In terms of one-man rule, Detroit has been there, done that. In 2004 voters overwhelmingly rejected mayoral control and put an elected school board back in charge. Unfortunately, that did not stop the blowing up of the system as NCLB's impossible explosive devices (IEDs) continued to wreak havoc in the schools. The current $300 million dollar deficit is the result of parents fleeing the effects of the onslaught.
Now Dunc and the vulture philanthropists have moved in, advocating for dictatorial control of the schools in order to make sure the school buses run on time and the corporate charter franchises are given free rein.
Too bad Wayne County Commissioner, Keith Williams, did not get to meet Dunc yesterday:
While Duncan met with state and local leaders this morning, other local representatives and parents met with Peter Cunningham, assistant secretary for communications and outreach for the federal education department.A little history of the Detroit situation from the Detroit Free Press:
Wayne County Commissioner Keith Williams said poverty is a big concern in Detroit. Others raised the problems of gangs in schools, and text messaging in classrooms.
"If you can solve the poverty issue, you will solve the education issue," he said.
Cunningham said the secretary and his team generally see education as the way out of poverty.
Cunningham also raised the issue of whether mayoral control was a consideration here in Detroit. Williams said mayoral control isn't the answer.
"We don't need a takeover," he said. "We need cooperation."
. . . .DPS has been under mayoral control before. In 1999, a state law gave the mayor power to appoint six of Detroit's seven school board members. The other was the state superintendent or his designee. The board had no financial powers, solely existing to hire, evaluate and fire the chief executive officer who ran the district.
In 2004, Detroit voters became the nation's first to repeal a school takeover, giving power back to an 11-member elected board. Those against mayoral control resented Lansing legislators for passing the law, calling it a racist power grab for control of the district's $1.5-billion construction bond.
Freman Hendrix, adviser to Bing, a former mayoral candidate and the first president of the reform school board appointed by then-Mayor Dennis Archer in 1999, said frustration and apathy favor mayoral control. "I think the mood is different now, the city is beat down now," he said.
After 3 1/2 years under an elected board, DPS has an estimated $305-million deficit, and the governor, in March, took financial control from the school board for the next year. DPS has lost 45% of its students in the past 10 years, fueling the financial problems.
Wednesday's meeting with Duncan came one day after Bobb announced that 29 of DPS's 200 schools will close for good this summer -- bringing the five-year total to 100 closed buildings. An additional 40 schools will be restructured; some may be placed under control of private companies.
Duncan, a supporter of mayoral control, is the former chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools. In that city, Mayor Richard Daley appoints the CEO and school board. . . .