“Let’s make no mistake about it. This is a school district in crisis,” Robert Bobb told a crowd of a couple hundred at a Wayne State University Alumni Affairs-organized event.
Bobb reviewed his first year at the district, describing how he and his team reviewed thousands of documents before coming and the steps they’ve taken to audit, restructure and budget for the district since he’s been here.
Many in the crowd were supportive, applauding Bobb’s calls for better parental support and higher student achievement as well as his descriptions of how he revamped financial, personnel and other systems in the district.
But others did not applaud, even as he finished his hour-long speech.
Bobb took spontaneous questions from some of the two dozen people who lined up to ask about district issues ranging from why hasn’t he better engaged alums of some high schools to efforts at collaboration between the district and local businesses, universities and cultural institutions.
When asked what’s fun about his job, Bobb described meeting with two 5-year-old students he’s tutoring, putting his weekly time with them permanently on his calendar. “I’m sticking with those kids. Those children will be academic stars,” he said.
Brought in a year ago by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, his contract has been extended by one year; he says he’ll stay through February 2011. He said he intends to leave a plan for both finances and academics that future boards of education, superintendents and other district administrators can follow.
He also said he intended to pursue legislation that would have “trigger points” if the district has budgetary issues after he leaves. “There would be a return of an EFM,” he said. —Sandra Svoboda
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.