Detroit’s death march will continue without the creation of great schools and safe neighborhoods

Many of the basic U.S. Census statistics remain frankly discouraging. The poverty rate in Detroit shot up between the 2010 census and the 2015 update, to about 40% in 2015 from less than 35% five years earlier. (It was 26% back in 2000.)

That probably reflects more families of means moving out of the city, leaving the city that much poorer. Median household income in the city declined during that period, to less than $26,000 in 2015 — less than half the national average — from about $29,000 in 2010.

In a key economic indicator, Detroit’s workforce participation rate — the percentage of adults either working or actively looking for a job — remains at about 53%, the lowest of any major U.S. city for which data is available. That rate, which means that nearly half the adults in Detroit are neither working nor looking for a job, stands 10 percentage points below the national average and far below the 75% participation rate in a tech-savvy, youth-oriented city like Seattle.

Source: How best to measure Detroit success and Mayor Mike Duggan’s?

Parent focus groups reveal disconnect between real and perceived student performance

The vast majority of parents believe their children are performing at or above grade level in both reading and math. According to nationally representative data from nonprofit parent advocacy organization Learning Heroes, across race, class, income and education levels, 90% of parents think their children are proficient in these two subjects.

Educators know the reality is very different. National data indicates about 33% of students are proficient in math and 34% are proficient in reading.

The 2016 Learning Heroes survey report — soon to be followed up with the 2017 version — provides a useful touchstone for school districts in their parent engagement efforts. Yoni Geffen, manager of family and empowerment and academic partnership at the Denver Public Schools Office of Family and Community Engagement, said the huge disparity in actual and perceived performance is striking.

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This Mom Went to Jail Making Sure Her Son Received a High-Quality Education and She Would Do It All Over Again

“It’s been five years since Tanya McDowell made national headlines after she was charged with larceny for “stealing an education” for her son. Even with some time to think, McDowell believes enrolling her son at a Norwalk Public School was the right call.”

It’s a shame that a mother is charged with a crime for simply wishing a better education for her child. Unbelievable!

Source: This Mom Went to Jail Making Sure Her Son Received a High-Quality Education and She Would Do It All Over Again

Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, seeks to stop charter school expansion in Illinois

State Representative Will Guzzardi has introduced legislation that would all but stop charter school expansion in Illinois. Guzzardi’s bill would block the opening of any new charter campuses…

At US Parents, we wonder if Rep. Guzzardi believes that Chicago’s public schools are now performing so well for all kids, especially those most at-risk, that additional school choices are no longer needed.  “Mission accomplished” for Rep. Guzzardi?

Source: This bill would stop charter school expansion in Illinois. | Fred Klonsky

Secretary DeVos, please ignore advice from timid conservatives ensconced in Ivory Tower think tanks

“U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos came to Washington to push the USA’s public education system to support not just public schools but private and religious schools as well.”

“While school choice advocates steadfastly support the federal government underwriting small private-school voucher efforts in places like Washington, D.C., and in Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, among others, even these folks caution that the Trump administration should think twice before expanding school choice nationwide.”

Really?  So, in the meantime 5 million mostly poor children of color should just accept their fate and just languish in failing schools?   Would these conservative think-tank analysts propose a ‘go-slow’ approach if their kids were stuck in hopeless schools?  President Trump has a chance to truly shake up public education and now is the time to do so.

Source: Conservatives to DeVos: Be careful what you wish for on school choice

Michigan has the schools it deserves, says Nolan Finley

By Nolan Finley

“There is no culture of education in Michigan. It’s not a priority here.”  Best practices for bettering school performance abound. All we need to do is adopt them, Finley writes.

The most startling finding: Just 28 percent of parents believed a college education was essential to the success of their children. Michigan was clearly still clinging to a past era when the route to a comfortable middle-class life was just as likely to go through a factory as it was a college campus.

Source: Finley: Michigan has the schools it deserves