which one newspaper columnist said was “sauced on power and staggering with incompetence,” now wants to take back the schools, which are in the lowest 5 percent of Michigan schools in achievement.

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  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    To more or less paraphrase Mencken, “the voters voted for what they wanted and they deserve to get it good and hard.”

    • It’ll be an unsatisfying victory if it occurs. Since the cap on charters was eased Detroit’s percentage of public education kids going to charters has jumped from 30% to 41%.

      I really think it’s time to draw up some legislation that sets some standards for district survival. If the trend keeps up it won’t be that long before there aren’t any kids going to DPS schools but if the district continues to exist it’ll still have taxing authority.

      That’s just wrong.

    • Florida resident says:
  2. The blind leading the blind, it would appear (sigh)

  3. And yet only 7% of Detroits 8th graders score “proficient” in reading. You really have to try hard to do that badly.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      It *IS* bad, but the district isn’t doing as badly as it appears.

      Across the US, only 13% of black students score as proficient in reading and the Detroit public schools are more than 80% black.

      7% is still less than 13%, but it isn’t like the rest of the US public school systems are doing a great job getting these kids to proficient, either.

      • Schools should definitely demand appropriate behavior and offer better curriculum and instruction, but it’s very difficult to teach kids who have no interest and impossible to teach those who actively reject school.

      • Sorry Mark but the district’s doing worse then the numbers indicate.

        From the school board on down the district is morass of irresponsibility and indifference. About the only thing the board’s shown much interest in is in reclaiming all their perquisites from the emergency financial manager appointed by the state to curb the extraordinary irresponsibility and criminal lack of oversight of the board.

        It would take an unusually capable, confident and lucky administrator anywhere down the hierarchy to offset the culture of indifference that flows from the board and Detroit’s not blessed with an abundance of such administrators.

        You are right about one thing though. The public education system sucks. It’s just that Detroit’s the worst example of a system that doesn’t have any incentive to aspire to competence, let alone greatness.