By Jeffery D. Robinson, Ph.D.
Webster’s Dictionary defines failure as the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success.
Failure is the description that in no uncertain terms describes the state of Michigan’s vain attempt to educate children in the city of Detroit. For the past 14 years, children in the city of Detroit have been the victims of the most egregious case of educational malpractice ever perpetrated in these United States.
In 1999, the state of Michigan under the direction of Governor John Engler declared a financial emergency in the Detroit Public School System claiming among other things the Detroit Board of Education had failed to properly manage the school district both academically and financially and the state was stepping in to ensure that the children of Detroit would receive the quality education the local school board had failed to deliver.
Now, in retrospect, it can be unequivocally stated that it is the state of Michigan that has failed and is no better at educating children and in some cases has done an even worse job than any local school board. Instead of realizing its failure and learning from its colossal mistake, two years ago the Michigan Department of Education under the direction of Gov. Rick Snyder proposed the institution of the Educational Achievement Authority (EAA) as its answer to address the needs of the state’s lowest achieving schools.
At the expense of every democratic principle citizens of the United States have come to hold dear, the state of Michigan began the systematic hijacking of the finances and property of Detroit Public Schools in the name of educational reform. In the aftermath of Detroit citizens authorizing billions of dollars to improve the infrastructure of Detroit Public Schools, the state of Michigan began commandeering newly renovated, and newly built schools in the contrived interest of the EAA. The EAA all but forced parents to enroll students in EAA schools, making what we now know to be false claims — children would receive a better education than Detroit Public Schools were able to provide.
To add insult to injury, the initial rollout of the EAA was supposed to be comprised of all low-achieving schools in the state, yet as the initiative made its way through the legislature the only guinea pigs targeted were the students in the urban districts with the “hope” that the state could exact this same dictatorship across other districts. Since then, however, there has been significant resistance in the effort to supersede local control. Seasoned educators representing years of experience and knowledge on how to educate children were cast aside for individuals of little experience and even less interest in providing a beneficial educational experience to
Detroit children and likewise, while suburbanites stood silent on this urban imposition until the intrusion met their borders, suddenly it was in their interest to make taxpayer-funded education and local control an issue.
Check out the rest of this article in The Michigan Citizen