Mayor Bing Says Eliminating Democratic Control of Schools (“Change”) is Necessary; Ducan’s “Race to Wreck Education” Funds Used as Wedge Against Detroit Voters

AP’s Corey Williams reported yesterday: “Education Secretary Arne Duncan said … Detroit’s troubled public schools are ‘ground zero’ for education in the U.S. and promised federal help if leaders are willing to make necessary changes.”

Detroit should follow the path of Chicago and New Orleans, says Duncan.  “Duncan, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, newly elected Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Robert Bobb, the district’s emergency financial manager, spoke with students at Cody High School about improving education.  The city was Duncan’s second stop on his national ‘Listening and Learning Tour’.”

“He’s got billions of dollars in Race to the Top Recovery Act money that they are willing to invest in the cities that are willing to make the changes necessary to get the results we want,” Granholm said.  Despite evidence that eliminating public control over education improves what goes on inside schools, “Duncan has been a proponent of turning control of Detroit’s school system over to the mayor, and said he is encouraged by Bing’s interest in Detroit schools.”

Williams notes: “An elected school board runs the system, and Detroit voters in 2004 overwhelmingly turned down a proposal to hand over that power to the mayor. But with $5 billion at Duncan’s disposal, Bing doesn’t see a problem. “I think the mood of this city and its citizens have really changed since five years ago. Everybody is pretty much outraged with the outcomes at this point, and a change is necessary.”

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