Posts Tagged ‘DPS


Former GM exec named DPS financial manager

Gov. Rick Snyder announced former General Motors executive Roy Roberts as the new emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools Wednesday May 4 at the Michigan Office in the Cadillac Place building in Midtown, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The 72 year-old was the highest-ranking African American in the auto industry. He retired in 2000 after serving as GM Vice President for North American Sales, Service and Marketing.

Former General Motors executive, Ray Roberts, was named DPS emergency financial manager

Gov. Snyder said he wanted someone from the Detroit area and called Roberts, a Bloomfield Hills resident, a team builder with perfect qualifications.

As of now, new decisions or changes have not been planned by Roberts. The current plan for school closures and school board will remain in place until an evaluation can be made to determine if changes should be made, according to Roberts. He will have the authority to modify or cancel union contracts beginning May 17.Roberts is the district’s seventh leader in six years.

He will be paid $250,000 for a one-year contract. Snyder could extend the contract when the year is up. Roberts and Bobb will work closely to work on a transition plan over the next few weeks. He starts his first day on the job on May 15, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Roberts will be met with a load of unpaid bills and a district that has spent a third of its money to repay short-term loans. Robert Bobb was puzzled by the district’s spending when he first arrived.

“In the world I live in you don’t issue bonds to cover ongoing operating expenses,” said Bobb.

The district has accumulated $45.8 million in unpaid invoices dating back to 2009, according to documents from the DPS Office of Accounting. If the bills aren’t paid by June 30, the deficit could go up  and hurt the district’s chances of borrowing, according the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit Public Schools has increased short-term borrowing in order to pay its bills. DPS predicts to make $1.5 billion in revenues. They also plan to have $500 million of it set aside to pay on notes from 2005, 2009 and 2010, according to the district’s March cash flow statement. The money will retire much of that short-term debt, but the district plans to take out more short-term loans next year, according to the statement.

The Michigan education and treasury departments have been monitoring the DPS budget since 2005.

Detroit Public Schools has a $327 million budget deficit, up from $219 million in 2009. About 1% of graduates are college-ready, compared to 16% statewide. The graduation rate for DPS is 62%, compared to 76% statewide. Former superintendent, Connie Calloway believes that the district has a tough road to travel.

“Without a successful public education system, like most of the urban centers, they’re not going to make it,” said Calloway.

Who is Roy Roberts?

Roy Roberts is the ninth of ten children, raised in Muskegon. His father raised him after his mother died at age 2. Roberts graduated from Western Michigan University, where he is  a trustee emeritus.

He currently serves as the managing director and co-founder of a Chicago-based private equity investment firm called Reliant Equity Investors.

Roberts has been named executive of the year by a national magazine. He was also given the American Success Award, presented by former President George Bush.

For more visit

This video is just a collection of some photos of Robert Bobb and Roy Roberts.


Teachers, Parent discuss DPS issues

I interviewed a couple of teachers who have been teaching with DPS for over ten years, along with a parent. They opened up about Robert Bobb and his new call to action for school closures and charter school conversions. They were also asked questions pertaining to the issues the district faces, including whether or not they would keep their children in Detroit Public Schools as opposed to enrolling them into newly established charter schools for the next school year. The good thing about these interviews is the fact that both teachers were extremely honest, considering the climate the district is in.


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


Schools plea against closure

125 parents, teachers and principals gathered at a school representation meeting Monday, April 25. They each represented six schools up for closure. Each school was allotted 2o minutes to make their final plea to Robert Bobb in hopes of keeping their schools open.

The schools are scheduled to close in June. The only thing that can keep the schools open is if a charter operator buys the buildings and takes over.

Last month, Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb announced his Renaissance 2012 plan, which will close eight schools by 2013. It also calls to offer 45 school to charter operators for purchase.

Eighteen of the 45 schools will close by the end of June if charter operators don’t come forward. The plan is put in place to reduce the school district’s $327 million budget deficit and boost enrollment.

The remaining 27 schools will remain open even if charter operators don’t purchase them and take over. Nine charter operators have visited Detroit Public Schools buildings so far. The school district has already received 25 letters of intent from public and private organizations that are interested in 64 of the district’s buildings.

In 2000, enrollment of students was about 168, 000. As of now, enrollment has declined to more than half at 73,000. Detroit Public Schools projections say that by 2016 will decline to about 50,000.

First of all, Bobb is full of crap. The only reason he’s allowing these meetings to go on is to make parents, teachers and administrators believe their input matters. They can beg and plead all they want, but Bobb already has his mind made up on what schools will close and what schools will stay open.

For more visit


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.

For more visit


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.


DPS School Closure Map

This map locates some Detroit Public Schools that will either be closed or converted into charter schools. When hovering over the location, it will either say “Closure Summer 2011” or “Closure Summer 2011/Possible Charter.” Most schools on the map are elementary schools.

