Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Setting The Record Straight On Charter Schools by Akindele Akinyemi

I spoke at the Oakland County Young Republicans meeting in Birmingham last night. What a great turnout and what a great group of young people.
I was talking about how Republicans can become more effective in reaching out to African Americans in urban communities.
One way I spoke on very heavily was the state of education. Urban Conservatives should be in the business of pushing for more educational choices within the community in which we live in. The Michigan Educational Association, the Detroit Federation of Teachers and other teacher unions are against the idea of allowing more charters into the City of Detroit because it would be the end of their monopoly on failing our children for profit.
While I fully support Mayor Kilpatrick on the idea of allowing 25 charter schools in the City of Detroit as well as privatizing school services there are some that are still walking in the dark on this issue. We need competition to help bring back Detroit Public Schools. Preventing this would be damaging.
To demonstrate how ignorant or elected officials are on this critical issue I would like to show people what some of our Detroit School Board members said recently at a school board meeting that was held last Thursday, May 10, 2007 at my Alma Mater, Mumford High School.
Board Member (Marie) Thornton indicated that the Resolution to Support Detroit Public Schools talks about charter and private schools not increasing and in the third paragraph stated the decision to realign the District.
Baord Member (Ida) Short stated that she wanted to add a friendly amendment to the fourth whereas because charter schools typically do not accept children who have special needs or have academic challenges.
Now I though Ida Short was an intelligent sister. For her to say this demonstrates how grossly misinformed the school board really is on charter schools.
Then they said:
Board Member (Jonathan) Kinloch indicated that he would like to change the title of the resolution to "Resolution Opposing Efforts to Expand Private and Charter Schools in the City of Detroit."
If Jonathan Kinloch's brother, Solomon Kinloch, who is the head Pastor of Triumph Baptist Church, wanted to open a charter school Jonathon would back down. WHo is paying Board Member Kinloch to say all of this?
Kinloch also said how the actions of legislators are hurting the Detroit School District by publicly stating and championing in the legislators efforts to expand charter and private schools.
Later, Ida Short sated that the resolution should say, "Resolution to Support the Detroit Public Schools and Oppose New Charter and Private Schools."
While this motion passed none of these board member who are against charter and private schools have a single clue on how to "fix" DPS. Most of their children have not been educated in the Detroit public School System and I do not blame them.
Then I received an e-mail from Maurice Badgett who is part of the Men of Wisdom/A-Team Voices. these are a group of Democrats who manipulate people into keeping people on the liberal plantation.
This is what he said:

Several Walkers Sat around this Morning Listening to Mildred and Reading the Paper!
And heard that Mayor Kilpatrick wants 25 New Charter Schools in Detroit.

The Comment was made. "What Next? Mr. A (the Rep. Prophet) will be the Mayor's spokesman?

Makes One Wonder Just How Would the Grass Roots Candidates answer Mr. A's
Questions? I do remember in 2005 Ms. Mc Cormick telling a Crowd @ "Keep the Vote! No Take Over" Candidates Forum "She envisions No Charters in Detroit's Future on her watch!" I wonder what is her position in 2007? What is yours?

We know where Mr. A Stands!
Well first I have never, ever made it no damn secret that I support educational choices in urban communities across Michigan. Second, unlike this group, which has never took a serious position(let alone articulated or debated the issues that they are supporting) on anything other than following their liberal masters to the gates of hell, and third, I support charters because we are finding out that many parents want choice. They Mayor does not even know that I support charters so why would they claim I will be this man's spokesman?
In fact, the President of MAPSA, Dan Quisenberry, sent this to me this morning:
Note to Detroit Media

The following data about charter public schools is being sent in light of ongoing challenges facing Michigan’s public schools and because of repeated, inaccurate claims made by opponents of charters, especially in the city of Detroit.

Educational choice is a topic of vital importance because polls have shown us that Detroit parents are desperate for quality school options for their families. A poll conducted by John Bailey & Associates found that half of the parents surveyed stated they have considered moving from the city in order to gain access to higher quality educational options. It’s clear many parents already have acted on this, as evidenced by Detroit Public Schools having lost more than 50,000 students in just a few short years.

Charter public schools are filling a vital role for families, now serving more than 27,000 students in the city; 45,000 in Wayne County, and more than 99,500 across the state.
To help you ensure the accuracy of your reporting, we share the following information:


Detroit is home to 44 charters, including 21 high schools. They exceeded the local traditional district on 24 of 27 MEAP tests this year, up from 20 in 2005-06. Charters tied on two other tests and were within 1 point on the last exam.

Statewide, charter public schools exceeded the average scores of their host districts* on 23 of 27 tests — compared to 19 last year.

Detroit Edison Public School Academy is the only Detroit school to receive a Michigan Department of Education 2006-07 Blue Ribbon for outstanding improvement strategies and delivering quality education. Further, DEPSA and David Ellis Academy were the only city schools (including traditional schools) to receive two Skillman Foundation Good Schools grants last year, totaling $100,000 each.

During the past two years, the Skillman Foundation has recognized excellence among the city’s charters by awarding 14 Good Schools grants to them.

