“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
Nelson Mandela in a May 8, 1995 speech in Pretoria, South Africa
On December 1st I went to Oak Park High School in Oak Park, MI. A first ring school just outside of Detroit. Principal Kwame Stephens along with Solution Tree Author Dr. Anthony Muhammad, provided myself and Stefan Kohler with a morning tour of the school, and some great conversation about struggling schools and what needs to happen to help the students. Kwame is working hard to change the culture of the school, and Anthony is a best selling author on school culture, a very critical first steps to getting students to proficiency levels. Kwame has only been at this school since August, but already he is making a big difference, and you can see excitement in both the faculty and the students. I’ll keep us all posted on their success.
This morning I was reading an article summary in Marshall Memo and was reminded of the efforts taking place at Oak Park, and reminded why we do what we do.
In a recent Education Gadfly article written by Andy Smarick he says the just-released National Assessment of Educational Progress data from 20 large U.S. cities contain lots of sad news about disadvantaged students. Which indeed it did. Here are a couple of points about the Detroit schools. Oak Park is were many families have moved their children to attempt to avoid similar results. I truly support a parent doing what is necessary to help their child, but that is not a fix for Detroit, it is a flee. The fix is our job.