Posts

Showing posts from November, 2014

Detroit public schools and ingredients for success

Image
Detroit Public Schools (DPS) needs a plan that has an objective of being one of the best public school systems in southeast Michigan within 10 years. I am not an educator and do not pretend to be an expert on the subject. I hope this essay gets a lot of input and feedback from educators. Failing to do this should not be an option. Management/Administrators and teachers need to be on the same page. A prime ingredient to build a school system where students excel and outperform other districts in southeast Michigan is good teachers who are supported by top quality administrators. Administrators must recognize that if the district is to recruit and retain top teaching professionals they must treat them as professionals. Professionals are proud of their craft and must set high standards for themselves and fellow teachers so as to assure their industry is looked upon in high regard. The teacher unions, as an organization looking out for the interests of its members must also support

Detroit's future and its tie to education

Image
85% of Detroit's population is black with 35% of the city in poverty.   Per a report in one of Detroit's local newspapers only 70% of Detroit adults are employed or graduated from high school and 80% of children attending DPS are in poverty.   Detroit will never again become a vibrant city if the education level of its population does not rise. What does the city need to do to turn this around and what will it cost? There are no overnight solutions and to expect significant results in less than a decade is setting up the city to fail . Experienced educators know what needs to be done. A plan needs to be developed and implemented that includes shaping core success skills for the student to learn. Students need to associate hard work and effort with success. Students must expect if they put forth the effort success will happen. In order to learn students must practice. Students must learn persistence in their quest for knowledge. These traits are learned from ones home life w

Pontius Pilate Visits Detroit

Image
The experience of Charles Blow, a successful black writer for the New York Times, shows the best road to equality is a good education. The settlement of Detroit's bankruptcy shows the quiet, legal discrimination that still continues. Detroit's population is 85% black and has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation.. Part of the settlement of the "Plan of Adjustment" under the city's bankruptcy was the surrendering of billions of dollars of assets owned by the city and stored at the DIA for pennies on the dollar. Mr. Blow's success is a result of his education. If the focus of the bankruptcy was on turning the city around and improving the life of its citizens the art would have been saved from bankruptcy and sold to improve the schools and education of its citizens. This opportunity is now gone forever under the need to "save the art". Do you really believe this would have happened if the city was 85% white and solidly middle class? T

Republicans 2016

Image
If I was a Republican strategist in charge of developing a plan to get a Republican in the White House in 2016 I would be focused on doing the opposite of what the party has been doing in the House and Senate for the last six years. Since 2009 it has been the objective of the Republican party to discredit President Obama in any way possible even it meant it was not in the best interest of the country. It worked and yes the country suffered for it. The Republican Party now controls both Houses and they captured many Gubernatorial seats across the country. Now they must choose. Choose wisely. They can continue, and even accelerate their slash and burn tactics carried out over the last six years or they can focus on getting things done that are best for the country. If they do the later they have a good shot at capturing the White House. If thy continue with their tactics used over the last six years their id a good chance that once again they will lose the presidential election but also

Five Baits of China

Image
If you are under the age of 50 you should be concerned about China from an economic and global power standpoint. Some believe China is seeking peace with the rest of the world. Based on their long history, I am not convinced. For China long term is hundreds of years and for the United States it is the next election cycle. China's focus is always on the long term. Much of this post is drawn from a book,  On China , written by Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State under President Nixon and a research paper of the National Intelligence Council titled  Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds . Whether the future will prove China's desire for peaceful co-existence depends on whether its middle class will sufficiently benefit from economic growth and not allow their leadership to throw it away by creating enemies with trading partners.  This requires the country becoming more democratic and less inclined to be a threat to the remainder of the world.  The jury is still looking

Detroit rebirth?

Image
Participants In Creation Of Detroit's Grand Bargain Click To Enlarge The above chart was created from information contained in an article from the Detroit Free Press How Detroit was reborn , November 9, 2014. Below are some observations that I find interesting. No one who participated in creating the Grand Bargain lives in Detroit. Kevyn Orr was the only person involved in these discussions who was black. The topic of taking the art from the city and only receiving pennies on the dollar was never mentioned in the article.as a concern Did the fact that the person coming up with the idea of the Grand Bargain, Justice Rosen who is the Chief Justice of the Eastern Michigan Bankruptcy Court, unduly influence the judge hearing the case, Judge Rhodes, who is also from the Eastern Michigan Bankruptcy Court? Chapter 9 bankruptcy law does not require a city to sell assets to pay creditors. The impression I got from reading the article in the Free Press was the momentum quickly shift

Detroit's impoverished save DIA

Image
"But at the base of all those settlements was the grand bargain, which, in addition to preserving the museum’s vaunted collection, allowed Detroit to grant all of its retirees a better deal than first expected. The arrangement moves the art collection into a private trust that is bankruptcy-proof, while the money from foundations, museum donors and the state goes to the pension plans over the next two decades." Finding $816 Million and Fast, to Save Detroit , New York Times, November 7, 2014 The Grand Bargain did not save Detroit; the DIA was involuntarily saved by Detroit's working class and poor. This is a sad story of an impoverished city involuntarily giving up the opportunity for a better future for the sake of keeping an art collection in tact. What is missing in this article is that much of the mufti-billion dollar art collection is owned by the city. Admittedly the exact amount owned by the city is not clear because the total art collection was not appraised a

Detroit and whats right

Image
I am disappointed Judge Rhodes approved the plan of adjustment as presented. Yes the result will be Detroit will be a functioning city providing basic services with perhaps a slightly reduced crime rate. However, it will still be an impoverished city that is under-educated with little to attract a growing middle class that is sorely needed if it has any hopes of prospering. Prior to enacting the grand bargain the city had a chance to make serious reform. It owned billions of dollars of art that could have been sold and invested in the education of its youth that would have drawn middle class families to the city. Now that opportunity is gone forever because of the greed and shortsightedness of the wealthy who pull the strings of our politicians. It is a sad day to be called a member of mankind. I am disappointed. More ** Revised 7:36 PM November 7, 2014

Republicans seek victory at all cost

Image
Republicans were more concerned about becoming the majority than improving the country. Republicans made the decision to place their political desires and tactics ahead of governing the nation. Once a bill they oppose is passed they look for ways to sabotage it. The voters should be outraged. These tactics cost the country time, money and in many cases opportunity. Radicals have taken over my party. The GOP has gone from one with conservative principles seeking to do what is best for the nation to a party that is focused on winning elections at all cost, even if the cost is borne by the country and its citizens. They look at themselves as the ruling class. Their tactics extend beyond the issue they oppose. They oppose health care reform and in order to impose their will they block Presidential appointments for cabinet and judgeship positions. They also implement strategies to stall other unrelated legislation. I am a Republican and voted for the Republican running for President in e

Independance

Image
"This is the belief that what matters in politics is the reaction of populations and not the idiosyncratic judgment, moral character or creativity of individuals." Death By Data, New York Times, November 4, 2014 Citizens United must be overturned. Too many people and institutions benefit from it. If voters focus on elections things will not change. Focus needs to be on the constitution and control of both our economic and political system by money interests. Money has maneuvered to control free markets and votes. Many, including myself, hoped Obama would be different and be in favor of elections by the people and for the people. He was swallowed by modern day money changers and he is not willing to break up oligopolies and truly make our markets free again. Yes, they are free of regulation, but the oligarchs are more dominant than ever controlling our economy and markets. No senior banker served jail time for wrong doing during our recent financial crisis. No senior ex