The news out of the Detroit, Michigan area over the problematic issues involving its schools systems is getting more gloomy by the day.
Detroit Public Schools (DPS) has been making national headlines because of the district’s dire financial troubles over the past few years. This past May, teachers were staging protests over legitimate concerns involving the payment of their salaries. In June, the Michigan state legislature reached a solution, which helped DPS deal with its staggering debt crisis.
Detroit is flush with dilapidated school buildings and about 50% of the children who attend the city’s public school district live in grinding poverty. However, suburban public school districts of the cities on the outskirts of Detroit are dealing with a totally different reality that is far more rosy than the horror stories of the inner-city.
EdBuild, a non-profit organization that conducts education research recently found out that only seven percent of children in Gross Pointe, Michigan ( a suburban city a few miles away from Detroit) are living in impoverished households. Gross Pointe’s graduation rate for high school students is a respectable 95 percent.
In Detroit, the high school graduation rate is 77 percent. “The new [EdBuild] report outlines the pairs of school districts with the most socioeconomically segregated borders around the country, using census data to compare rates of school-age poverty,” wrote Rebecca Klein, the Education Editor for The Huffington Post.
EdBuild’s study also found that segregation in the Detroit area is more prevalent than even the historically racist southern states of the U.S. “The distance between the haves and the have-nots is greater than anywhere else,” wrote the authors of the EdBuild study report.
Unfortunately, the story of Detroit’s public school woes are not uncommon in other cities across the U.S. Issues of race and class will continue to be a problem as long as ideology (instead of common sense) continues to rule the day at state capitols across the nation.