Archive for April 16th, 2011


Teachers receive layoff notices

All members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers have received layoff notices. Administrators were served with non-renewal notices.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers consists of 5,466 members. There are 248 administrators in the district.

Emergency Financial Manager, Robert Bobb plans to revise union contracts in May. The notices are required under the collective bargaining agreement. The effective date for layoffs for the Detroit Federation of Teachers is at the end of the day on July 29.

Detroit Federation of Teachers Keith Johnson said the majority of layoff notices will be dismissed, especially in areas like math, science, foreign and bilingual languages, and computer technology.

This is the first time every member of the Detroit Federation of Teachers received layoff notices and the first time their contract has been threatened with termination.

In 2009, Bobb wanted the union to give up the process of hiring based on seniority to give administrators the power to hire and fire teachers despite their years of experience. The Detroit Federation of Teachers agreed to $90 million in concessions, but had to loan the school district $10,000.

Bobb is allowed to modify or terminate existing collective bargaining agreements. But he would have to wait 60 days, or until May 17.

Layoff and non-renewal notices don’t necessarily mean that everyone will lose their jobs. Last year, 2,000 teachers received layoff notices but by August most of the notices were dismissed. But, all teachers had to re-interview for their jobs.

I disagree with Keith Johnson. The majority of layoff notices won’t be dismissed due to the fact 45 schools are either being closed or converted to charter schools. Therefore when this happens less teachers and administrators will be needed in DPS. My mom is a teacher and my father is an assistant principal. I hate the fact that they have to re-interview for their jobs each year, especially my mom whose been teaching for 27 years. It’s just all wrong.

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Over 40 schools to be converted to charters

Emergency Financial Manager of Detroit Public Schools, Robert Bobb, has proposed to convert over 40 schools to charter schools. The plan is called “Renaissance 2012.”

The deficit elimination plan that is already in place calls for closing 70 schools over a two-year period by 2013. It will also decrease the number of principals and increase class sizes. But, Bobb doesn’t think the plan would benefit students’ education experience.

Along with “Renaissance 2012,” Bobb proposed four other plans. Two would call for more school closings. The third proposed the expansion of charter schools. The school district currently contains nine charter schools. The fourth plan includes the creation of a new district, a request for a fixed level of state funding despite enrollment levels and conversion of 41 public schools to charter schools.

School Board President Anthony Adams believes this to be plan. The fourth plan, known as the hybrid model, would save the district $75 million to $99 million in operating costs, $22 million in closure costs, while adding an estimated $21.85 million in revenues from charter schools for building and equipment leases.

Enrollment is expected to drop 30 percent from nearly 73,000 students in 2011 to nearly 51,000 by 2016. Bobb’s last day as the emergency financial manager is June 30. The state plans to replace him with another financial manager.

Charter operators and entrepreneurs visited a conference April  14 to get a closer look at Bobb’s new plan, Renaissance 2012, to eliminate the deficit DPS faces. Over 70 organizations interested in chartering public schools came to the conference. Those interested were encourage to apply and given information on buildings, tours and what it takes to establish a charter board.

I think the whole charter school thing is pointless because it will most likely produce the same results as DPS. As of now, it’s not a requirement for teachers to be certified, unlike it is in DPS. Teachers get paid less to deal with the same kids that go to DPS. I understand the idea is to fix the deficit but selling schools to the highest bidder isn’t the right way.

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School Board President accused of living outside of Detroit

Detroit School Board President, Anthony Adams’ wife has accused him of living outside of the city, which violates board policy.

Deborah Ross Adams, a judge in Wayne County Circuit Court, claims her husband lives in Oakland County in her divorce filing. She also filed that he’s claiming that he lives in their Palmer Woods home to meet his residency requirement for the school board.

School Board President Anthony Adams

Adams served as deputy mayor under former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. In court records, he said that his wide changed the lock on their home and asked him to stay away. But, Adams does admit that he temporarily lives in an apartment on East Jefferson, which is outside of the district he was elected in.

He filed for divorce in 2009 after 31 years of marriage. In a deposition, said he stopped living at he and his estranged wife’s home in January 2005.

Their divorce is scheduled for March 21 before Oakland Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Brennan. Their case was transferred to Oakland County Circuit Court after all judges in Wayne County Family Court dismissed themselves. His wife is a family court judge. She alleges that Adams lives in Troy with another woman, which has yet to be proven.

Although Adams may be in violation of school board policy, which requires all members to be residents of the city of Detroit, DPS has bigger fish to fry, like the school system’s deficit, school closures and layoff notices. Maybe after the smoke clears, officials should further investigate allegations. Hopefully, this isn’t just a product of a woman scorned making up false accusations.

I’m just tired of elected officials in Detroit thinking that they can do whatever they want and feel exempt from any punishment. For example, look at former mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick. He did pretty much everything illegal in office. Yet, while in prison he seeks a lesser sentence and believes he’s done nothing wrong.