Notices have been sent to families, community organizations and school leaders. 482Forward , an education organizing network in Detroit, will host a citywide State of Schools forum. Leaders of Detroit traditional and charter schools have been invited. The community organizers who’s moto is “Nothing About Us Without Us” are hosting the meeting with the expectations of hearing how our schools will approach this new school year.
The email invite sent to key leaders explains why this forum is needed:
“Since they (Detroit schools) are separated from our city government, Detroiters don’t hear much about our schools in the State of the City. And, since the Governor is responsible for all of Michigan, we don’t get a lot of specifics in the State of the State. Even when we hear from our local school district Superintendent, it only concerns half the schools in the city. That’s why we think it’s time for a State of the Schools.”
This could be the start of DPSCD building a trusting relationship with parents who left the district years ago. With the NAACP’s war on charters and Superintendent Vitti’s recent jump on the bandwagon, parents are anxious to see how they plan on regaining that trust. Charters here aren’t off the hook either; parents want to know how they plan to fix the lack of accountability to families by just up and closing without proper notice, leaving families scrambling for good seats.
The date for this overdue meeting is TBD. Whatever the message will be, here are a few things Dr. Vitti and the charter sector may want to leave out of or add to their messages.
- Insensitive accusations that Detroit students use poverty as an excuse to fail.
- Don’t think that because you are sending your children to DPSCD, this alone builds trust.
- Parents don’t want to hear that you need time and that they should just wait as you work out class sizes and teacher slots.
- Parents want to know if you have schools that may close
- Parents want to know that you have a transition plan for students attending those schools.
- Parents want to know that you will enroll their child and not just have them on a waiting list
This list could go on and on but I am pretty sure you get the idea. Parents don’t want some fancy speech driven by wars against one another. They want real facts. Parents deserve real information: after all, without the push by parents DPSCD would have never received funds to push forward. Without parents’ trust, charters will close.
This is not about either the Superintendent, the traditional district schools, or the charter sector. This is about our children.. They deserve the very best and if that is what your main focus is then call a truce, educate our babies, and prepare our teachers. Act like leaders, not opportunists seeking to make a name for yourselves. Be the leaders we expect you to be. Now, not later. Right now.
So tell us, what is the State of Detroit’s public education system? Parents are eager for answers!