Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bobb promises deep changes to Detroit schools

Detroit Public Schools won't be the same when Robert Bobb's one-year tenure as fiscal manager is up. That much is clear from his forceful, honest interview with the Metro Times and TV appearance this morning. He has an ambitious, five-part plan, and he says, "I'm going to get it done in a year. This plan will be done come hell or high water." Not everyone will be happy when he does it. Here are three passages that are bound to provoke:

1. On security:

We want our public safety personnel to be able to press a button to a camera and see everything that is happening in and around the schools. There are cameras around schools but we want to be able to have cameras so we can see up and down corridors into dark spots — we want to be able to see where our kids are. We’ll have a crime camera that will look up and down the streets onto our playgrounds that will be able to capture people with sensors who come into our buildings at night when they shouldn’t be there.
2. On charter schools:
Bobb also said he has entered discussions with Doug Ross, founder of University Preparatory Academy charter school, to possibly turn over management of Mumford High to Ross’s charter school management company. Other charter school companies met with district officials Wednesday, just weeks after Bobb announced that some of the 40 schools that will be reformed next year may become charter schools or may be managed by companies.
3. On the elected school board:
They're over there, I'm over here.

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