"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Vulture Philanthropy Descends on Detroit Schools

From Jack Gerson to Oakland teachers:
[A] school district's financial debt [is] used as the excuse to put it under the control of a state-appointed dictator recommended and trained by Eli Broad. The local school board is stripped of its authority and reduced to advisory votes. The state appointee immediately implements a program of school closures. layoffs, and more charter schools. Does this sound like Oakland circa 2003? Well, it's deja vu all over again.

The city is Detroit. The new school czar is Robert Bobb, former Oakland City Manager who went through the Broad Urban Superintendents Academy a few years back (following in the footsteps of Randy Ward, Kim Statham and Vincent Matthews). Bobb has emerged as the $260,000 / year (plus $84,000 in moving expenses) state-appointed tyrant of Detroit Public Schools. The campaign to exterminate public education in Detroit is even more savage than what's been done here in Oakland. Read Diane Bukowski's account in the Michigan Citizen:

By Diane Bukowski
The Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — The alliance to completely dismantle the Detroit Public School system is rapidly growing, including both foes and ostensible friends.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s DPS czar Robert Bobb has announced that Detroit’s children can expect to see at least 50 more schools close in the coming year, accompanied by thousands of lay-offs, to offset an alleged $306 million deficit.

“The unions aren’t involved so far in discussions on the closing process,” Phil Schloop, Business Agent for Operating Engineers International Union Local 547, said. “We know schools are going to have to close, because we are losing another 10,000 students, but we must maximize our retention and offer programs that will attract Detroit students.”

Agnes Hitchcock of the grass-roots group Call ‘em Out differed with Schloop’s acceptance of the proposed closures.

“It appears to me that the state has completed the destruction of Detroit’s public school system through its ongoing takeover, and that a largely insensitive school board contributed to this process, while malfeasance and corruption ran rampant,” she said. “It’s up to the residents of Detroit to re-build our own school system using the money the state and the private corporations have stolen from us.” . . . .

1 comment:

  1. Kidspeak11:24 PM

    Detroit teachers are now backed in the corner, to accept a contract that is punitive, at best. Last year's pay scale is the start, but teachers will be docked $250 per pay period until they have each donated 10,000. They are told this will be returned (without any interest) when they retire. No raises for two years, and a 1% raise in the third year. Merit pay, precise method to be determined. If teachers do not vote for the contract, Mr. Bobb, the governor appointed dictator of DPS, has threatened to file for bankruptcy, which would void almost all existing elements.