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Detroit's Robert Bobb wins, school district loses. School closures full speed ahead.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 01:15 PM
Original message
Detroit's Robert Bobb wins, school district loses. School closures full speed ahead.
It is alarming how quickly public schools are being taken control of by outside forces in Detroit. The school district sued to keep Bobb from closing the schools...because of suspicions that so much of his salary came from private corporations like the Broad Foundation and Skill Foundation.

A lower court had Bobb could not make academic decisions, but it was just overruled. He vows to work quickly to make the changes.

Robert Bobb wins round, but Detroit school board to continue fight for academic control



Robert Bobb, the state-appointed financial manager for the Detroit Public Schools, has won one round in his fight with the Detroit Board of Education for academic control of the district, but the battle is far from over.

The Michigan Court of Appeals on Thursday reversed a lower-court ruling that barred Bobb from making academic decisions during an ongoing lawsuit filed against him by the school board.

The decision paves the way for Bobb to begin implementing his 5-year, $540 million academic plan as well as his $1 billion plan to close dozens of schools by June, and his office tells The Detroit News he is prepared to move quickly.


A program at Democracy Now on April 2 sounds like he plans to close more schools than the "dozens" mentioned in the article above.

Mass Closures of Public Schools, Promotion of Charters Raise Fears of Privatized Detroit Education System

Detroit plans to close more than a quarter of its public schools at a time when private foundations are pledging hundreds of millions of dollars to reshape the Detroit public school system. The foundations are pushing for mayoral control of the school and the opening of dozens of new schools, including charter schools. The plan is seen by critics as a move to privatize the citys school system.

AMY GOODMAN: Were broadcasting from Detroit. A central part of the plan to downsize Detroit centers on the citys school system. The Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager, Robert Bobb, announced plans last month to close more than a quarter of the citys public schools.

ROBERT BOBB: The plan calls for the closure of forty-five facilities in June, with most programs moving to new or renovated facilities.


In fact it gets even more confusing than that.

In March we learned that 70 schools in Detroit are being replaced with 70 new schools. The group doing the taking over is called Excellent Schools Detroit. It is apparently a coalition of groups with vast power.

Private groups have great power in Detroit over public schools


Members of Excellent Schools Detroit talk about the citywide education plan Wednesday. From left, they are: New Urban Learning Founder Doug Ross, Skillman Foundation chief Carol Goss and Detroit Public Schools emergency financial manager Robert Bobb. (PATRICIA BECK/Detroit Free Press)

Releasing details of an ambitious plan to remake schools in the city of Detroit, a coalition of nonprofit organizations said Wednesday that it plans to push for mayoral control of Detroit Public Schools, set up an independent commission to grade every school in the city, including charters, and establish a goal of graduating 90% of kids from high school by 2020.

The group, calling itself Excellent Schools Detroit, announced last week that it planned to replace failing Detroit schools with 70 new ones and make a $200-million initial investment -- a plan unprecedented in scope anywhere in the country. The group has commitments from the Gates Foundation and other national groups willing to come to Detroit, said Carol Goss, CEO and president of the Skillman Foundation, a key leader in the effort.


These plans have the blessing of the governor.

BTW Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm is quite aware of Bobb's plans and gives them her blessings.



As proof that the Broad Foundation expects something for its money, the plaintiffs cite a 2009 Wall Street Journal article in which Eli Broad said he was in the "venture philanthropy business."

"Because Bobb has sole and virtually unreviewable control over the $1.4 billion DPS budget, it is especially dangerous to allow the Broad Foundation and similar 'venture philanthropists' to fund one-third of his salary," the complaint states.

The Broad Foundation disagrees. The foundation gave Bobb the money at the request of Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and it "comes without requirement or restriction," Broad spokeswoman Erica Lepping said in an e-mail.

Broad involvement in public schools


Money and power are hard to beat, especially when public schools are having funding cut back with the money going to charter schools or vouchers or even private schools.

The "reformers" have the big money behind them. They have the present administration behind them...with the Secretary of Education being given vast powers and much money.

Public schools only have a few bloggers speaking out for them.



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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. When people realize what is happening, it will be too late.
Most teachers don't even know what's going on because they just don't have time to engage in political action and awareness. By nature, most teachers aren't confrontational and don't know what to do when this kind of demonization rears up. Teachers who supported Obama/Duncan are having a real hard time acknowledging that this president is no friend of public education.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. You are right. Teachers are not usually confrontational.
It's like we were trained to fit in and not make waves. Being too outspoken is frowned upon in our area.

But now it is time for the battle to commence, or it will be too late.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
22. also because the "powerful teachers' unions" as the new york times calls them,
are at least functionally complicit. what the hell have they been doing? this didn't just start yesterday. if the members don't know what's going on, it's the leaderships' fault, entirely.
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. What happens when one quarter of the people leave a city?
You have to close one quarter of the schools. Detroit is shrinking and can't afford a school system designed to be supported several hundred thousand more people.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. But does that mean it must be sold off to private corporations?
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. All districts face that. You don't close and privatize...you adjust.
You lay off the teachers who are not needed, which our area has always done. You rehire when needed. You don't use disaster capitalism....turning the schools over to private venture folks.

That is just overkill, and it is taking advantage of a crisis to privatize schools.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #5
81. Ummm... The charter schools in Detroit are nonprofits
Nobody is gettng rich from them. They are not owned by Wal-Mart.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #81
119. You do some research and get back to me.
I will not dignify that with an explanation.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #119
152. So, which Detroit charter schools are owned by for-profit companies?
Name 'em. The ones I know about (and I have looked into many of them) are all owned by nonprofits.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #152
176. what is "owned" besides the name?
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #176
181. Owned means owned
You know, like, as in "the property of."

If any school that buys books or other curriculum materials is a "for-profit school," then ALL schools are for-profit schools.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #181
183. what, precisely, is "owned"? you keep avoiding the question.
traditionally, schools & districts developed their own curricula in-house or in-district, they didn't buy canned curricula.

traditionally, school buildings were owned & maintained by the community or government.

traditionally, school personnel were employees of government, not of private for-profit companies.

traditionally, school employees' wages & benefits were set by government, not by private for-profit companies.

traditionally, employee pension funds were managed by government, not private for-profit companies.

etc.


trraditionally, the main sources of private profits in school operations were 1) construction & 2) textbooks & office supplies. period.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #183
185. In the case of the schools I have visited
They own their buildings and hire their own staffs.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #185
187. great, so we apparently agree that owning or controlling the facilities & controlling hiring &
firing are functions of ownership.

so we also agree that some charter schools in detroit are effectively private, for-profit schools -- including the 11 schools i pulled at random off google maps.

thus we must also agree that there is *nothing* in michigan's charter regs that prevents the wholesale privatization of schooling.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #187
189. I don't have specific knowledge...
Edited on Mon May-17-10 03:04 PM by LuckyTheDog
...of charter schools in Detroit that are "effectively private, for-profit schools."

All either of us knows is that in some cases, schools in Michigan contract with for-profit companies to manage them. The same is true for some regular public schools. But again, contracting for services with a private company is not the same as BEING a private company.

Have SOME charter schools operated essentially as fronts for the companies managing them? Probably. Does that mean that ALL of them or even most of them) operate that way? No.

In one post, you said you believed that there was a charter school in Detroit operated by DTE Energy Co. (the local electric and gas utility company). That is not true, either.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #189
193. No, the city contracts management of ALL public schools to private management.
That change was instituted by Bob-Bobb in 2009, as part of the privatization initiative.

Contracting out all services = effective privatization, no matter how much you spin it. There are no non-profit functions: only the funding comes from the public.

I don't remember saying that there was a charter school operated by DTE. I remember posting an article which said so.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #193
197. And that article was wrong
DTE does not own or operate a charter school. You posted misinformation.

As far as what is happening with DPS... you don't really know the whole story. Robert Bobb would not even be on the scene if the DPS had not mismanaged itself into the ground. And yes, later, a state-appointed "reform" school board me things even worse. But when the state overseers left, DPS went back to its old ways. So, the state came back and Bobb was appointed. But Bobb did not bring in the charter schools. They have been here for years. He did not create the DPS' financial crisis or the amazingly bad accounting practices that kept the DPS brass and the school board from realizing just how bad things were. Bob also was not responsible for the outright theft an naked corruption tolerated by the DPS for many years.

The charter schools are here because many, many parents do not want to subject their children to the DPS. For good reasons.

You really, really should visit Detroit some time and see what is really happening. Visit a charter school or two. Talk to some of the parents and the kids. See how many of them would be happy about it if the DPS was their only public-school option.



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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #197
199. you posted misinformation when you said i said dte runs a school.
Edited on Mon May-17-10 10:21 PM by Hannah Bell
that information was a passing sentence in an article about something else; the article wasn't about dte running a school.

you also post misinformation in this post, where you say i claimed bobb "brought in the charter schools". i said no such thing. i said he contracted out management of *traditional* public schools to private parties (v. school district/government).

which he did, according to published accounted from news media.

please stop misrepresenting my posts, if you don't mind.


"the charters are there" because the ruling class wants them there.


"many, many parents" also want to keep and improve the public school system:


"One by one, community members, parents and students filed up to the microphone, chastising Bobb for more than an hour about his plans as he sat stoically behind his laptop, though citizens urged him several times to look at them while they spoke."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100430/SCHOOLS/4300459...


bob bobb being a traveling hired gun for big capital, of course he has to be forced to school board meetings by lawsuit, & of course he doesn't give a damn what non-syncophant peons want.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-18-10 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #199
201. Ummm...
It's not members of the "ruling class" that are putting their kids on waiting lists to get into the better charter schools. It's Detroit parents who are doing that. And, again, there are good reasons for that.

"Many, many parents" also want to keep and improve the public school system? Of course. And that is EXACTLY WHY nobody is talking about shutting down the DPS and why gargantuan efforts are being made to save and improve it. It is totally dishonest to suggest that Detroit is in the process of closing down the DPS. In fact, if the DPS gets its act together, I expect a lot of families in the city to return to it.

A lot of school buildings will be closed, but that's mostly the result of population loss. I don't know about you, but I'd rather see my tax dollars go toward paying for teachers, rather than on heat and electricity for school buildings that are half empty.

Of course folks will be upset about some of the closings. I was pretty disappointed when the elementary school closest to my house was closed -- and when the high school in my neighborhood was closed. But, when the student population drops the way it has, then it makes sense to consolidate. The school system is deeply in the red. What would YOU have DPS do?

You don't seem to have any solutions. Yet, you would like to see Detroit parents subject their children to a failing, corrupt school system that doesn't offer a decent education -- all to satisfy your sense of moral superiority. That is, I hate to say, an elitist position.




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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 03:51 AM
Response to Reply #81
125. about 75% of charter schools in michigan are run by for-profit EMOs.
Edited on Sat May-15-10 03:53 AM by Hannah Bell
"Opponents are critical of the dominant role that for-profit educational management organizations (EMOs) play in Michigan's charter schools. EMOs, some of which have been plagued by allegations of corruption and profiteering, run nearly 75 percent of charter schools in Michigan."

http://www.educationsector.org/research/research_show.h...


Here's a random charter school website in Detroit I pulled off google maps:

http://www.charteracademies.com /

11 "Academies" in various locations, including the suburbs.

All run by "Charter School Administration Services".

Whose goal is: "to become a GLOBAL leader in education programs & diversified services for lifelong learners"

Why would they want to become a GLOBAL leader?

Um, maybe because they're a FOR-PROFIT education management corporation, that's why.


PDF] 353 NLRB No. 035;09/30/08;Charter School Administration Services ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View

"The employer is a private, FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION established in the State of Michigan and engaged in the management of charter schools IN SEVERAL STATES...."

www.nlrb.gov/shared_files/Board%20Decisions/353/v35335....



Why don't you know about this, since you're from Detroit & all?

And so knowlegeable compared to we outlanders?

And you even have children in charter schools?

maybe you better check & see who runs them. you might be surprised.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #125
151. I repeat: The charter schools in Detroit are owned by nonprofits
Edited on Sun May-16-10 11:31 PM by LuckyTheDog
If not 100% of them, then certainly almost all of them. If some services and administrative functions are outsourced to for-profit companies,then they are no different in that regard than the Detroit Public Schools -- which use a lot of vendors for a lot of things.

I have looked into several charter schools and everyone was owned by nonprofit and run on a not-for-profit basis.

Again... I'll ask. What's your solution to the problems facing Detroit? Leave the amazingly corrupt and incompetent public school system as-is and do nothing? Should folks here just be OK with low test scores, stolen tax money and high drop-out rates just to suit your sense of moral superiority? I think not.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #151
160. just *what* is "owned"? the management companies own e.g. buildings & curriculum.
what is run "on a non-profit basis"? The management companies make a profit.

The turnover of even public schools to for-profit management is a development coincident with the rise of charters, & pushed by the same interests.

The solution is the same as everywhere else: make the malefactors of great wealth foot their share of the cost.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #160
166. Nope. That is just plain wrong.
The charter schools in Detroit are not for-profit companies.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #166
175. in name only.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #175
178. Once again
Edited on Mon May-17-10 01:22 PM by LuckyTheDog
Please list the Detroit charter schools that you think are for-profit entities or owned by for-profit entities.

