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

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-08-10 01:15 PM
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Detroit's Robert Bobb wins, school district loses. School closures full speed ahead.
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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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