Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's plan: Fix education for all kids

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's plan: Fix education for all kids:

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's plan: Fix education for all kids

The fate of a proposed commission that would oversee Detroit schools may hinge on Mayor Mike Duggan's ability to win over charter operators in the city.
The issue is expected to come to a head today. Duggan has asked charter operators who support the plan to show up for a morning news conference to provide a counterpoint to what he says is increasingly "nasty and vicious" rhetoric from charter advocacy groups that have fiercely lobbied against the commission.
The proposed Detroit Education Commission is part of a $715-million legislative fix for the collapsing Detroit Public Schools. Opponents of the DEC and several key charter advocacy groups say the DEC would favor DPS over charters and take choice away from parents in the city.

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But Duggan said the commission is crucial to improving education in Detroit, which now has a very fragmented education system.  About 46,000 children attend DPS schools, 34,000 attend charter schools in the city and 27,000 attend charters and traditional public schools outside the city. An additional 6,000 are enrolled in the Education Achievement Authority, a state reform district.
Test scores in the city are among the worst in the state and the nation.
"This is a failure all the way around," Duggan said of the state of education in the city during a Friday meeting at the Free Press.  "We don't need to be blaming anybody. We've got to change the way we're educating these children."
Renee Burgess, whose management company runs three charter schools in the city, said Friday that she plans to back Duggan at today's news conference.
"Our organization is 100% behind it," Burgess said. "The city desperately needs a coordinated, centralized system. Right now it's too fragmented and uncoordinated."
The commission would help establish an accountability system for schools in the city that would assign letter grades to schools based on academic achievement, improvement in academic achievement and other factors. The commission also would have authority over the openings of schools in the city. The only exception would be charter and traditional public schools that receive an A or B grade under the accountability system; they would be able to open new schools without the commission's approval.
"What the DEC would do is set a single standard that would be based primarily on growth," Duggan said. "If you take over a school where 2% of the kids are reading at Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's plan: Fix education for all kids:


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