I know of at least one charter school that started out with an agreement to license curriculum from an outside organization, later ended the arrangement. If the outside company was the de-facto owner, that never would have happened.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #178
179. I have never stated that the charter of any school is owned by a for-profit company.
Edited on Mon May-17-10 01:27 PM by Hannah Bell
That would be against Michigan state law.

I have stated that

1) most "non-profit" charters in michigan are managed by for-profit companies,
2) said "ownership" is just a front for privatization of public functions & funds, since the putative "nonprofits" typically own NOTHING but a name, while the "for-profits" they funnel their public funds to own everything that makes a school a school, including:

1. The buildings
2. The full power to hire, train, set wages & benefits, hold pension funds, discipline & fire ALL school personnel without oversight from the putative "school"
3. The curriculum
4. The power to channel funding as they please, i.e. to bill "the school" & the public for exhorbitant rents, for their own proprietary curriculum & training moduless, for exhorbitant salaries for hand-picked administrators, for their own legal costs, etc.


The only power the "school" has is to terminate its contract with the company according to the dictates of the "free market".

Since this is the case, the nominal "school" effectively has no real function at all. It's just a vehicle to pass on public monies.

and to provide political cover as public education is privatized in all but name.

There's no difference in result from channeling public funds directly to for-profit corporations & letting them succeed or go under in the same manner.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #179
180. Well... except the charter schools I know about don't work that way
The charter schools I have actually visited in Detroit (several of them) are all nonprofits that own their own buildings.

I think what you are referring to does exist. But it would be wrong to suggest that all -- or even most -- charter schools are set up that way. I am familiar with the charter schools in Detroit and have limited my comments to those.

The charter school my child attends, for example, would in no way be considered a "for profit" school -- even under the stretched definition of "for profit" that you provide.

Please let me know which Detroit charter schools you think are being run for a profit.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #180
182. I linked you to 11 charter schools being run this way by the same for-profit company,
Edited on Mon May-17-10 01:51 PM by Hannah Bell
which also operates in other states.

and that was just a random pick from google maps.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

75% of michigan charters are run by private companies FOR PROFIT. I seriously doubt that Detroit is much different from the rest of the state; in fact, it's probably worse, since Detroit's administration is hand-in-glove with the privatizers & is turning public schools over to private corps any way they can:

"Last year Bobb put nearly every high school in the city under contract with private management groups; theres no indication hell stop there...Detroit voters will decide on a second $500 million bond measure later this year. If Bobb has his way, much of that will end up in private hands."

http://www.truthout.org/closures-and-charters-hailed-fu...
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #182
184. So, you don't really have specific knowledge of Detroit charter schools
All you know is that there are charter schools in the state that have management contracts with for-profit companies.

But even in those cases, you acknowledge that the schools themselves are nonprofits and could cancel the contracts. I have first-hand knowledge of a case in which that happened -- the school canceled the contract and now operates independently. The school never changed locations or lost its staff.

I will concede that, in some cases, charter schools probably have been operated basically as fronts for for-profit companies. But it is not true in most cases. In many cases, the very same management companies hired by the charters are also hired by regular, plain-vanilla public school systems. In some cases, the schools (charter and traditional public schools) have fired those companies.

But can we both agree that the idea that all charter schools are "for-profit entities" is not exactly true?

Can we also agree that the door to all this would never have been opened had the Detroit Public Schools not been amazingly corrupt and ineffective?

Other observations:

-- Some charter schools have failed and have closed down. Others are just plain crappy schools, but manage to muddle through. So, we both know that charter schools are not a panacea. But a lot of charters have shown amazing results and have improved the lives of families that previously were served by failing public schools. That is a good thing.

-- There are a few DPS public schools in Detroit that are as good or better than the better charter schools (we are considering moving our son to one of them). But far too many DPS schools are abysmal -- shockingly so. If you took away the charter schools, a lot of parents here would leave the city -- assuming they have the means. Others would be left with inadequate educational options.

-- Many attempts to reform the DPS over the decades have failed. The DPS did not start improving in a real way until charter schools came on the scene.

-- The DPS is not going to go away. If anything, seems poised to emerge stronger over the next few years.




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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #184
186. ah, but you see, they cannot simply "cancel the contract". because there's
this little thing called "contract law" which governs contracts with private, for-profit companies.

they can choose not to renew a contract when it expires -- in one, two, three or whatever years.

even where outright fraud is suspected, termination of a contract before its expiration requires that the "school" go to court & prove it - which requires MONEY.

and since the only funds the "school" has access to are the funds it receives from the state & is UNDER CONTRACT to pay to its CONTRACTOR TO RUN THE SCHOOL, such a suit wouldn't be undertaken lightly.

&, should the "school" choose to withhold funds, the contractor can SUE THE "SCHOOL".

and many of the "contractors" can access bigger funds for legal proceedings than the "schools" can -- unless the "school" chooses to fund legal actions at the expense of the existence of the "school" & the education of the children in it.


"a lot of charters have shown amazing results"

The biggest, most authoritative study of charters found only 17% showed results better than the public entities they replaced.

37% showed WORSE results, & the rest showed no substantial differences.


I have never made any claim that "all charters are for-profit entities".

I have made the claim that *many* charters are managed by for-profit companies; that in *many* cases the "non-profit" designation is effectively a fraud, since all operations are contracted to for-profit entities; & that the charter school movement as a whole, despite the existence of some sincere, well-meaning charter ventures, is a trojan horse for destruction of the very idea of public schooling & the privatization of education.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #186
190. All that depends on the terms of the contract
Edited on Mon May-17-10 03:06 PM by LuckyTheDog
But yes, of course it is true that in most cases contracts cover a specific time period. So?

Public schools also enter into contracts with private companies. And in those cases, they also are bound by the terms of the contract.

Like I said, I never asserted that charter schools are a panacea. But you are mixing and matching data to serve your interests. I am trying to limit my comments to Detroit. You are throwing in state-wide data and national statistics. It could be true that only 17% of charter schools nationwide had better results than public schools. But in the case of Detroit schools, the results of the public schools were AMAZINGLY BAD --way below national averages and even worse than in other big-city school systems.

Also, it's not true that the charters in Detroit actually "replaced" any public schools. They were set up as a parallel to the public schools.

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #190
191. uh, excuse me, public schools did not traditionally enter into contracts
with private companies except for strictly delimited services -- not for the wholesale operation of EVERYTHING that made the school a school.

In Detroit, the contracting out of public school management is a development coincident with the rise of charter schools & one made by the same forces promoting charter schools -- i.e. privatizers.

In the case of Detroit, it was privatizer & "emergency financial director" Bob-Bobb who put all Detroit's schools under private management.

He was appointed in 2009 for the express purpose of privatizing education in the city, & that's precisely what he's done.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #191
192. DPS has THOUSANDS of private vendors
Edited on Mon May-17-10 03:13 PM by LuckyTheDog
Literally thousands. And we could argue about what is and is not a "limited service." But here is the real issue.

What should parents in Detroit do? Should they either 1) All move to the suburbs or 2) Shun charter schools in favor of the incompetent kleptocracy that the DPS has been for eons?

Keep in mind that several varieties of school reform HAVE been tried. Nothing got better until the charter schools moved in -- not to replace the public schools, but to offer an alternative.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #192
200. you continue to misrepresent my posts, my position, & the facts.
traditionally school districts did not contract services out to private companies, they provided them in-house, using personnel hired & paid directly by the district or government:

including food service, janitorial, maintenance, transportation, health, curriculum, human resources, accounting, and facilities.

the use of private contractors to provide these services is a recent development, in detroit & elsewhere, & it is coincident with the rise of charter schools as a "solution".

even now, after years of assault by neo-liberal privatizers (like those running the makinac center) 58% of michigan school districts still provide three of the major non-education services (busing, janitorial, food) IN-HOUSE, let alone contract out education or personnel services.

http://detnews.com/article/20090604/SCHOOLS/906040414/B...

your (unsupported) claim that dps currently has "thousands" of private vendors is thus completely beside the point.

first, because a "vendor" is something different from a "contractor" (a school may use one "vendor" to buy paper from & another to buy scotch tape from, so what?), & second because "now" is not 5 years ago, or 10 years ago, or 20 years ago.

i repeat: traditionally, school districts did not contract even major non-education services out, let alone THEIR PERSONNEL, FACILITIES, & CURRICULUM.

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Doremus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-18-10 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #151
203. Are you that superfluous that you think "non-profit" = no profits?
Edited on Tue May-18-10 06:51 PM by Doremus
You keep saying "non-profit" as if it means an entity eschews profit. It doesn't.

It also doesn't mean there will be kindly, generous Santa-like people running things. CEOs and upper management of non-profits receive paychecks every bit as high as their non-non-profit colleagues. Unlike their private corporate colleagues, however, the paychecks going to charter school CEOs come from taxpayers who have no choice but to pay lest they end up in prison.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #125
153. Also.. did you read that whole page you linked to?
Edited on Sun May-16-10 11:44 PM by LuckyTheDog
Is you had, you would have seen this:

The Academy was incorporated as a non-stock, nonprofit,
tax-exempt corporation under Michigans Nonprofit
Corporation Act. The Academys board of directors,
appointed by BMCC, manages the Academys business,
property and affairs, and sets the Academys educational,
fiscal, and administrative policies, following the
terms of the Academys charter. The Academys board
of directors is responsible for the Academys compliance
with its charter and with all applicable laws. The Academy
has four officers selected from among the sitting
board members. The Academy is considered a government
agency under the Revised School Code and its incorporator,
board members, officers and employees have
government immunity. Members of the Academys
board of directors take an oath as public officials.


It sounds to me like the school in question is a nonprofit that uses a for-profit vendor. Not an unusual thing. Public schools hire private companies -- law firms, accounting firms, bus operators, etc. all the time.

I the case of that particular charter school, it looks like they "outsourced" an awful lot of responsibility to a a private firm. But that's ot the same as saying that the school itself is run for profit. It isn't.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 04:11 AM
Response to Reply #153
161. Yes; that's the standard dodge. But again, I ask, what is "owned"?
Edited on Mon May-17-10 04:52 AM by Hannah Bell
The Community College is the charter-authorizing body.

It was petitioned by someone unspecified (parents, community members, business interests operating behind frontmen) to establish a charter.

Incorporation is for a name ("The Academy") with a board of directors, whose main function, in this case, is to receive funds from the state, take 3% off the top, & pass on the rest of the money to the for-profit management company, which:

-- takes another 12% off the top in fees

-- has sole responsibility to "select, assign, discipline & transfer personnel" including principals & teachers. "No one affiliated with the Academy, including its board of directors, and no one affiliated with BMCC, has any involvement in personnel issues involving the individuals the Employer has hired to work at the Academy...all Academy personnel are accountable only to the Employer...the Academys board has no authority to require the Employer to discipline or discharge an offending employee."

-- determination of pay scales, benefits, etc. Academy employees are NOT ELIGIBLE Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System.

The managment company maintains its OWN pension system -- another profit center, as employees pay some of their wages into this system, creating a pool of investable cash for the management company -- which, as a private system, is not subject to public oversight.

-- pays for all supplies, rents, etc.

-- pays all salaries & benefits

-- provides the "educational services," including development of curriculum (probably their owned canned one, for which they'll receive additional $$)

-- provides "the professional training and development of the Academys teachers," (quite possibly with their own "training materials," which will be billed as "supplies")

-- the "maintenance and operation of the Academys school building" (which may very well be owned by the management corp & rented to the "school")

In this case, the address (23749 Elmira) of the Detroit West Academy campus appears to be a building once owned by the Catholic Church, housing the St Hilary School, which closed in 1992. So I suspect the management company owns the building & rents it to "The Academy".


-- all other management functions, including preparation of any state reports required of "The Academy"


The management company & its own Board:

-- don't have to hold open meetings

-- don't have to make their records & financials public

-- don't have to be audited by the state

-- don't have to report to the state directly



Now tell me, in this case, what is "owned"? What is "the school"? What is "non-profit" WHEN EVERYTHING THE SCHOOL DOES IS DONE AT A PROFIT?

15% off the top in management fees, just for starters.

It's a dodge, & I think you know it is.

Plus, it's a morass of moral hazard.


I'd also ask you, to kids & parents, what is "the school"?

To kids, it's the building, the teachers & other employees they *see* & interact with: in this case, all of which are likely "owned" BY THE FOR PROFIT MANAGEMENT COMPANY & can be changed & dismissed at the whim of the management company, & are, as the law states, responsible to their EMPLOYER, not "the Academy" & its board, which is supposedly "the school".

What a charade.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #161
167. So, they outsource stuff
You seem obsessed with one example of a non-Detroit charter school which is verifiability a nonprofit that contracts with a for-profit company. Public schools have for-profit vendors as well. But that aside...

Let's get back to topic: Discussion of charter schools IN DETROIT. Please name the ones you think are owned by for-profit companies.

I'll wait.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #167
174. They outsource EVERYTHING.
Edited on Mon May-17-10 01:28 PM by Hannah Bell
i.e. the school is effectively a for-profit school.

and as i've never made the claim that any school in detroit is authorized as a for-profit charter, but have made the claim that 75% of the charters is michigan (&likely a similar % in detroit) are MANAGED BY FOR-PROFIT COMPANIES

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I'm not sure what you're "waiting" for.

The "non-profit" authorizing process is a dodge, so that while all functions of schools are being turned over to profit-making entities, people like yourself can scream "But it's a NON-PROFIT!" to cut off any criticism of the on-going privatization process.

