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Opinion: DPS Leaves Behind a Legacy of Uncertainty in 2016

<p>Foreign Language Immersion student Anaya Smith completes her Japanese homework at the kitchen table.</p>

Foreign Language Immersion student Anaya Smith completes her Japanese homework at the kitchen table.

It would have been nearly impossible for any student in DPS to ignore the turmoil taking place in Detroit schools over the past few months; budget problems, sick out protests, and bills that seem more ‘reluctant appeasement plan’ than long term solutions.

As a senior, the first reaction to these issues is an eye roll and and a shrug. ‘We're graduating, we don't care. It's not my problem, and even if it is, it won't be for long’. Seniors figure we've already got our education, and the extra days off from school are a blessing.

But many of us forget that we have siblings still in DPS schools, with educations that will be left in the hands of unsympathetic Republican legislators long after we pack up for University of Michigan and MSU and everywhere else we might spread our wings.

“I was planning on going to Renaissance for high school because that's where my sister goes,” said F.L.I.C.S seventh grader Anaya Smith. “I've heard it's the best, but lately mom's been talking about taking me out of DPS.”

As much as I'd love to see my little sister walking the halls of Renaissance and rediscovering my alma matter, I don't think I'm going to argue too much with my mother's decision. I want her to have the very best education that takes advantage of just how smart she is. That's not going to happen in a school district where uncertified teachers can come in and instruct kids whenever they want.

If my sister is learning algebra and she knows more about it than the person standing at the white board, that's a serious problem.

“I'm not blaming DPS or the teachers, but something has to change. Whoever's in control at the state level needs to get it together and realize that Detroit kids aren't going away,” said senior Trevvan Carson, who's brother Elias Carson attends F.L.I.C.S. “My brother shouldn't have to learn Chinese in a room where the ceiling is moldy and falling apart.”

Every senior that helps their sibling with their homework should want to see them succeed. It might be time for some more student to protest and speak out against the State’s bills and the neglect DPS has been shown so that those A-plus tests on the fridge stay there for years to come.


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