Posts Tagged ‘Detroit


Thomas Moss, high school asst. principal talks about the district

Thomas Moss, Jr., an assistant principal at Renaissance High School gives his take on education and why DPS struggles. He links city government to education when explaining the issue DPS faces. Moss also attributes a quality education to parental involvement, noting that it is an essential component to a child’s education. Moss has been with Detroit Public Schools for over 15 years. He started off as a substitute teacher, then moved on to be an attendance officer at Cooley High School, which is now closed. While at Cooley, Moss became a social studies teacher and head football coach. Later on, he was promoted to assistant principal until it was closed in 2010. I chose to interview him because he has performed in many different capacities with DPS and could offer some insight on why the district in trouble.

Interview – Thomas Moss Jr. by tempren08


Detroit Public Schools – “I’m In”

This is a promotional video for Detroit Public Schools. It features Donald Walker, DPS Program Manager. Through the first half of the video he describes the rugged streets of Detroit while sharing little known facts about DPS. Throughout the second half of the video, scenes of classrooms and community involvement are shown, representing progress made to improve the school system. I think this is such a positive video for DPS because it sheds light on what things are being done to make the school system better. It uplifts the community and encourages involvement.


Cass Tech being demolished

The old Cass Technical High School is in its first phase of demolition

According to the Detroit News, demolition of the building once occupied by Cass Technical High School began last Wednesday. The 89-year old building, which stand next to the new Cass, closed in 2005. The first phase of the demolition is expected to last 10 weeks. The 1981 addition to the building was demolished first.

The school district is paying $3 million for the demolition contract, which is being funded through a DPS $500.5 million bond program.

The old high school stands tall with 7-1/2 floors and has never been emptied of its furniture and other supplies.

Although demolition has begun, Cass Tech Alumni Association Chair, Ray Litt, hasn’t given up hope. At the funeral hosted by the association last Tuesday, Litt announced that a developer has shown interest in the building and is willing to buy the building from Detroit Public Schools. After purchasing the old school, the developer plans to renovate and redevelop it to create lofts and house restaurants and other tenants. An offer is expected to be made Monday.

Litt did not disclose who the potential buyer is or what amount they would pay. But school officials doubt that the offer will last.

Detroit Public Schools spokesman, Steve Wasko, said the school system’s only goal is to provide a safe environment for students, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Despite talk of a potential buyer, demolition will continue.

Jasmine Morgan, a 2008 graduate of Cass Technical High School, was a member of the last freshmen class to walk the halls of the old building.

“I feel sad because the building was historical, but it is an eyesore for people of the city,” said Morgan. “But even in the new building the legacy for the Cass Technicians will continue.”

Facts about “old Cass”

  • Formerly known as Cass Union School
  • Founded in 1861
  • Established to provide training in woodworking and metal trades for young men
  • Built on land given to the City of Detroit by former Secretary of State and Michigan Governor Lewis Cass
  • The land had a pickle factory on it

The new Cass Tech stand right next to the old building it once occupied

Facts about “new Cass”

  • LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council
  • Includes an indoor arena
  • Includes a competition-sized swimming pool
  • Includes a 1,100-seat theater,
  • Includes a two-story greenhouse
  • Won the top design award given out by Learning By Design, a prestigious national guide that showcases outstanding school design and construction projects.




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Detroit Metro Chess League

The Detroit Metro Chess League has been around for over 20 years, giving students all over the city of Detroit the opportunity to compete against one another. Through these tournaments, players can increase their chess ranking, which puts themselves, as well as their teams in a better division for the national tournament.


More DPS schools to close

According to the Detroit Free Press, school board members are suing Robert Bobb for control of academic decisions, which makes sense. Bobb was hired to take care of the financial deficit the district has been facing, but yet he manages to delve into classroom business a little more than he should. He has given teachers instructions on how to educate their students, which doesn’t add up with his background. Bobb hasn’t taught anyone; therefore, he is not in position to tell teachers how to teach. He doesn’t know what teachers have to put up with on a daily basis.

For someone who tells teachers how to educate students, Bobb continues to close schools, which increases class sizes at remaining schools. 32 schools were closed at the end of 2009-2010 school year, forcing some remaining schools to merge with each other, creating larger classrooms.

Thomas M. Cooley High School was closed at the end of the 2009-2010 school year

According to the Detroit Free Press, class sizes could grow to more than 60 students. As of now, Bobb’s new plan is to close 70 more schools by 2013 and outsource services with the city and the countrywide education agency between now and 2014. Services include custodial and security.

So how does he expect teachers to successfully educate students when their classrooms resemble that of a college or university? Classrooms are meant to be small in order for students to receive a more personal and hands-on education. Teachers can’t effectively tend to the needs of each student in that kind of environment. Large classroom sizes among students will cause disruption, and provide students a disservice.


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