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Tag: Robert Bobb
In the best interests of the child is a term most often raised when it comes to family court and child custody. It is a term that helps to describe how child advocates, both those within the legal system and those on the outside, attempt to arrive at legal judgments that most benefit the children.
It is also a system that on its face is too often turned on its head with advocates and judges routinely making decisions based on arbitrary factors such as sex of the parent, money, and which parent is most easily pacified. Best interest of the child?
While at least legal lip service is given to the term in family, probate and circuit courts, no such whispers of "in the best interests of the child" are being entertained in the recent victory of the Detroit school board over its emergency financial manager, Robert Bobb.
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cross posted at a demanding Rougblog
How long has it been since the average Detroit Public School graduate measured up to national academic standards? Further, how long has it been since Detroit's graduation rate itself measured up to national standards?
Most of the cream of the crop (that is, students with involved parents that will not accept failure from their children) long ago were removed from DPS. Whole families moved out of district to avoid the DPS while still others did whatever they could to afford a private education.
While there remains many good students and many more potentially good students at the mercy of a DPS classroom, these students are handicapped by block headed teachers' unions worried more about their benefits and pay, knuckle headed administrators worried more about power and territory, and boneheaded vendors and money changers more worried about heavy wallets.
Things are so bad that Detroit measures at the absolute bottom of the nation in both graduation rates and in standardized student testing scores. Dead last. Good grief, worse than Cleveland.
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Who says that Detroit cannot bring home the hardware?
When test results were delivered around the nation to school districts that take part in the standardized National Assessment of Educational Progress, only Detroit merited a visit by Michael Casserly, executive director of the Washington-based Council of the Great City Schools, to help brief the media prior to the release of the results.
Pretty cool huh, that Detroit Public Schools should deserve the presence of a nationally recognized educator to address the media on the school's latest measurement of academic achievement.
Oh, nuts. Then the results were disclosed.
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Mark Schauer is no chicken. As comparisons to generic farm animals go he would have to be considered one of the braver ones. Perhaps he is the red-hating alpha bull. Or, maybe he is that very confident and well-bearded tom turkey that spent much of its time strutting his stuff in testosterone charged circles just out of my reach during my recent visit to Oklahoma City.
No, Mark Schauer is unafraid. One could say he epitomizes American masculinity and bravery. And unscaredness. Did I mention Mark Schauer is unafraid?
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The only thing surprising about this story is that it's surprising to anyone: "Low level of literacy adds fuel to unemployment crisis."
Rochelle Riley's article in the Detroit Free Press points out that "One out of three working-age adults in Michigan -- 1.7 million people -- cannot read well enough to be hired for a job that will support a family."
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Sadly, the word "Detroit" is synonymous with "dysfunction" thanks to the scandals of Monica Conyers and former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the ineptitude of the City Council. But let's not let those dark clouds obscure several bright lights emerging from the ranks of Detroit's political leaders.
Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb is the brightest of those lights. Since being appointed in March, Mr. Bobb has tackled the seemingly hopeless disaster that is the Detroit Public School System with inspiring vigor.
In just a few months, Bobb has slashed a $430 million deficit nearly in half by eliminating bloated staffing and uncovering fraud. Bobb has cut 181 positions out of the 231 person curriculum department, terminated half of the district's assistant superintendents, and dumped eleven of the 21 "executive cabinet" members.
Bob hasn't just juggled numbers and laid off unnecessary personnel - he's aggressively tackled fraud and corruption. In the past two weeks, Bobb uncovered over 250 non-existent "ghost workers" on the payroll and suspended seven more employees accused of theft and embezzlement after investigations were initiated under his watch.
And Mr. Bobb isn't finished yet. He plans on privatizing the district's transportation services, is considering additional privatization, and will close 29 schools this fall.
Cold hearted? Only if one believes that a school district's primary job is to employ adults and coddle unions instead of putting resources into educating children. The kids and taxpayers of Detroit should hail Bobb as a hero.
And Mayor Bing should take notice. The Mayor started out on the right foot by rejecting the perk of the Manoogian Mansion, opting to rent out the building for the benefit of taxpayers. Bing then suggested that the City's grossly inefficient public lighting department be outsourced, only to back away when confronted by union intimidation. Let's hope the Mayor regains his nerve.
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