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Support DPSCD, Vitti, & Moore
by Dr. John Telford
Sadly, there exist among us misguided souls who have been expressing sentiments via e-mail concerning their wish to “blow up” the Detroit Public Schools Community District. Others have accused Superintendent Nikolai Vitti of seeking to force teachers to work or attend professional development without pay. Let me remind everyone that Dr. Vitti actually put more on the table as part of the third year negotiations than was there in years 1 and 2. The additional five days were added to the calendar with the intent to provide more teacher-training while paying teachers more than their usual professional development stipend. On my 9:30 a.m. live Saturday and 6:30 p.m. taped Monday show on WCHB AM1340 and streamed on socal.detiptv.com, Dr. Vitti also spoke out emphatically against the corporate-collusive Trump/DeVos plot to close and charterize Benton Harbor’s schools and all the other predominately minority-populated schools throughout Michigan. ( to view the comments by Dr. Vitti, click this link)
I’ve spent close to thirty intermittent years as a DPS educator in jobs ranging from teacher and coach to building-administrator and executive director–including a contentious year in 2012-2013 as the pro bono Superintendent appointed by a good elected DPS board under emergency financial MISmanagement to try to keep DPS afloat and in one piece. The state disempowered and ultimately removed that good board, and I was fired on March 29, 2013 from the Superintendency when Public Act 4–the roundly hated emergency manager law that Michiganians had voted overwhelmingly to rescind–was undemocratically reinstated as PA 436 and the Emergency Financial Manager gained dictatorial power as a full-fledged Emergency Manager. Let us never forget that at the time of the entirely unwarranted state takeover of DPS in 1999, our school district enjoyed a $125 million SURPLUS and its student test scores were at the state midpoint and RISING despite our impoverished and racially-discriminated-against citizens’ many social problems. Now after nearly twenty years of the takeover, our student scores are the nation’s lowest, and $3.5 billion of our district’s money–including $1.5 billion in bond money–has been misspent, squandered, and stolen by the state and its appointed overseers.
Led brilliantly by Helen Moore, we have fought long and hard to get ex-Governor Snyder’s so-called Education “Achievement” Authority (EAA)–dissolved and a partially-powered DPSCD school board elected, meanwhile successfully encouraging thousands of charter-school students to re-enroll in DPSCD, which–along with 82-year-old Helen and a small band of school activists, including my 83-year-old self–are now among Detroit schoolchildren’s last and only hope. Those benighted but possibly well-intended ((?) e-mailers need to stop attacking DPSCD and support it instead. Also, the state is morally obliged to pay for a forensic audit to determine where and to whom that $3.5 billion went, so those who are guilty of this heinous two-decades-long theft can be sent to jail, and the money can be rightfully restored to our plundered district and children.
Dr. John Telford–a one-time NCAA and NAAU All-American sprinter at WSU–has written six Detroit-oriented books available in stores and on amazon.com (type in Dr. John Telford). He currently serves as DPSCD Poet-in-Residence. His website is www.AlifeontheRUN.com. Call in to his show on WCHB at (313) 837-1340. Contact him at DrJohnTelfordEdD@aol.com or (313) 460-8272. Friend him on Facebook.