Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 The importance of leadership in City schools Previous Next
Top of pageBottom of page

Mackinaw
Member
Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4443
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 1:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'll post this video, a NY Times mini-documentary, as a thought-experiment and discussion starter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =KgyN4p7K0LE

I know very little about Detroit Public Schools, except that some are excellent while some are nearly hopeless. It would seem to me that ambitious leaders, like the man in that documentary, are largely responsible for the turnarounds that we've seen. I guess we couldn't exclude successful charter schools from this, either.

Anyhow, I found the video inspirational and illustrative of the impact one person can have.
Top of pageBottom of page

Clayton
Member
Username: Clayton

Post Number: 12
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 2:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Barack Obama should work for DPS.
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroitteacher
Member
Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 1211
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 2:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We need someone like him at my building. Our Principal has cut out any and all activities, except sports. No assemblies, no pep rallies, no anything! The kids are missing out on many social opportunities. His mantra is academics and nothing else...but as we all know, the social part of high school is also very important. He punishes and never praises. The Principal in the video has it right...praise the kids (and teachers) who are doing right and the others will soon follow. He also got rid of teachers who weren't doing their jobs. THAT needs to happen in DPS and we might just see a difference in the kids, IMHO.
Top of pageBottom of page

Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 5230
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 2:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Perhaps, if the kids (and face it, DT--they're kids) did what was expected of them, they might earn the things that you believe are so necessary. We had assemblies only on special occasions while attending school. It's nice to see that the principal there at Cooley actually booted out some of the poor performers.

BTW, what happens to them? Are they simply reassigned elsewhere?

I've seen, on the state education Web site, the eleventh-grade MMEs (ACTs) for all Detroit schools, including the private highs. With few exceptions, their scores are downright ugly. Even those scores from the so-called magnet schools at DPS were far less than spectacular and lower than many non-DPS schools in the region.

Kudos for the principal there...
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroitteacher
Member
Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 1212
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 10:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LY: There are but a handful of kids (and it's really not kids who attend Cooley) who are making trouble. It's mostly the parents and the kids who have been booted out (only to return when DPS says we must take them back because no one else wants them) who make the trouble. For the most part (I'd say 90%), our kids are doing right. In a district that has an Afro-Centric curriculum, our African American History Month program was cancelled! We had MANY kids who had rehearsed for performances, wrote poetry and short stories, wrote sketches to be performed, etc and the Principal cancelled the whole thing because an ADULT who did not attend Cooley (nor had children at Cooley) threatened him. Our kids are doing what they are supposed to...it's the outsiders and family members of kids who cause the trouble.

As for testing...this year was a brand new test and had many flaws. It's not only the ACT, it's a battery of tests made by the state, in addition to the ACT. Why don't you come visit and see for yourself some of the great things our kids are doing? Despite not having books, they are putting forth their all. Please save me the lecture on textbooks and the days of your schooling in Milwaukee...it's a whole different era and with 60 kids in a class, it's a bit hard for me to copy anything with no working copier and no paper. OH wait...you expect me to pay for that out of my pocket, I forgot.

(Message edited by detroitteacher on February 17, 2008)
Top of pageBottom of page

Barnesfoto
Member
Username: Barnesfoto

Post Number: 4751
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 10:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nice of you to invite a troll to come out of his hole, DT, but by leaving his hole, his capacity to tell us how things were in Milwaukee in the 60s, or when he taught 5th grade classes decades ago would be diminished...
oh, and kudos on doing a job that so many others claim to know how to do without ever leaving their basements!
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroitteacher
Member
Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 1213
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 11:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have repeatedly invited anyone who cares to see what I deal with on a daily basis to join me in my classroom at any time. LY simply won't come and teach for a day...or just sit back and see what goes on in my class (or any class). I have great kids (as I have repeatedly said) and I love my job (I could go elsewhere and make more money and have less stress). I stay for the kids...it's worth every bit of BS from downtown and the main office when I see that "aha" moment shine through on a kid's face. I am not out to change the world, or all of Detroit...if I can help out just a few kids, then it's all worth it.

**I didn't mean to release the troll! How do we get him back to the hole?
Top of pageBottom of page

Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 5238
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 11:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I saw the components of the 11th grade MMEs. The typical DPS average ACT Composite scores were in the 14s. A few DPS schools had 13s, while there were some 15s, too--all pitifully low.

Mind you that schools outside of DPS scored much, much higher, in case you downloaded and viewed the Excel file. The state Web site listed practically all the high schools in Michigan, both public and private. All of those schools were on a level playing field as far as the MMEs were concerned. So, excusing the dismal results of DPS high schools won't wash. Even the magnets--Renaissance and Cass--had scores higher than other DPS schools, but not exceptional and lower than many high schools, both locally and across the state.

