Category: Community - Original Written by Patrick Keating, Chronicle Staff Writer
In a recent Michigan Chronicle poll, 400 Detroiters were asked about city services that would influence whether they would stay in the city or leave. Forty-one percent cited public safety as the most important.
The Chronicle asked some Wayne State University students what they think needs to happen with respect to public safety to make more people want to stay in the city.
Andre Harris, a sophomore studying global supply chain management, said if he were a resident, he’d like to see more police presence, more community policing.
“I think presence could deter a lot more than showing up after it’s happened,” he said.
Harris also said if the emergency manager can, he should hire more officers. But he should also make better use of officers.
“A lot of my family are Detroit police officers,” Harris said. “You just have to use them properly. Don’t put the newest guy in high risk areas. Put the more experienced guy in the high risk area.”
According to Harris, newer officers are assigned to high-risk areas.
Detroiter Sam Sillmon said that in order for people to want to stay in Detroit, the crime must be lowered.
“I don’t know how they’re going to go about doing it, but it’s just not safe,” said Sillmon, who spoke at Wayne State’s student center. “People get robbed right up the street in a certain time frame.”
He added that people don’t hear anything good about the city.
Cornell Ewell, a student who lives outside Detroit, added that people who hear he goes to Wayne State, automatically think of crime.
Asked what the emergency manager should do with respect to public safety, Detroiter Doc Dennard said he’s not sure what he would do to get the crime rate down.
“At this point, most people have a mindset of ‘I don’t care. I have to get what I have to get. I have to feed my family,’” Dennard said, adding that most people won’t care what police who are brought in might have to say. Instead, he said, their reaction would be that these police officers wouldn’t be feeding their families.
Dennard believes the answer lies in there being more jobs.
“While you’re at work you can’t rob anybody,” he said.
Sillmon, Dennard and Ewell all said they’d like to see more recreation centers opened.
“For that matter, any after-school program,” Sillmon said.
Chad Dresden, a sophomore studying dietetics and nutrition, said he’s also a competitive power lifter, and that most of the people he competes with (and is friends with) are Detroit firefighters and policemen.
He sees how they’re treated and how they’re worried about their jobs.
“I mean, there’s a steady (level) of crime and fires, but there’s also a steady layoff of police and firemen,” said Dresden, who lives in Warren. “The two have to equal out at some point. You can’t have a steady increase in crime and then keep getting rid of cops and firemen. I do agree that that is a contributing factor as to why people don’t want to stay.”
He said the city will eventually need to bring laid off police and firefighters back.
Senior Kaitlin Muklewicz said response time needs to be better. She added that her brother is a Detroit police officer, and that police deserve better treatment.
Senior Jacquelyn Tramer believes the March 25 announcement of contributions to replace the fleet of 23 ambulances for the Detroit Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division and provide 100 new patrol cars for the Detroit Police Department will prove beneficial.
Neither had a comment about the emergency manager.
The city’s corporate community is providing $8 million to support Mayor Bing’s active and Safe Campaign.
The participating corporate donors are Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; Chrysler Group, LLC; Ford Motor Company; General Motors Company; Quicken Loans, Inc.; The Kresge Foundation; Penske Corporation; and Platinum Equity, LLC.
FirstMerit Bank is serving as the financial partner.
In a statement, Detroit Fire Commissioner Donald Austin called the “generous contributions” from the city’s corporate leaders “a gift to the residents of Detroit, as well as our EMS division.”
For his part, Detroit Police Chief Chester L. Logan indicated that an additional 100 police cars will greatly enhance the efforts of officers who patrol the city streets.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 23:46
Category: Community - Original Written by Amber Bogins
The Michigan Chronicle recently partnered with Foster McCollum White Baydoun (FMWB) to conduct a poll consisting of 400 Detroit voters aimed at getting their views on a variety of issues affecting the city, including the emergency financial manager issue, Detroit’s financial crisis, and public safety. A live call telemarketer conducted a random polling survey of Detroit registered voters most likely to vote in the August 2013 Primary Election. The poll was conducted on March 18 and 19. FMWB is the consulting firm of choice for gathering and analyzing quantitative measurements in politics.
