Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 3 Mill spent on closed schools Still much more to do... Previous Next
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Urbanoutdoors
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Username: Urbanoutdoors

Post Number: 800
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 10:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20080424/NEW S01/804240336
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Jonnyfive
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Username: Jonnyfive

Post Number: 129
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 10:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

ugh. I thought this new superintendent was supposed to be something other than an idiot.
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Defendbrooklyn
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Username: Defendbrooklyn

Post Number: 828
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 11:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

3 million...Sad!

Years of the worst leadership looks like DPS...Again, Sad!
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Bobceng
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Username: Bobceng

Post Number: 55
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 11:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've been with DPS for 23 years, and have seen it all. One of the reasons a lot of the textbooks
are "out of date" is because the big publishers wine and dine the purchasing agents into throwing out an already paid-for and established textbook program and adopting a whole new one.
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Dannyv
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Username: Dannyv

Post Number: 159
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 12:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The most galling detail I found in the Free Press article was that $3.7M was spent on renovating and updating the athletic fields at Redford. What a terrible waste of resources.

I'd like to hear more from Bobceng on the waste he's seen.
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Detroitteacher
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Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 1274
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 4:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What's even more sad is that teachers offered to go GET the books and supplies (pack it all up and move it to our schools) with our OWN vehicles. The district said no. Could have saved a bundle on moving fees and would have benefitted the KIDS.
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Firstandten
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Username: Firstandten

Post Number: 155
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 8:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Now DT you're a card carrying member of DFT How do you think the union who's responsible for moving that stuff would take to that.

Plus the district is looking at liability issues so they are going to say NO. You have to move the stuff when there not looking
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Detroitteacher
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Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 1275
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 10:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't believe the company that was hired to move the stuff was union. They were outside contractors, not DPS employees. I'd sign a release in order to get books and supplies for my kids!

I schlep books up 3 flights of stairs, have ceiling tiles falling on my head, my floor is coming up, and am at risk for the lights in my room to come down or exploding at any moment. I'm not worried about straining my back carting a few boxes of books.
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Hairybackjoe
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Username: Hairybackjoe

Post Number: 37
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 10:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I recall hearing about another school (I think on the east side) that was under going 3 million in upgrades just as it was put on the first list of schools to be closed.

Unfortunately, I don't recall if the same school made the final list of school closings or not.
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Bobceng
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Username: Bobceng

Post Number: 67
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 11:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I can tell you that the waste goes back for YEARS. My favorite story concerns a brand-new Board trades truck that got clipped by a train; the driver's father was a big muckity-muck with DPS, and simply made the truck "disappear" off the Board's inventory to keep his kid out of trouble. This was in the 1960's; I got the story from the driver's brother.

It was much easier to hide the waste when the tax dollars flowed like "milk and honey", but now you can see ALL the warts. My wife is a 17-year teacher, and together we could write a book. My wife's building was closed on the "first-round" two years ago, and everyone in the building was told to simply leave everything in their room because the contract movers would "take care of everything". Anyone packing as much as a pencil would be fired. Needless to say, half of her stuff never arrived. The moron managing the move for that particular school treated my wife like a complete idiot when she dared to suggest that her teacher's desk was not supposed to have been sent to the dumpster, presumably with everything still in it!

But, don't get me started....
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Bobceng
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Username: Bobceng

Post Number: 68
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 11:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitteacher: sounds like you work in MY building! Honestly, most (but not all!) of the Engineers feel as bad about the building conditions as you do, but we cannot get ANY materials or tradespersons, and have had our own Staffing cut. I used to have three guys with me, but now I'm here by myself, and expected to manage the Custodians as well. Thank you for telling it like it is!
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 6012
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 12:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Honestly, most (but not all!) of the Engineers feel as bad about the building conditions as you do, but we cannot get ANY materials or tradespersons, and have had our own Staffing cut. I used to have three guys with me, but now I'm here by myself, and expected to manage the Custodians as well. Thank you for telling it like it is!

First, Engineers, as far as schools today are concerned, is just a fancy term for JANITORS, nothing else--possibly with some near brain-dead boiler-operation certification. Custodians are lower-level janitors, err Engineers. [And why capitalize Engineers, Staffing, Custodians, etc? Is that a DPS custom?]

