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    Detroit Parents so Outraged over Test Scores they want Teachers Jailed

    Wow, here’s a headline to get your attention: “Detroit parents want DPS teachers, officials jailed over low test scores”. The Detroit News ran this story on December 12, 2009, after outraged parents discovered their children had the worst math scores in the nation!

    The scores were from the National Assessment of Educational Progress test. The results showed 69% of Detroit 4th graders scoring below basic in math and 77% of 8th graders also scoring below basic in math. Those were the worst scores the city has seen in the 40 years that students in Detroit have been taking the progress test.

    Parents were livid at the school district for its failure to educate their children. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

    “Sharlonda Buckman, CEO of the Detroit Parent Network, called for jailing and civil lawsuits against anyone in the city’s educational system that is not doing his or her share to help properly educate children.

    ‘Somebody needs to go to jail,’ she said in a tearful address to 500 parents gathered Saturday for the organization’s annual breakfast forum. ‘Somebody needs to pay for this. Somebody needs to go to jail, and it shouldn’t be the kids.’

    Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb told the crowd the test scores weren’t the result of children who were incompetent or parents who didn’t care. He blamed the scores on the district not doing its job.

    ‘This is an abysmal failure,’ Bobb said. ‘It is not the fault of our kids individually, and it is not the fault of our kids collectively. It is not the kids’ fault. It is the adults’ fault. It is a failure of leadership.’

    The scores were so low that DPS parent Tonya Allen said she thinks students could have stayed home and done just as badly on the tests.”

    Though the test score news is very disappointing, it is great to read about parents who are so tired of the excuses offered up by school districts that they are motivated to take matters into their own hands.

    Of course a potential teacher union strike led by the Vote No and Prepare to Strike Committee is looming. Teachers are considering abandoning the classroom if their new contract contains the following terms: In order to eliminate the $219 million deficit, teachers give $500 a month from their paychecks to the district so that the district can use the money now and return it to them when the teachers retire.

    Sharlonda Buckman said about this: “If they strike, I hope we start a homeschool movement,” she said in a fiery rebuke. “If you want to walk out on us now, when we have all of our kids failing…you can’t do it.”

    What an ugly mess. I hope the Detroit parents keep up their fury and keep demanding a better education for their children. I also hope the teachers start listening.

    The Detroit News article can be found here: http://www.detnews.com/article/20091212/schools/912120373/detroit-parents-want-dps-teachers–officials-jailed-over-low-test-scores

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