The putative "school" doesn't own its facilities, its curriculum, its personnel or personnel policies. So just what is this "non-profit school"?

The "non-profit" exists only as a vehicle to receive public funds & turn them over to private corporations.
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Gaedel Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
33. More like 60%
In 1950, Detroit had a population of 1,882,000. In 2008, it was estimated at 821,000. Detroit Public Schools employs more people now than it did in 1950.

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 04:26 AM
Response to Reply #33
129. not according to the census. pg 38, table 27: 912,000
Edited on Sat May-15-10 04:26 AM by Hannah Bell
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #33
136. arbitrary and meaningless
The entire area is "Detroit" for all practical purposes. How many are trapped within the arbitrary political boundaries of Detroit proper rather than living in the suburbs is no justification for seeing Detroit as fair game for wholesale destruction.

What is this new thinking? "Things are really bad, so we must now make them worse, and no one can complain." On every issue we are seeing that "logic."

"The economy is really bad, so you people at the bottom will have to have more hardships imposed on you."

"The schools are really in trouble (from being abandoned) so now we will have to abandon them to save them."

"The investors destroyed Greece, so now you workers will have to suffer more and we will have to bail out the investors and give them more of Greece."

The Republicans were fairly straightforward about this. Watching Democrats and liberals and progressives try to come up with ways to promote these insane ideas and still sound like they are liberals and progressives is something to witness.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
92. nonsense, utter nonsense
"One quarter of the people" did not "leave the city," they created little legal fictions called "suburbs" where they could continue to enjoy the benefits of the city - all of those benefits were won by organized Labor - and take none of the responsibility. Now those same people are going to say "I am from Detroit" and lecture us on the problems of the city?

Detroit can't afford...?? Detroit has been pillaged for decades, robbed blind. YOU cannot afford to lose Detroit.
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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. This trend has me reassessing my views on homeschooling. nt
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. It's like a movement hurtling forward with no one to stop it.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
6. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt now embedding workers in Detroit school system.
I am amazed at how quickly things are happening in Detroit schools. Not just charter school operators and the huge foundations....but now textbook publishers.

http://www.susanohanian.org/show_atrocities.php?id=9317

"THE CAUSE: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publishing, the world's largest publisher of
educational materials for pre-kindergarten
through high school, held a one-day mass
volunteer effort in the district Feb. 9 to launch a partnership with DPS.

BACKGROUND: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is
embarking on a multi-year partnership with DPS
to provide Destination: Detroit, a districtwide
program that is to reshape how DPS approaches
curriculum, lesson planning and instruction.

This is the first time Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
has provided such an integrated offering of
resources, and the hope is to make DPS a
national model for how K-12 districts will
educate in the future.

The company is embedding 10 full-time support
staff in the district to manage the system. "

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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. Teachers will become drones reading a script.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
8. Bobb is returning TFA to Detroit, even while experienced teachers laid off.
TFA charges school systems to send teachers to teach there with no experience. Great job if you can get it.

He is getting a battle over it apparently.

Teach for America returns to Detroit schools

Teach for America, the national corps of college graduates who teach in underserved schools for two years, will come back to Detroit this summer.

One hundred graduates -- 80 in Detroit charter schools and 20 in Detroit Public Schools -- will descend on the city during one of the most highly charged climates Teach for America has ever seen, officials acknowledge.

As the school board battles Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb over academic controls, the president of the teachers union is threatening an injunction to stop aspiring teachers from entering classrooms if it's at the expense of laying off current teachers in those subject areas.

...""We look forward to a successful partnership and will do all we can to make sure it is a lasting one," Bobb's chief academic and accountability auditor, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, said in a statement.


Bennett is formerly from Harcourt School Publishers

"Ohanian Comment: There's no mention here that the Detroit chief academic and accountablity officer/auditor Barbara Byrd-Bennett, once worked for Harcourt School Publishers.

Never mind. I provided some necessary background at the end of October 2009. In short, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Detroit's chief academic and accountability officer/auditor, used to work for Harcourt School Publishers.

Do I repeat myself? I'm trying to make up for the total lack information in the Detroit Free Press.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Detroit's chief academic and accountability officer/auditor, used to work for Harcourt School Publishers."

"You can read her letter of engagement with the Detroit Public Schools where she is paid $776.70 per day. She is "an independent contractor and not an employee, agent, joint venturer, or partner of the District."

If $775.70 a day proves to be insufficient, during the period of the contract, Byrd-Bennett's letter of agreement gives her the right to find additional work elsewhere--to supplement that $776.70 per day.

That hiring period ended March 2, 2010, but Byrd-Bennett is still in Detroit, able to greet old friends from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt."



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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
9. kick.
I was hoping the lawsuit would hold things up for a bit. Things are happening very fast. These large foundations are like a juggernaut that cannot be stopped.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Yes. "These large foundations are like a juggernaut that can not be stopped."
I am afraid you are right. Especially since there is no opposing party.
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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. They want to end the world it seems, what can you do.
Maybe I will have that beer after all.

It really is crazy.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. We have to at least try.
At least notice what they are doing. Even if we can't stop it.

Democratic forums are accepting the demise of public education because it is being finalized by Democrats. That's a shame.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #13
30. It truly is.
The Democratic party used to be the stalwart supporter of public education, too. :(
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #12
45. And THIS is why Repubs hate unions: Unions stand in the way of laissez-faire.
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 12:56 AM
Response to Original message
15. Bob Bobb?
What's up with parents who name their kids like that?
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. It's Robert Bobb. n/t
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #15
31. I voted for Bob Roberts back in '92!
and of course who could forget this guy?

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n.michigan Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 02:01 AM
Response to Original message
16. Mi Court of Appeals? Good old.... here you go- it is a perversion to be sure.
http://coa.courts.mi.gov/resources/asp/viewdocket.asp?c...

Check out the generic order to appear on May 6 (just) for oral argument and the 3 judges (Alton Davis a DEMOCRAT BY GRANHOLM presiding) request that parties address..

whether the financial manager has a written financial plan for the school district as required by MCL141.1240;
whether the emergency financial manager's academic plan and his master facilities plan part of this written financial plan;
where in the record did the court articulate its concern with the HARM to the PUBLIC INTEREST if the injunction is issued
where in the record did the trial court consider the HARM that might befall the emergency financial MANAGER if the injunction was issued.

NOT KIDDING. On May 6 they denied it and said the board failed to show the irreparable harm of defendants actions.....

Michigan courts are notorious-terrible. www.courthouseforum is an interesting site for all state and fed court complaints.

The people of Michigan have no idea what a sell-out Granholm is. Teachers are not up to speed on this either. An onslaught of greed. Money for Harcourt and no money for good teachers. So where is that f-ing union??????
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. The union has mostly worked with Granholm....
"The Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) has not been much of a leader in working peoples organizations but this might be about to change. The main concern of the union over the years has been to basically protect the bloated salaries and privileges of the trade union executives, like Keith Johnson, the pathetic president of DFT. In fact, union executives have been openly working with the school authorities in Detroit to force hundreds, if not thousands, of experienced teachers to retire, so they can be replaced by a low-wage instructors, forced to work in charter schools without the slightest rights or input on how children are taught nor any control over curriculum or the day to day running of the schools.

In return for this largess and sell-out support, the DFT has been given assurances from their president, Keith Johnson, and his executives, that it will continue to collect dues income from teachers, and will participate in the myriad joint labor-management committees to police teachers. This is all a part of the Obama/Duncan Race to the Top. Sound familiar? Sure it does, it is magically growing like a fungus all over the nation, as you know if you have been following the saga."

The Detroit News reported teachers were being asked to agree to a $250 pre-tax deduction from 40 biweekly paychecks starting in January to fund the loan.

Not only are teachers not up to speed on it, the people just don't give a damn. The Republicans don't mind giving the schools to corporations, and the Democrats won't fight back because they consider those of us who do to be disloyal to Obama.

That is how you get things done that are not good for the people....just get their loyalty in every way.
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n.michigan Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-10 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Time for teachers to file a lawsuit against the unions and RTTBottom dictates-a RICO?
"In return for this largess and sell-out support, the DFT has been given assurances from their president, Keith Johnson, and his executives, that it will continue to collect dues income from teachers, and will participate in the myriad joint labor-management committees to police teachers."

What do you think? Certainly they need to re-vote that corrupt union out and /or sue them for their false representation and for damages to their reputations, fees improperly used etc..

One wonders if MEA is doing the same thing - setting up the evaluation process for teachers (for their own benefit as you point out)- not a likely priority of a local affiliation of educators one would assume. And MEA is doing phony protesting- while letting the Legislature deliberate (both houses are in on it) to steal money from teacher retirement (SB1227 in committee for final) and cover what they are taking away (mismanaging politically) from Michigan school districts. This was led by Granholm with Republicans originally. MEA recommends email support of the House version ( it (Dems) takes 3% from teachers- on top of what they already contribute in retirement-7% confiscation) rather than immediate protest over it. My how effortlessly teachers are being savaged and victimized by politicians and unions.

**Note -the lead negotiator for the House version (Mark Meadows (D) of East Lansing) has a promotional article headline on his website which you will understand easily from the address alone:
http://069.housedems.com/news/article/meadows-fights-to...

It illustrates THE PROBLEM IN MICHIGAN- GREED at the expense of the people- corporate welfare and tax credits that are deemed more important than and cause deficits in the funding to education. They are screwing Michigan children and teachers! So sorry. It truly appears to be a conspiracy of interests.

So we need to vote the politicians out- incumbents- all of them-the Democrats and Republicans who so dishonor Michigan. I lost respect for OBAMA too over his rejection of the public option and lower priced drugs. Granholm too- witness your story above.. and her bias for business interests and the billionaires.

The new Diane Ravitch book on our educational system is excellent. She really explains past history and present OBAMA/Duncan aggressiveness in RTTT including the billionaires movement to privatize, providing time-lines and insightful references to the money and politics behind private/public educational agendas. Recommend.

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #16
127. "Where is that f-ing union" = my question too.
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dreamnightwind Donating Member (863 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-10 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
20. Interesting...
This Bob Bob guy (one and the same) was a few years ago battling Jerry Brown for control of Oakland California. Bobb was city manager and Brown was mayor. I didn't know he had moved on to Detroit. Also don't know a whole lot about him. Looks like he's a big-time corporacrat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bobb
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #20
27. yes, he is. an operative for capital. as are most of the school "reformers".
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 05:52 AM
Response to Original message
21. Detroit resident here
I do not have time to write a long essay dealing with all the complexities. But ... here in the Motor City, Robert Bobb has a lot of support her. Former school boards were unbelievably corrupt. And the Detroit Public Schools were in incredibly bad shape when Bobb was brought in -- due largely to a mind-blowing level of incompetence in the area of financial controls along with bureaucratic inertia.

We are at a stage here where a lot of school need to close because of population loss (the city has less than half the population it had in the late 50s and 60s -- some entire neighborhoods have been taken over by pheasants and, in some places, coyotes), even while other areas are actually thriving (the Wayne State/Midtown area being the prime example).

Charter schools have, indeed, popped up everywhere. But they have had a good effect on retaining middle-class families in the city who might otherwise have left (mine included) in search of decent schools.

Detroit is a complicated place with intense and complicated problems. It's hard to understand what the deal is unless you live here.

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. and others who live there feel differently. and the fact that someone doesn't live somewhere
is always used to tell others they just don't get it.

it's not about detroit in particular. it's happening all over, & it's neoliberal economics, privatization, union-busting, lowering wages, & profit-making.

it's not about better education.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. It's not a conspiracy
Bobb would not have been an issue had the former DPS administrations not been so amazingly bad at handling the district's finances. To say that the books were a mess and that money was misappropriated really understates things.

The previous attempt at school "reform" in Detroit made things worse, rather than better. So, the question was "what do we do now?" Doing nothing was not an option.

Given where things were, I think Granholm appointed Robert Bobb as a good-faith attempt to keep a very, very bad situation from becoming catastrophe.

Do I wish things had not gotten as bad as they did? Of course. Would I favor a drive to unionize the charter schools (all of which are nonprofit so far as I know)? You betcha. Do I want to have to move to the suburbs or pay private-school tuition in order to get a decent education for my kid? Nope.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Never let a good crisis go to waste.
Privatize now. Venture capitalism is at its best in a crisis.

Much of Bobb's salary is paid by corporate groups. Wonder why.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Yeah, I read "The Shock Doctrine," too
Edited on Wed May-12-10 02:54 PM by LuckyTheDog
This is not the same thing.

Bobb's salary is supplemented with cash from philanthropic foundations, not corporations. Among them is the Skillman Foundation (http://www.skillman.org ) which is hardly what I'd call an "evil corporation."
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. foundations are the tax-free investment & policy-making arms of the ruling class.
skillman money = 3m.

skillman run by CAPITAL:

Board of Trustees

David Baker Lewis, Chair

Lizabeth Ardisana, Vice Chair

Lillian Bauder

William M. Brodhead

Stephen E. Ewing

Edsel B. Ford, II

Carol A. Goss

Herman B. Gray

Amyre Makupson

Eddie R. Munson

Jerry Norcia

Robert S. Taubman
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #29
48. Foundations = philanthropy
The Skillman Foundation does tremendously good work. And, anyway, if Amyre Makupson is on the board it can't be all bad.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #48
56. um, foundations = tax-free investment funds & policy arms controlled by the top 1%
of the income distribution (the big foundations).

they coordinate their "giving" to steer policy in the directions they (as a class) choose.

those who think they're disinterested "philanthropy" are entirely too naive.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #56
62. Their motives are not always pristine, sure, that's clear...
... But I would not characterize the foundation community as sinister. A lot of really good work gets paid for with that money.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #62
66. any good work they do for others is incidental to the good work they do for themselves,
which dwarfs the PR work.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #66
77. You don't know much about foundations (nt)
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 03:11 AM
Response to Reply #77
123. a lot more than you, apparently.
as you think they're something other than tax dodges for the rich.

