The Detroit Public Schools Community District is a step closer to getting a new superintendent. Derrick Coleman — superintendent of River Rouge Schools — spent Monday interviewing for the job.
Coleman is a DPS graduate and former deputy superintendent for the district. He told the board and community members he has improved academics in River Rouge and pulled that district out of debt. He says he can make similar progress in Detroit.
”The only placed that I’ve considered is this,” Coleman said. “ And it’s simply because the children in Detroit deserve to have places that are going to be transformational.”
Coleman is credited with increasing enrollment in River Rouge from just more than 900 in 2012 to around to two-thousand this year. Hundreds of students are bussed into the city from Detroit each day.
Coleman says he implemented ideas in River Rouge DPS leaders rejected while he worked as a deputy superintendent in Detroit.
“I’m a product of Detroit,” said Coleman. “My efforts were not to hurt Detroit but to help the children because at the end of the day if you’re describing a system that has significant fractures and to a degree is broken those families are looking for something that they believe is going to address the needs of their children.”
Coleman has been in charge of River Rouge Schools since 2012. The board interviewed Duvall County Florida Superintendent Nikolai Vitti last week.