Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Run Has Ended In Detroit by Akindele Akinyemi

My run here in Detroit has ended. I am officially leaving the City of Detroit on September 1, 2008 at 12PM.

I am going to a small city called Benton Harbor, Michigan. For those of you who are geographically illiterate it sits on Lake Michigan in Southwest Michigan. I will be closer to the Indiana border where I will make my next move out of state.

I am part of a start up charter high school in the city (which makes me a founder). It is the second high school in the city of Benton Harbor.

More importantly, I AM LEAVING.

I have no faith in Detroit anymore. I do not like what has transpired in our city. The fact that Jimmy Womack is going to Lansing has taken a toll on my soul. We would rather pick un-Godly people to represent us than Godly people. I did not like the fact that Carol Banks lost to Bettie Cook Scott. Come to find out that Bettie won because of "Scott." In other words, people though they were voting for Martha G. Scott and got the two confused.

The adult illiteracy rate is astronomical in our city. It is getting worse by the minute. And for those young people who want to fight name recognition keep in mind that those who support our efforts may not be able to comprehend what we are trying to accomplish.

I do not like how our city has become a spiritual dead state of mind and soul. Families are completely broken down to the extent of where streets look like vast wastelands.

And when I look at the Kwame Kilpatrick show on Local 4 every morning at 9:00AM from 36th District Court I look at how our leadership is not taken seriously. I guess everyone can hoe around if the Mayor is hoing around. And what about the people who are waiting to vote him back in office? I just feel that our city is lost and will not come back.

Now I am not saying that Benton Harbor is Farmington Hills because it's not. However, there are some things I noticed that are still intact in Benton Harbor that lacks in Detroit. Regardless of a person's income there is still a sense of family in that city. The city needs stronger leadership that will bring it to the 21st century. It needs a voter base that must vote intelligently. This is why I am bringing the adult illiteracy fight to Benton Harbor by implementing programs to help enhance the city's literacy rate.

The educational base is very low in Benton Harbor. With more schools of choice we will be able to help connect education with economics to help revitalize the city.

The goal for Benton Harbor is to turn it into a resort city. We can do this by implementing a free market approach to education, economics and making families stronger.

I am not concerned about the racism that is going on between Benton Harbor and St. Joseph. What I am MORE concerned about is creating a regional base to pull in economic power to the region. I am ready to meet with faith based leaders, educators and entrepreneurs who share my vision of movement, accountability, integrity and trust. I am not interested in negative grassroots tactics or crying about why we don't have in the city.

I have a vision for the City of Benton Harbor. Unfortunately, I do not have that same vision for Detroit anymore. Detroiters feel contempt with Kwame Kilpatrick, the Detroit City Council, Wayne County Commissioners and our Detroit Delegation of State Representatives and State Senators. I mean any state delegation that feels comfortable about giving Detroit Public Schools funding regardless of the district failures shows me that they do not have the best interest of the people in mind and heart. To allow Black gay men to represent our city and pedophiles is an abomination to our community in Detroit.

However, I will visit the city twice a month to check up on things. I urge you to join me in Southwest Michigan to make a difference. Educating a new generation of children in Benton Harbor is going to be awesome. Showing them the world is larger than their city is going to be a rewarding experience.

This Black Republican is going somewhere where Republicans (Black or White) are respected. If I was to run for office In Benton Harbor it would be easier for me to win than here in Detroit. Detroit do not want economic or political diversity. Therefore, it will remain a dinosaur.

So that's it. I am gone. Out. Deuces. The End. I told you naysayers I was leaving Detroit. On September 1 that will be a reality.

4 comments: said...



Anonymous said...

There is hope! Take heart from this op-ed column about AIPCS:

Where Paternalism Makes the Grade
By George F. Will
Thursday, August 21, 2008

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Seated at a solitary desk in the hall outside a classroom, the slender 13-year-old boy with a smile like a sunrise earnestly does remedial algebra, assisted by a paid tutor. She, too, is 13. Both wear the uniform -- white polo shirt, khaki slacks -- of a school that has not yet admitted the boy. It will, because he refuses to go away.