"all those nice rich people who want to give us their money!!!"

sucker every minute.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. Yeah, it is the "shock doctrine" of education. Lois Weiner tells the truth about it.
Edited on Wed May-12-10 03:52 PM by tonysam
The World Bank is pushing for the wholesale privatization of public education--worldwide. The reason is because they believe education is a waste of money for most people.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #26
34. These groups are taking over our public schools. It is not okay.
They are controlling DC schools by paying merit bonuses for teachers.

They are controlling Detroit schools by paying Bobb's salary with Granholm's blessing.

And it is not just DC or Detroit. When they have the power by having the money, they control the systems.

We have billionaires taking over with Arne's blessing, and they will soon control public education with the blessing of the Democratic party.



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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #34
47. You are painting with a broad brush
You really should come to Detroit and talk to some of the folks here.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. It is not just Detroit. It is all over the country.
What happens to Detroit teachers and schools is happening because of policy enabling it. Public education will not survive this hostile takeover.

I doubt people there are much more aware than folks here in Florida. We are paying out millions in vouchers and other tax money to private and religious schools. One school in St. Pete alone owes a private company one million, and we are paying for that.

Imagine Charter in St. Pete a million in debt. Taxpayers will foot the bill.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Taking the "public" out of public schools.....happening quickly.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Faces of school reform. Too many billionaires.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

"a great and terrible charade"..school leaders and entrepreneurs triumphant at school closings?
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Discipline methods from a charter school that would get public school teachers in serious trouble.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

"Democracy Privatized!"...education blog talks about turning over public functions to the market.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Eli Broad: We dont know anything about how to teach or reading curriculum or any of that."
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Seems my taxpayer money will be sending many more to private schools....
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Two Florida charter schools in financial crisis. Taxpayer money is paying their debt.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Baton Rouge judges rules it is ok to give taxpayer money to charter schools.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Former GOP insider says "Billionaire Boys' Club" dismantling education.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Boston schools officials: We are not "firing" all teachers, just making them reapply.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

1994: Project Censorship The Sandia Report On Education. Showed schools improving. Not published.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

WP: It was a "sad, desperate" decision to fire all of R. I. school's teachers.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Parents at PS 15, an "A" school, ask state to intervene in PAVE charter invasion.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Two things: A clear concise indictment of charters, and a Chicago fight to stop school closings.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Harlem charter school head emails show very special access to NY school chancellor
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Living and dying by test scores: a charter faces probation for weeding out problem students.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Charter school exec led hearing to let his school invade a Bronx trade school.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Politically connected NY charter schools to receive 72 million in city money.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Established Bronx trade school may be replaced by untested academic charter school.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

A Bad Year for Teachers, a Bad Year for Public Education
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Protesting school closings in Chicago. They are closing schools without following procedure.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

KIPP charter school invades NY public school with "A" grade....read the views of both sides.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

Florida wants 1 billion of Arne's 4. 3 billion to hire corporate consultants. Unbelievable.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/...

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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. All situations and communities are different
You can't say Detroit's situation is "just the same" as the situation everywhere else.

In Detroit, there are some schools that were built for more than 1,000 students that have actual student populations of 300 or so. That's wasteful. It makes sense to consolidate.

As for charter schools ...that's not the main reason DPS is losing students. DPS is losing students mainly because Detroit has lost half its population over the past 40 years. Many who are left are elderly, empty-nesters or young people without kids. Detroit has FAR ewer school-age children than it used to have.

You can't assume that all the charter school kids would be in DPS schools if the charter schools were not there. In many -- maybe most -- cases, those families would have left the city by now.

Again, I'd love to have you come to Detroit and check things out for yourself.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. The policies are the problem. It is a national problem now.
Are you even reading what I said? I don't think so.

I will post about any city which is taking public money for questionable causes. And trust me, giving it to private foundations, corporations, CMOs or EMOs....is questionable.

Bye for now.

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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #52
83. bullshit
I am from Detroit, and the contention by you and others here that somehow because you are "from Detroit" - or one of the suburbs - that your view has more validity.

Funny I never hear much about racism, nor about the crushing of the unions and the disappearance of jobs from the suburbanites when they oh so authoritatively discuss the problems in Detroit.

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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #83
95. Crushing of the unions?
Why don't you ask madfloridan about her non-union Toyota before you go thanking her for comments regarding Detroit.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #95
96. LOL
That is funny.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #96
118. She's been using that line for ages now.
I am union, hubby is union. It's a way to try to discredit my education posts.
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Gaedel Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #52
93. Lucky......
I went to Denby High School in Detroit in 1953-1954. The student body was around 4,100. Today, Denby has about 1,500 students. Denby is in one of the better parts of the city which is still retaining population.

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 02:46 AM
Response to Reply #52
121. The policy & the money funding it is THE SAME, in Detroit, in Los Angeles, in New York,
in podunksville idaho.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 02:44 AM
Response to Reply #47
120. are you guys in the "broad brush" club or something? seems to be your
Edited on Sat May-15-10 02:45 AM by Hannah Bell
standard rebuttal to critique.

"you don't know about our special situation here in (florida, california, detroit, etc.) you're painting with the BROAD BRUSH!!!!"


The poster is correct. These groups ARE taking over the public schools - in florida, california, detroit & elsewhere. BIG FINANCIAL CAPITAL.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. it *is* a conspiracy.
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sufrommich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #24
38. I agree. It may be the only way to get people to move
to the city. People will not go where the schools are failing and the administration is as corrupt as Detroits was. It's easy to deride the extreme measures being taken when you live far away.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #38
59. that's not the conspiracy i'm talking about.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #38
133. that is not what happened
Edited on Sat May-15-10 12:10 PM by William Z. Foster
Racism is what caused the exodus from the city, and only then did the infrastructure and public schools begin to collapse. The city proper, stripped of its tax base and surrounded by hostile suburbs and a hostile government in Lansing has struggled ever since.

White people have spent the last 30 years dreaming up rational sounding excuses and euphemisms:

It isn't racism, it is home values.

It isn't racism, it is declining schools.

It isn't racism, it is decaying neighborhoods.

Back 30 or 40 years ago, the white suburbanites were at least more honest. When anyone expressed a progressive view or tried to talk about racism, they would say "you have to be here and see it. You don't know what they are like. Something needs to be done about them."

Now that same argument is couched in euphemisms - "you have to be here and see it. You don't know what things are like. Something needs to be done about these things."

Same tone of voice, same "solutions" proposed, same arguments, same arrogance and defensiveness.

This business of "it's easy to deride the extreme measures being taken when you live far away" is something we have heard all along, too. What it means is "we hope that the rest of the country doesn't pay too much attention to what we are doing here. We would like to go about 'solving' our unique 'problems' without any interference from outsiders, who do not understand what we face." They hope that no one looks to closely at what is happening, that no one challenges it.

That is exactly what the apartheid government in South Africa said, and for the same reasons.
"Don't judge us for our extreme measures, you don't know what we are facing. Butt out and let us handle it our own way. We understand the nature of this problem, and you do not."
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #133
141. OK, but it's 2010... what do we do now?
The past can't be changed. So, what happens now? It's easy to be a naysayer, harder to suggest solutions.

Doing nothing is not an option.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #141
144. "we" who?
Who is "we" and what do we do now about what, exactly?
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #144
156. Re-read your post
Edited on Mon May-17-10 12:09 AM by LuckyTheDog
And, read the rest of this thread to get the context.

The "we" is Detroiters (of which I a one). I was responding to your post bashing policies being pursued in Detroit by offering your theory but how Detroit got to where it is.

My response, once again is... the past cannot be changed. The issue is how do we, as a city, move forward to address the problems we face?

If you don't like what is happening, then what do you think SHOULD happen?
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #156
157. right
We are not talking about drastically remaking your neighborhood, are we? We are not talking about the problems in your neck of the woods, are we?

How come "Detroit" mean one thing in one context - "I am from Detroit and so I get to say what should be done!" - and another thing in another context - when it comes to the people directly affected by this?

You live in the "Detroit" that gets to boss people. The people being bossed live in this other "Detroit" that has a lot of problems that you are going to fix. That is exactly the point I have been trying to make, and you just made it for me.

Are the problems in this country being caused by the bosses, or by the bossed?

Where is the spiritual slum? Where are the perpetrators? Where are the ones setting the agenda, who have the power? Where are the ones who have driven the country off the cliff? Where are people sick, sick with racism, arrogance, callousness, cruelty, anti-social attitudes and behavior?

The suburbanites - almost 100% of them when asked the question about where the problems are, remarkably - will say "down there in Detroit! In the inner city! We need to do something!"

I say they are projecting.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #157
169. WTF are you talking about?
I live within a stone's throw of some of the most abandoned parts of Detroit. My neighborhood is nowhere near as stable as it once was. We have lots of empty houses and I fear my neighborhood could go down the same road to decay as other parts of the city.

So, yes, if folks are going to be relocated with the city's help, I would dearly love to see some of them relocated to my neighborhood. They'd be welcome. My neighborhood would embrace any new residents, just as it always has done.

I have no idea where that "bosses" and "bossed" thing comes from. You have no idea what you are talking about.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #169
195. fine
Then you should have no problem with anything I have said.

You have no idea how the "bosses" and the "bossed" might be a factor in politics in this country?
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #141
147. "doing nothing" only an option when it's poor black people carrying the burden
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #147
148. No. Doing nothing is NOT and option.
You seem to be against every idea for moving Detroit forward. I can't believe you really think doing nothing really is the city's best course.That would lead to bankruptcy and a state takeover. But then, maybe that's what you want.

One more try. Any ideas?
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #148
149. they've been "doing nothing" for decades. suddenly it's not an option because *you're* on the scene?
Edited on Sun May-16-10 06:29 PM by Hannah Bell
anyway, why are you here instead of acknowledging you were misinformed about charter school profit-making in your state?

how come people can't just say, gee, i guess i was wrong?

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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #149
150. Ummm.... so you really have no ideas?
I have little patience with people who want to slam (from afar) things being done to solve problems, but do not want to offer alternative ideas.

Sitting back from where you are and telling Detroiters that we should just do nothing and let problems sort themselves out is really kind of a bizarre position to take.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 04:14 AM
Response to Reply #150
162. I have plenty of ideas. It's not like if i waste my time telling you about them they're
Edited on Mon May-17-10 04:15 AM by Hannah Bell
going to be enacted, & it's not like the folks in charge haven't heard of them.

Your pretense that turning public schools over to private capital is the only possible option is disingenuous.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #162
171. Ummm
My "pretense that turning public schools over to private capital is the only possible option" is a figment of your imagination.

I merely pointed out that the establishment of NONPROFIT charter schools in Detroit helped stabilize the city by offering an acceptable option for parents who otherwise might have left for the suburbs.

Now: Again... any ideas? Even one? And where is that list of Detroit charter schools owned by for-profit companies?
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #149
155. I was not wrong
See my response above.

Also... I never brought up charter schools in the entire state. My comments were about charter schools in Detroit.

I do not know how charter schools are run in other parts of Michigan. And unlike some people, I do not pretend to be an expert about the goings-on in places I have never been to.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 03:02 AM
Response to Reply #155
159. 75% of michigan charters are managed for-profit, but all those in detroit are non-profit?
i think not, & in fact linked a for-profit EMO with a number of schools in detroit & the surrounding area.

shall i go through the entire list of detroit charters, or do you want to concede that you were mistaken when you said detroit charters were all non-profit?
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #159
165. Please name the Detroit charters owned by for-profits
Even the suburban "example" you gave turned out to be a non-profit charter school. If you know for sure that charter schools in Detroit are for-profit entities, then please provide at least a shred of evidence to back that up.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #165
198. i've claimed that 75% of michigan charters are managed for-profit,
not that they're privately "owned".

that would be against the law.

causes less resistance to slap the phoney "non-profit" sticker on them, then contract everything out to private corps.

including ownership of facilities, staffing, & curriculum, i.e. everything that makes a school a school.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #155
196. what are you arguing about?
What is the issue for you in this discussion, Lucky? Why are you arguing? What problem do you have with what the others are posting?
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-18-10 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #196
202. I have a problem with...
... people bashing Detroit from afar and offering no alternative to the solutions the locals are pursuing.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #23
36. You've been stunningly wrong wrt to Detroit though. It's OK if you don't live here and have INSIGHT.
:hi:
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. I'm a former resident of Oakland under Bobb's tenure here.
All the facts posted here about Bobb by Hannah and MF are completely correct. Which ones do you take issue with?
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. The poster in question has offered nothing but *characterizations*, no facts.
And my reference to her being stunningly wrong about Detroit is to her claim that Mayor Bing's effort to demolish derelict neighborhoods was a mere pretext for "Detroit's next land boom".

