Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stop Whining DPS Teachers by Akindele Akinyemi

Now more than ever we need educational choices in Detroit. Take a look at the latest from Detroit Public Schools.

From the Detroit News.

Detroit Public Schools must reduce its staff by nearly 1,400 people to help decrease its massive budget shortfall, according to a draft budget document obtained by The Detroit News.

The June 13 document by Chief Financial Officer Joan McCray gives an indication of some of the deficit reduction strategies being considered. The district has just weeks before the end of the fiscal year to eliminate a projected $408 million shortfall for fiscal year 2009 that was published this week as part of a draft budget. That proposed reduction would eliminate nearly 9 percent of the district's total staff.


Officials have said that staff must be reduced to match declining enrollment, which is expected to fall by 8,129 students to 98,356 students this fall. Enrollment has fallen precipitously in the last decade from 167,264 students in 1999-2000 to 106,485 this school year.

The number of teachers has fallen from more than 8,600 in 1999-2000 to 6,348 in 2007-08, according to figures provided by the district, but documents and public statements by McCray suggest the school system has not reduced staff in accordance with the plummeting enrollment for several years. Board members, however, have criticized Superintendent Connie Calloway's administration for neglecting to lay off the appropriate number of staff members this year, contributing to the shortfall.

Thank you for those wonderful and encouraging words Jennifer Mrozowski.

Because we know the heat is on the both Dr. Connie Calloway and the inept Detroit School Board we have James Womack, Annie Carter and Terry Catchings running for State Representative. They have been telling you all along they are for the children when we been knowing that this was a damn lie from day one. If they cannot get DPS on track what makes you think they can get Detroit and the State of Michigan on track?

For those teachers who are going to be laid off please hear me out. Stop trying to work for a system that has failed you time and time again. Stop trying to support a system that you would not even send your own children to because the district's values system contradicts what you believe and are trying to instill in your own children.

I have been telling teachers in Detroit Public Schools for years to join us over here with the charter movement by engaging in educational entrepreneurship. We have teachers in DPS that have been teaching for over 20 years and still have not moved up the leadership ladder due to nepotism. When is enough is enough. Protesting school conditions and the overcrowded classrooms are nothing when you do not have a free market solution to the problems in DPS.

You guys over at Detroit Public Schools know its time for a change. Stop whining for a second and pay attention. Teachers are crying about overcrowded classrooms and how the State of Michigan needs to pour in more money for DPS. Read my lips.


I hate it when State Representatives from Detroit talk about how they need more money to fund Detroit Public Schools. This is the biggest lie ever. And for any Reps coming from Detroit that is preaching that garbage need a reality check.

The problem with Detroit Public Schools is the district is ran like Ford Motor Company. It's ran on a factory model with computers. There is no true innovation and you are teaching our children to take tests instead of teaching them to be free thinkers in the free world.

We have heard public school officials and their unions claim in recent years that much smaller class sizes are the answer to providing much improved education quality, and if only the public schools could have more money they would hire more teachers to lower the current ratio and resolve the quality problem. Should we believe that? Suppose public school test scores fell (instead of rising) as the student-teacher ratio (class size) is reduced? That's what has happened.

If we examine the top 20 nations ranked for U.S. equivalent 8th grade mathematics classes in 2002 we find Japan had the 3rd largest average class size (41) yet ranked 1st in test scores. The U.S. and Hungary both have relatively small average class sizes yet Hungary ranked 3rd and the U.S. ranked 14th on test scores. Hong Kong has the largest classes (44) and ranks 8th on scores. The latest international math & science exams showed U.S. students ranked lower than their international competitors than ever before - - at the bottom of the list - despite smaller U.S. classes.

The biggest threat to National Security in this country is failing educational quality in our schools. I mean, what do we do when we 85% of middle school students use inaccurate science textbooks and, honors high school texts are no more difficult than an eighth grade reader was before World War II. It's frightening.

Charter advocates who are thinking with a free market perspective must begin to reach out to our educators in DPS who are being laid off and remind them that the grass is much greener when you have less redtape to deal with. We have to encourage them to think for themselves, get involved in educational entrepreneurship and build legacies for our children and the future of our city.

I would like to see those teachers who are laid off join us over there on the educational choice movement to help improve education in the City of Detroit. After all, we live here so we have a responsibility to change the mindset of our children by pushing for prayer in schools, trimesters, and technology based education to help us connect with the rest of the world.

So stop protesting conditions that are not going to be fixed. Join us over here to improve education for real and be proud to be an educator for choice.

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