DETROIT—On March 30, 2015, the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren issued its report recommending comprehensive changes to improve education in Detroit. The report is available here.
AFT Michigan President David Hecker served as a co-chair of the Coalition and was joined by DPS teacher Edna Reaves and Cesar Chavez Academy teacher Tashaune Harden on the 36-member Steering Committee. Many other AFT leaders served on subcommittees, including Ruby Newbold, President of DAEOE 4168, Donna Jackson, President of the Detroit Paraprofessionals 2350, Ivy Bailey, Michael Schenk, Lakia Wilson, Vida Bonacci, Mark O’Keefe, and Keith Johnson of DFT 231, and Michelle Fecteau, Peter Hammer and Ben Pogodzinski of WSU AAUP-AFT 6075.
“As with any coalition, we do not agree with every word of the report, but if implemented fully, these recommendations would go a long way toward reclaiming the promise of quality education for all students in Detroit,” said Hecker. “Teachers and support staff from DPS, charter, and Education Achievement Authority schools brought tremendous insights from the classroom to the broader coalition which shaped the final report’s emphasis on the need to stabilize our schools to let teachers teach and students learn.”
“Returning the schools managed by the EAA to Detroit Public Schools, transitioning out of emergency management, resolving the DPS debt, establishing the Detroit Education Commission as a gatekeeper stabilizing the education landscape, and empowering teachers, staff, and parents at the school level are essential steps toward leveling the playing field and providing a great education for every student.”
We welcome your comments. For those so willing, we will be asking for your assistance in moving these ideas forward as we enter the next phase of this process. This is only a report put together by a group of concerned parents, educators, and a cross-section of community leaders. By itself, it will change nothing. We took the risk of coming together and committing to the process in hopes of shaping the coming debate in Lansing. As educators, either through teaching or supporting the classroom, you are a key component of making the recommendations in this report a reality every day. As union members, you can be part of joining together with parents and communities to ensure all students have access to the schools they deserve.