Just yesterday, the Education Nation tour with NBC News kicked off in Detroit to start a week of events and programming to engage the community on education issues affecting the city and the region.
Mayor Dave Bing gave a welcoming address with NBC to kick off the historical moment. The goal was to highlight the need to grow Detroit and recognize that it starts with a healthy foundation. Our children all deserve the right to a quality education.
Studies have shown that if a child performs at reading level by 3rd grade then they’ll be successful. The number one barrier for children and access to education in Detroit is our failing public transportation system. Our children have no reliable methods of transportation. Therefore, they have issues of truancy and bad performing attendance records. Each day and hour away from education during growth years is a seed of knowledge unused and unvested.
Regardless of the system imposed on our education infrastructure in Detroit, we must set a standard and higher bar in education. The NBC Town Hall was created to capture what people really have to say about the education system in their communities. The challenges and efforts to pursue a greater education in Detroit is high. Studies have shown that due to the economic and social climate at least 31% of our high school students have considered dropping out. Also high crime rates and lack of adequate security deters students from performing at their best. Our children are dealing with both positive and negative peer pressures. Therefore, many fall victim to the system and become products of their environment. Our parents need to be more supportive in these times and must encourage their children. Many kids don’t even have a support system at home.
The town hall showcased public, charter, and Education Achievement Authority Schools. But most of the efforts used to privatize schools were glorified. Our public schools did not have a strong presence nor were the voices of the students outside of the elite were heard. The event was wonderfully organized, but lacked a very important factor: diverse voices from the inner city public schools. The children who need help the most weren’t there. Their voices were completely silenced by their lack of representation. It’s time for a change. Our children need to know someone cares and that they matter. Education is power and we must empower our youth. As a strong advocate of quality education, it’s apparent we need a reform. Our children need us all to come together and let their concerns be known. It’s time for change.