Expect Improved Cooperation and Accountability from Our Leaders
Shared Responsibility Means All Schools Working Together
What We Know
All of the above priorities will be much easier to implement if DPSCD and public charter schools coordinate more. Enrollment, attendance, reading, talent, parent engagement, and special education funding are common challenges. Having accessible, transparent, and comparable data for DPSCD and charters is essential to drive strategies and interventions. Working together can better serve more Detroit children and families … and help schools use scarce resources more efficiently.
Today, however, Detroit’s fragmented system of schools does not serve all children well. Some neighborhoods have too many schools, others too few. Consistent quality, coordination, and accountability are lacking. Collaboration is inefficient. Parents and families are confused by their choices. The Coalition, with its Choice Is Ours campaign, wasn’t able to convince Lansing lawmakers to establish a Detroit Education Commission to address many of these challenges. But we can fix this on our own voluntarily.
We want Detroit leaders and educators, including those from DPSCD and charters, to put students and
families first by working collaboratively to stabilize education in Detroit and sustain Detroit’s recovery.
- In this era of great polarization across the country, this is the time for Detroiters to lead by example and find new ways of working together. Members of the Coalition, community and civic leaders, parents, educators, students, state and local lawmakers, and clergy need to own this agenda for Detroit schoolchildren.
- Ask the Mayor to work with Coalition leadership to facilitate education ecosystem planning for the City of Detroit and appoint highly credible Detroiters to:
- Set school-quality standards for all schools, working with the Michigan Department of Education.
- Work with DPSCD Board and Superintendent, and Charter Authorizers and Operators to voluntarily create a charter-district compact that reviews, discusses, and presents plans for better coordination and transparency about school openings and school closings, not approval, and opportunities for citywide collaboration in areas such as a centralized data system and a campaign to address chronic absences. This would not usurp the authority of the DPSCD School Board or charter boards.
- Launch a citywide school planning process through which educators, parents, students, and community members can contribute to education plans for each neighborhood.
- Ask DPSCD and charter operators to commit to establishing and preserving School Leadership Teams or similar bodies with fidelity, to enable parents, teachers, and support staff to work collaboratively with principals to increase parent engagement and provide input on school programming, policy, and budget.