Teachers, students, parents and community members rallied Friday outside State of Michigan offices in Detroit to protest potential school closings announced by the School Reform Office last month.
Terrance Martin, the vice-president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, told protesters closing schools will not fix the state’s education system.
“You want to fix schools,” Martin said. “Provide the necessary funding, provide the necessary supplies, give our kids books to take home, make sure there’s a certified teacher in front of every child, make sure the class sizes are low, make sure the curriculum makes sense, make sure you allow the folks who do this job every day to do their job.”
The SRO identified 38 schools across the state that may be closed this year because of poor performance.
Speakers from other communities where schools have been or may be closed by the state say every community should be concerned.
Ryan McLeod is the superintendent of East Detroit Public Schools where the state attempted to place a CEO in charge of struggling schools last year.
“For way too long the State of Michigan has thought that we have wanted to be saved by the State of Michigan,” McLeod said. “And almost every time the state has come in —every time — they walk away and leave that community, those schools and everything else in worst shape than when the state originally came in.”
The crowd also heard from community members from Inkster and River Rouge.
“Today is the day we’re saying to everybody stop messing with our kids and we’re going to kick your you know what when you do,” — long-time education activist Helen Moore.