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Return DPS to school board, shut EAA, coalition urges. A seismic shakeup of education in Detroit proposed Monday calls for returning control of Detroit Public Schools to an elected school board, having the state assume $350 million in district debt, and giving a mayoral-appointed commission control of all school closures and openings. Those are among the ambitious recommendations rolled out by the 36-member Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren after three months of studying the city's fractured system of public education and persistent financial problems at DPS. The coalition, which sent its recommendations to Gov. Rick Snyder, also wants all Education Achievement Authority schools returned to DPS control.

Snyder created the EAA in 2011 to turn around the state's lowest-performing schools. Coalition members want to create a shared system of data, enrollment and neighborhood transportation to improve school choice in Detroit, making it easier for parents to learn about the quality of school options. "Is the district in trouble? Detroit's population loss slows; some suburbs see gains. Detroit continues to lose residents, but the population loss appears to be slowing, with about 1% moving out between 2013 and 2014, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. In the tri-county area, the Oakland County suburbs of Lyon and Oakland townships and Sylvan Lake, as well as Macomb and Washington townships in Macomb County grew the fastest, according to the estimates. The census makes the estimates annually based on a review of birth and death records, as well as migration.

Demographer Kurt Metzger said Detroit's population loss appears to be easing. "It continues to average about 1% loss per year," said Metzger, now mayor of Pleasant Ridge. By the city's estimates, Detroit lost about 1,000 residents per month in 2013; that slowed to 500 in 2014, and the number is even lower in 2015. "We have seen a significant slowing of people leaving the neighborhoods, and it will continue to improve," Mayor Mike Duggan said. Detroit Population Down 25 Percent, Census Finds. Detroit, Losing Population, Makes Plans to Shrink. “The biggest problems are those people who are on the outskirts more than anything else, where neighborhoods have gone down to a point where it makes no sense to reinvest,” he said.

“People will say, ‘Well, why not me?’ And I’m saying, we don’t have the money to do that.” Detroit is already shrinking on its own, of course. Recent census figures show the city, once the nation’s fourth largest, lost a quarter of its population in the last decade alone, leaving it with fewer than 714,000 people. But the losses have been spread around the city, meaning that vacant, dilapidated homes and empty lots speckle Detroit’s neighborhoods, rather than cropping up in consolidated, convenient chunks on the city edges, leaving a more vibrant core. And so, a contingent of private consultants and city officials like Ms. Among the dismal findings: more than 100,000 parcels, private and public, are vacant; and only 38 percent of Detroiters work in the city. Photo “I’m going to stay right here,” said Mr. Mr. DPS math, reading scores still bottom in national test. For the fourth time in a row, Detroit ranked last among urban school districts that participated in a rigorous national test, with students showing no significant improvement in math or reading.

Detroit Public Schools fourth- and eighth-grade students were among children in 21 cities who took the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam as part of the Trial Urban District Assessment. The Detroit scores showed a slight increase in math proficiency, but also a slight decline in reading proficiency, from 2013 to 2015. The changes were so small they were "not statistically significant," said Peggy Carr, acting commissioner for the Washington, D.C. -based National Center for Education Statistics. "Detroit has a bit of work to do," Carr said during a conference call. U.S. On Tuesday, he offered advice, saying Detroit should look at what's happened in urban areas such as the District of Columbia. "They've seen real and sustained improvement," Duncan said.

How Detroit students fared. Detroit Public Schools: 93% Not Proficient in Reading; 96% Not Proficient in Math. Flanked by Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. John Boehner, President George Bush signs the No Child Left Behind Act in January 2002. (AP Photo) ( - In the Detroit public school district, 96 percent of eighth graders are not proficient in mathematics and 93 percent are not proficient in reading. That is according to the results of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress tests published by the Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics. Only 4 percent of Detroit public school eighth graders are proficient or better in math and only 7 percent in reading. According to data published by the Detroit Public Schools, the school district’s operating expenses in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2014 amounted to approximately $14,743 per student. Nationwide, only 33 percent of public-school eighth graders scored proficient or better in reading in 2015 and only 32 percent scored proficient or better in mathematics.

Detroit worst in math, reading scores among big cities. For a fourth straight time, Detroit students have scored the lowest among big-city districts in math and reading, according to national test results released Wednesday. Detroit Public Schools’ fourth- and eighth-graders lagged students in 20 other districts included in the National Assessment of Educational Progress Trial Urban District Assessment. DPS also ranked lowest in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Achievement levels on the exam are basic, proficient and advanced. Students who score below basic lack fundamental skills. The results did include some positive news for the state’s largest district. Average scores in Detroit ticked upward in fourth- and eighth-grade math, as did basic skill rates. In math, 36 percent of DPS fourth-graders achieved at or above basic level, up from 35 percent in 2013, while 27 percent of eighth-graders tested at or above basic, up from 24 percent.

Detroit has a lot of company. “City leaders in Detroit may consider lessons on reform strategies from other cities. Gov. Fixing Detroit’s 
Broken School System: Improve accountability 
and oversight for district and charter schools. Detroit is a classic story of a once-thriving city that has lost its employment base, its upper and middle classes, and much of its hope for the future. The city has been on a long, slow decline for decades.

