Category: Education Crisis (page 1 of 7)

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!

What It Looks Like When Communities Make Racial Justice a Priority

What It Looks Like When Communities Make Racial Justice a Priority

By Zenobia Jeffries & Araz Hachadourian

January 16, 2017

Section on Michigan: “To outsiders like Donald Trump, Detroit is like “an urban dystopia of poverty, crime, and blight.” But to Detroiters and those committed to the city’s revitalization, it’s a city full of promise—with the notable exception of its school system. Following multiple state takeovers, the largest school district in Michigan continues to suffer teacher layoffs, crowded classrooms, and financial mismanagement. And longtime residents and activists have had enough, turning to a legacy of the civil rights movement’s Freedom Schools to serve their children.

In February, parent Aliya Moore’s call to boycott schools on Count Day—when the state uses student attendance to calculate per-pupil funding—prompted a local group, Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, to reimagine education for Detroit schoolchildren and launch the Detroit Independent Freedom Schools Movement.

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Thinking for Ourselves: Reshaping America

By Shea Howell

January 2, 2017

As we approach the moment when Donald Trump will assume the powers of the presidency, conversations and articles abound about how to survive, resist, and organize our way through the next few years. These discussions are essential. We have never been here before.

Certainly there are many parallels with other moments in our history when racism, ignorance, and arrogance have combined to defend and advance white power and privilege.  But the irrationality of Trump, combined with enormous ego and unchecked power, challenge us in new ways.

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Thinking for Ourselves: Faithful Days

By Shea Howell

January 2, 2017

This year the first day of 2017 was also the last day of Kwanzaa, Imani, the affirmation of faith. Over 200 people gathered at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to share in celebration of the day. Young people with the Detroit Independent Freedom School Movement joined with parents, teachers, friends, artists, and activists to emphasize our faith in one another and our capacity to create a better city and a better world.

It was a good way to begin this new year. The Al Nur Drum and Dance Company set the energy for the event as people gathered to light the Kwanzaa candles. Each candle calls forth a value that will be important for us to remember as we face the choices of the coming days. Unity, Self Determination, Collective Work & Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith are critical guideposts to judge our actions.

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Out of Options: School Choice Gutted Detroit’s Public Schools. The Rest of the Country is Next.

School choice gutted Detroit’s public schools. The rest of the country is next.

By Allie Gross

December 19, 2016

Excerpt: “The result was a negative feedback loop. As students left, the district lost funds and had to make cuts. Maybe it nixed art, or got rid of a social worker. Maybe it crammed more kids into a classroom, or made the risky decision to get rid of on-site boiler operators. Maybe, if things were really tight, it shut down schools. These quick fixes in turn made the district less “competitive,” and so the kids who could leave eventually did. The district lost even more funding and sunk further into entropy. “It is akin to an arsonist adding an accelerant to a fire,” Peter Hammer, the director of the Damon Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State’s law school, wrote in a 2012 paper on the effects of competition in DPS.”

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TELFORD TELESCOPE: Dr. Telford’s Mind-Blowing New Book

By Dr. John Telford

Happy New Year!  I’ve got a new book out entitled “The Poet-Emperor of EARTH – An In-Depth Dialogue with The DEITY’ that will blow the minds of my most discerning activist Motown readers.  It’s an allegorical novella–a dialogue between man and God in which they engage in a back-and-forth debate regarding the relative merits of DEMOCRACY vis-a-vis so-called ‘benevolent’ IMPERIALISM—and I advise readers not to peek prematurely at its ending, because it contains a huge surprise.  To get a copy, go to Amazon.com and type in Dr. John Telford, or order it at Barnes & Noble, or email me your address at DrJohnTelfordEdD@aol.com or call me at (313) r460-8272 and I’ll mail you a signed copy on the honor system with an invoice for $13.95 plus postage–and if the book doesn’t literally BLOW YOUR MIND indeed, you don’t have to pay me.

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