The Trainwreck That Is Our City Schools

A Detroit News story today about an effort to reform a Detroit Public School caught my eye.  The story was about Osborn High School, where only 4 percent of students passed the math and writing portions of the Michigan merit exam last year.

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Did you know what the graduation rate in Detroit Public Schools is? 37.5 percent! The lowest in the country.

For God’s sake. I thought Cleveland was abominable with 52 percent. It is abominable! Do you know how many students are enrolled in Cleveland Public Schools? 50,000!

How did our city schools become such a shameful disgrace? Oh that’s right, all the white people, and even some of the middle-class black people, moved to the suburbs and left all the poor kids behind.

I do not understand this. How can we continue to let generations of children fall between the cracks?

How did we become a society where the prevailing attitude is ‘as long as my kid is ok, all the others be damned?’

These drop outs, this deplorable state we’ve allowed our inner-city schools to digress to, will haunt Cleveland and Detroit.

One day when one of those privileged kids, who went to school in one of the state’s best districts–a stone’s throw from the miserable conditions in Cleveland–whose school has a lacrosse program and 35 AP classes, is going to take a wrong turn and wind up on a street corner with a desperate kid who can’t read and can’t pay his bills.

And it will be splashed all over the headlines and people will wonder how someone could be so cold.

2 Comments

Filed under Editorial, Public Education

2 responses to “The Trainwreck That Is Our City Schools

  1. Gary Packwood

    I can remember all of us talking about the schools in Y-Town, Cleveland and Detroit before I moved down here to Houston were we have 250,000 students and about the same graduation rate for the high crime neighborhood schools as you are quoting for Detroit.

    We are slowly learning two lessons here in Houston. First, teachers are not miracle workers and need the support and commitment from parents during the entire school year.

    Throwing more money at the schools is not going to solve lack of parental commitment.

    And secondly, people always move away from crime and drugs.

    You are not alone in Y-Town.

    We are focused here on Housing, Crime and Transportation without any more pressure on our teachers.
    ::
    GP

    • schmange

      This is the kind of solution that bothers me, because the subtext is ‘wait.’
      Nevermind that several thousand kids will drop out this year and several more the next.
      I agree that teachers probably can’t be blamed.
      The whole system, the one that separates the haves from the have-nots with such expert efficiency, should be overhauled.
      We could focus on crime and housing in Cleveland, but there’s no end to those problems in sight. Besides, crime is inextricably linked to education and economic opportunity.

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