Showing posts from January, 2011

How We Are Failing Our Young People; Let Me Count The Ways

Late last year, I was shocked to read in my hometown newspaper, the Detroit Free Press , that three months into the school year, a shortage of teachers due to massive teacher retirements last year and a poorly executed school reorganization plan had left the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) a mess. DPS is not new to disturbingly difficult challenges. For decades, declining enrollments, a dysfunctional board of education, and the poor academic performance of students has plagued the school system. The reason for this new set of trials and tribulations, however, boggles the mind. Here is what happened. More than 800 of DPS's approximately 5000 teachers left the school system in response to a retirement incentive program designed to get highly paid teachers to leave. Just as DPS was weeding out some of its most experienced teachers to lower costs they decided to shut down 29 schools and reorganize 50 others. Not surprisingly, a shortage of qualified teachers, especially for specialized cl