“We wanted to conduct this poll to get concrete data about how Detroiters feel about key issues facing the city,” Real Times Media CEO and Michigan Chronicle Publisher Hiram Jackson said. “The Michigan Chronicle is the voice of the community and this poll is a way for us to quantitatively express the views and opinions of our readers.”
Out of the population polled, we discovered that the city is divided roughly in half with regard to an emergency manager and public safety is a major concern for constituents. Polls are an invaluable tool for political candidates and considering that the mayoral race is already under way, our poll will grow in its relevancy and use. There is a lot of discussion taking place throughout the city, sometimes publicly but also privately in people’s homes. This poll is a way to bring to the surface the private conversations and organize the outspoken public.
“Polls are important because they gauge the opinions of the community. They also let candidates know where they need to make up ground,” said Detroit resident Erin Godin.
“Polls are good if you can get the proper demographic. They give an insight to what the demographic is feeling,” said Stanley Wright, a project manager and Detroit resident. “Polls are only as useful as the people who are reading them. If the results are delivered to someone in a position to use the info, then there’s value.”
What you need to know about the poll
Within the Detroit voting populace a number of significant and surprising variances between those who support and oppose the EFM appointment were discovered in the poll.
Persons in the following cross tab groupings were supportive of the EFM appointment and/or believe that the EFM will improve city services for all residents:
22 to 30 year olds
(66.67% support EFM appointment, 72.22% believe EFM will improve city services),
41 to 50 year olds
(47.54% support EFM appointment, 44.26% believe EFM will improve city services)
(45.75% support EFM appointment, 43.14% believe EFM will improve city services)
(61.7% support EFM appointment, 53.19% believe EFM will improve city services)
Latino American Detroiters
(57.14% support EFM appointment)
Detroiters with less than a
high school diploma
(48% support EFM appointment)
Detroit households earning
$25,001 to $50,000 annually
(49.17% support EFM appointment, 39.17% believe EFM will improve city services)
Detroit households earning
$100,001 to $200,000 annually
(52% support EFM appointment)
(42.78% support EFM appointment, 42.78% believe EFM will improve city services)
Respondents who plan on leaving Detroit within the next 18 months
(53.13% support EFM appointment)
Respondents who said that Fire & EMS
services will impact their decision to leave
or stay in Detroit
(47.37% support EFM appointment, 52.63% believe EFM will improve city services)
Respondents who said that City Council
will impact their decision to leave or
stay in Detroit
(52.38% support EFM appointment)
(48.18% oppose the EFM appointment, 44.94% believe EFM will not improve city services)
African American Detroiters
(48% oppose the EFM appointment)
Detroiters with a post graduate degree
(85.71% oppose the EFM appointment and 85.71% believe the EFM will not improve city services)
Detroit households earning
$50,001 to $100,000 annually
(61.39% oppose the EFM appointment)
Detroit households earning
$100,001 to $200,000 annually
(52% support EFM appointment)
(53.45% oppose the EFM appointment, 56.90% believe EFM will not improve city services)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 00:29
Category: Community Written by Donald James
(Photo credit: Michaela McArthur, an instructional level 1 through 4 teaher at Brenda Scott Elementary and Middle School on Detroit’s east side.)
While many of the nation’s school boards, districts and authorities continuously look for ways in which to elevate students’ proficiencies in reading and math, the newly formed Education Achievement Authority of Michigan (EAA) recently announced significant gains in the aforementioned subject areas. The EAA reports that since the start of the 2012-2013 school year, more than 20 percent of its students have already achieved at least a one year growth in reading and math levels. EAA officials further reveal that more than 27 percent of its students in grades 2 through 9 have already achieved a one year or more growth in reading…with 22 percent achieving a one year or more growth in mathematics.
According to EAA’s assessment, the most significant growth was in 9th and 10th grade math, where 40 percent of high school students experienced a one year or more growth. Based on EAA’s projections, an additional 16 percent of its high school students are on track to achieve a one year or more growth when a final assessment is reviewed in late June of this year.
