District Administration - May 2009 - (Page 8)
Briefings Newsupdate PeoPle Watch New Role Margaret Spellings has joined a new advisory board for the broad Center for the Management of School Systems, which will oversee the organization’s efforts to train and support leaders in urban districts. Chief Math teaCheR Kichoon Yang, provost and professor at Northwest Missouri State University, has been named executive director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He will begin his new position on July 1. YouNg leadeR Meria Carstarphen, superintendent of the St. Paul (Minn.) School District, in July will become head of the Austin Independent School District, the third-largest district in Texas. Carstarphen is 39 years old. Supt. iNdiCted Todd Helms, the former superintendent of the Clyde-Green Springs Exempted Village Schools in Ohio, has been indicted by a Sandusky County grand jury on 19 criminal counts related to the theft of almost $300,000 from the district. SuppoRtiNg MoMS Melinda George, senior director of PbS TeacherLine and National Education Partnerships, has been appointed to the advisory board of the Mom Congress on Education and Learning, a new initiative developed by Parenting magazine. by Don Parker-burgard DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS A Place Where $500 Million Could Be Spent Wisely? Consider the following team he appointed, had uncovered finanabout the detroit Public schools: cial irregularities so large that he had to • The district’s deficit is estimated at increase an earlier deficit estimate by over over $300 million dollars. Twenty-three $100 million. schools will close, and 600 teachers will Bobb, a city administrator and Felbe laid off. low of the 2005 Broad Foundation Ur• The school board fired the district’s ban Schools Superintendents Academy, last two superintendents—William stated at an April 2 presentation to the Coleman III in March 2007 and Con- school board, “Some people are going to nie Calloway in December have to get on board, or 2008, prompting a lawsuit they’re going to have to from Coleman (which was be thrown overboard.” settled in March 2009) and Bobb says he will not a challenge by Calloway. use stimulus funds to fix • The board fired the disthe deficit. Carla Scott, trict’s CFO in December school board president, 2008, prompting another agrees the money must —Carla Scott, lawsuit. not be used to fix what school board president • If the plaintiffs in all she calls “failing finanpending lawsuits against cial practices.” “This the district prevail, the district could can’t just be a magic patch,” she says. have to pay nearly $36 million, accordAfter a March meeting of urban school ing to a story in The Detroit News. officials with Education Secretary Arne • Between 2003 and 2008, the num- Duncan, Scott spoke about the need to ber of enrolled students declined from use the initial stimulus money for reforms 150,000 to 104,000, mostly from fami- such as lengthening the school day and lies moving out of the district or send- school year. Duncan believes that such ing their children to charter schools. reforms are essential for urban districts • Mike Flanagan, Michigan’s state su- where low-income and often poorly eduperintendent of public instruction, de- cated parents cannot provide the opporclared in December that the district was tunities for their children at home and at in a state of financial emergency. places such as summer camp that many Into this mix, DPS is slated to receive middle and upper class children take for at least $500 million from the American granted. Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In order to institute such reforms in But critics who see DPS as a financial Detroit, however, Scott says the district sinkhole have had to take a second look. and its teachers union must change how The declaration of DPS as a district in contracts are written. She explains that financial emergency allowed Michigan’s under the current contract, lengthening governor, Jennifer Granholm, to appoint the school day and year is not possible. Robert Bobb, an emergency financial She believes contracts will need to manager, to stabilize the district’s finances change not just in Detroit but nationand root out corruption. After a month on wide. “Nationally, we should know what the job, Bobb, along with a three-person it takes to protect teachers’ rights. There “This can’t just be a magic patch.” 8 May 2009 District Administration
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