I've asked this poster at least a half a dozen times just when Detroit's last land boom was (perhaps you've heard that Detroit has lost over half of its population in the previous 50 years?)--I'm still waiting for a response. :shrug;

I get the distinct impression that both the OP and the poster in question's interests in Detroit are as nothing more than a prop. Notice how disinterested this poster is in opinions of people who actually put their feet on Detroit sidewalks today? :hi:
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Google "Hantz Farms"
There is certainly a "land grab" in the offing in that scam.

What *characterizations* do you find faulty then? That Bobb is an anti-union corporatist? You have a different POV? You could certainly enlighten us with your man-on-the-street impressions, if so.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. According to the Free Press, Mayor Bing opposes the Hantz Farms project
Edited on Wed May-12-10 04:45 PM by Romulox
(which would take place at the Michigan State Fair Grounds, and not the neighborhoods we were just discussing! :hi: )

This is why people get annoyed with being lectured at about their own communities--it's like a giant game of Telephone in which basic details are invariably botched. Just as you've done, just above. :hi:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100512/NEWS06/5120305/Bi...
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. The Fair Grounds is not their only proposal.
Nice try though! :hi:
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. Stop. Read. THEN lecture!
Gov. Jennifer Granholm appears to be readying to lease 40 acres at the Michigan State Fairgrounds to Hantz Farms -- a large-scale urban farming initiative. The mayor said he disagrees with the idea because he thinks the property should be developed in other ways.

http://www.freep.com/article/20100512/NEWS06/5120305/Bi...

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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. I've been following this story for months.
Edited on Wed May-12-10 05:11 PM by Starry Messenger
:shrug: You obviously just got to it today.

Did you read my subject line? The. Fair. Grounds. is. not. the. only. proposal. Hopefully a gentleman of your skill and probity would infer that there were other projects in the works.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/29/news/economy/farming_de...


That sounds like a buying opportunity, and in fact Detroit looks pretty good right now to a young artist or entrepreneur who can't afford anyplace else -- but not yet to an investor. The smart money sees no point in buying as long as fresh inventory keeps flooding the market. "In the target sites we have," says Hantz, "we every two weeks."

As Hantz began thinking about ways to absorb some of that inventory, what he imagined, he says, was a glacier: one broad, continuous swath of farmland, growing acre by acre, year by year, until it had overrun enough territory to raise the scarcity alarm and impel other investors to act. Rick Foster, an executive at the Kellogg Foundation whom Hantz sought out for advice, nudged him gently in a different direction.

Hantz says he's willing to put up the entire $30 million investment himself -- all cash, no debt -- and immediately begin hiring locally for full-time positions. But he wants two things first from Jackson at the DEGC: free tax-delinquent land, which he'll combine with his own purchases, he says (he's aiming for an average cost of $3,000 per acre, in line with rural farmland in southern Michigan), and a zoning adjustment that would create a new, lower tax rate for agriculture. There's no deal yet, but neither request strikes Jackson as unattainable. "If we have reasonable due diligence," he says, "I think we'll give it a shot."

Detroit mayor Dave Bing is watching closely. The Pistons Hall of Fame guard turned entrepreneur has had what his spokesman describes as "productive discussions" with Hantz. In a statement to Fortune, Bing says he's "encouraged by the proposals to bring commercial farming back to Detroit. As we look to diversify our economy, commercial farming has some real potential for job growth and rebuilding our tax base."

Hantz, for his part, says he's got three or four locations all picked out ("one of them will pop") and is confident he'll have seeds in the ground "in some sort of demonstration capacity" this spring. "Some things you've got to see in order to believe," he says, waving his cigar. "This is a thing you've got to believe in order to see."


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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #46
50. Your problem with urban farming is what?
Edited on Wed May-12-10 06:01 PM by LuckyTheDog
Would you prefer that large sections of Detroit remain empty, trash-strewn wastelands in which virtually none of the land is on the tax rolls anymore? I ask that because, just mile or so from where I sit now, that's the status quo.

This city has more territory than Manhattan, Boston and Cambridge, Mass. COMBINED. But our population hovers at around 800,000. Urban farms sound better to me than empty lots and burned-out buildngs.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. Did I say I had a problem with it?
:shrug: I have a problem with bankers grabbing up land for dirt cheap and proposing "farms" with nebulous plans. I actually think he's going to sit on the land, create scarcity, and then build condos. That, I do have a problem with. But I guess if it brings in the ol' middle class and chases out all the scary poor people, things will be just fine.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. Ya know what...
If "greedy banks" grabbed up a lot of empty land in Detroit, put up condos and attracted a lot of middle-class and rich people to live in the city, most people here would call that a miracle. We'd probably have a parade. This city needs taxpayers ASAP.

We are not talking here about "chasing out the poor people." In Detroit, the issue is whether empty lots will be on the tax rolls, or revert to habitat for pheasants and coyotes. Seriously. It has literally come to that.

Detroit is so under-populated now that land speculation of the kind you suggest is nearly impossible. Add to that all the non-developed, available land in the suburbs and I don't see land scarcity being a problem here for decades -- if ever.

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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. I'm just telling you what I'm reading.
I have no idea how it is all going to fall out. Hantz has made the statement more than once that he sees this as a once in a life-time opportunity. I can't read his mind. It may well all come to nothing, as you say. I think it's shitty that he is trying to do this under cover of a "farm" scheme that so far has been secretive and contradictory and is also trying to get the taxes lowered to what farms pay outside the city. There are people in the community there who are also tracking this project:

http://www.michigancitizen.com/default.asp?sourceid=&sm...


Hantz Farms is in negotiation with the city and the state for swaths of land on Detroits near east side and on the Michigan State Fairgrounds. Financial services entrepreneur John Hantz is reportedly ready to invest $30 million into a commercial urban farming venture that will encompass that land. Hantz representatives have described a new Detroit full of fruit orchards, tree farms and indoor vegetable gardens utilizing vacant industrial buildings. Score says that Hantzs financial clout will get vacant land back on the tax rolls while creating a viable farming operation throughout the city, while emphasizing the commercial nature of Hatnz Farms. He says that competition with smaller growers shouldnt be an issue. He envisions a Detroit city with several large farms and an abundance of small to mid-size farms.

Were really producing for a larger-scale buyer who has a different set of food compliance needs than the small gardener can meet, Score told the Michigan Citizen. We envision about 80 percent of our product being sold to large-scale buyers in the wholesale market. That 80 percent will have no affect on the smaller scale ventures that are thriving in the Detroit marketplace now. Score estimates that Hantz will begin operations as soon as this summer, most likely on 40 acres of the State Fairgrounds. The State Fairgrounds farm is contingent on a real estate deal between the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority and the state. One-hundred more acres are being developed on undisclosed locations on the near east side. In addition, Hantz has tested soil in 58 other communities around the Detroit area.

Community activists are worried about a potential land grab at below market value.

But Score says that Hantz will keep land bought specifically for farming as is, calling those projects a long-term multi-generational commitment.

Score added, however, that Hantz would be open to selling land to developers that sat adjacent to thriving communities, saying that, when hes going to buy land to sell it, hell make that clear.

He also admitted that at some time, land on the edges of his agricultural developments might be for sale.

Hantz Farms is putting land back on the tax rolls, but at what reduced tax rate? Score says that issue is still in the negotiation phase, adding that, What were asking for is that the tax authorities work with us so that the tax rate allows us to compete with other farms in southeast Michigan.



These "farms" he is talking that are already there are neighborhood community gardens--a much smaller project than an actual farm. He has never addressed how he is going to deal with the toxins in the ground or how the rest of the city is supposed to work around his "farm". I don't know, I just think it's worth keeping an eye on. I really don't think he is farming.


http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/29/news/economy/farming_de...



Hantz, meanwhile, has no patience for what he calls "fear-based" criticism. He has a hard time concealing his contempt for the nonprofit sector generally. ("Someone must pay taxes," he sniffs.) He also flatly rejects the idea that he's orchestrating some kind of underhanded land grab. In fact, Hantz says that he welcomes others who might want to start their own farms in the city. "Viability and sustainability to me are all that matters," he says.

And yet Hantz is fully aware of the potentially historic scope of what he is proposing. After all, he's talking about accumulating hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of acres inside a major American city. And it's clear that he views Hantz Farms as his legacy. Already he's told his 21-year-old daughter, Lauren, his only heir, that if she wants to own the land one day, she has to promise him she'll never sell it. "This is like buying a penthouse in New York in 1940," Hantz says. "No one should be able to afford to do this ever again."
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #54
61. I'm not sure the farm thing is a scheme
Folks here seem to be really pretty serious about urban farming. We'll see. But I am more optimistic than you -- and I live here.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #53
58. detroit is not particularly "underpopulated" in comparison with other cities.
Edited on Wed May-12-10 11:02 PM by Hannah Bell
It's the 11th biggest city in the US.

Detroit

area: 138 sq mi.
population: 900K people
density: 6,500/sq mi


Portland Ore.

area: 145 sq mi
population: 582K people
density: 4300/sq mi


Seattle Wa.

area: 143 sq mi
population: 600K
density: 713/sq mi


san diego

area: 372 sq mi
population: 1.3 million
density: 4174/sq mi


all figures from wikipedia: city proper, not metro


The only "problem" Detroit has is it's populated by A LOT OF POOR PEOPLE. Who the PTB have designated for removal, even if they're property owners.




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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #58
60. You should see the vacant land here
Have you SEEN Detroit? There are blocks and blocks of vacant land here. And nobody is talking about removing anybody from the city.

I get a little impatient with people from far away, with little knowledge of the specifics, lecturing me about what should happen in the place where I live and have in invested my meager amount of money into buying a home. Here is the deal:

This is not about displacing oodles of poor people to make way for the affluent. Really. Thats true for a lot of reasons among them the simple fact that the affluent people of southeast Michigan just are not chomping at the bit to live in the city.

Yes, a few people would be relocated with the citys financial help -- all to better, more stable neighborhoods if the plans go forward. But it would not be many. Again, were talking about tearing down areas that have been mostly abandoned so that our police, fire and road-maintenance resources can be redeployed in a way we can afford.

I live in one of Detroits more stable neighborhoods and even here we have a lot of empty houses. I know this neighborhood well. Wed welcome with open arms anybody who was relocated here. And in many cases, I think folks living among empty lots and burned-out hulks would jump at the chance to get to move to a more stable place. If somebody really, really wants to stay where they are, the political will to evict people by force is not evident to me.

Bottom line: I do not think we here in Detroit should have to bear the burden of vacant land, empty buildings and a dwindling tax base and financial insolvency of the city just because a few folks on the outside are worried that some of the empty, land might get developed into condos (instead of being used for illegal dumping).

I think Detroiters can be trusted to handle things in a fair, nuanced manner. We sure as heck would love to get some outside help in finding a path forward for our city. But what we do not need are lectures from folks who have never even been here and dont know crap.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #60
65. via google street view, yes.
you're worried about the house you invested in "with your little money".

this discussion began when plans were announced to move people out of the homes they *also* invested money in -- & pay them "market price" for their property, which is in many cases nowhere near enough for them to buy another house anywhere.

this is my objection, particularly as some of the people being dispossessed are older. i don't think that's either fair or nuanced.

i think if the same were done to you, you'd be yelling about it too.

sorry you don't like lectures, too bad.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #65
76. OK, then
I'll put you down as on record in favor of urban decay, inaction and stagnation. But I don't have to be on that side. I want Detroit to recover.

I repeat: I don't see ANY evidence of an attempt to actually force anyone out of their homes. But, imagine you lived in the one occupied house on your street -- and were surrounded by empty lots and burned-out shells of buildings. We have people here in that situation. I think many of them would welcome financial assistance toward moving to an actual neighborhood. I support using my tax dollars to offer that assistance. I want the city to be as generous as it can be.

Not only could such a plan help people stranded in blighted, nearly abandoned areas, it would help me, too, in two main ways:

1) The city cannot afford to maintain city services across its entire land mass, so consolidating the population would help the city's finances a lot. And that's no little thing. Detroit is nearly bankrupt. It also makes sense to do it now, when home prices in even the better parts of the city are extremely depressed and the city has a lot of tax-foreclosed properties on its books.

2) To the extent that some people end up re-settling near me, such a plan could help stabilize my neighborhood. I really don't care if the city ends up giving those folks tax-foreclosed houses for free, if that is what it takes. An occupied house is better than an unoccupied house any day. Let them come.

Again: You really, really should take a first-hand look at the situation here.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #76
84. i said nothing like that. & whatever your personal feelings, the last i heard
the homeowners being "cleansed" are to be paid MARKET VALUE.

Which can equal as little as $895 for what looks like a functional home, i see from perusing the Detroit real estate listings.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #84
112. First off, I don't think anyone will be forced to leave.
But it is legitimate to consider whether the city can continue to provide services to areas of town where very few houses are left standing and the neighborhoods around them have disappeared.

In those cases, I favor offering incentives big enough to allow them to move to populated areas. In the case of homeowners, that would mean buying their homes for more than market value and helping them move. Nothing else would achieve that goal. In the case of renters (which would be the vast majority of the people affected) that would mean paying their moving expenses and providing any other help they would need. Investor-owned homes should be condemned and purchased for market value.