In addition, EAA saw the most significant rise in reading scores in its 6th through 8th grade sectors, which showed that 35 percent of middle school students already achieved a one year or more growth. Additionally, another 18 percent of middle school students are on target to attain a one year or more growth by late June. It’s important to point out that all student-measured growth is based on national norms that set the standards and skill levels for student proficiency in various areas of learning.
So why has EAA been successful in its quest to raise reading and math scores? At the beginning of the school year, students were given a Performance Series test from Scantron, a computer adaptive test which allowed teachers to quickly identify an instructional level for each student. Subsequently, students were systematically placed at instructional levels based on where they scored…not by age or grade level. Thus, individualized learning plans were designed and implemented to meet students where they were. Teacher then used a student-centered learning model and philosophy that allowed instructors to work with respective students at the learners’ instructional level.
The preliminary report of improved test scores is good news for EAA students, teachers, parents, administrators, and other stakeholders. It is also indicative of EAA’s philosophy of “changing the paradigm for teaching and learning in Michigan.” “Our model of teaching students is completely different from traditional ways,” says Michaela McArthur, an instructional level 1 through 4 teacher at Brenda Scott Elementary and Middle School on Detroit’s eastside where Marques Stewart serves as principal. “By using our student-centered learning model, we meet our students where they are. Therefore, we design our lessons and classrooms around what the students’ needs are. Students are then required to show teachers two or three pieces of evidence to demonstrate that they have mastered a learning target before they can move on. If they need more assistance to master a learning target, we give them the assistance.”
McArthur recalls that earlier in the school year, a very small percentage of students at Brenda Scott showed proficiency in math and reading. “Through student-centered learning…instead of teaching students, we lead them on the path of discovery,” says McArthur. “Students now seem to take more ownership in their learning. When they come to school, they come ready and excited to learn. It’s exciting to see so many students achieving such growth in a short period of time. Students, however, will be tested two more times before the end of the school year.”
Kinte Roberts, a 7th grader at Brenda Scott agrees with McArthur regarding excitement and learning. “My test scores in math and reading have improved because I really like how I am being taught,” says Roberts. “Math was really hard for me, but student-centered learning helped me to do better. Math is now making more sense to me. Plus, the behavior in the classroom, and throughout the school, is better now than it was…and that makes it better for students to learn.”
The concept for EAA was formed in June, 2011, with plans to operate the lowest five percent of schools in Michigan that were not achieving satisfactory results on a redesigned plan, or that were under an emergency manager. In September, 2012, EAA officially began operating 15 schools, six of which are high schools (Central, Denby, Henry Ford, Mumford, Pershing and Southeastern) and nine elementary/middle schools (Bethune, Brenda Scott, Burns, Law Academy, Murphy, Nolan, Phoenix Academy, Stewart and Trix). The typical school year for EAA students runs from September to August.
While EAA is proud of its system and effectiveness, the Authority knows there is still much work to be done. However, there is no denying the significance of the recent uptick in reading and math scores.
“These gains provide reassurance that our students are moving in the right direction and that student-centered learning is achieving the growth these students need to be competitive,” says J. Wm. Covington, EAA’s chancellor. “This is also a reflection of the diligent efforts implemented by our teachers and staff to ensure students have the tools needed to experience growth. The growth these students are achieving is clear proof that Detroit students can achieve and can compete with students anywhere if they are provided with an educational setting that meets them where they are and works with them individually to strengthen their performance. That is what EAA does.”
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 10:04
Category: Community - Original Written by Amber L. Bogins
University Preparatory Academy is committed to ensuring that their students are college-ready upon completion of high school. UPA defines a college-ready student as a student who is bright, self-aware, and resourceful, fully informed and exposed to his/her college and career options. Through a rigorous curriculum, internships and college and career counseling, the Academy is training students to be not only academically prepared for school, but also able to handle the intricacies that come along with living alone in a college or university environment. The skills necessary to excel in a higher education institution range from efficient study habits and time management skills, to personal accountability and doing laundry.