Second--the major point: DPS is the inevitable result of the electorate for not taking school-board elections seriously. How could a school district be so dysfunctional for literally decades had the electorate elected competent school-board members? In the case for DPS, they would necessarily have to be reformers--for, at least, a majority of them.

A competent board appoints competent administration, including the superintendent. And so on down the line. When has this ever been implemented? Obviously, never.

What Detroit needs is having recalls of all elected positions for those underperforming officials--both for Detroit city government and DPS school board members.

But, we all know, that'll never happen. We cannot even get rid of the worst mayor in the US. So, getting rid of the school board and its already flawed superintendent won't happen either.

(Message edited by livernoisyard on April 25, 2008)
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Bobceng
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Username: Bobceng

Post Number: 72
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 1:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

livernoisyard, You're Alright In My Book, No Matter What Everybody Else Seems To Think Of You.
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Detroitteacher
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Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 1276
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 4:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bob: I am not, in any way, blaming the custodial or engineering staff for the dismal conditions. You guys are working short-staffed as it is (not to mention our roof is falling in so they have bigger issues to deal with, literally). The problem belongs to DPS not the building folks. Calloway came into our building and the first thing out of her mouth was "this is pitiful, it's too dirty". We realize that things are bad and we all try and pitch in to help but when the roof is collapsing, things tend to get a bit dirty in the halls. Nothing we can do about the rain/snow/mud/plaster everywhere. No money to fix such "luxuries" as the roof, I suppose.

Our custodial/engineering staff is doing their best to keep things in order but it is overwhelming. There are precious few of them and a mountain of issues they have to deal with.
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Firstandten
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Username: Firstandten

Post Number: 157
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 10:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LY- great points but here's the problem. Detroits elections are based on name recognition. People use the school board as a way of getting there name out there so they can run for a paying job next election. The true mission of educating the kids gets lost in the sound bite, bombastic approach of these political hacks. Recalls doesn't do any good. Its just a costly exercise and you will replace hacks with more hacks.
I keep saying over and over again: When the two largest employers of city residents are DPS and City of Detroit you have serious problems. Agenda's get messed up and missions statements do a 180 because its all about keeping that job.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 6023
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 10:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I understand that some 30,000 are city employees or are in DPS. The rub is that virtually all (I included this weasel phrase in case one or more exist...) DPS or city employees may bitch about their dysfunctional work places. However, they will not risk going far enough so that their jobs ever come into jeopardy.

How come some teachers in Detroit really want to get some books out of abandoned buildings, yet cannot get any? If they really wanted or needed to have those books (for the children, of course--just like when they struck...), how much resistance to being told "No!" did they make. Probably little to none, I betcha.

If I wanted those books, I would have seen to it that I got my share. And most assuredly others who weren't timid DPS teachers would have done likewise. But, their jobs (or more accurately--their job security) came first. That's why I'm reluctant to accept all those lovefests bestowed upon DPS teachers, probably mostly by other public-sector employees in or near Detroit.

Meanwhile, those DPS kids are and will remain among the poorest educated in the US and, quite likely, almost the worst on the planet.

(Message edited by livernoisyard on April 25, 2008)
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Detroitteacher
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Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 1277
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 9:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I didn't see to it that I "got my share" because I'm a law abiding citizen and it's illegal to enter those buildings. Not to mention the safety issue with finding goodness knows who inside those buildings trying to get goodness knows what out of them for some cash. Contrary to popular belief, DPS teachers don't pack heat...criminals do.

If I just entered into the buildings without permission and took things out, that would be stealing. I love my job and my kids but am not willing to go to jail over some books. Since I am not a career criminal, I would be the one who gets caught and prosecuted.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 6026
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 10:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

DT: I wouldn't steal them nor would I simply attend some DFT rally (there was at least one recently--maybe you were present?). It would seem that the only way to get DPS to do anything outside of their norm (inadequate provider of education) would be to continually and constantly harass or otherwise goad those in control there to do something. That place must be loaded with clock watchers.

Teachers say they know of others who are incompetent, yet those remain.

How many more of those negative newspaper articles will be issued in the future? It's already obvious that the new superintendent has rapidly become another old superintendent.

