Contributor: Gurveer Gill
Efforts to “fix” Detroit by renewing the infrastructure regarding unemployment, violent crime, and the abandoned environment all have limited impact if significant reform is not initiated in education and the DPS school system. Detroit families are exposed to what can be called a “high-choice” scenario, meaning that in regards to choosing what school they deem best fit for their children, they have an option from charter schools, magnet schools, district schools, and schools in nearby districts. However, this has only made it more difficult for the parents to find a high quality choice of schooling. In a sense, quantity over quality is extremely prevalent when it comes to Detroit schools. A lack of information about each of the schools, lack of transportation, and large amounts of paperwork are among the few intimidating factors that parents face when choosing what school to enroll their child in. An expanding choice of schools, but declining student population in Detroit has created a competition amongst the schools where charter schools are often fighting over students.
Another prevalent problem is an information barrier. In the article Fixing Detroit’s Broken School System, it states that nearly 40 percent of surveyed parents say they have trouble knowing whether their child is eligible for different schools. The main problem is that no one knows who is in charge of fixing this huge dilemma in the DPS school system. Is it the State of Michigan’s responsibility or Detroit’s? No one is responsible for ensuring that all neighborhoods and students are accounted for when it comes to providing high-quality schools. Above all else, the city of Detroit needs to focus on their reform of education. Without an educated future, the city will continue to slowly regress.