Statistics show that 17% of high school students are not college ready, joining a national problem where four out of ten high school students find that there unable to reconcile the gap between the perceived expectations of being a college student and the reality. The reality is that educators and parents have to take a more proactive role in helping students managing the expectations and encouraging student’s motivation to go on to a higher education.
Dr. Geneva Williams, CEO of University Preparatory Academy says that addressing that need and filling that gap is why UPA is hosting a new Parent and Community Engagement Series aimed at exposing parents, caregivers and students to the things that a student needs to about college and beyond to be successful entitled the “3 Degrees of Preparation” for students and parents throughout the city.
“All parents could probably benefit from hearing the real deal messages and information about what college is like. [University Prep] is increasing rigor in our curriculum and putting much more attention on our internship programs and we’re trying to involve parents more. As well as helping students understand [that when] they make the transition to college that is when they become really in control of their own education.
The first speaker in the series, Dr. Sidney Ribeau, Detroit native and president of Howard University, commented that there needs to be a push in both middle school and high school to excite and motivate students about their education and give them the skills required to be successful.
“What you see at University Prep schools is a school system that’s understanding the whole picture. “
The “whole picture” being: traditional academic skills, family life and support, getting the students familiar with the college environment.
Go online to http://uprep.com/ for more information on University Prep's curiculum and the Parent and Community Engagement Series: 3 Degrees of Preparation.
Pic cutline: Dr. Ribeau with freshman Ian Price
Last Updated on Monday, 25 March 2013 08:03
Category: Community Written by Luther Keith, Executive Director of ARISE Detroit!
ARISE Detroit! will be part of the new Detroit One anti-crime campaign, soon to be officially launched by Barbara McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.
In a recent meeting more than 50 community leaders, including Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, McQuade demonstrated that she is serious about orchestrating a dramatic reduction in murders and shootings in Detroit.
With the support of other law enforcement officials and community leaders, McQuade has called for a massive community mobilization against crime and said that Detroit should set a goal to cut by half last year’s total of 386 murders.
Mayor Bing announced Detroit One last month in his State of the City speech, noting its stated goal was to reduce the number of shootings in Detroit by 25 percent this year.
“Cutting murders by half this year is a lot but it’s good to set the bar high,” McQuade told me after the community meeting. “We want to make it happen.”
The overall goal of Detroit One is to engage the entire community, churches, community groups, businesses and law enforcement, in a holistic broad-based crime reduction effort. McQuade said that when the initiative is fully rolled out in a few weeks, its message will be: “Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life.”
McQuade said Detroit One is patterned after a successful Washington D.C. campaign that eventually reduced the number of annual homicides in the nation’s capital from 400 to less than 100.
“We want to focus on getting the trigger pullers but we cannot arrest our way out of this problem,” McQuade said. “We all need to be one community.
“It’s about all of us coming to the table,” the mayor said. “There is power in numbers. We can’t give up on our kids and can’t give up on our city.”
In addition to better coordination and crime data information sharing from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, Detroit One will look for ways to expand successful neighborhood crime fighting efforts. This could include creating a crime fighting clearing house to make it easier for residents to participate in efforts such as Crime Stoppers, community safety walks, as well as finding ways to provide more recreational and job opportunities for youth.
Roy Roberts, emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, also attended the meeting and said DPS would be “an integral part” of Detroit One. He said he would explores ways to make the schools more available as neighborhood recreation outlets. Dr. John Telford, interim school superintendent for DPS, was also present.
Some of the other community group participants were Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit Branch NAACP, and representatives of the Brightmoor Alliance, Think Detroit PAL, the Youth Connection, Crime Stoppers, the Detroit Anti-Violence Youth Initiative, and the United Communities of America, led by Pastor Ovella Andreas.
McQuade acknowledged there was no new federal money for the program at this time. For now, it will take community work and community funding.
Funded by the Kresge Foundation, ARISE Detroit! is a coalition of more than 400 organizations promoting volunteerism, community activism and positive media images to create a better Detroit.
To learn more, go to www.arisedetroit.org or call 313-921-1955.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 08:48
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