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  1. There is no better example of a failed education system than in Detroit Michigan. I recall the graduation rate is around 24%. Granting all students free access to college misses the issue as you state. Former Democratic Governor Grandholm’s solution was to raise the standards for graduation. Really? When I moved to the Detroit area the locally elected Detroit school board had lavish offices and chauffeur driven cars. The Detroit schools are in a death spiral. The majority of their State funding goes to cover debt not student services. DPS student enrollment has plummeted as the Detroit population has plummeted. Further, many responsible parents have sought viable alternatives in Charter schools or the suburbs. The State imposed an emergency manager that has failed to bring stability let alone improvement. Finding new, competent teachers is near impossible.

    The State legislature is trying to pass enhanced funding but funding alone isn’t the sole nor maybe even the primary problem.
    I think Dave is correct when he hypothesizes that the real root of the problem in Detroit is the breakdown of the family. The lack of an involved father. The lack of parent involvement. The lack of nutrition for these children. And….I don’t see any of the major Black leaders doing much to fix this issue nor a near term solution. Fixing the Black family issue must come from the Black community.
    I hate the idea of the State or Federal government stepping in to take over parental roles. But in this case I think that might be the only solution; at least in the near term. More money? Unfortunately, Yes; but with lots of strings attached.
    My thoughts:
    -Address the lack of nutrition: Research has suggested that lack of nutrition is a major issue with learning. Provide breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack for all elementary students. Free lunch for Middle and High school. ( incentive to attend, too)
    -Infrastructure: Identify how many school buildings are needed for the projected enrollment. Close the rest. Sell or demolish them. Clean, fix, update and properly stock the remaining schools.
    -Curriculum: Focus on the three Rs in elementary. Leave High School college prep to the Charter schools and focus on job skills for graduates of DPS. Offer trade skill courses driven by job opportunity. These should include traditional trade skills but also tech skills, business skills, medical tech skills, military prep skills???? Ask Quicken, DMC, GM, Compuware, what skills they seek/ need for future hires. If you have the desire and ability to go to college and want college prep courses, go to a Charter school or the suburbs. ( I know this will be attacked but I believe the DPS has to focus on doing something viable rather than PC.) Graduate with job skills and you have a chance.
    Include job placement as a DPS service. For one, hire the graduates to help fix the infrastructure of Detroit and the DPS. Enlist the Unions and major Detroit businesses to help teach and hire DPS grads.
    I believe sports and the arts need to be part of the curriculum. They teach life skills better any classroom can and they give students incentive to attend school. A young man/ woman will learn discipline and teamwork in sports or music.
    Teachers: Pay and benefits have to increase to attract quality teachers. This needs to go along with accountability. Pick a test. Pick a metric based upon student achievement. Something is needed to show that the increased pay is worth the cost and to demonstrate to the taxpayers footing the bill, that their investment is worthy. Fire non- performing teachers.

    I know the problem can’t be solved just by the items in my suggestions, but I think they give students a better chance for success than the path DPS has been on or the direction I see being suggested by others.

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