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Reply #173: I Live Near Detroit, Lived in Detroit and Taught ACT Prep in DPS [View All]

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DimplesinMI Donating Member (281 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 11:39 AM
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173. I Live Near Detroit, Lived in Detroit and Taught ACT Prep in DPS
Since I have done all of the above, I believe I am qualified to speak on the state of Detroit Public Schools. I attended Durfee Middle School and old McFarland Elementary School on the city West Side. I moved back to the suburbs with my Dad mid 8th grade and stayed there until I graduated.

DPS had issues in the early 80's when I attended Elementary and Middle school there. Regardless, the problems were NOT as bad as they are now. When I moved from the Suburbs to Detroit after my parents divorce, I noticed that the education that was taught was about a year or two behind the suburbs schools then. I was regarded as one of the smartest kids in my class (in the suburbs...I was just average). Regardless, one thing I appreciated about DPS was meeting the music teacher at Durfee Middle School. He helped excel my lifelong love in band, first teaching me how to play the violin and then the flute (which I played until the end of high school). The main thing I remember about my 3 years at DPS is that the teachers cared about you then, the schools were clean, some kids were mean (stating I talked "White" and picked on me because they thought I was a "know it all") but other kids and teachers were quick to my defense, if necessary.

Then, many years later...I was hired to teach ACT Prep for a outsourcing company for DPS High School. Due to the agreement, I cannot stay what schools I taught at.....but I can say, without a doubt, a major turnaround need to be done for DPS. Now, I do not know if Robert Bobb is the man to do it but, he is what they have right now.

One of the schools I taught at, the students regularly toss trash in the hallway and no one picked it up until night (I assume...it was sometimes cleared the next day). Foul language and more were mainstays in the hallways. Students could come into some classes on free will (well after the bell has clearly rung). Some teachers (I assume tried of all the craziness allowed at the high schools, I taught at) decided it would be best to let a small minority kids run the scene and focus on the number of kids that were actually trying to learn.

Basically, the system was a mess and something for these kids NEEDED to be done. For those who say that "This is privatization at its' finest"....who is suppose to teach these kids if craziness surrounds them, with the current system? These children DESERVE a proper education, just like children in the suburbs, period. DPS and the school board HAD their opportunity and the result was a decline of educational services over 20 years, wasted money and schools in hazard states.

Now, do I agree with everything Robert Bobb is doing, no. As a daughter of a former Union Worker (my Father passed in 2007), I want qualified MEA (Michigan Educational Association) teachers fixing the educational breakdown in DPS schools...not "Teach for America" minimum teaching wage counterparts. Frankly, the wide-eyed Teach for America college graduates are for the most part, way to "Green" to teach at most DPS High Schools and will be ran out of them by the kids. DPS needs Strong, Experienced, Qualified Union teachers to rebuild the district. With MEA teachers, some of the current bunch will have to go. They are beat up themselves and have in my opinion, given up on some of these kids.

So, in closing, the schools need a overhaul. Robert Bobb is the person the Governor has appointed to do this task. Mr. Bobb needs to focus on finding experienced MEA teachers that would be willing to fit into his vision of changing the school district. Partial Privatization is not all bad IF and ONLY IF the children education is IMPROVED as a result. In the end, it is the children of DPS that deserve a proper education and we the residents of the state of Michigan should do everything in our power to oversee that they get one.


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