Nine Detroit charter schools — and 18 in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties — are “beating the odds,” using a state standard that requires at least 50% of students to qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch and at least 60% proficiency in math and English language arts on the MEAP. The Detroit charters are MLK Jr. Educational Center, Winans Academy of Performing Arts, YMCA Service Learning Academy, DEPSA, Plymouth Educational Center, Detroit Merit Charter Academy, University Preparatory Academy, Warrendale Charter Academy and Old Redford Academy.

University Preparatory Academy in Detroit sends 90% of its graduates to college.In Detroit, 71% of charters made AYP last year, vs. 54% of traditional schools.
Financial Impact on Detroit Public Schools
DPS’s millage and bond revenue for facilities remain unchanged by the opening of charter schools.
Charters can have a positive impact on a community’s well-being by providing educational options that attract and retain families and their associated tax base.

Detroit charter public schools hire teachers in Detroit, invest in city buildings, and help improve the tax base in Detroit.

With the passing of Proposal A, Michigan law allows parents to decide what public school is best for their children. Choices include the local district, a district nearby or a charter public school district…parents choose and funding follows.
Teacher Certification

In Detroit, 95% of charter teachers are certified or permitted, compared to 83% in the traditional district. Across the state 95% of charter school teachers are certified compared to 91% of non-charter teachers that are certified.

By state and federal law, Michigan’s charter public school teachers must be and are certified. Charter teachers are quality teachers, as evidenced by the academic success of their students and as determined by parent choice.
Special Education

Charters DO provide special education services. It’s the law. About 9% of charter students have special needs; some schools have rates topping 30%.

Significantly, charter school special education students out-performed their peers in their host districts by a dramatic 6-15 percentage points on the 2005-06 MEAP tests. (This data still forthcoming for 2006-07.)
Extracurricular Programs

Detroit charters deliver value-added education, before, during and after the typical school day. Depending on the school, this can include:

Fine and performing arts — For example, students who attend the Marvin L. Winans Academy of Performing Arts receive the equivalent of nearly $225,000 in performing arts lessons by the time they graduate.

Tutoring — For example, DEPSA has a new student development center, engages middle schoolers in tutoring kindergartners, offers in-school assistance, before- and after-school academic programs and a voluntary Saturday program that draws 200+ students weekly.

Old Redford Academy offers sports programs and requires its high school students to maintain a rare 2.5 GPA in order to participate.

Community High School in Detroit won its district baseball title last year — after going a year without a team because coaches told students they had to improve their grades before playing.

The reality is this. It is about time that African Americans get off this plantation that they call liberalism. The Detroit Public School District is a Godless system. Proof of this is the continued senseless violence that occurs on a regular basis. A student was recently shot at Henry Ford High School last week. The DPS rent-a-cops are overwhelmed and need the assistance of the Detroit Police on a regular basis. Homosexuality is running rampant in the schools and parents are using DPS as a baby sitting service. Truancy is up in the district and children are not going to school. Classrooms are overcrowded and only 21% of DPS students graduate.
The liars are saying how more charter schools will create a segregated environment. However, you need to take a test to get into Cass Tech, Renaissance and King High Schools. If you fail the test you have to go to your neighborhood school.
The highest form of segregation.
I will break this down further. Let's look at the Brightmoor district in Northwest Detroit. Here is a district that is in total decay. There are 24,000 people in this area alone.
According to a Detroit Public School Youth Behavior Survey that was given in 2006:
29.1% of all males age 15 or younger, carried a weapon (gun, knife, club on 1 or more occasions in the last 30 days)
14.1% of all males age 15 or younger, carried a gun.
40% of males ages 16-17, did not go to school because they felt unsafe at school or on their way from home from school in the past 30 days.
41.1% of males ages 16-17, seriously considered committing suicide during the past 12 months.
28% of males ages 16-17, used marijuana 1 or more times in the past 30 days.
53% of males ages 16-17, has used marijuana 1 or more times in their lifetime.
85% of males ages 16-17, has engaged in sexual intercourse.
62% of males age 15 or younger has engaged in sexual intercourse.
37% of the total student body graduated from high school in the year 2005.
You add that on with only 10% of the Detroiters have a Bachelors degree, 4% have a Masters degree and 0.4% have a doctorate or professional degree, as well as 47% of the Detroters are functionally illiterate and you have a liberal Democratic plantation up and running. This is nothing more than modern day slavery.
Detroit Public Schools accepts ghetto culture into their educational environment. Proof of this is when DPS officials decided to go with a dress code this school year it was the parents, not the students, who were complaining about the dress code. What sense does that make?
So while the "A-Team" is trying to figure out who they are going to support for this year's school board to run their oppression game on people we are utilizing the facts to bring people home to freedom by engaging in free market education.
The One Choice PAC is not supporting ANY candidates who oppose educational choices in this year's school board races. We are serious about building family values through educational choice that equates into economic power.
We are prepared to call anyone out on this issue on charter schools. Anyone running for school board this year and are anti-choice will not win a seat. We are getting sound conservative Christian people ready to run in this race.

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