Monday, April 02, 2007

It's Time For An Expansion of Charters in Detroit by Akindele Akinyemi


Once again the Call em Out Coalition are at it again. This time they have turned their attention on the expansion of charter schools here in Detroit.

Of course, they should not be taken seriously because those in this group are past ignorant.

Let me begin to explain why we should not support people like Agnes Hitchcock and her ignorant coalition.

Parents in urban communities want free market education to help build character for their children. We are in full support of Mayor Kilpatrick's call for an expansion of charter and private schools. We will defend educational options to the highest degree because we are trying to move our children in a 21st century reality. We know that children are learning faster in charters and private schools as compared to a failing school district like Detroit Public Schools.

Let us look at this from another angle. The people who want to save Detroit Public Schools are those who are living in poverty, need babysitting services or have never worked on a school improvement team a day in their lives.

Call em Out wants to stop the "charter school flood" but they do not have a plan of their own. This is what happens when we listen to poor people talk. You can hear how uneducated they really are.

Our children must be prepared to tackle the challenges in our community. Detroit Public Schools are the reason why we continue to vote by name recognition here in Detroit. What do I mean by this? How many hours do we spend in Government and Economic classes in DPS? Can a student really learn how Government operates in a 1/2 semester? What about Economics? No one is giving our children a balance in the school system and therefore by the time our students are eligible to vote the liberal machine would have moved in and signed them up for voter registration and then TELL them what to vote on instead of allowing our young people to think for themselves.

Then we are 47% functionally illiterate in our community so therefore Call Em Out comes in and stirs the emotions of our people instead of giving them free market enterprises to work with. They are not solution based but problem oriented.

What is my solution to this crisis?

I would like to see more charter schools flood the City of Detroit to break the monopoly of the Detroit Public Schools. I think it is very important for young educators to begin to embrace educational entrepreneurship in our community. Management companies that young people are owning and operating should be allowed to come in and design the curriculum and instruction for our staff and faculty. We should not embrace old socialist ideologies from educational administrators from the Detroit Public School System and place it into a charter school. You want to know the reason why some charters are not doing as well as they should? Take a look at the educational leadership in those schools and you will see DPS all over again.

Today, there is a strong need for charter schools to prepare our children to address the domestic and international factors of economic and political development within our community. There is a clear need for a state-wide approach to Michigan's urban economic, socio-political, technological and intellectual marginalization. This calls for recognizing the importance of human capital, sound institutions, good academic policies, technological advancement, appropriate incentive structures that will lead to political stability.

One way to fully embrace technology and develop human capital is through education. Human capital positively affects long run economic growth. It is not just a matter of increasing human capital but also ensuring that it is of the right type. The new economy makes enormous demands on a country's stock of human capital. Effective participation in this economy requires highly skilled individuals. By developing human capital through charter education that is family friendly, the culture of poverty will be done away with. Through charter education for example, communities will be able to engage in other more productive activities rather than chasing our own tails in the Detroit Public School System.

Quality has become a strategic weapon in academic competition in Detroit. Improved quality reduces students who wastes time and increases productivity. It enables charter schools to increase their market share and promote higher educational demand. Currently, there is mounting pressure to break the cap off charter schools in Michigan and open up charter markets to traditional school competition. This, along with establishing an educational empowerment zones in different areas of the City of Detroit will help to retain population within the city.

Urban Conservatives who support charters need to stop being scared to defend themselves when liberals bring up the fact that charters are in the business of making money. For those who are saying this they do not understand how business operate to begin with. This is a union argument and it is a weak one. Yes, educational management companies are in the business of making money. Who wouldn't be? If I owned and operated an educational management company I would be in the business of making money. That is why capitalism is the greatest system on Earth.

We make money to help others. It is a business. Detroit Public Schools have been doing the same thing for decades without question. But the minute I want a piece of the pie they cry about how charters are taking money out of the school system. Yes, I am taking your business away so unless you come up with a better product we will continue to make you bankrupt.

