Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Detroit's Civil War on Education By Akindele Akinyemi

The circle is now complete since my District 3 candidate has officially filed for office. Carol Banks came close to defeating State Representative Bettie Cook Scott in 2006. Since then Bettie Cook Scott has written some interesting legislation but the most criminal legislation I have ever seen the time I have been involved in politics was when she sponsored House Bill 5765. This bill was introduced back on February 19, 2008, to reduce from 100,000 to 75,000 the number of students that qualify a school district as a “school district of the first class.” Detroit is the only such district, which is a statutory device to allow the Detroit School District to be exempted from a variety of regulations that apply to other districts, and receive special treatment in other ways.

That is when I decided that enough was enough. I felt like that this bill was a slap in the face for educational choice proponents and in many cases it felt like rape.

So I am urging you to support, give money and walk with Carol Banks for State Representative.

The reason why Carol is the best qualified candidate to support and vote for because of her stand on the issues is based on common sense, and an effort to seek a balance between the people and businesses of our community.

The solutions we keep hearing always benefit certain groups at the expense of others, usually us, the people. That's the way of the current legislature and it does not work. Legislating to win votes instead of solving problems is selfish and shortsighted but tends to be the standard operating procedure in government. We must have balanced solutions, apply simple common sense, and deal with these issues now. Carol Banks can be that void here not just in District 3 but the City of Detroit.

Carol Banks fully supports educational options for children and parents. While State Rep. Scott fights this (along with her allies and political mentors State Sen. Martha Scott and State Sen. Irma Clark-Coleman) along with keeping children trapped in failing public schools in Detroit Carol Banks will work to move the educational process along faster in Lansing.

Apparently, there is a Civil War in Detroit when it comes to educational special interests and families who want more options for their children. Not only Rep. Scott is running for re-election but we also have Detroit School Board member Jimmy Womack, Detroit Federation of Teachers Michelle Gibson and former school board member Dr. Margaret Betts running for state representative in District 7 and Detroit School Board member Annie Carter running for state representative in District 11. All of them are trying to protect the funding for Detroit Public Schools to prevent more charter schools from opening up in the City of Detroit where it is sorely needed in this day and time. All of them want to restrict us from moving education forward in the 21st century.

Carol Banks understand the importance of educational options and feels that both DPS and charters can co-exist. She also supports enforcing alternative teacher certification requirements in critical shortage area in schools. The candidates from DPS and others feel that charters should not exist and there is no real need for alternative teacher certification. This restricts others who want to participate in the educational process which is unfair. Banks understands how being uneducated in Detroit and Michigan is a ticket to oblivion. Unemployment rates today are almost four times higher among those without a high school diploma than among those with at least a bachelor's degree. Twenty-five years ago, a college graduate earned on average twice what someone without a high school diploma earned. Today it is almost three times as much.

Each day we get closer to sealing the reality of creating a permanent, irredeemable underclass in our nation. The real shock therapy we need -- citywide school choice where parents have broad freedom where to send their kids to school -- is fought tooth and nail by self interested teachers unions and representatives like Bettie Cook Scott. This is not being pro-Detroit but being anti-family.

Bettie Cook Scott is out of touch with her constituents. I cannot count on my fingers of the number of parents who want more charter schools in the area. Poor kids wind up being slammed by a double jeopardy. First, they are trapped in failing schools that are insulated from the prime condition that produces improvement _ competition. Second, the failing schools in which they are trapped teach exclusively relativist values that are the opposite of what these kids need for climbing out of chaos and poverty.

I want you to join me in embracing Carol Banks as your next State Representative in District 3. She is our CHOICE for improving education in our city. We only get once chance to get rid of Bettie Cook Scott and this is it.

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