Detroit Bankruptcy and Pensions
Five basic lessons on public education (short and long versions)

Detroit Schools

I went to Osborne High School (I think it has an e), in 1976. (Typed wrong on Facebook, need to fix it). I was a sophomore. At the time, Osborne has classes going on from 7:00 am until 9:00 pm at night, and both teachers and students were on flex schedules to make it work. The enrollment is MUCH smaller now and I think that campus is being shut down. One of my current administrators went to the high school next door, at the same time and it was equally as big.

We had college track classes, I know, I took them. In fact, I was in my 2nd year of Latin there, and the teacher was terrific. It was probably the only class I was challenged in, but I was going to a really tough school in Ft. Wayne Indiana at the time and was on the varsity debate team. His college had college prep – he went to college on a football scholarship.

I was treated very well by everyone, both students and staff. In fact, much better then in Jackson, MS, the next year.

So when one of the major news magazines started a series on Detroit, I decided to see if it were feasible for me to go back to Detroit and teach there. I went and looked several times, including last summer.

Yes, I could go back as a remedial math teacher. Teaching computer science? Not so much. In fact, I saw very few openings for college prep type teachers. Not even math college prep level. I also found very few schools were teaching those programs.

Now I'm in Dallas ISD. We have college prep teachers on every campus. Not computer science always, but certainly AP level math teachers. We have to offer four years of math.

That doesn't seem to be happening in Detroit, and Detroit's issues are not going to get any better if they are not offering college prep to their students.

And I'm not one of those teachers that think that every child is going to college. However, the option has to be there. I think you are not serving your community well if that option is not on the table.


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