Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has taken action to make it easier for parents to learn more about the schools in their neighborhood through the work of the Community Education Commission. It is the first step in a plan the mayor says will improve education in the city.
Members of the Community Education Commission formed just this year say together, already, they have accomplished a lot.
For example, this fall the commission is launching a school bus transportation loop that will serve children at six Detroit Public School Community District and four charter schools.
“It isn’t about this side or that side, or what happened in the past. It is about moving forward and saying we can do this collectively,” said Monique Marks, the chair of the commission.
Marks says it is unique in that charter and public schools are working together. The commission also launched a website with details on all schools in the city. It helps parents learn what schools are in their neighborhood and what each school offers.
The commission plans to, in the future, evaluate school performance.
“It is about supporting parents as they navigate the landscape of Detroit education. We are working diligently to first make changes like transportation, school guides, and after-school programming,” said Marks.
“Now you want to judge schools. It is full of politics. I don’t want our children to get lost,” said Aliya Moore, a concerned parent in the Detroit Public School Community District.
She is concerned about the mayor’s commission grading schools. She says she doesn’t want the city to ultimately decide the fate of schools. She says that should be left to parents and school leaders.
“What is the criteria this commission is looking at when they are considering grading schools,” Moore asked.
The commission says the details are still being worked out.
“Whatever we can do to make sure it is fair and equitable, we want to do that,” Marks said.
It is an issue that will be worked out in the coming months.
If you want to learn more or use the commission’s online guide to schools in Detroit, click here.