The son of Indian immigrants from Mexico, the boy decided he is going to be a doctor, heard about the American Indian Public Charter School here and started showing up. Ben Chavis, AIPCS's benevolent dictator, told the boy that although he was doing well at school, he was not up to the rigors of AIPCS, which is decorated with photographs of the many students it has sent to the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. So the boy asked, what must I do?

Telling young people what they must do is what Chavis does. With close-cropped hair and a short beard flecked with gray, he looks somewhat like Lenin but is less democratic. A Lumbee Indian from North Carolina, he ran track, earned a PhD from the University of Arizona, got rich in real estate ("I wanted to buy back America and lease it to the whites") and decided to fix the world, beginning with AIPCS.

Founded in 1996, it swiftly became a multiculturalists' playground where much was tolerated and little was learned. Chavis arrived in 2000 to reverse that condition. Charter schools are not unionized, so he could trim the dead wood, which included all but one staff member.

David Whitman, in his book "Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Paternalism," reports that in Chicago from 2003 through 2006, just three of every 1,000 teachers received an "unsatisfactory" rating in annual evaluations; of 87 "failing schools" -- with below-average and declining test scores -- 67 had no teachers rated unsatisfactory; in all of Chicago, just nine teachers received more than one unsatisfactory rating, and none of them was dismissed. Chavis's teachers come from places such as Harvard, Dartmouth, Oberlin, Columbia, Berkeley, Brown and Wesleyan.

AIPCS is one of six highly prescriptive schools Whitman studied, where "noncognitive skills" -- responsible behaviors such as self-discipline and cooperativeness -- are part of the cultural capital the curriculum delivers. Many inner-city schools feature a monotonous chaos of disruption. AIPCS -- Oakland's highest-performing middle school -- stresses obligation, not self-expression. Chavis, now "administrator emeritus," is adamant: "Everyone says we should 'preserve our culture.' There is a lot of our culture we should wipe out."

A visitor to an AIPCS classroom notices that the children do not notice visitors. Students are taught to sit properly -- no slumping -- and keep their eyes on the teacher. No makeup, no jewelry, no electronic devices. AIPCS's 200 pupils take just 20 minutes for lunch and are with the same teacher in the same classroom all day. Rotating would consume at least 10 minutes, seven times a day. Seventy minutes a day in AIPCS's extra-long 196-day school year would be a lot of lost instruction. The school does not close for Columbus Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day or César Chávez Day.

Every student takes four pre-AP (Advanced Placement) classes. There are three hours of homework a night, three weeks of summer math instruction. Seventh-graders take the SAT. College is assumed.

Paternalism is the restriction of freedom for the good of the person restricted. AIPCS acts in loco parentis because Chavis, who is cool toward parental involvement, wants an enveloping school culture that combats the culture of poverty and the streets.

He and other practitioners of the new paternalism -- once upon a time, schooling was understood as democracy's permissible, indeed obligatory, paternalism -- are proving that cultural pessimists are mistaken: We know how to close the achievement gap that often separates minorities from whites before kindergarten and widens through high school. A growing cohort of people possess the pedagogic skills to make "no excuses" schools flourish.

Unfortunately, powerful factions fiercely oppose the flourishing. Among them are education schools with their romantic progressivism -- teachers should be mere "enablers" of group learning; self-esteem is a prerequisite for accomplishment, not a consequence thereof. Other opponents are the teachers unions and their handmaiden, the Democratic Party. Today's liberals favor paternalism -- you cannot eat trans fats; you must buy health insurance -- for everyone except children. Odd.

leoncaruthers said...

Benton Harbor has its problems, but it's still a beautiful coastal city with a lot of promise, and a much shorter road to recovery than Detroit. Best of luck with the move.

Hodari P. T. Brown said...

May God be with you my brother! Stay blessed and strong my brother but keep in touch and continue to speak your mind!