It’s difficult to convey the postapocalyptic nature of Detroit. Miles upon miles of abandoned houses are in piles of rot and ashes. Unemployment, violent crime, and decades of underinvestment have led to a near-complete breakdown of civic infrastructure: the roads are terrible, the police are understaffed, and there is a deeply insufficient social safety net. There are new federal funds and private investment being directed to Detroit’s renewal. Bankruptcy proceedings are finally under way, and a new mayor wants to make a fresh start.

In January 2014, as part of a multicity study, researchers from the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) met with a dozen parents in Detroit to learn about their experiences with education in the city. Ms. School Choice with Few Options 1. 2. Mayor Mike Duggan: Some Detroit school conditions 'break your heart' Mayor Mike Duggan added his voice Tuesday to those of teachers and others calling for state help for Detroit Public Schools, noting that conditions in some of them "break your heart. " "What I saw today was a mixed bag," Duggan said after touring four schools in the city. "There were some schools that were very well-maintained. There were some other schools that would just break your heart, where students wore their coats in class until it was warm enough to take them off or where children couldn't use the gym because of the water damage.

Duggan's tour came as 24 schools were closed Tuesday because of teacher sick-outs called to protest what teachers say are deplorable conditions for them as well as students. Individual teachers took to social media to blast the current state of the schools while their union leader demanded public hearings to address the problems in the schools. Duggan said the state needs to help fix Detroit schools. Gov. Schools closed Tuesday. Crumbling, Destitute Schools Threaten Detroit’s Recovery. Residents wonder how the city can ever recoup its lost population and attract young families if the public schools are in abysmal shape. “As we begin to rebuild this city and we’re seeing money and development moving in, people are understanding that there is no way we can improve Detroit without a strong educational system,” said Mary Sheffield, a native of Detroit and a City Council member. “We have businesses and restaurants and arenas, but our schools are falling apart and our children are uneducated.

There is no Detroit without good schools.” In protest over the conditions, teachers began a series of sickouts in recent weeks, inconveniencing many families and reducing classroom instruction time for many students who could ill afford it, but pushing the matter to the forefront. The problems predate the municipal bankruptcy. In recent decades, large numbers of people have left Detroit, which was once the nation’s fourth most populous city.

Photo Mr. A spokeswoman for Mr. Michigan Senate approves Detroit Public Schools reform legislation. The Michigan Senate today approved sweeping legislation that would split Detroit Public Schools in two and create a controversial new education commission to decide the fate of school openings and closings across the city. The legislation, part of a $720-million plan to restructure the debt-ridden district, faces an uphill battle in the House. Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, said that the bills represent a fresh start for Michigan's largest school district. "Today, we have the opportunity to change the lives of 47,000 children," Hansen, the primary sponsor of the legislation, said. "The time for blame is well past.

The legislation, which has the backing of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and the governor, would create the Detroit Education Commission, a body that would regulate the openings and closings of traditional public schools and charter schools across the city. The vote came nearly a year after Gov. State Rep. Kelly said the state should just chip in the money to cover DPS' debt.

Sen. Sick-outs could close Detroit schools this week. Opponents of the state plan to fix Detroit Public Schools said Sunday that teacher sick-outs would close two schools on Monday to protest Gov. Rick Snyder and support local control of the city’s schools. Organizers of Equal Opportunity Now/By Any Means Necessary said “Snyder flu” would lead to the shutdown of Bow Elementary in northwest Detroit and Mason Academy on the east side with more to come through the week. The organization said participants would rally at the Fisher Building in Detroit’s New Center area at noon Monday and then march down Woodward Avenue, calling for an end to state oversight and the return of local control over the district. Organizers said the event was tied to the anniversary of the start of the pivotal 1965 civil rights march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery. “There will be more rolling sick-outs throughout the week,” said Steve Conn, the ousted former head of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. “Who’s going to want to work here?”

Breaking down the DPS rescue plan. Detroit Public Schools’ road to financial health will involve splitting the district into two, a shift in the way millage revenue is used and a hefty investment by the state. Here's a breakdown of how it would work: The current situation: DPS is projected to have an accumulated operating debt of $515 million by June 30. The district is in dire straits and is expected to run out of money by April 8 and be unable to pay its staff. A plan is winding its way through the Legislature to give DPS $50 million in immediate emergency aid.

The district's long-term outstanding liabilities amount to $3.4 billion, according to a Michigan Department of Treasury report. The big split: All of the plans for fixing DPS involve splitting the district into two. What happens if legislation is passed: The per-pupil revenue from the millages would be shifted and used over the next 10 years to pay off much of the $515 million in operating debt and $200 million in start-up costs for the new district.

Of rats and debts. SOME schools have black mould creeping up the walls; at others, mushrooms sprout from them. At Palmer Park Preparatory Academy, pieces of the ceiling are falling on pupils’ heads while rats run around. Jerry L. White Centre High School has no heating. Western International High School does not have enough books for its pupils, who are crammed into classes of up to 45 children. One reason for this is that of the $7,450-per-pupil grant the school district will receive this year, $4,400 will be spent on debt servicing and benefits for retired teachers, according to the Citizens Research Council, a Michigan think-tank. Listening to the complaints of Detroit’s public-school teachers, it is hard not have some sympathy for those who staged a “sickout” (calling in sick) on January 11th, closing 64 schools. Michigan is different from other states, such as neighbouring Illinois, where the largest single source of funding is local property taxes.