Friday, June 17, 2011

heartbreaking: teen mom school getting shut down in detroit, mi

why aren't any of our political leaders doing anything about this?!?
how does one man get to call the shots about what is best for these young women at risk and this community in general?!
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the Detroit Public Schools found an operator to continue the work of the Catherine Ferguson Academy. it will now be run as a charter school.

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  1. this is an email exchange i'm having w/a friend who is a single mother:

    The school itself is irrelevant. The bigger questions is why did the gov award this kind of power to the emergency mgr and why are the local schools not decent options for single mothers? Does that mean they are not decent options for all their students? Why isn't the gov doing something about THAT?

    well, the "local" schools don't have day-cares. so, they can't really accomodate low-income mothers.
    the reason this particular school is getting shut down is because it's in an low-income/minority/under-represented area of detroit.
    the state governor gave the emergency managers unprecedented powers to gut school districts, in favor of charter schools, which is the "market" solution du-jour of republicans.

  2. her:
    A school such as this one should be funded privately if they want to support the ever allusive single mother niche.

    I'm not anti-public schools having day cares in them, but I don't see the need for a selective school for single mothers. Lower income areas have lower income day cares, church centers, home childcare providers like every other community.

    The gov and the emergency mgr are corrupt to be sure, but this school...still not the issue... I get tired of watching "news" report on issues that are based on heart tugging irrelevant dribble instead of focusing on the real issue (this particular one takes all single mothers -- that'd be me -- through the mud with their portrait of poor pitiful, feel sorry for their poor choices/circumstance nonsense...and I hate that).

    so, by your rationale, because you were able to succeed as a single mother without the assistance of the "government", so should every other single mother?

  3. her:
    no, but as a whole you do not run off and create a whole school just for one demographic in the name of public schools. I think the Ann Richard's school here is a stupid idea too.

    then do you have a problem with schools for gifted students?
    schools for blind students?
    schools for deaf students?

    if regular schools should accomodate pregnant teens, then they would all need some sort of child care facility, parenting classes, etc.
    does it not make more sense to have a separate school for them where they can have all these programs in one place; which would decrease costs and give teen moms more targeted support.

  4. her:
    Gifted students are offered AP, Dual Credit courses, GT programs within the public school system. Physically and mentally disabled students are also compensated for in the mainstream environment of public education (though in all fairness blind/deaf kids and pregnant mother's is not an apples to apples comparison).

    Being pregnant stems (most often...outside of rape, etc, etc...) from making an "adult" choice. Most handicaps, do not (barring a really unfortunate or stupid parental choice...alcohol, drugs, etc, etc...and that is a whole other discussion).

    How is lighting and staffing and WIC sponsoring and busing in pregnant mothers to one place cheaper than potentially offering daycare (or a handful of daycares) in the system or vouchers for childcare?

  5. me:
    blind/deaf/handicap ≠ pregnancy.
    but they are demographics.

    gifted students are offered alternative coursework at schools, but there are also academies w/in school districts that cater to just gifted students. do you have issues w/those?

    getting pregnant as a teenager stems from making an immature decision, not an "adult" decision.
    keeping a child can stem from religious/social/family pressures that a teenager may not have the maturity to control.
    access to abortion services are ever dwindling, especially for underage women.
    usually these young women don't have the support system to take care of a child at the same time go to school.

    this particular school was awarded "Breakthrough High School award in 2004 given by the National Association of Secondary School Principals for outstanding achievement among schools with high poverty rates." it was an effective tool for helping a particular cross-section of at-risk youth in a low-income area. their graduation rates were in the 90s.
    whether or not you find it "heart tugging", this school was effective, yet set to close due to the right-wing politics of the governor and emergency manager.

  6. her:
    Indeed they are demographics but they are not a demographic that has special requirements in order to learn, like being blind, deaf, handicapped. Plenty of other "immature/adult" decisions/social pressures like pregnancy, underage drinking/drug use keep plenty of able minded/bodied students from graduating and we do not have systems for those students. Should we? And maybe a future citizenship system for all ESL students? I'm not convinced this exclusive system thinking is any more progressive than segregated schools were before the 60s.

    Plenty of people are under educated due to poverty. This, in my opinion, is the problem. Being pregnant/a parent and single does not make you any poorer or richer or any more troubled if your situation was already compromised.

    The show said that the school was underpopulated. I appreciate the success rate, but that doesn't mean the same could not be achieved through a GT, special needs, family services track within the mainstream school system. Again, the issue is not whether or not THIS school should remain open. The bigger issue is the behavior of the governor and the failing of the MI schools to offer "decent alternatives" to their various students (an issue every state struggles with, but they used this school and this demographic to make the issue more provocative than others...I simply don't think it is more provocative).

    agree to disagree