Detroit Public Schools: Dumbest Ever?Sunday, December 13, 2009
From the Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Public Schools students posted the worst math results ever recorded in the 40-year history of a prestigious nationwide test, according to scores released today.
Sixty-nine percent of fourth-graders and 77 percent of eighth-graders scored below basic skill levels in math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a standardized test that serves as a nationwide yardstick in measuring student learning.
First, I can’t help but note that the standardized public school test is referred to as “prestigious.” And that means…?
DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb made a comment that unless this problem is fixed, the city of Detroit “has no future.” Bobb has declared an “academic emergency” for Detroit. The blame, however, is placed squarely on “past leadership,” along with school principals and a failing curriculum. In fact, Bobb claims that “action plans” have been repeatedly turned down in the past, causing the need to bring him on as an “emergency financial manager.” Surely these ‘actions plans’ would have saved the day! Things are so bad that the Detroit Public School administration is trying to force teachers to loan them $10,000 each, via payroll deduction, so DPS can make good on its payroll.
It’s called the Termination Incentive Plan and it may be one of the toughest sells for union membership. Teachers would agree to a $250 deduction from their biweekly paychecks starting in January. The deductions come from 40 paychecks. Teachers would get the $10,000 back — with no interest — once they leave.
The need for an emergency financial manager for the city of Detroit is due to decades of corrupt Marxist politics taking over and running – and destroying – the city of Detroit for the purpose of power, equality, and redress for blacks. Rampant fraud has been perpetuated by city’s power brokers for decades.
And that this city is the most racially divided city in the nation is no secret. Here’s a stark reminder, from my youth, of Detroit’s divide – the famous 24-foot tall black fist that occupies a very busy intersection in downtown Detroit, making a very bold statement from the day it was unveiled in 1987.
And yes, native Detroiters such as myself understand the real significance of this sculpture, and it sure as heck is not to honor Joe Louis. The 1970s and 1980s started an era that signaled the beginning of end for Detroit. Anyone who valued community and peace – and their future – fled the city without ever looking back. I lasted until 1992.
Yet Robert Bobb makes an incredible statement about Detroiters who cannot read, write, and perform basic math: “The real fault lies squarely with leadership,” he said. “It’s not the kids’ fault. There’s nothing wrong with these kids’ minds.”
Once again, the problem is those guys (former leadership), and the solution is us guys (current leadership). It’s always us (good) guys versus them other (bad) guys. New political schemes are always guaranteed to be better than past politics. We just never seem to have the “right” leaders in place.
The last census in 2000 revealed that Detroit lost 20% of its population between 1980 and 2000. Statistics typically show that over 70% of Detroit children are born to single mothers, half of Detroit adults are functionally illiterate, less than 30% of DPS students graduate from high school, and unemployment currently stands at 28% in the city. The majority of these kids are raised by gangbangers to be gangbangers. Strutting around the streets and local malls in their baggy pants (that sag to their knees) and shirts, wearing their sideways and upside down visors, and color-coded clothes, they could care less about school, reading, writing, or math. And the ones who do care are ostracized. When is this supposed “leadership” going to wake up to the reality?
Yet if the scale of scoring is 0-500 on these tests, and the national average for a given subject is 239 for fourth graders or 282 for eight graders, why pick on just Detroit? Isn’t this an indication that, on a national level, the public schools are churning out illiteracy at a record rate overall? From this article on the 2009 NEAP result in mathematics:
After two decades of steady progress, fourth-grade math achievement is stagnating nationwide. Just 39 percent of U.S. students scored at the Proficient level. Among low-income students, the proficiency rate is 22 percent, and for Latino (21 percent) and African-American (15 percent) students, the results are even more troubling.
So Detroit, in spite of its very significant (and extraordinary) problems, has students who have received an “F” that is only slightly worse than the “F” of the rest of the nation’s public school drones – am I correct? But as I flip through the NEAP testing results and summaries, all I see are consistent declarations of “improvement,” with no mention of the very hard facts that point to the perennial failure of the federal child prison system that keeps cranking out illiteracy at an extraordinary rate.