Perhaps inspired by Chrysler's success in staving off ruin, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick called for 25 new charter schools this week in a push to revitalize the city's troubled public-education system. "While DPS is getting its legs, we have to move very aggressively to make sure Detroit parents have good education options right now," he said. Kilpatrick's plan includes reaching out to city organizations, such as museums and hospitals, to help run small, specialized schools. He would also recruit local universities to sponsor the schools. But some district officials were not so keen. School board president Jimmy Womack charged that "charter schools don't have a track record when it comes to academic achievement to date." Of course, Womack didn't mention the district's own track record, which has been nothing short of miserable, or that Detroit schools are hemorrhaging thousands of families (lots to those purportedly unproven charter schools). Two years back, the mayor backed out on a $200 million private donation to create 15 charter schools; this time around, he should put the pedal to the metal and not look back.
"Kilpatrick wants 25 charter schools," by Nolan Finley, Detroit News, May 14, 2007
"Kilpatrick school plan opposed," by Jennifer Mrozowski, Detroit News, May 15, 2007
"Kilpatrick's charter plan deserves broad support," Detroit News, May 15, 2007