Category: Freedom Schools (page 1 of 3)

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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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!

Youth Day of Vision, 10am-3pm on Feb 18

Hello all,

Please take a look at our upcoming event Youth Day of Vision, commemorating the 50 year anniversary of the 1967 uprising and projecting our vision for the next 50 years of revolution. We have worked very hard in partnership with The Boggs Center and The Detroit Historical Museum to create an event that is engaging and thought provoking.

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Support the Detroit Independent Freedom Schools Movement! Order DIFS Hoodies, T-Shirts, or Longsleeves

Support the Detroit Independent Freedom Schools Movement!

Click here to order DIFS Hoodies, T-Shirts, and Longsleeves

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DIFS at the Wright Museum – Winter 2017 Class Schedule

Download (PDF, 794KB)

 

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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