A Historical Perspective on the Crumbling Detroit Public Schools

The Detroit Public School system is on the brink of total financial collapse, teachers are protesting deplorable facility conditions through staged sick-outs, and students and parents struggle to find adequate education options in close proximity to home.

The situation the district finds itself in today is the culmination of a long series of decisions and events, dating back to the start of public education in Detroit nearly 200 years ago.”

… that’s the argument set forth in a new 18-month-long study done by Loveland in Detroit. The authors — John Grover and Yvette van der Velde — discuss their findings on Detroit Today, along with any bright spots the district may be able to hold close in a period of massive dysfunction.

 

Population Growth: Because population growth never matched the number of schools available, “Detroit Public Schools have been in a state of crisis since it was founded,” says Grover.

 

Student Population Decline: The number of students enrolled in DPS schools since the year 2000 has gone from 160,000 to fewer than 47,000 says Grover.

 

DPS History: Loveland produced this report because they feel it’s important to capture the history and inform people of DPS’ current situation. “It’s very possible within the next year that Detroit Public Schools may no longer exist,” says Grover.


To hear more of their conversation, click the link above. To read Loveland’s report, click here.

Image credit: Michigan State Historic Preservation Office/ CC

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