View DPS Closures/Charters in a larger map


Bobb takes control of classrooms

According to the Detroit Free Press, Wayne County Circuit Judge Wendy Baxter, granted Robert Bobb the authority to take control over academic operations for DPS last Friday.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

As the emergency financial manager for the district, Bobb’s responsibility is to help improve the deficit the school system faces. But Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill last Wednesday, giving all emergency financial managers of school systems the power to make academic decisions, along with financial decisions. In addition, Bobb now has the power to dismiss the school board, the same one that filed a suit against him accusing him of assuming control over academic decisions.

Baxter, ruled in favor of the school board in December, but against the governor her ruling is now null and void.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Bobb has the power to change or terminate union contracts within 60 days.

It just seems like the state of Michigan is in favor of making the school system worse by allowing Bobb all of these responsibilities. But it’s not even like he needed the governor’s help because he had his hand in academic decisions since he was hired. He might as well be put in the position of the superintendent.

The governor’s actions aren’t surprising though. He recently proposed a $470 per pupil budget cut in K-12 schools in the state.

Robert Bobb is going to take the district and tear it apart by the time he leaves. He’s closed too many schools and now he’s going to destroy the classroom. With the possibility of terminating teacher unions, everyone is going to be on edge. Bobb can barely handle the district’s finances, how is he going to handle academic decisions? He doesn’t know what it takes to improve the classroom.


DPS Chess On the Move

Despite the bad reputation the Detroit Public Schools system has acquired, it has some beneficial programs in the works. The DPS Chess Program, lead by director Tanya Moss, has been around for over 15 years. It provides students with the opportunity to meet students from schools throughout the city. The program also allows students to travel all over the country competing in tournaments.

Students from elementary, middle and high school are eligible to compete and represent their schools in weekly tournaments held in different locations throughout the city. The next level is the state tournament, which all schools are eligible for. But, it is there that the top three teams in the city are chosen to go to the national tournament. In the past, nationals were held in Nashville, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento, Denver, Kansas, Milwaukee, Columbus, Tuscan, and Dallas.

Tanya Moss is the chess coach at Crockett Technical High School and the Chess Director for Detroit Public Schools

Moss, whose been director for 11 years loves her job. She started out coaching her own team in 1998 at Cooley High School , which was currently closed due to budget cuts. Her team was the first to place first in the nationals in DPS history in Phoenix.

“I do it to see the excitement of winning on the kids’ faces,” she said.

Along with competing with students from various backgrounds and states, students are also allowed the opportunity to explore these cities. A lot of students that compete have hardly traveled outside of Detroit. So nationals is a huge reward they look forward to. Every school has earned trophies at nationals, including trophies for outstanding individual performance. Students compete for three days, while trying to build up their ranking and earn a trophy for themselves and their team.

This year Cass Technical High School, King High School, and Crockett Technical High School are competing in the national championship. In the middle school division, Spain Elementary School, Bates Academy and Hutchins Elementary School will travel to nationals. Lastly, Spain, Bates and Fisher Magnet Upper Academy will compete in the elementary division. This year, a fourth team in the middle school division will be allowed to compete. Renaissance High School’s ninth grade players will play in the tournament.

This year’s national tournament will be held in Columbus and Nashville in April.

I’ve participated in the national tournament before and it is such a great experience, especially for those who haven’t even traveled outside of the city. Where else could they get an opportunity to meet and compete against other players from all over the country and learn how to better their skills as players for free? This is one of DPS’ greatest achievements.



Who is Robert Bobb?

As a product of the Detroit Public School system, I am all for improving the education of students and the school district. But, I can’t help but question Robert Bobb, Emergency Financial Manager of Detroit Public Schools. He was appointed by former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm March 2009. He was reappointed March 2010.

Robert Bobb is the emergency financial manager for DPS

Bobb’s contract was extended through June 2011 by Gov. Rick Snyder. This confuses me, considering the fact that a DPS deficit-elimination plan filed with the state projects the district will end the 2010-2011 school year with a $332 million deficit, which is higher than the $218.9 million deficit last year, according to the Detroit Free Press.

For a school district that is millions of dollars in the hole, Robert Bobb has found a way to make plans to build new high schools, such as Crockett Technical High School and Martin Luther King Senior High School. To me, it makes sense to save all the money you possibly can, while trying to improve education.

According to DPS website,, Robert Bobb has over 30 years executive management experience in both private and public sectors. He is the President and CEO of the LAPA Group, LLC, a consulting firm. Bobb served as the President of the Washington, DC Board of Education in November 2006. He is the former City Administrator and Deputy Mayor for Washington, D.C. and served as the District of Columbia’s Homeland Security Advisor. Bobb served as the City Manager of Oakland, California and Executive Director of the Oakland Redevelopment Agency, City Manager of Richmond, Virginia, City Manager of Santa Ana, California, and City Manager of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

With all this experience, I can’t help but notice how much he has bounced around. One could come to the conclusion that Bobb may be bad at what he does because he can’t seem to stay in one place.