Monday, July 11, 2016

Detroit Public Schools: The Case for Remembering (And the Road Not Taken) | educarenow

The Case for Remembering (And the Road Not Taken) | educarenow:

The Case for Remembering (And the Road Not Taken)

We live in a time that encourages us to erase our history. Our focus is on moving forward, making progress, all the while we congratulate ourselves for how far we’ve come.
We live in times where we look to “disrupt” as a means of “innovating.” Of creating space for newness.
All the while we do so without fully understanding the forces at work that created the need for change in the first place.
We do so without understanding the choices that our history gives us clues to.
In a recent article in the Detroit Free Press, the current Emergency Manager for Detroit Public Schools, Judge Stephen Rhodes (who calls himself a “Transition Manager” as means of avoiding the historical failure of “Emergency Manager”- see how that works?), along with interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather, wrote an op-ed, “Focus on Fresh Start for Public Education in Detroit, Not Blame for the Past,” asking us to wipe the slate clean, forget the past, and move forward in order to do what’s best for kids.
“As a community, we can choose to focus our time and energy on questions such as who bears the responsibility for the problems of the old Detroit Public Schools, whether it was necessary for the Michigan Legislature to launch a new school district to solve those problems, or whether the Legislature should have done more.
As leaders of the new school system, however, we choose to focus on the task of creating the best school system that we can for the city of Detroit. We make that choice because it is in the best interests of the students. All other questions are merely distractions from the goal of excellence in academics to which we aspire. We ask the community to join us in that choice.” (Emphasis added)
As a superficial gesture, I get it. We all want what’s best for kids. Let’s move forward as way of doing that.
However, it raises so many questions that need to be asked. And to call them distractions displays a scary level of callousness for those who have been deeply The Case for Remembering (And the Road Not Taken) | educarenow:



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