Monday, December 14, 2009

Detroit Parents Rally against school system

after abysmal test scores are posted.

The outcry Saturday from the Detroit Parent Network came after test results showed fourth- and eighth-graders had the worst math scores in the nation and teachers prepared to vote on whether to strike.

Sharlonda Buckman, chief executive officer of the network, called for criminal and civil action against those charged with educating the city's children, The Detroit News reported.

"Somebody needs to pay for this," Buckman told about 500 parents. "Somebody needs to go to jail, and it shouldn't be the kids."

Robert Bobb, the school district's emergency financial manager, who would also like to take over academics, said the low scores could not be blamed on incompetent children or uncaring parents. Rather, he said, the school district has failed to fulfill its duty to the kids and their parents.

"This is an abysmal failure," Bobb said. "It is not the fault of our kids individually, and it is not the fault of our kids collectively. It is not the kids' fault. ... It is a failure of leadership."

Buckman criticized teachers who favor a strike over approving a contract that would force them to give up $500 a month to help close a $219 million deficit. The money would be returned when the teachers retire.