Tuesday, December 16, 2008
And the band played on...
The band on the Titanic is legendary for continuing to play as the great ship sank. We are witnessing a tragedy on a more massive scale here in Michigan with the Detroit Public Schools board, which is churning through superintendents on average every 19 months.
This is a school district where, at best, 70 percent of the students graduate. It is a district that has lost an incredible number of students, yet doesn't want to close school buildings, and keeps pouring money into dilapidated facilities. It is a district that was just allowed to have its own school board within the past few years after the state had taken control of the financially and performance-troubled district. Now the state is poised to take control again.
The tragedy is that thousands of children are recieving a substandard education, which will hamper them for the rest of their lives. The school board seems more interested in getting themselves in the news and running for higher office (City Council) than they do about properly educating the youth of Detroit. How can a superintendent accomplish anything lasting in 18 months? Or 20 months, which was the previous superintendent's tenure.
If this isn't a case for vouchers, I don't know what is. Give these kids a voucher that would let them take the state aid that accompanies each child and let them go to to whatever school district they want, where they can at least have a fighting chance at a decent education. Otherwise, we are creating a permanent underclass of people with poor education and low job skills.
That is just immoral.