In advance of Detroit’s Nov. 7 general election for mayor, city clerk and city council, WDET is checking in with people who live and work in the city to find out about the issues important to them.
Education is top of mind for many voters.
Click here for all WDET’s 2017 election coverage.
Southwest Detroit resident Nina Rodriguez says she worries Detroit teachers aren’t getting paid enough.
“If we are not paying teachers a just wage, what teacher wants to come and teach in the heart of Detroit? So I would like to see a big improvement. And I would like to see money put into salaries for our teachers so that our children get quality education, not teachers that can’t get a job that go to Detroit,” says Rodriguez.
Christian Harrison is an 11th grade student at the Communications & Media Arts High School in Detroit. She says she wants to see changes implemented immediately.
“Right now, our students are not as stable as other students are in other districts… There are very intelligent students in this district. We have to take this opportunity to gain our respect back, to gain our recognition back, because we are a great city. We have to rebuild our educational system and it starts with us now.”
Cody Rouge resident Doreen Odom thinks the city provides a good variety of schools for parents and their children to choose from.
“DPS has some great high schools, K-8 and then we still have some high performing charter schools as well as the private schools such as U of D Jesuit, Detroit Cristo Rey, Loyola, etc. So, there are still a lot of options but the bottom line is the parents have to do the work and find the best fit for their child.”
Last spring, the school board chose Superintendent Nikolai Vitti to lead the Detroit district. Brightmoor resident Ora Williams feels that choice has put Detroit’s public schools back on track.
“I think that with the new superintendent, with the new teachers and so forth, I think that they’re going to start a whole new round of working with the students and the parents. I think they’re on a comeback.”
The responsibility for education in Detroit belongs to the superintendent and the school board, not the mayor. But 23-year-old Moses Edwards says Coleman Young II will get his vote because he thinks he will do a better job than Mayor Mike Duggan at addressing education issues.
“I feel like Coleman is going to make a better change for the youth. Because I feel like the youth is misguided… They don’t have a direction. So I feel like if Coleman wants to put a little bit more effort into the schools and get our youth up here, I think it” be great.”
To listen to all of these voters, click on the audio player at the top of this post.
WDET’s Bre’Anna Tinsley, D’Ante Whitney, Lauren Santucci and Ziad Buchh contributed to this report.