A few days ago, we heard that Detroit’s Emergency Manager had attempted to avoid Detroit’s financial obligations by filing for bankruptcy. What followed was glee by right wing conservatives who looked at Detroit as proof that socialism doesn’t work. I really don’t get how the city of Henry Ford became a socialist icon, but whatever.
However, a very smart former Detroit resident was then posting his thoughts about why Detroit hit such hard times and he said Detroit was a victim of it’s own success. Detroit died because the surrounding suburbs thrived. The wealthy and even the middle class residents left the city for Birmingham, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, etc. The result was the city not only shrunk depriving it of needed tax revenues, but those who stayed behind were those who most needed help. This taxed Detroit as the most prosperous residents were gone and the ones who needed the most city services remained.
Certainly, there is a lesson from Chicago here as what they are doing to the schools is really ramping up not only “white flight”, but the mores successful people of all races are leaving the city in droves. Chicago will never thrive as a beautiful downtown commercial district, trendy neighborhoods for young singles on the North Side, and slums on the West and South Side.
However, the connection that I make is to our nation’s public schools. If charters schools are allowed to cherry pick our best and brightest and those that can’t handle that environment are left for the public schools to take care of, we will be left with all the most expensive students. When you then give charters equal funding per student, there is no way to sustain this model. Make no mistake, charters will erode our public schools the way the suburbs eroded Detroit, if we don’t draw the line before it’s too late.
“The public sentiment citywide is `stop doing what you’re doing.’ Reverse the layoffs of these teachers so that their kids have gym teachers, they have math teachers and they have art teachers,” Waguespack told a City Hall news conference.”
:”People often ask me how I want to be a teacher when I see what’s happening to public education and the profession. It’s teachers like Xian who show me reasons why. When you see something you love getting attacked, you don’t run away and hide in fear. No, you stand up and fight like hell to protect it.”
“Now, let’s be clear. We added above and subtracted above that. This means that according to CPS,
$1 billion + ($750 million – $550 million) = $1 billion
I bet you said that last one right with me. You’re catching on, aren’t you?”
“And as it happens again and again, the message that the district sends to our students is clear, “You are uncared for. Even those you thought loved you dearly have abandoned you, and it’s your own fault.” Again, this is not just a happenstance; it is a regular matter of practice. When I was let go in 2010, my principal first told students that I simply left, (He didn’t care about you) and later told them that “There wasn’t enough interest in Japanese” (You didn’t care enough). Both were lies—lies that made students feel worse about themselves.”