Today I got a chance to attend a block club party hosted by United’s Meet Up to Eat Up in Detroit. This block club was located at Chandler Park which is not too far from my local organization Friends of Parkside. When I arrived at the park I was greeted by the sound of familiar music and friends that I made at Friends of Parkside. I was even able to make new connections with people who will possibly be able to attend the health fair.
Although being able to meet new potential vendors was a joy, when the neighborhood children took the stage I was over the moon. The informal performance from the children reminded me of what it was like to have fun as a youth. As they “whipped and nae-naed” I could not help but to smile at their moves which allowed them to express themselves in different ways.
Their dancing gave me joy as they enjoyed the sunny summer day. Although the children seemed to be enjoying their day their presence reminded me of an article I read earlier that day. This was an article posted in the New York Times about charter schools in Detroit. Charter schools have seemingly taken over the city of Detroit through EAA programs and public funding which has allowed more charter schools to develop in the city.
After the event, I wondered which students at the block club attend charter schools and which ones are a part of DPS or other districts. Whatever school their parents have chosen for them to attend they seem to be in an education fiasco. Less than two years ago, I was a part of a similar group of students being talked about in Detroit. Many of our supplies lacked due to the underfunding of public schools in Detroit. Even further, I was one of the students caught in the middle of a battle between the teachers and the state government. Why were my teachers suffering and they often held at least a master’s degree and were certified to teach in their given subjects? Even further why were the students suffering because of “big shots” who wanted to direct public funds elsewhere?
Despite the underfunding of schools DPS teachers often prepared Detroit students better than many charter schools and surrounding schools in the area. So why are government officials both democrat and republican pushing to expand charter schools while receiving public funds? The short answer is MONEY and to break up the Detroit teacher’s union.
I can not express how fed up I am with the decisions being made against true public education in Detroit. Meanwhile, a true disservice is being done to the residents of Detroit who have students that are receiving an education that is below standard in many cases. We need to put the tax dollars back into the public school system where quality teachers can be hired and maintained in order to provide a quality education to Detroit students.
However, as DPS and state officials constantly mistreat DPS teachers I see many of the familiar faces I knew leaving in order to seek better opportunities for themselves and their children.
I stand with the DPS teachers who are on the ground every day fighting for quality education and schools for every student.