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Coalition calls for new steps to improve K-12 education in Detroit

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A coalition of Detroit leaders is calling for major improvements in the city’s schools.

Today, the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren outlined six goals, including decreasing absenteeism, improving third grade reading scores, and fully funding special education.

“Recommendations are only as good as their implementation,” says Rev. Wendell Anthony, coalition member and president of the Detroit chapter of the NAACP. “The recommendations are here. We know they are a benefit to teachers and children alike. And so they should be implemented.”

While the coalition is united on what needs to be done, members appear less united on a specific path to follow to achieve those goals.

Coalition members concede a key challenge will be getting Detroit’s traditional and charter school leaders to stop competing long enough to work together on these goals.

Businessman John Rakolta Jr. stresses the need for leaders of traditional public and charter schools to put the needs of Detroit school children first.

“Every year that we don’t solve this we push 10,000 kids into the future unprepared,’ says Rakolta, CEO of Walbridge construction.

An earlier Coalition report helped pave the way for the Detroit school district to return to local control.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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