Detroit Parents Opt Out of Testing
Lansing Should ListenThe 450-and-counting Detroit parents who've opted out of this year's state standardized tests are asking a simple question: Why?
City schools test low — predictably, because poverty is strongly correlated to poor academic performance, and the number of Detroit kids who live in poverty is unacceptably high — results the state uses to justify any number of punitive measures, most recently, threatening to close schools the state says are failing.
The state has backed off that idea, largely because it is an idea that sounds fine on paper but does not work in real life. Closing failing schools — and there is no question that too many Detroit schools are not achieving the results they ought — does not offer parents and students better choices. But that threat is looming, and it is no solution to Detroit's schools crisis.
Closing a failing school means asking already overtaxed parents in a city with dysfunctional public transit to carry their children miles to a not-quite-as-failing school, now struggling to accommodate an influx of new students, and it's just about the only solution that could be worse than the problem. But that's the big idea in state government these days, and it's right in line with the other top-down reform options — like emergency managers and appointed CEOs — all justified, in the minds of our current clutch of lawmakers, by those abysmally low test scores.
Story written by Nancy Kaffer of the Detroit Free Press
The Real Effects of Lead Poisoning
In August 2016, the Detroit Parent Network and the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program held a discussion with parents regarding the effects of lead on children, their development and the best ways to keep kids safe.
Parents were also able to speak with Dr. Erin Diaz from the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc. on ways to locate academic resources for students that have been effected by lead.