Tag Archives: Detroit

Saving Detroit

4 Nov



Image by Patricia Drury via Flickr

Detroit, Michigan, also known as The Motor City. This major port city, gave us both Ford and Chrysler. Home of the Motown sound that produced artists like The Temptations and Diana Ross & The Supremes. Detroit was once home to rapper Eminem, the late singer Aaliyah, actor Tim Allen, actress and singer Della Reese; Founder of The Cheesecake Factory, David Overton, hip hop group Slum Village, gospel group The Clark Sisters, boxing great Joe Louis; and The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The Motor City also host major sports teams: Detroit Lions and the Detroit Pistons.

St Christopher House, ex-Public Library

Today Detroit struggles with keeping public schools open, keeping crime down, paying its debts, supplying jobs, and even keeping the street lights on. According to The Motor City ranks #2 for Hypertension spots and #5 for America’s most stressful cities. The site also states that Detroit’s unemployment rate is 11% above the national average with it’s future job growth in the Negative. ranks Detroit at #61 for Least safest cities, while ranks the city at #14 on it’s Top 100 Most dangerous cities in the U.S. In just ten years, between 2000 and 2010, Detroit’s population has declined by 25% coming in second to New Orleans, Louisiana. Although, Detroit is still America’s 10th largest city by population.

In one area of Detroit, over 1,000 streetlights were shut off and the poles ripped out. Why? The city is $58 million in debt and simply can’t pay it’s electric bills.

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NPR writer, Sarah Hulett wrote this on education in Detroit, “In the past two years, Detroit has closed 59 schools and cut 30 percent of the school system’s workforce. But the district is still staring at a deficit of more than $300 million, and thousands of students continue to flee every year.”

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East Methodist Church /

Detroit is filled with vacant houses, schools, churches, and other buildings. The city is falling more and more into debt and is more known these days for crime than cars. Homes in Detroit that were once worth $100,000 are now only worth $10,000. It’s been known for some of the homes to go for just $1. These prices have attracted buyers from all over the U.S. and countries overseas. There is no shortage in foreclosure notices and Detroit has the lowest home ownership for single families. The Associated Press calls Detroit, “Landlord Nation.”

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Packard Motors Plant

So, what is being done to reshape Detroit and it’s image? invites people to volunteer to clean up Detroit, tutor a child and even plant trees. Former NBA star and now Mayor of Detroit, Dave Bing, seems to have several plans to fix Detroit. He wants to get more officers patrolling the community, provide jobs, keep people in their homes, and clean up the city. Let’s hope that all those things come true and Detroit can be saved from anymore hardship.


Education in America

27 Oct

Public schools are being shut down, the cost of college education is going up, more students are dropping out of high school, teachers are still underpaid, and everyone is looking for someone to blame! Who is really failing our students? Is it the parents, teachers, The Department of Education, or are the students simply failing themselves? Some say the schools aren’t well funded, the students aren’t motivated, the teachers don’t care, etc.

“In the past two years, Detroit has closed 59 schools and cut 30 percent of the school system’s workforce. But the district is still staring at a deficit of more than $300 million, and thousands of students continue to flee every year.”

–Hulett, Sarah “Detroit’s Education Rehab: Are Charter’s A Solution?” NPR, May 11, 2011. Online. Available: October 27, 2011.

The vacant Sherrard School is seen in Detroit on Monday, Dec. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Patricia Beck, Detroit Free Press)

After conducting research I found that students who choose to attend in state public colleges for undergraduate degrees can pay up to $10,000 for books, tuition and fees. Throw in room & board and it totals up to $17,000 or more! Out of state students can pay up to $37,400 or more. Those who choose to attend private colleges for undergraduate degrees can look to pay around $35,000 or more and thats just for tuition. Add the cost of books, fees, room & board and you’re looking at about $53,600 or more.

Classrooms are overcrowded and with only one teacher how can they meet the needs of each individual student?! Utah has more students per class than any other state in America.

“Students in overcrowded schools pay less attention, achieve less, and experience more violence. Overcrowded schools are more likely to have inadequate or substandard electrical and lighting systems, safety features, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, floors and foundations.”

–“OVERCROWDING In California’s Schools: An Epidemic that is Getting Worse!” The Crisis Online. Available: October 27, 2011.

High school dropouts are not eligible for 90 percent of the jobs in the economy! Less than 1% of people with a GED can join the military unless they receive 15 college credits. 3 out of 4 high school graduates are not even prepared for college academically.

“Since 1983, more than 10 million Americans reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level. In the same period, more than 6 million Americans dropped out of high school altogether. 54 percent of all teachers have limited English proficient (LEP) students in their classrooms, yet only one-fifth of teachers feel very prepared to serve them. More than three out of four of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate.”

–“Reading, Literacy & Education Statistics.” The Literacy Company. Online. Available: October27, 2011.

The United States spends more money on education than most other countries, yet countries like Norway and Japan beat the U.S. in subjects like Math and Science.

Right now, says Gina Burkhardt, CEO of nonprofit Learning Point Associates, the U.S. Department of Education spends just 0.1% of its budget on research and development. “How do you develop new tools in education when there’s no money to make that happen?” she asks.

The bottom line is this; everyone needs to make themselves aware of this crisis and research needs to be done to figure out a way to fix it. People must do their part to educate and help all students, children and adults, to achieve academic success!

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