Today, African Americans who reside in Detroit should take the approach of a free human mind is capital. We must begin to have an urgent need to facilitate an educational environment that will enable young minds to create academic wealth. Those who support charters must not be ashamed of creating academic wealth for their children and making profit for their educational management businesses, we must promote an incentive driven human activity in the our community. The grassroots community may claim ideological brands such as ‘conservative’ and 'sell-out', but such labeling will not solve Detroit's problems. If anything, it clouds clear thinking. What is important to us is the lesson history offers: one such lesson being the strategic importance of learning from successful cultures as a tool to build one’s own.

Those who want real educational reform here in urban Michigan must be pragmatically proactive and not reactionary. Call em Out and other false grassroots organizations are reactionary. Urban Conservatives are proactive. Looking within for the source of underdevelopment before considering external factors will be a step in the right direction. There are no magical elixirs in the quest for growth: prosperity occurs when the right incentives are in place. It happens when free market incentives induce technological adaptation, high-quality investment in machines, and high-quality schooling. It happens when politics is not polarized between antagonistic interest groups, but there is a common consensus to invest in the future. More importantly, broad and deep development happens when a government is held accountable for its actions.

Charter schools can lead the way for global education only if we have the right leadership in place to make it happen.

It is very urgent that we inculcate the culture of thinking long term in Detroit and other urban communities across Michigan. I urge African Americans in Detroit to pursue the path of business through educational choice to exploit resources here in Michigan and abroad to create academic wealth and build economics within our community. Business has a liberating effect that goes beyond academic ideological debates. We cannot afford dominance through pauperizing. We must learn to fix our own problems.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a very eloquent post. I appreciate your knowledge about the situation and agree that the city of Detroit must look into the best interest of the students and that is free market/competition. Charter school will help get everyone in the city motivated to work their hardest. If you don’t work hard, parents and students will have alternatives available.

Anonymous said...

This post is big on rhetoric, low on substance. Are parents entitled to choice? Are parents tired of DPS and see the greener grass on the other side? Of course, that's a no brainer. But waiting lists should in no way be a measurement of a school's success. Otherwise we'd be lauding trimspa as the best product for weightloss and not your local fitness gym.

But aside from that, you have no data to back your claims. If you are able to back off of the high toned rhetoric for a bit, take a look at McREL's and ASCD's research on what what it takes to have a successful school. There are factors that any school can employ, most of which are irrespective to funding, resources, or political governance.

The truth of the matter is, charter or public...it doesn't matter. Some are successful, some aren't. "Charter schools will help everyone in the city motivated to work their hardest". Sweet Jesus, is there a single shred of evidence to back that claim? That's just as silly as me saying that a public system guarantees everyone a quality education. Ha! I'm even laughing!

Data, evidence, facts...these should be driving the priorities of our schools, not political talking points. Should we lift the cap on charter schools...if the voters want it, why not? But don't think for a second that the mere presence of charters is going to save education. You could charter all of detroit and we'd still be in this same position if educators fail to let datd drive their descision making.

akindele akinyemi said...

But aside from that, you have no data to back your claims. If you are able to back off of the high toned rhetoric for a bit, take a look at McREL's and ASCD's research on what what it takes to have a successful school. There are factors that any school can employ, most of which are irrespective to funding, resources, or political governance.

Why do I need any outside sources when I work in a charter school and udnerstand how this thing operates without McRel's or ASCD? I have practical hands on expereicne daily. That is more factual than what I will ever read out of a book.

The truth of the matter is, charter or public...it doesn't matter. Some are successful, some aren't. "Charter schools will help everyone in the city motivated to work their hardest". Sweet Jesus, is there a single shred of evidence to back that claim?

Yes. Charters are NOT unionized so there is no room to sit on your ass and slide by like in traditional schools.

That's just as silly as me saying that a public system guarantees everyone a quality education. Ha! I'm even laughing!

Then laugh on because if you look at other countries like India they do not rely on state sponsored education. They rely on educational options.



Yes.