Is the Detroit school system worth saving?

The Detroit Free Press explores the ideas driving reforms in Detroit’s academically and financially troubled school district, including a plan to charter up to 45 schools and close nearly two dozen more, and asks the difficult question: Is the school district, as we know it, worth saving:

Some families say, yes, even driving in from the suburbs for some DPS programs. They and others say charter schools, popular at the moment, offer no guarantee of academic success. Others say DPS, with a $327-million deficit, is beyond repair, and the district should convert fully to charters — a type of taxpayer-funded school that is independently run. It’s an important question crucial to the future of Detroit, which also is in debt and trouble, said Gary Miron, an education researcher at Western Michigan University.

“Is DPS worth saving? Certainly,” he said. “The real question is, ‘Are the odds of improving the situation going to be better with the alternative?’ “

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BY Adam Emerson

Editor of redefinED, policy and communications guru for Florida education nonprofit