DeGrow Letter Published in Wall Street Journal

Rebutting DPS allegations from teacher union president

The Wall Street Journal published a letter by the Mackinac Center’s Ben DeGrow this week, setting the record straight on what caused the financial demise of Detroit Public Schools.

DeGrow, education policy director at the Center, responded to claims made in an earlier letter by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten that the district’s financial troubles were caused by “state intervention, financial ‘austerity’ and ‘outsourcing’” DeGrow paraphrased. In reality, he explained, the hardships in Detroit originated with irresponsible school boards:

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State intervention has done little to help, but Detroit school board control created the deep financial challenges that prompted former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm to begin appointing the current round of emergency managers.

“Poor management decisions in the past have left school facilities in disrepair,” he added.

DeGrow noted that Detroit’s charter schools are producing better results at a significantly lower cost, and school choice options should be increased to help children succeed.

More focus should be placed on replicating the work of successful models. Centralizing control over the charter schools that families have chosen would turn back the clock for students who badly need more hope, not less.

Read the full letter at the Wall Street Journal.

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