A HOPEFUL VISION FOR THE EDUCATION IN DETROIT
During many years, the state of education in Detroit has remained quite complicated and full of challenges of different types, which seem to get more and more complicated with time. The problem is that many students of Detroit schools are not receiving decent knowledge that would allow them to build a successful career in future. However, many students are still hoping to see new perspectives. Many still believe that there is space for change. Although the majority of educational institutions in Detroit have been in trouble for quite a long time, there is still a hopeful vision on this issue that gives a hope that everything can change.
What Are The Main Problems Of Education In Detroit?
The first and main issue is bankruptcy. The problem is that being autonomous units of government, Detroit schools were not subject to the overall city’s reorganization, and thus, they did not gain decent funding. This leads to a terrible physical state of buildings, which gets worse with time until it becomes barely possible to accept a big number of students and provide them with a quality education because the buildings are simply collapsing.
Another big issue is overcrowding of classrooms. A standard middle or high school classroom in Detroit contains minimum 40 students, which creates conditions that are not contributing to increasing the quality of gained knowledge and are not even safe.
Due to both of these issues, many schools were closed. There also were some general indignation and massive strikes, during which teachers demanded the increase of education conditions for students and teachers. A similar situation can be observed in different universities in Detroit. However, there is still some hope.
A Hopeful Vision For The Education In Detroit
Many obstacles prevent educational reforms that are so needed in Detroit today and political or political issues are only a few of them. There are also such problems like lack of accessible transportation, lack of support from the government, and other related issues. The previous attempts to make a change were not too successful.
However, the only way to save the situation is to make radical changes in education. It is the right time to take dramatically different steps – an alternative, hopeful vision assumes putting a greater responsibility on community leaders, school principals, teachers, and students’ parents. Currently, it looks like the most effective way to recover the urban education.
Also, it is important for the state to give the students and their parents more quality educational choices, to give them an opportunity to decide, which school fits their needs the most, instead of following an inefficient address-based school assignment model. Thus, it is important to give parents the right to choose a better educational option for their children instead of just agreeing to stay in the school that was assigned to their child based on their address.
They can instead attend charter schools. Although not all of them are better than public ones, the CREDO research has shown that students tend to receive at minimum several extra months of learning (compared to public schools) during every academic year.
What other methods may help? Among many other strategies, there is one more that can help improve the educational situation in Detroit – the idea is to evenly distribute the funds received from taxes, which currently go to MPSERS pension contributions, among different public schools based on the number of students that study in each. How can it help? Such increase in funding based on a number of students will not only support schools but also expand the opportunities for attracting more good school leaders to the state. What would this mean? Great leaders, in their turn, can make it possible to make a significant positive change in the educational process and students’ performances.
Not less important is to ensure that both parents and students would take a bigger responsibility for students’ academic achievements – it is important to stimulate students’ desire to learn and obtain a high-quality education.
Of course, it is important to improve the overall educational conditions for everyone. But it is also important that students take the responsibility for their self-education and their performance – so, students are so purposeful that if they say to themselves: "I must write my essay now.", then with no doubts, they will do it. "
Some other changes should affect the teachers. For example, adopting a new, innovative form of teachers’ certification, as well as providing teachers with more educational resources, could bring some positive effect to the overall situation.
Without a doubt, the situation in Detroit requires some fast and effective actions but there is still a hope that everything can be changed with a right approach. There are many opportunities for improvement. Thus, with an effective collaboration of government, schools, teachers, and parents – it will be possible to find new ways of solving the current problems.