Does she ever leave her office suite and physically inspect anything? It wouldn't take much time for a cursory inspection of all DPS facilities--including those abandoned, mothballed schools and depots. She has the markings of a Sgt. Schultz all over her: "I know NOTHING!"

(Message edited by livernoisyard on April 26, 2008)
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Barnesfoto
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Username: Barnesfoto

Post Number: 5011
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 10:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LY seems to have a LOT of time,...Why doesn't HE do something?
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Firstandten
Member
Username: Firstandten

Post Number: 160
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 10:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We are already starting to hear rumblings that the board is not happy with the current superintendent.

I think she will last at least a couple of years simply because DPS can't afford to buy her out.

The board supposedly didn't have the money to hire a search firm so they did it themselves.
If the board had done any due diligence and just googled her name at the time all the negative comments out there from her previous jobs would have raised red flags from the river to 8 mile.
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Bobceng
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Username: Bobceng

Post Number: 77
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 4:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dr. Calloway HAS been out in the buildings. She showed up at one high school two weeks ago and caught a Custodian and Security sitting with a newspaper instead of working. She proceeded to the main office and raked EVERYONE over from the Principal on-down. She also has a place on the DPS website where employees and the Public can directly e-mail her.

My money says she'll be here for a while, and that the Board has no choice but to support her, because a majority of them realize just how close we are to the edge. Also, Dr. Calloway doesn't have all the "connections" and baggage that has led to favoritism and corruption by past Superintendents.

This system hit "stall" speed about two years ago, and is currently in a nosedive. Our only hope at this time is to try and soften some of the blow when we "officially" fall below 100,000 and the charters are uncapped, probably this next year. This is the best time for the unions, Board and legislators to begin working together to plan for this step. Dr. Calloway will have to be the person responsible for taking the lead and coordinating this effort.
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Detroitteacher
Member
Username: Detroitteacher

Post Number: 1278
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 5:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was NOT at the DFT rally. I never go to those. Calloway was in our building a few weeks ago and had nothing new to say. We already knew what she said as she walked about. She visited my class, didn't introduce herself, and was a tad rude (my kids weren't "engaged in the lesson I was supposed to be teaching", according to her...gee, they were taking a quiz...nothing much to see when that happens). She said our building was dirty. That tends to happen when the roof is caving in and plaster is everywhere.

LY: You say I shouldn't steal the books out of vacant schools, yet you tell teachers that you would get them, regardless. Just how do you suppose we go about doing this if we just don't walk in and get/steal them? I've been harassing everyone I can think of to get books. Still no books. Any other brilliant suggestions? Our union is useless at this point, they are doing nothing...why would I support them? I can't get rid of teachers, no matter how much I'd like to do so. I have an idea...why don't YOU come and get me some books, fix the buildings, raise test scores, get rid of crappy teachers, and improve education in DPS?

(Message edited by detroitteacher on April 26, 2008)
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Livernoisyard
Member
Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 6032
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 6:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As I said earlier, DPS truly needs a reform-minded school board elected. However, how likely is that to occur when some two-thirds of Detroit's adults are functionally illiterate. It would be even worse if those 2/3 voted. Look what Detroit votes into public office as it is.

Somebody on DY posted a month or so ago that the second-term student count already fell below 100,000. Might DPS again entice other dropout "students" with lotteries of iPod prizes or whatever in order to get them to show up near the start of next school year and bolster the head counts?

How could the superintendent not know what was and is going on in those facilities under her control? Showing up and dressing down some slacker might be fine and dandy, but that slacker will probably go back to his newspapers once the minor shock or irritation wears down.

And meanwhile the crooks and cronies rip off the taxpayers. Like when DPS replaced miles of perfectly good but older chain-link fences a few years ago. Why? Especially when DPS was whining then about how broke they were.

Anybody somehow connected to DPS has his or her own horror stories about graft and corruption there. Nothing earthshaking.
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Reddog289
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Username: Reddog289

Post Number: 250
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 27, 2008 - 3:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

glad i don,t work for Dps. seeing stuff like what was shown in the freep makes me sick. i do remember reading about redford hs and their field upgrades. its all crazy to me. but as things go , i guess its the way they go

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