The Coalition, its co-chairs and members – which included a broad cross section of DPS representatives from senior executives to teachers, principals and parents – are to be commended for their tireless efforts to understand the serious issues facing Detroit’s public education system and for the thoughtful process in which the recommendations made today were developed.
I want to thank everyone for their hard work, most especially the DPS staff who not only served on the Coalition’s various committees, but also gave presentations and provided information that was critical to the Coalition understanding the intricacies of the realities/challenges before Detroit Public Schools. In fact, more than 100 staff hours were spent to assist the Coalition in their work. In addition, I also had regular meetings with Tonya Allen, and met on several occasions with Co-Chairs John Rakolta and David Hecker, and I presented to the Coalition on two occasions.
I am pleased to see that the Coalition’s work parallels, reinforces and ultimately supports our own strategy to restructure and transform the district’s operations and right our own ship. DPS’ own efforts are being driven by my 10-Point Management Plan, the result of a thorough review of our operations that is guiding the district toward long-term financial stability and educational competitiveness.
In fact, my 10-Point Plan includes work on many of the areas that the Coalition’s recommendations also focus on, including staff development, special education, transportation, facility readiness, academic excellence, and financial stability, among others.
Implementation is already well underway in both the Academic and Operations areas of the 10-Point Plan. Two specific areas where progress is being made include staff development (in the form of a recently announced leadership development partnership with U of M Ross School of Business) and a review of sustainable organizational models that DPS might emulate.
One thing is clear to me after having worked with the Coalition and having reviewed their final recommendations — that our individual and collective efforts all have one goal: an efficient and effective education delivery system that provides the highest quality educational outcomes for all students in every neighborhood.
I am confident that at DPS, we are all 100 percent focused on this goal, and it drives every decision we are making and every action we are taking.