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New Detroit School Board Begins Work Wednesday Night, Faces Big Challenges

Jake Neher/WDET

New Detroit school board members Sonya Mays (left) and Misha Stallworth (right) with Stephen Henderson (center)

Today marks a new era of local control for public schools in Detroit.

Seven members of Detroit’s new school board will be sworn in this evening at Cass Technical High School, and they’ll hold their first meeting as an entirely reconstituted body.

Just one member of the new board served on the old one. The other six are brand new. And this group will be the first empowered board in seven years.

Much of tonight’s hearing will be housekeeping. They’ll adopt bylaws, elect officers, and set a meeting schedule for 2017. But there’s also major work to be done right off the bat.

Members could kick off a search for a new superintendent as soon as tonight and there’s a lot of pressure on this board to set Detroit’s public schools on a path to academic and financial success.

New board members Sonya Mays and Misha Stallworth join Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about the task ahead. They are also joined by Bridge Magazine reporter Chastity Pratt Dawsey.

I’m really excited to get started,” says Mays. But she knows it won’t be an easy job. ”This new board is going to face a number of significant challenges right at the start.”

She points to things such as the role of the Michigan School Reform Office, the transition of schools out of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA), and collective bargaining agreements.

It’s really rare that you can work with a good team… and an opportunity to make a difference,” says Stallworth.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

detroittoday@wdet.org  

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