The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Detroit Schools:
EAA = Jim Crow

Aug 20, 2012

Jim Crow is alive and well in the Detroit schools.

Fifteen Detroit schools have been split into their own separate school district, called the “Educational Achievement Authority” or EAA.

Officials say this school district will be state-wide; but so far, all schools in it are located in Detroit. The students in the schools are among the poorest in the state, and the vast majority of them are black.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts say the regular public schools have been failing the students.

They may well have been – but the EAA is putting even fewer means into educating students.

Most of the teaching positions filled by the EAA will have “Teach for America” people – with little to no actual teacher training or experience. The EAA signed a contract for 200 of them. These staffers – let’s not call them teachers – will do very little actual teaching; instead, students will sit in front of computers provided by private companies, using software provided by private companies. The private companies will rip profit out of the system. The chancellor of these 15 schools will be paid $400,000! The TFA staffers will get low wages and some loans written off.

All special education programs will be eliminated from these schools, and students with special needs will be folded into regular classrooms, where they will sit in front of computers being babysat by the same untrained staffers watching over all the students.

Some of these schools are already being handed over to charter school companies, and chances are very good that more will go to charters in the future.

All the physical assets – all 15 school buildings and everything inside them – have been removed from the Detroit Public Schools, even though the DPS will continue to pay for earlier construction and repairs done at these schools. This will further impoverish the DPS itself, even as it isolates the district’s most impoverished students.

The EAA is one big gift to private interests, while stripping away any pretense toward any attempt at education. It’s educational Jim Crow at its worst.