In most cases, I think people would jump at decent incentives to get out of bombed-out, bandoned areas. For those who don't, they should be allowed to stay.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 02:57 AM
Response to Reply #112
122. well, if *you* don't think so, i'm sure it won't happen. even though the people running your city
Edited on Sat May-15-10 03:10 AM by Hannah Bell
have expressly said that's the plan: to condemn homes & pay the owners market value.

but now that they know *you* "don't think it will happen," i'm sure they'll rewrite their plans.


lol. they don't give a damn about anyone living in a home valued at $2K. those people are powerless & they'll run right over them unless a lot of people get pissed about it & make a stink.

*you're* not going to do anything about it but think nice thoughts, so they're going to get railroaded, because no one in power cares what you "think" either.

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2010/02/is_...


Local eminent domain attorney Alan Ackerman says Mayor Dave Bing's ambitious plan to demolish blighted properties and relocate residents from desolate to stable neighborhoods is not only constitutional, it is necessary...

The city would be required to pay homeowners 125 percent of their home's value, give them time to move and provide other relocation benefits.

http://cei.org/articles/2010/03/09/avoid-land-grabs-whi... .


median home value in detroit = $7500

where do you think someone's going to be able to buy a house for $9375, eh?

They're going to be on the streets or living with a family member if they've got any.

But it's just poor people, so it doesn't matter if you steal their property. So long as the home *you* spent *your* "hard-earned money" on benefits.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #122
139. City Council has not even debated this, let alone passed a plan
Edited on Sat May-15-10 06:18 PM by LuckyTheDog
In fact, no plan for relocating people has even been completed. And, as someone with knowledge of the situation here, I see no evidence of any will to move anyone out of their homes by force.

You are speculating.

You also have not said what you think Detroit SHOULD do to address the very real problems it is facing. Bankruptcy? That would bring in the state to run the city and cause even worse dislocation.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #139
146. no, their lawyer's just making the case for the plan in the media. what do you think eminent domain
means?

it means taking people out of their homes by force.
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #58
63. The difference being...
that Detroit is a city built for 2 million people and there's now 900,000. Those other cities have not lost over half their populations. Seriously....you are so misinformed when it comes to Detroit and its problems.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #63
64. same area, more people than portland oregon. that's not "misinformation," sorry.
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #64
68. You are misinformed
Edited on Thu May-13-10 01:21 PM by blue_onyx
Detroit was developed to have 2 million people living in the city. Since it has lost more than half its population, Detroit now has large areas with buildings falling down, garbage, no lighting, and very few, if any, occupants. I doubt this is a problem in Portland. Portland has not lost half its population. I've never been to Portland but more than likely it has more undeveloped, wooded land than Detroit. The plan in Detroit is to allow unpopulated areas to return to nature and focus on sustainable neighborhoods.

You are taking random facts and making incorrect conclusions. I'll repeat it again....you have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to Detroit and its problems.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #68
69. the facts are correct. so far as density goes, detroit isn't "underpopulated".
Edited on Thu May-13-10 01:40 PM by Hannah Bell
that detroit has lost population doesn't make it "underpopulated".

i have no problem with detroit developing empty land, or letting it return to nature, or whatever it wants.

my objection is to detroit kicking people out of homes they paid for & own & paying them "market value" (which is in some cases not enough to pay their moving cost, let alone another home) -- then effectively giving the land to rich developers.

one doesn't have to live in a city to know that's wrong.

and the pattern has occurred in other cities, so one doesn't have to live in detroit to recognize it.

but since your position is that only living in or around a place gives one "standing" to discuss it, as outsiders can't know the "details," i expect you to refrain from discussion of arizona's anti-immigrant laws & similar developments.

you don't know the details & the peculiarities of the area, after all.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #69
79. So, those tens of thousands of abandoned houses...
... don't really exist? All those totally empty blocks where all the houses have been torn down -- those are just in my imagination?
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #79
85. If they're abandoned, I have no objection to the city doing whatever it wants with them, & I doubt
Edited on Fri May-14-10 04:31 PM by Hannah Bell
anyone else does either.

I object to forcing small homeowners out & paying them less than it will cost them to buy another home; i.e. I object TO MAKING PEOPLE HOMELESS.

Pretty straightforward.

And I particularly object to it when the plan is to turn around & give the property to rich people for a song.
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Gaedel Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #69
106. See if this will post, never tried it before.....
Edited on Fri May-14-10 06:46 PM by Gaedel
The building marked "Finney High School" in the center used to be Andrew Jackson Intermediate School. i went there d=for the 7th and 8th grades. When I went there, every single lot there was built up with solid middle class houses dating from the 1925 to 1940 time frame. There were no vacant lots. Now look at it.






<iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8& ;ll=42.389915,-82.952442&spn=0.007163,0.019634&t=h&z=16&output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8& ;ll=42.389915,-82.952442&spn=0.007163,0.019634&t=h&z=16&source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>


Edit to add: No, it didn't post, sorry
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #106
111.  You are mixing 2 different issues
The issue of school closings -- which must take place because the student population has plummeted city-wide - is one thing.

A separate (but related) issue is whether the city can continue to provide services to areas of town where very few houses are left standing and the neighborhoods around them have disappeared. In those cases, I favor offering incentives that would allow them to move to populated areas. In the case of homeowners, that could mean buying their homes for a lot more than market value and helping them move. In the case of renters (which probably would be most of the people affected) that would mean paying their moving expenses and providing any other help they would need. Investor-owned homes should be condemned ad purchased for market value.

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 03:18 AM
Response to Reply #111
124. It's nice that you "favor" that, but that's not what's happening.
The announced plan is to condemn people's homes & pay them 125% of market value.

Which, for the median home in detroit, is right under $10K.

Why don't you go talk to the mayor about your concerns?

Because they're already getting ready to fight the legal challenges they know will follow. Which tells me they don't give a damn about what happens to those people, they want to get off cheap.

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2010/02/is_...


"Local eminent domain attorney Alan Ackerman says Mayor Dave Bing's ambitious plan to demolish blighted properties and relocate residents from desolate to stable neighborhoods is not only constitutional, it is necessary...

The city would be required to pay homeowners 125 percent of their home's value, give them time to move and provide other relocation benefits.

Bing expects legal challenges, and while Ackerman believes the plan is constitutionally sound, he said the state legislature could step in if necessary...."

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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #124
140. No details have been passed by city council
In fact, things are at a really early stage. So... You are speculating.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #140
188. i'm not speculating when the lawyers are in the papers defending the plan.
Edited on Mon May-17-10 02:58 PM by Hannah Bell
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #111
138. other way around
The tax base was destroyed and services cut, and then decline set in.

The plan is this: herd poor people into small segregated ghettos, and free up land for well-heeled investors to create little yuppie enclaves and make oodles of money. That anyone claiming to be anything other than a "free market" right winger could support and promote this boggles the mind.

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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #50
90. oh, gosh I don't know
Same objections that I have to colonialism and to plantation farming, I guess.

Let's tear down the suburbs and put farms up there. That is where prime farmland was destroyed, that is what drove the farmers farther form the city center. That is what destroyed the public transportation system. That is what sucked the wealth out of the city of Detroit.

The people in the suburbs want all of the advantages of living in a major urban area while taking up none of the responsibilities. Cowards and free-loaders.

Thanks mf, starry and Hannah - I am too angry to talk to these people.
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Gaedel Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #90
98. "sucked the wealth out of Detroit"????
The "wealth" of Detroit was its manufacturing facilities. These were becoming progressively obsolescent and worn out. Materials handling by freight elevators and brute force was giving way to handling by forklifts in a one story factory. By 1955, Detroit was completely built out. There was no significant amount of vacant land. The new factories were built outside the city because they could assemble a significant plot of land at a relatively low price. There is no way that the GM Tech Center Complex could have been built in the city. At the end of WWII, the city was badly overcrowded. Families were doubled up with several generations in one house. There were massive "war housing" projects with quonset huts or wood and tar paper buildings. People looking for an escape from this and buying a 1,200 square foot ranch house north of 8 mile were "sucking the wealth" out of the city?

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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #98
101. no
Edited on Fri May-14-10 06:23 PM by William Z. Foster
The wealth in Detroit was generated by the workers.

New factories were built by management on the outskirts, from the very beginning, to escape taxation. "There is no way this or that could have been built in Detroit" you say. The facilities were built in Detroit, in the Detroit area, they were merely built outside of the political control of the workers, that is all.

Overcrowding at the end of the war was a function of the war economy and troops returning home.

Yes, the moving of the tax base outside of the borders of the political control of the city, and the fragmentation of the workers into suburban enclaves - playing on racial fears and holding out promises of a better life - most certainly drained the wealth out of the city, away from the workers, and into the hands of the few. Of course. That there should be any controversy about this is a relatively modern thing, and the fact that Democrats are parroting the management line is new and disturbing, as well. Middle management types from the industry in the 50's and 60's were less right wing than many Democrats are today about this, and less in denial about it.

How did the bastion of organized Labor become so reactionary and pro-management?
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #42
67. he doesn't oppose the project, he just doesn't like that particular site.
&, ps, you think some details don't get, ahem, "distorted" in the process of transmission from the movers & shakers to you "locals"?

dream on, you don't know much more than someone reading the newspaper from afar.

by their works, buddy.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #40
71. you're from dearborn. 1.2% black, 86% white, median household income $44K.
Edited on Thu May-13-10 02:05 PM by Hannah Bell
not from detroit, 82%, median household income $29K.

detroit proper lost about 1 million people since the 50s. detroit metro gained over 1 million people since the 50s.

not like they all vanished into thin air, or wouldn't live in the city if not for all the scary poor/black people.

the pattern isn't unique to detroit. you seem to think it's some special case. it's not.


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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. You can't be serious?
This nonsense again? This is the second time I've seen you question someone from the Detroit area because they don't live in the city. Ridiculous.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #72
73. poster chastises others for not understanding the "details" of life in detroit, but is from dearborn
where the "details" are quite different.
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #73
74. YOU DON'T EVEN LIVE IN THE STATE!!!!
If someone who lives in suburbs can't possibly understand the problems of Detroit because "the "details" are quite different" then an out-of-state poster like you must be completely clueless (which you are).

BTW, Dearborn borders Detroit. You have no idea how much time he spends in the city. Your arguments regarding Detroit are so misinformed and irrational...I'll just move on.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #74
75. don't like the logic when applied tp yourself, do you?
Edited on Thu May-13-10 03:19 PM by Hannah Bell
i know he doesn't *live* there, & you don't know how much time *i've* spent there, if i have relatives or friends there, etc.

there are plenty of detroiters who do indeed believe there's fishy stuff going on with the plans for the "redevelopment" of detroit.
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #75
78. What are you talking about?
I was simply pointing out that if him living outside Detroit makes him unqualified to judge the city's problems then you are even less qualified. It was your "logic" that doesn't make sense.

Based on all your inaccurate posts about Detroit, I feel confident in saying you have never been within the city of Detroit. If you had been, you would have mentioned your personal experiences in the numerous Detroit posts you've made. Additionally, you've mentioned in a past thread to having never been in a Detroit school so clearly you didn't grow up in the city.

I'll just ask the questions to be sure...have you ever lived in Detroit? Have you ever visited Detroit? Do you have friends or family that live in Detroit?

"there are plenty of detroiters who do indeed believe there's fishy stuff going on with the plans for the "redevelopment" of Detroit."

Really? Funny that I haven't seen any of these posters in the Detroit threads. Why don't you go create a thread in the Michigan forum. Create a poll and ask people to vote on whether they like Mayor Bing's proposals.

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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #78
80. Thanks for that
I personally have a dog in this fight -- several, actually. I live in the city, own a home here and have a child in school (yes, it IS an "evil" charter school) in Detroit. And, my wife is a long-time city employee. I certainly don't need lectures about what is good for Detroiters from people who don't know squat.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #80
87. The people whom Bobb is planning to dispossess for a few thousand also own homes
Edited on Fri May-14-10 04:36 PM by Hannah Bell
in the city.

But their homes don't matter. They must become homeless for the greater good of folks like you.

You seem to think you're a representative sample. I bet you're not.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #87
113. Where did I say people should be made homeless?
Now you are just making thnings up.

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #113
115. i didn't say you did. BUT THAT'S WHAT THE PLAN IS: HOMEOWNERS WHOSE HOMES
ARE IN THE WAY TO BE PAID "MARKET VALUE".

That is my major objection to what's going on in Detroit; that & the planned land giveaways to the rich (on the backs of those folks who must "unfortunately" be dispossessed for the "greater good").


You may not favor it, but that is the plan that was announced, & I haven't noticed you decrying it or fighting it -- just joining in the slanging match on me. Every one of your posts has been about how it's "necessary" to follow the mayor's plan, & how i don't understand anything because i don't live there.

I understand slum clearance & urban renewal & "planned shrinkage" & "benign neglect" quite well, because Detroit is only one of a long list of cities who went before, & in every case, low-income people get screwed, often DELIBERATELY, TO REMOVE THEM.

History didn't begin when you were born.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #78
86. I was applying the poster's logic. I don't endorse it, but since he first made the claim
that only Detroiters can understand Detroit, I applied the same to him.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #78
88. damn suburbanites
Edited on Fri May-14-10 04:38 PM by William Z. Foster
The enemy - that is how I see them. Not all, of course, but there is most definitely some sort of mob psychology out there that permeates everyone's thinking to some extent. Racism is a big part of that.

I know Detroit inside out - every nook and cranny, every neighborhood. {b]Detroit - not Royal Oak, not Westland, not Dearborn, not Romulus, not Garden City and whatever else.

