We received a number of responses for Curt Guyette's Sept. 24 cover story about Buzz, the buggy education software used on Detroit students under the Educational Achievement Authority. Jen Lenardon of Redford wrote:
Thank you for printing the report by Curt Guyette on the inner workings of the EAA. However, the use of the past tense "exploited" in the report's title suggests that the issues of the EAA, as well as other "alternative" education solutions within Detroit, are no longer a threat to the city's children. There needs to be more focus, if not an onslaught of reports, on schools within Detroit that claim to provide a better educational solution for urban families.
As a (recently) former Detroit charter school teacher of nine years, I know firsthand the daily frustrations of trying to provide urban students a quality education within a framework that does not put the needs of the students first. Case in point — for-profit management companies such as the Leona Group and National Heritage. If one is truly inspired to make a difference in the lives of children, one does not go into education for profit. Additionally, more and more charter schools are hiring TFA (Teach For America) teachers to "close the gap." How's that working out? How are extended days and school years, with few (if any) elective courses (especially in the fine arts) working out? Detroit students are only viewed as a dollar signs and numbers by these management companies, not as developing humans with needs, desires, wishes, and dreams, as people who are looking for an outlet or a chance at finding something to inspire them, and are instead provided with the daily drone of the basic core curriculum.
I left Detroit this year for a teaching position in a public, suburban school and took a $7,000 pay cut to do it. I feel guilty as hell for leaving my kids in Detroit behind so they can be yet another guinea pig for yet another management company touting promises of higher academic achievement and student-centered learning models. I just couldn't spend another year watching the light in the eyes of my students fade as they served another year of their educational career under the control of a system that is ultimately stifling and suffocating these kids because that system only views them as a profit margin.
Please continue focusing on the educational crisis that persists within Detroit. The more our citizens are aware of the issue, the closer we are to changing that system.
2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate?
In response to Michael Jackman's Sept. 26 blog post "Detroit media can't put down pom-poms for Ilitch" Vince Carducci wrote:
In their study, "The Economics of Sports Facilities and Their Communities," by John Siegfried and Andrew Zimbalist, published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, it's pretty conclusive that not only do publicly subsidized sports facilities fail to justify the return on investment; they are actually a financial drain. The mainstream media post the 1995 newspaper strike are the civic-booster equivalent of Pravda.
We received a number of comments about Dave Mesrey's Sept. 27 blog post, "It was 15 years ago today Tiger Stadium hosted its final Major League Baseball game." Reader "Tigerval" wrote:
What a wonderful story ... you gave me goose bumps. You can't make this stuff up!
Reader "Joe" wrote:
I read this story three times back to back. What a great story! I wish Metro Times would run more articles like this. When I read this I could hear the sounds and smell the smells of old Tiger Stadium. Well done!