The DPS scores would be much worse hadn't some 60% or so of the kids hadn't already dropped out by that time. Most of the other schools have a higher percentage of their kids still in school. So, it would be a safe assumption that those at DPS who dropped out would have gotten even worse scores and lowered their averages even further.

BTW, I attended high school back so far back that we hardly even had handouts and other items from copiers. We used text books mostly and ancient blackboards! Imagine that! Pretty much by themselves without overhead projectors, even. We were so old fashioned...

Yet those back during the very early 1960s scored the highest ACTs and SATs ever. We didn't have to deal with thugs in class or their thuggish brothers and sisters, cousins, parents, aunts, and uncles picking on the teachers or principals. Had that happened, they would have been arrested back then, for sure.
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroitteacher
Member
Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 1214
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 - 8:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LY: You said (on another thread a bit back) that your teachers copied work for you because you didn't have textbooks. Which is it? Looking from the sentences in your post you need to revisit school. Didn't you proofread? I have no idea why you are knocking DPS when you don't even live in the STATE! Until you come here and do a better job than we are, with what we are given (no extras for you just because you are "special"), I would suggest that you shut your mouth, unless you can back it up with front line news and experience directly in the classroom. The kids at Ren., Cass, and the suburbs have parents that are more involved (for the most part), textbooks that aren't from the 70s (yes, that is what we have), and a Board of Ed that actually cares about the kids instead of servicing their own needs. I do the best I can with what I am given...that includes my students. I don't get to pick my students (as Cass and Ren. do). My kids come to school hungry, homeless, tired, abused, unable to do homework because they don't have electricity or heat (or candles, just in case you argue that they do their work by candlelight), or knowing where they are going to lay their head down next. I can't blame the scores on the kids. I can blame them on society, their parents, some of their teachers, DPS...

Until you make a difference with and for the kids here in DPS, you have no right to criticize.
Top of pageBottom of page

65memories
Member
Username: 65memories

Post Number: 533
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 - 9:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Getting back to the topic, until the School Board and the Superintendent find themselves on the same page regarding policy and vision, there will be no progress or sign of leadership. Those who attended last Thursday's Board meeting at Western will tell you there is a serious rift among Board members and between the Board and Supe. Tyrone Winfrey claimed (and was backed by others) that everytime members offer something innovative to the Supe, they are told the program already exists, is a duplication or it is not feasible. In addition, they are still awaiting approval of items that were introduced last fall (The DPS lagging on SES tutoring is a good example). The split seems to put the Board Pres. Carla Scott and new members on one side, Winfrey/Womack and some old members on the other side, with Marie Thornton saying no to everything. Interesting.
Top of pageBottom of page

Chuckjav
Member
Username: Chuckjav

Post Number: 377
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 - 10:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitteacher....Sorry to hear that the Principal at CHS is running a program of bunker mentality-driven crisis management. Sad to say that things haven't changed much since the mid-70s, when our principal (at Mackenzie) cancelled the January graduation dance because of fighting at a basketball game.

I am inclined to accept the offer of joining you in the classroom; I've always wanted to walk the hallowed halls of Cooley High School. Can you tell me the dates of DPS Spring Break; ours - in Kettering, Ohio - runs March 31 through April 04.

In the past, during our spring break, I have spent time at Mackenzie; alas...never more.
Top of pageBottom of page

Detroitteacher
Member
Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 1215
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 - 10:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Chuck: We are on break now (mid-winter). I believe our Spring break is from Good Friday through that next week (I am unsure of the exact dates).

On the note about programs...Calloway has done away with all of the programs that really worked (the Accelerated Reader Program, to name one). I saw an improvement with kids' reading levels when using that program (and the kids actually liked it!). The tutoring program is a joke. They give the kids perks (such as Ipods, MP3s, etc) and the kids JUST have to sign up. They don't have to attend. The tutoring programs are run by outside contractors who get paid per kid. They don't have to actually tutor (and they don't have certified teachers doing the tutoring), they just have to get the kids signed up. I haven't heard of the SES tutoring having started yet and we are out of school in less than 4 months.
Top of pageBottom of page

Chuckjav
Member
Username: Chuckjav

Post Number: 378
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 - 10:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks DT; if DPS Spring Break begins on the Monday following Good Friday, I could very well pay a visit to your classroom - pick up a Cardinal car flag in-person.

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.