I am in deep and profound state of grief about what has happened to my city. It has been done in by the "winners" - and they built and are living in the suburbs.

I was born and raised and lived most of my life in the city, and I am here to tell you that Hannah and starrymessenger and madfloridian have a much better understanding of the city than any of you Detroit area suburbanites could ever hope to have.

If you think this post is "broad brush" or hostile, know that it is the fifth edit and that my first few attempts were vastly more harsh than what I am writing now. I cannot begin to express my disgust over this.

The posts by you and others here bring back decades of pain listening to smug and arrogant attitudes from suburbanites, as the city was slowly destroyed and butchered and abandoned and destroyd. Awful. Just awful.
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #88
94. Nonsense
The posts by Hannah regarding Detroit are complete nonsense. How on earth would a person who hasn't even stepped foot in the city be more informed on Detroit? Seriously, I would like you to address her comments and show how she has a superior understanding of Detroit. I can't see one comment from Hannah that shows even the slightest understanding of Detroit.

You are perpetuating the Detroit vs. suburbs bullshit that is holding the metropolitan area back. You are no better than the "smug and arrogant suburbanites."
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #94
97. oh really?
"The Detroit vs. suburbs bullshit that is holding the metropolitan area back."

That is a revealing comment.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #72
82. Detroiter here
And, yes, I will say without qualification that perhaps nowhere is the city more poorly understood than by people in the surrounding suburbs.

That may or may not apply to you, but this "I live there" stuff from suburbanites gets a bit old.

It is not in the least bit ridiculous to question the observations of people living in the suburbs. The contrast in the mentalities and attitudes between city and suburb in the Detroit area is stunning and very relevant to any and all discussions about the future of the city of Detroit. There is nothing that is more relevant.
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #82
100. Nice
So it's not "ridiculous to question the observations of people living in the suburbs" but it is ridiculous to question people who have never even visited the city? That makes no sense.

You are praising anti-union posters while questioning others because they dared to live in the suburbs. I can't understand that. The suburbs and city are intertwined, whether you want to admit it or not. One of the keys to Michigan's future is a revitalized Detroit. I hope the city vs. suburbs views that many, including you, have doesn't stop every community in the state from achieving a prosperous future.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #100
104. didn't say that
I cannot imagine growing up or living in the Detroit suburbs and not being continually bombarded with reactionary, racist and pro-management talking points. It is worse than any other place in the country for that. Ergo, that means that the opinions of suburbanites who are saying "I am from Detroit and therefore know what I am talking about" should be viewed with suspicion if any point of view ever should.

I am not "questioning others because they dared to live in the suburbs" I am responding to their claims to have special knowledge because they live in the Detroit suburbs.

You sound like a chamber of commerce spokesperson with your "the suburbs and city are intertwined, whether you want to admit it or not. One of the keys to Michigan's future is a revitalized Detroit. I hope the city vs. suburbs views that many, including you, have doesn't stop every community in the state from achieving a prosperous future."

It is the suburban governments who have consistently denied that "the suburbs and city are intertwined." That has been a chronic problem for decades. Now you want to turn reality about that upside down - now that there are exploitation and investment opportunities in the city. The political representatives from the suburbs in Lansing have done everything they could to destroy Detroit. They have been the main obstacle to exactly the sort of progress that now - NOW when there is loot to be made - are praising and promoting.

Water. Tell me about water and how the suburbs have cooperated with Detroit. Public transportation. Tell me about public transportation and how the suburbs have cooperated with Detroit.
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #104
107. Ok...
Edited on Fri May-14-10 06:49 PM by blue_onyx


"I cannot imagine growing up or living in the Detroit suburbs and not being continually bombarded with reactionary, racist and pro-management talking points. "

I grew up mostly in the suburbs (I lived in Detroit until I was 8) and that's not my experience at all. You clearly have very false stereotype of a suburban person. Since you have not lived in the suburbs, your opinion "should be viewed with suspicion." I guess your view of the suburbs is just as distorted as you claim the views of suburbanite are toward the city.

"You sound like a chamber of commerce spokesperson with your"

My statement is true regardless of your lame attempt at an insult.

"how the suburbs have cooperated with Detroit."

I agree...the suburbs haven't been as cooperative as they should be. I think L. Brooks Patterson is the worst offender when it comes to lack of cooperation. I wish you and Patterson would both stop with the suburbs vs. city nonsense.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #107
108. look
We could go together to anywhere people are gathering in the suburbs there - party, bar, coffee house - and hear the most inflammatory hatred and racism expressed toward the city. You know it, I know it. The only way anyone could be unaware of it were if they were so steeped in it, had so internalized it that they can't see it any more.

"The suburbs haven't been as cooperative as they should be?" Good grief. It has been war from the beginning.

This is not about individual people and where they happen to live. It is Detroit area suburbanites who started this by attacking others and claiming to have some sort of insider or special knowledge. I am responding to that and pointing out that it is no necessarily so.

If a person lives in the suburbs and is sympathetic to the city of Detroit, they will then find themselves continually swimming against the current. Would you deny that? Is it your experience, do you often find yourself swimming against the current?

So are we now going to say that those who have not lived in the suburbs are insensitive to their needs and sensitivities? That those defending the city are no better than racist overt haters like Patterson? What you are expressing with those comments is exactly what I am complaining about. "Can't we all just get along (providing no one questions the existing racism, the social, financial and political inequality)." This attempt to appear "moderate" and "neutral" while attacking those fighting for justice and defending those with power and wealth is the problem. Many suburbanites want us to see this as the "liberal" or "progressive" position. I am calling it reactionary and conservative, because that is what it is.
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #108
110. No I don't know it
This "the suburbs is full of racist" is bullshit. Like I said, I truly think your views of the suburbs are distorted and incorrect. Of course there's racist in the suburbs but there's racists in every city in this country.

Nobody attacked "others and claiming to have some sort of insider or special knowledge." It was Hannah who attacked others and claimed that they are uninformed regarding Detroit because they live in the suburbs. This attack made NO sense considering she doesn't live in the city either.

I'll say it again. Your bigoted views of the suburbs are no better than the bigoted views that some suburbanites have of Detroit. You can continue with your self-righteousness if you want but it won't help improve the situation in Detroit. If you want to go around randomly calling people racists, go for it. I'll just move along to another topic because clearly you have no interest in a real discussion since you view yourself the one "fighting for justice" and everyone else as "reactionary and conservative."
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #110
114. racism does not go "both ways"
Edited on Fri May-14-10 08:26 PM by William Z. Foster
Racism and bigotry do not "go both ways" no matter how hard the right wing pundits try to convince us of that. Suburbanites, as a class, are not persecuted, oppressed or disadvantaged.

I have not called anyone a racist. I claim that racism permeates the society. You disagree with that? You aren't seeing it, you say. I thought it odd that one "from Detroit" who is dismissing the OP about charter schools - you apparently support them - would talk about the problems of the city so authoritatively and yet not mention racism.

I did not "go around randomly calling people racists." I never call anyone a racist - I think it is meaningless and weak to do so. Racism exists in words, attitudes and actions, not in some interior state of being - "he 'is' a racist." I said that racism was rampant in the suburbs. It was you who took that personally and presumed it was directed at you, and then argued back. Why would that be? I say that racism is a main factor in the decline of Detroit, and that you routinely hear racist comments in the suburbs. Who would respond to that with "that's not true!!" and then attack me as being bigoted against the suburbs? Can't you see that you have illustrated my point for me?

You would have us believe that it is both the racists and those objecting to racism who are equally to blame for Detroit's problems. Who would argue that, and whom does that serve?

No Hannah did not attack others, the others attacked people because they "were not from Detroit" and so therefore did not understand what is going on. She pointed out that the "from Detroit" crowd was actually from the suburbs. You denied that this mattered. Well, my friend, I am from Detroit and it very much matters and I agree with the people you tried to dis,miss and invalidate because they are not from Detroit. Ergo, your entire argument - that you initiated - has now collapsed into a steaming pile of smoldering ruin. Your response - you try the old right wing reversal trick, claim that I am bigoted, that I don't know what it is like in the suburbs (notice how you have abandoned you original premises here about you knowing the city) etc.

You out and out say here "treat us white suburbanites well if you want any help for Detroit" - "you can continue with your self-righteousness if you want but it won't help improve the situation in Detroit."

I did not say that I am fighting for justice, I said that you are taking the oppositional position against those who are. I didn't say that "everyone else is reactionary and conservative" I said that your remarks were.
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #114
116. So much bullshit
Edited on Fri May-14-10 11:33 PM by blue_onyx
"I said that racism was rampant in the suburbs. I say that racism is a main factor in the decline of Detroit, and that you routinely hear racist comments in the suburbs"

And I said you are wrong. I'm in the suburbs everyday and do not "routinely hear racist comments."


"Well, my friend, I am from Detroit and it very much matters and I agree with the people you tried to dis,miss and invalidate because they are not from Detroit."

Well, if you want to play this game, LuckyTheDog lives in Detroit and share my views.


"Ergo, your entire argument - that you initiated - has now collapsed into a steaming pile of smoldering ruin"

I didn't initiated the argument. Feel free to look through the thread before you makes yourself look foolish again.


"You out and out say here "treat us white suburbanites well if you want any help for Detroit"

That's a flat out lie. That's not what I said. I said that the negative bullshit you've said about the suburbs is just as bad as the negative view suburbanites have of Detroit.

I seriously never thought I would use the ignore function but you made it a first for me. A different opinion is one thing but lying about the things I've said is another. Have a good life.
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Egnever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 03:53 AM
Response to Reply #116
126. You would do yourself a favor to ignore these two
They are a tag team pair. You will find them on thread after thread spewing nonsense and patting each other on the back.

God bless ya for trying though.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 04:02 AM
Response to Reply #126
128. Speaking of tag teams... it's mr. contentless personal attack himself.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #126
134. I think it was valuable
I was hoping to draw some suburbanites out so that people here could see the hostility and close-minded attitudes. Understanding the problems in Detroit really requires seeing that aspect of the problem. Perhaps nowhere else in the country is do we hear such an aggressive and relentless effort at burying the subject of racism and making sure that no one challenges the denial about it.

The city of Detroit has been systematically isolated and starved for funds and services, all for the benefit of the suburbs - arbitrary political demarcations around the city set up for the exact purpose of creating segregated enclaves, and allowing the upper 10% to continue to draw wealth from Detroit without taking any responsibility for the well being of the city, without paying their fair share for the maintenance of the public infrastructure. Now they want to clear it out and create investment opportunities there for the well-off and gentrify the place. Liberals and progressives (!!!) are defending and promoting these schemes.

Since what I am saying here is all clearly consistent with what has happened to the country, what is happening everywhere, the very fact that there are people on this thread denying that it could even be remotely possible that this is "ethnic cleansing" and "a land grab" is stunning. The positions that people are taking here on this are 100% the Reagan Republican positions, but for some reason when it comes to Detroit I guess it is supposed to be OK for liberals and progressives to take those positions and no one should challenge them on those.

Your other remarks are pure projection. I see the same people using the same tactics and arguing the same reactionary side to issue after issue. They do not so much argue r debate as they do try to break up and disrupt any intelligent discussion, by bullying and making personal attacks. "Tag team pair" and "spewing nonsense" and "patting each other on the back" are perfect examples of just that.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #134
145. it was. their only argument was "you don't know because you're not from detroit".
Edited on Sat May-15-10 11:04 PM by Hannah Bell
as long as they could divert with that, they were in business.

but since *you're* also from detroit -- they don't have any more herring to fling about, so they've disappeared.

i guess.
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Gaedel Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 05:15 AM
Response to Reply #104
130. Detroit destroyed public transport
Southeastern Michigan once had one of the most comprehensive networks of streetcars and interurban railways in the nation. A succession of Detroit mayors beginning with Hazen Pingree and going through James Couzens (aided and abetted by the Detroit newspapers) continuously campaigned against the transit companies (first horse cars, then electric streetcars). Finally, Couzens refused to renew the expiring charters for the use of Detroit streets and Detroit United Railways was forced to sell the city streetcar lines to a government entity, Detroit Street Railways, for about a third of their value. DSR quickly raised fares something that Couzens had not allowed the DUR to do. The DUR interurban trains were to be allowed to use the streetcar tracks to get their suburban trains into town. DSR raised the fees on that so that the suburban lines became too unprofitable to use the tracks. DUR attempted to establish stations at the city limits where the suburban passengers could transfer to buses to continue downtown, but the inconvenience further reduced ridership. By 1932, most of the lines outside the city limits had been abandoned.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #130
137. massive pressure
There was massive pressure from private interests on the politicians to dismantle public transportation. Even right here we have ten "ride a bike" threads or "buy a more energy efficient car" threads for every thread promoting public transportation.
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Gaedel Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 04:54 AM
Response to Reply #71
163. 86 per cent white for Dearborn
Includes some very dark whites. Dearborn is no longer Mayor Orville Hubbard's lily white enclave to the west of Detroit with a police force strong on patrolling the border with Detroit. Dearborn today is no longer eeeevulll Eurocentric, but is known colloquially as "Baghdad West" for its massive Lebanese, Iraqi, and Syrian population who by the vagaries of the census bureau are categorized as "white".

