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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Detroit Kids - Very Sad

I came across this last week, and thought I would share:
http://www.freep.com/article/20100516/NEWS01/5160413/High-lead-levels-hurt-learning-for-DPS-kids
http://www.freep.com/article/20100516/NEWS01/100514045/
http://www.freep.com/article/20100516/NEWS01/100514031/Map-shows-lead-levels-in-Detroit

We all know that Detroit's educational system is a mess, with an extremely poor graduation rate, near bankruptcy, etc. There is a lot of blame to go around, but maybe not as much as you might think. According to the Free Press, basically, about half the kids in Detroit Public Schools have a history of lead poisoning, which can cause cognitive and mental problems. It seems that, despite the hard work in put by everyone, the students and teachers of Detroit may be fighting this battle with one arm tied behind their backs...

Educational reform, best practices, Robert Bobb, etc. can only go so far in fixing this. Certainly, things can be better, but maybe not as great as we would hope.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Return of entrepreneurs

A little bit of upliftment from the News today, in a piece describing the stories of some entrepreneurs with Michigan roots who have come back to help with the rebuilding: http://detnews.com/article/20100503/BIZ/5030310/Emotional-ties-to-Michigan-brings-entrepreneurs-home

Needless to say, we need more of this. I think a lot of people with Michigan roots still have emotional ties to hope. We need to appeal to this emotion and help stem the flow/exodus of talent from our area. There is no way we can recover without more people like this.

This article in today's Free Press was also enlightening, describing how quickly parts of Detroit can fall into blight: http://freep.com/article/20100503/NEWS01/100503007/1322/Securing-Detroits-future-is-a-challenge. Mere hours after a house is abandoned, it can be ripped apart, left gutted for the arsonists. Certainly, after it is gutted, no one will buy it. Bing's plan to demolish houses is putting a bandaid on the problem - he can't tear them down faster than they are abandoned, I think...Another sad stat from this piece - only 8,000 people in the city made over $150 k last year...that is just awful.