Saturday, January 23, 2016

Detroit teacher: ‘Why is separate and unequal okay in 2016?’ - The Washington Post

Detroit teacher: ‘Why is separate and unequal okay in 2016?’ - The Washington Post:

Detroit teacher: ‘Why is separate and unequal okay in 2016?’

Burton International Academy computer advanced teacher Denice McGee, bottom left, holds a sign as she and other protesters wait to cross the street Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, in Detroit. Most of Detroit’s public schools closed for the day on Wednesday due to teacher absences, as disgruntled educators stepped up efforts to protest the governor’s plans for the district, its ramshackle finances and dilapidated buildings. (Todd McInturf/Detroit News via AP)

Detroit teachers, prevented by law from striking, have been staging a series of “sick outs” in recent weeks to call attention to the miserable conditions in which they work and students are forced to come and supposedly learn. As my colleague Emma Brown wrote in this story:
Teachers say they are fed up with working in schools that aren’t fit for them or their students. Classrooms are plagued by rats, roaches, mold, ceilings full of holes and unreliable heat. Teachers don’t have textbooks or other supplies they need to teach, they say, and they haven’t had a raise in 10 years.
Most of the city’s public schools have been forced to close on days of the sickouts, and the Detroit public school system filed a legal injunction asking that the teachers be prohibited from continuing these actions. On Jan. 21, an injunction was denied by the Michigan Court of Claims, but district officials plan to push again for one next week.
Here’s a piece by a Detroit teacher explaining just how hard it is to work and study in the conditions that exist now in Detroit public schools. She is Shalon Miller, who has taught in Detroit schools for 15 years and is now teaching at the Medicine and Community Health Academy at Cody.

By Shalon Miller
I love being a teacher in Detroit Public Schools, challenges and all. But when those who control the schools allow them to deteriorate to the point where the conditions are a distraction to learning, it really makes you question how much they really care about the kids.
I’ve taught in Detroit for 15 years and have been at Medicine and Community Health @ Cody for four years. Teaching at Cody is bittersweet. I see the potential that Medicine and Community Health @ Cody has to become a great school and give students a great foundation for jobs in the health field. But the reality is, the building is 61 years old, dilapidated and under-resourced. For the kids’ sake, I wish Michigan and the school district would invest the funds necessary to make Cody — and every other Detroit public school — a truly great neighborhood school.
Since I have been at Cody, I have taught in horrible conditions. Classrooms Detroit teacher: ‘Why is separate and unequal okay in 2016?’ - The Washington Post: