When will Detroit parents be allowed off the DPS plantation?

schoolIn her column on Sunday, Oct. 4, Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley reported the following:

Duggan said he will measure his success by whether the city’s population rises. He said the number of residents leaving the city every month has dropped from about 1,000 a month to nearly none. If spring U.S. Census figures bear him out, he wants to continue to rebuild viable neighborhoods, which will need schools in them.
Duggan’s comments come just a few months after the Detroit Coalition for the Future Education of Children and Gov. Rick Snyder released different plans to structure city schools. Duggan agrees with the coalition that an elected school board should run the new Detroit Public Schools. The governor’s plan is more complicated.

Except there really isn’t anything complicated about it when you take a look, or if you’ve been following along these past few years. In short, Gov. Snyder doesn’t  believe Detroit parents are qualified yet to elect their own school board members, and he definitely doesn’t want anything to do with the ones they already elected, who now refer to themselves cryptically as the Detroit Public School Board in Exile. They ain’t got they mind right yet. My guess would be that Snyder will consider Detroit parents sufficiently qualified to vote in their own best interest once they are prepared to repeat after Master Boss and confess that their ‘best interests’ are in perfect alignment with his.
Pretty much everything about the way in which Snyder has handled emergency management (by ignoring the will of the voters and forcing his will down their throats) still ticks me off. Yep, even now. Even after so many now sing the praises of dearly departed Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, and even after the bankruptcy has gone through and Detroit appears to be on a firm upswing.
That upswing is great, but by permitting the suspension of democracy whenever it feels right to whoever happens to be in power at the time, we get results like what’s happening now with DPS (and also in Flint, which is why you need to check out Wednesday’s story in the Michigan Chronicle by Curt Guyette about the Flint water crisis). This is truly the dark side of emergency management. The Detroit Coalition for the Future Education of Children is Snyder’s own coalition that he put together, and even they are saying that Detroiters deserve to elect their own school board members. Because not allowing them to do so is essentially taxation without representation which, since none of the governing bodies currently overseeing Detroit’s schools are elected by Detroit residents, is exactly what is going on. And Snyder’s own coalition didn’t have a hard time figuring that one out because it should be fairly obvious to those with functioning gray matter.
Mayor Duggan, not exactly known to be Snyder’s arch enemy, is also on board with the commission that Detroiters deserve to have their own elected representatives on the school board. But Snyder thinks, well, you know, only because he cares so much for the kids, that perhaps there is a better way for him to go at this:

Under Snyder’s plan, a Detroit Education Commission, which he and Duggan would jointly appoint, would oversee the city’s traditional public schools and charter schools.

Because in Snyder Land, things just seem to go so much better when he’s in full control. Democracy is for punks.


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