SEARCH BLOG: DETROIT and EDUCATION
This appeared in The Detroit News:
Detroit News Lansing BureauJust a few observations:
Lansing — Michigan has two weeks to finalize its application for about $400 million in federal “Race to the Top” cash, following Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s signing of education reform bills Monday aimed at qualifying for the aid.
The five-bill package will raise the state’s dropout age to 18, tie teacher pay and job security to student achievement and open about 30 new charter schools.
“The reason this is so significant is now everything will be focused on: ‘Is this child learning?’ ” Granholm said. “It’s all about academic progress.”
State schools Superintendent Michael Flanagan added: “This is a game changer forever.”
- Detroit's education system has a graduation rate of about 25%... or less.
- Trying to force would-be dropouts to attend classes would be an impossible task and blaming their absence on teachers would be unreasonable.
- Would the parents of those would-be dropout be held civilly liable for their absences from school?
- Who "inculcates" the students regarding the importance of an education in getting a job when the jobless rate in Detroit is over 30% and about 15% for the entire state?
- What will be the security and disciplinary improvements to support teachers who are required to babysit unresponsive 17-year olds?
- Will students who fail to attend classes until they are 18 be sent to juvenile detention facilities or city cleanup details?
Are there incompetent or indifferent teachers? Surely there are. But the percentage is probably lower than the incompetent and indifferent administrators, bureaucrats, and politicians running the circus.
Perhaps Gov. Granholm should exempt the Detroit Public School system from the requirements of the legislation. Otherwise, one can foresee the number of teachers in the DPS dwindling to... zero. Or perhaps they need Sister Mary Joseph and her wooden ruler whacking a few knuckles. And I think charter schools might be a good idea... if they were run totally independently from the public school district.
Personally, you couldn't pay me enough to deal with some of the imbeciles that the Governor wants to pass off as students. Legalize marijuana and put the dropouts in warehouses of that stuff until they turn 18. The results couldn't be worse and the cost would be a lot less.