In 2010, Arne Duncan, sneering bad-boy school boss to grinning demagogue Obama’s good-fellow-full-of-hope, declared Detroit to be “Ground Zero,” in schooling because, true enough, Detroit schools scored last in reading, science, and mathematics in national exams in 2010.
In mid-June, 2011, Duncan joined Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and “Emergency Financial Manager,” Roy Roberts in bombing Ground Zero, perhaps into oblivion this time.
The trio announced in a press conference on June 20 at Detroit’s relatively elite Renaissance High School that 34 of Detroit’s worst performing schools, judged by test scores, would be placed in a “System of Schools,” which, eventually, would include the worst schools in the state.
EFM Roberts is a 72 year old former boss at the failed General Motors Corporation, known now in Michigan as Government Motors. Accustomed to having people do what they’re ordered to do, fast, Roberts declared that the Detroit Public Schools are in much worse shape than he initially imagined–and he hasn’t even taken a full tour. Roberts signed a one year deal in May, replacing Eli Broad appointed Robert Bobb.
The System (note, it’s not a school system but the inverse), would move full academic responsibility to individual principals and teachers, devote “95%” of the budget directly to the classroom. This is all to take effect in 2012. We shall learn why below.