Category: Education Crisis (page 1 of 7)

Thinking for Ourselves: Resisting Closures

By Shea Howell

April 11, 2017

We are rapidly approaching the moment of decision on Detroit public school closings. The announcement in January by the State School Reform Office that another 24 schools would be closed in Detroit has been met with angry, vocal resistance. Parents, students, teachers and community activists are holding meetings. They have stages rallies, protests and speak-outs. Everyone agrees that more school closings will harm our children and our communities. The Mayor is on record as opposing closings and the newly elected school board has found the courage to file a lawsuit, claiming the closures violate state law.

In response, Governor Snyder commanded State Superintendent Brian Whiston todevelop agreements that he hopes will defuse resistance. These agreements are a shameless scam. They will subject schools to stringent requirements and provide a pretext for continued state intervention, including the possibility of more closures and district takeovers. Unable to make the distinction between coercion and a partnership, the spokesman for the state education department, William Disessa said that if the schools “don’t develop a partnership agreement with the Michigan Department of Education by April 30, then they will be subject to the next level of accountability.”

These forced partnerships are not in the interest of our children or our communities. They are another pretext for relentless privatizing actions. The same forces that have been destroying our schools for nearly two decades designed these “agreements.”

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Frank X. Murphy: A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal: 

Aggressive Interrogation of Corporate Education “Reformers” 101

By Frank X Murphy

April 2, 2017

Quaint, archaic notions of education from earlier eras have de-emphasized things like dialog, free inquiry and enlightenment values.  These pedagogical modes no longer apply to our modern, post-citizenship educational systems.  We propose new and more effective methods of interaction with those who measure educational “outcomes” using badly designed standardized tests and market-based rhetoric for power and profit.

Altho in earlier eras best practice responses to such crimes would often entail putting rats like the corporate education “reformer” against a wall and shooting them, these interrogation guidelines envision more effective civil resistance measures that allow learners to explore the contested boundaries between nonviolence, mental health, and the interaction of public policy with curriculum development in both community and school, for purposes of nonviolent (if possible) social self-defense.

The corporate education “reformer” should not be slammed against a wall (“walling”) without extreme provocation, and in no event for longer than the hours their racist and demeaning standardized tests are annually inflicted on children victimized by their abuse.

The corporate education “reformer” should be confined with smaller vermin, for a period minimally necessary under Detroit Public School-type room temperatures of excessive heat and unbearable cold, to give some appreciation for the unbearable human rights violations experienced by many Detroit school children in poorly designed and maintained buildings created by state takeover and “reform” scams.

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TELFORD TELESCOPE: Much DPSCD Work Now Needs to be Done–Transparently

Much DPSCD work now needs to be done–transparently

By  Dr. John Telford

I have expressed a wide range of concerns in emails and stated remarks to the new Detroit Public Schools Community District Board of Education.  Those concerns include the Board’s failure to involve the community more fully and transparently in the superintendent-screening/review process, their cavalier reduction of citizens’ speaking-time at the March 14 meeting at King High School, and their making community members wait over an hour to speak while they went into closed session at that meeting.  In a later communication to them, I called them to account for their refusal to afford interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather a well-earned public interview for the Superintendency.  I frankly don’t know whether the immediately previous and long-serving Board would have afforded the hard-working Meriweather her highly-deserved interview had they been elected to their former positions this past November instead of the new folks who got in, but as the old Board’s chosen pro bono interim Superintendent, I would at my now advanced age of 81 have been eager for them to get my permanent and far younger successor on board ASAP and then use me as an officially contracted pro bono advisor to the new Superintendent for as long as I am needed and able.

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TELFORD TELESCOPE: All Hail Our Heroes

All Hail Our Heroes

By Dr. John Telford

As our righteous fight to save our public schools approaches the final battle, it is fitting that those unsung heroes who have kept the torch of justice aflame throughout the past decade-and-a-half of DPS’ unwarranted and Jim Crowist state takeover  become lauded in this column.  Foremost among these heroes have been school activist Helen Moore and her grassroots group ‘Keep-the-Vote-No-Takeover’ and the democratically elected former DPS Board–LaMar Lemmons, Juvette Hawkins-Williams, Elena Herrada, Ida Short, Reverend David Murray, Patricia Johnson-Singleton, Wanda Akilah Redmond, Tawana Simpson. and Herman Davis.  It was my privilege to serve pro bono as this rightful Board’s chosen Superintendent until Gov. Snyder’s emergency manager disempowered them and fired me when Public Act 436 took effect and canceled Michiganians’ overwhelmingly successful but ultimately fruitless rejection of PA 4, the Republican-dominated state government’s detested emergency management law which remains unlawfully alive.

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Automation and Redundancy

In an age of robots, schools are teaching our children to be redundant

By George Monbiot

February 16, 2017

“At present we are stuck with the social engineering of an industrial workforce in a post-industrial era.”

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Thinking for Ourselves: Educating for Democracy

By Shea Howell

February 8, 2017

The announcement by the state School Reform Office that it is considering closing 25 more schools in Detroit is being met with widespread outrage. Students, teachers, parents, and community members rallied quickly to denounce the proposed closures. Alycia Meriweather, the interim superintendent for Detroit Public School Community District vowedto fight the closures saying, “School closure is not an option.

Even Mayor Mike Duggan, who has absolutely no authority over schools, weighed in to say he would “fight the irrational closing” of schools. The Mayor, in announcing his bid for re-election, said he had called Governor Snyder to tell him the announced closures are “wrong” and that the school reform office efforts are “immoral, reckless … you have to step in.”

On Sunday February 5 the Detroit Independent Freedom School initiative spearheaded a community town hall to develop strategic responses to this latest assault on our children and their futures. Over 300 people gathered to talk about how we can support our children and parents.

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Rally Against School Closures! Feb 17 @ Noon, State of Michigan Building

Watch! Emergency Community Meeting on School Closings 02/05/17

Emergency Community Meeting on School Closings, Part 1

Emergency Community Meeting on School Closings, Part 2

Thanks to Shane for all the video work!

We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective: Visualizing the Education Crisis


Emergency Community Meeting on School Closings

Join the Detroit Independent Freedom Schools Movement (DIFS) for an emergency meeting on the crisis in Detroit schools and nationwide.

Click here to RSVP via Facebook.

To learn more about DIFS, check us out here.

We hope to see you on Sunday!

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