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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #163
194. ever evolving
Th migration of different ethnic groups radially out from the city center has been going on for 100 years. The composition of the close-in suburbs is changing, yes, but the dynamic is not and it is nothing new. Italian and Polish and Greek people out Van Dyke and Gratiot, Jewish people from 12th Street to the Mumford district to Oak Park to Southfield are examples. It is and has always been primarily African-American people who have the least mobility and are trapped in the city proper. Hence, I suggest that any discussion about the city of Detroit must include consideration of racism as a factor.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #36
57. sez you. other detroiters disagree.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #21
37. Ask the OP or the poster you're responding to if they support the UAW. Guardian Angels of Detroit?
My ass. :puke:
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #21
70. like bob isn't corrupt. like kilpatrick's corruption wasn't encouraged & abetted by the ptb.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
35. kick (too late to rec)
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
89. kick
I want to thank Hannah, madfloridian and starry messenger for their excellent work - as "out of towners" - on the assault on my hometown, the once great city of Detroit.

Thank you for caring, thank you for bringing this all to the attention of people.

And please, pay no attention to the people who are attacking you and claiming to be "from Detroit." Right. Like the British colonialists were "from India" and knew better about what the people of the Indian subcontinent faced than intelligent and compassionate people from elsewhere did who were in the same straits.

The story of Detroit is the story of the United States: organized Labor versus callous and arrogant management - and no one is more responsible for whatever sort of "middle class life Americans have enjoyed than the courageous and visionary Union leaders in Michigan - the haves versus the have-nots, racism - and not city is more racially polarized than Detroit, and racism permeates the thinking and attitudes of almost every Southeast Michigan suburbanite I have ever talked to over 50 years.

The Detroit suburbs are hotbeds of anti-Union sentiment, of racism, of "middle class" arrogance and callous and cruel attitudes. People should not brag about being from there, let alone claim some sort of special expertise as a result of that. Expertise at what? At white flight? At honing racist attitudes? At Union-busting? At privatization? At dismantling the public infrastructure? At justifying a polarized and fractured community? At creating wealth disparity?

As Detroit goes, so goes the nation. People had better pay attention.

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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #89
91. It's been an illuminating thread.
You can see how this shit unfolds in real time, really. Bobb and his ilk used the city of Oakland in the '90's as a petri dish for little social experiments that are now being writ large in the rest of the country. Attention must be paid. If it hadn't been for the activism and awareness of the grassroots of that city, it could have been completely yuppified. And there are people who are perfectly fine with that. There is a blissful nonawareness that hopes that the low-income and poor will simply drift off quietly to be someone else's "problem". The poor are evidently too undeserving: the new "good" schools, the tear down of the dangerous abandoned homes, the "shoring up" of the "good neighborhoods"--none of this was considered until there was the possibility of profit and a chance to bring goodies to the "talented" middle-class. It makes me ill.
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 05:47 AM
Response to Reply #91
131. never knew about this Bobb character's damage to my Oakland, thanks!
Edited on Sat May-15-10 05:50 AM by NuttyFluffers
history is lost easily in America; it is important to repeat it so others are reminded (or minded for the first time).

edit: i adopt Oakland because i like it, however i live in the suburbs south of it, north of San Jose. so as much as i may like it, it would be hubris to say i know more about its local politics than i know about my area. obviously i have much to learn about its history...
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #91
142. Got any ideas?
Edited on Sat May-15-10 06:29 PM by LuckyTheDog
You seem to think you know a lot about Detroit. If you really did, you'd know how laughable it is to think that affluent Michiganders are just aching to move back into the city. But let's set that aside for now.

What do you think Detroit SHOULD do? Keep half-empty schools open and continue providing city services to streets that have maybe an average of one house per block left standing? That would be great. But the city is running a huge deficit an is basically insolvent.

What is your plan for Detroit?
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #142
143. I have been civil to you.
I sincerely doubt you are interested in any of my other ideas. Please post pictures of the farm when he builds it! Should be great.



This looks totally doable! Good luck!

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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #143
154. OK... so no ideas from you.
Edited on Sun May-16-10 11:53 PM by LuckyTheDog
Look... I have NO IDEA whether or not the urban farm thing will work. But I do know that Detroit is nearly bankrupt and large sections of the city are virtually empty.

The city bears the burden of offering police and fire coverage, water and sewerage, street maintenance, etc., in parts of the city where there might be one or two lonely houses per block left standing. And in many of those cases, those lonely houses are owned by suburbanites who are renting them out and not maintaining them very well.

Something has to be done because the status quo is not sustainable. I am sorry if us bumpkins in Detroit can't come up with a solution that lives up to your lofty, morally superior standards. But, apparently, you don't have such a solution, either.

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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #154
158. Oh I have ideas.
I'm just not telling them to *you*. You're an asshole. :)
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #158
168. LOL
Yep. Sure.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #89
99. Thanks for getting it. It is not a post about Detroit really..
it is a post about what is going on all over the US right now.

It is an all out assault on teachers, unions, and public schools....and it is being done by Democrats.

Nice post...thanks.

:hi:
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Gaedel Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #89
102. Totally Wrong

"The Detroit suburbs are hotbeds of anti-Union sentiment, of racism, of "middle class" arrogance and callous and cruel attitudes. People should not brag about being from there, let alone claim some sort of special expertise as a result of that. Expertise at what? At white flight? At honing racist attitudes? At Union-busting? At privatization? At dismantling the public infrastructure? At justifying a polarized and fractured community? At creating wealth disparity?"

The people who moved out of Detroit and into the counties were by and large UAW workers. In the fifties, Oakland and Macomb counties were solidly GOP. In many races, the Democratic party didn't even put up a candidate. The movement of union workers from Detroit into the counties changed Macomb County to a Democratic stronghold and made races in Oakland County very competitive. I do not have a reference to back up the assertion, but I would think that prior to the automotive meltdown, the per capita distribution of unionized workers was greater in the suburbs of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb than within the city of Detroit. Not every suburbanite lives in a mansion in Grosse Point or Bloomfield Hills.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #102
105. depends
Macomb county, downriver.

But I am not talking about individual people and where they live, but rather about attitudes.
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William Z. Foster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #102
109. the specific suburbs
I am not talking about the blue collar suburbs, of course, since that is not who is claiming to speak for Detroit on this thread. We are not talking just Grosse Point or Bloomfield Hills, either. Birmingham, Beverly Hills, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Farmington Hills, Pleasant Ridge, Auburn Heights or whatever they call it, Northville, Dearborn, out as far now as Plymouth and Fenton and Holly and Ann Arbor, etc. Out Gratiot, and Van Dyke, and downriver are more blue collar.

After the movement of UAW workers to Macomb county, that area became the quintessential "Reagan Democrat" region and got national attention for that. It only recently went back to the Democrats. Rural Michigan also trended strongly Democratic in the last two elections. The areas around Detroit where the educated management class lives is where conservatism is still strong, along with the Dutch Calvinist area near Grand Rapids and s few pockets of upscale suburbia elsewhere.
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greencharlie Donating Member (827 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
103. if the school system was designed for 2 million kids... and there are only
500,000 there... bulldoze the buildings and ,et the teachers and staff move on.

Or you could just let them teach to kids, maybe 5 kids per class... ;)
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #103
117. Oh, come on. You can make adjustments without bulldozing the schools.
Our schools have layoffs all the time, have for years. Teachers moved to other schools with large enrollments, etc.

This is just a way to shut down the schools. Never let a good crisis go to waste.
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Gaedel Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #117
132. Detroit Public Schools
The hierarchy at Detroit Public Schools is larger now than when the city had 1.8 million inhabitants (with far more kids per family).

Hannah, go to DetroitYes.com. They have a thread on the schools being demolished. Most of them are schools with a capacity of 650 that were down to 300 enrollment when they were closed.

Having a lot of underutilized schools is just a jobs program for principals, assistant principals, guidance counselors, and curriculum specialists.

How many kids do you have, how many kids per teacher, how many teachers do you need, and what s the most efficient enrollment size for a school should be the determinants.

Per pupil expenditures in the DPS are pretty high. Too kmuch of that money goes to support a kleptocracy in DPS.

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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #132
135. Detroit's special needs schools at risk
http://detnews.com/article/20100419/SCHOOLS/4190319/Det...


"I understand that they need to close some schools because of the money situation," Anderson said. "But this is the only deaf school in Detroit. I think we should have the option to choose what schools we go to."

The closure plan has drawn the ire of many in the community, including a crowd that picketed in front of the city-county building downtown Friday. Others protested outside the Day School for the Deaf last week and will get a chance to voice opposition to Bobb at a community hearing tonight.

The district will spend $35 million in the next five years for programs for students with special needs, said district spokesman Steve Wasko in a written response to questions.

"The district plans to build a new central center for students with the most severe disabilities, while other students will receive renovated buildings or be moved to newer buildings that are better equipped to serve them. Our program for deaf students is being aligned with the state's directive to accommodate deaf students in classes with their hearing peers."

The other specialty schools considered for closure include:

Nancy Boykin Continuing Education Center, which provides education for pregnant teen and preteen students.

Caroline Crosman Alternative High School for students who are one to two years behind their peers.

McKinney Treatment Center for students with cognitive deficits.

Detroit City High School, which targets students who school leaders say are at risk for dropping out.

Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women, which provides accelerated learning for gifted students.

Trombly and Westside alternative high schools.

Peggy Collrin is among those trying to save Day School for the Deaf. She taught at the school for 34 years before retiring and said closing it would be a waste of a facility that is tailor-made for serving deaf children.

Collrin said the school adheres to a policy of only a handful of students per teacher. And those teachers know sign language, something teachers in mainstream schools may not know.

"When you are hearing impaired, you have to focus very intently on your teacher," Collrin said. "The less a student can hear the more visual they have to be."

A deaf student in mainstream schools will have to rely on an interpreter, limiting direct communication, and that can lead to poorer performance academically, as well as social problems.

Collrin said the district has more than 400 deaf or hard-of-hearing students. Day School for the Deaf has 57.

For parents who don't want their children in a mainstream school, the closest institution designed for the deaf and hard-of-hearing is in Flint.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100419/SCHOOLS/4190319/Det...



School closures shouldn't just be a numbers game. Schools are places rich in meaning for students, families, neighborhoods. They are history and institutional memory. It's easy to come in and wave a hand and say "All of this must go" when it isn't your place. There are people living and going to these schools who want a say in the future. I think that's fair. Why should their past and future be totally erased and managed by ledger-bound corporate stooges?
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Gaedel Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #135
164. Starry
The problem is that Detroit Public Schools has never "bit the bullet" of declining enrollments. If they had addressed the "numbers game" on an annual basis for the last fifty years, it might not be so painful to do it now. The problem is that the city has treated DPS as a gigantic "jobs" program and the system is awash with administrators, consultants, specialist, and other non-teaching folks. As a result, the physical plant has deteriorated even though they have equitable funding with most of the state. In the 1950s, the Detroit school system was so good, that suburbanites paid tuition to send their kids to Detroit High Schools rather than the rural schools in their districts. Charter schools are not the answer, but the public schools cannot be a gigantic money sink that produces little.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #164
170. Thank you Gaedel, I appreciate the response.
:) All I'm really looking for is increased scrutiny and community buy-in from the working class, who are also stakeholders in this issue. The reason why "outsiders" on DU have taken an interest in this situation is because variations on Detroit's school scenario have been happening in other communities in other states and these draconian solutions may or may not "produce". Bobb's solution is also going to be expensive.

http://detroit.blogs.time.com/2010/03/10/and-we-are-not... /



OK, so can we slow down now on the push to canonize Detroit Public Schools financial manager Robert Bobb?

Since being appointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm as the emergency financial manager in March 2009 to control the finances of the state's largest school district, red ink is growing, according to district budget documents:

Instead of a $17 million surplus Bobb projected for this fiscal year, spending has increased so much Bobb is projecting a $98 million deficit for the budget year that ends June 30.

Added to the $219 million deficit accumulated from previous years, Bobb anticipates posting a $317 million deficit by this summer -- the largest year-end deficit ever recorded for the district.

...

He may very well have prevented the shortfall from swelling. But if Bobb believes that adding $100 million to the district's deficit after predicting a $17-million surplus is B-plus work, I can only hope that he's not thinking of applying that same grading scale to our schoolchildren.




It's a gamble. Is it the right one? No one is saying that the existing schools are going to magically swell with schoolchildren that do not exist. I (and I think the others here) are trying to agree with you. This "crisis" has been building for years. Why is the answer a sudden blast that must be hurried along in the matter of a few months? Every article I've read points to the extreme urgency with which Bobb is pursuing this agenda. It isn't saving money, so...what is going on?

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Gaedel Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #170
172. If I were Bobb....
I would be trying to break and destroy the DPS bureaucracy by drastically eliminating non-teaching jobs.

I did see a study done by a right wing think tank which i tried to address with an open mind. I only saw the conclusions, so I cannot comment on their data or methodology. The study dealt with consolidations of smaller school districts. They concluded that up to a point, consolidation gave economies of scale. There was a peak of efficiency that began to decline when the number of students in the district passed a certain number (I think I remember it was around 3,000), then Parkinson's Law took effect and the number of administrators began to get out of hand. I am reminded of the thousands of textbooks that just mouldered away in the DPS central warehouse. Maybe our large city school systems should be broken up into 3,000 student independent districts with little oversight on the part of the large system which would exist primarily to provide specialist education to the physically or mentally challenged.
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DimplesinMI Donating Member (281 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
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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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #173
177. Interesting perspective
Thanks for sharing.
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