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DPS partners with UM business school on restructuring

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Detroit — Detroit Public Schools is partnering with international experts from the UM Ross School of Business in a restructuring effort aimed at helping to transform the district’s business operations.

The UM school is offering its services for free.

“Michigan Ross shares a common bond with our colleagues of the Detroit Public Schools and that is our belief that a quality education is transformative,” Alison Davis-Blake, dean of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said Monday in a statement. “We applaud DPS for making a commitment to ongoing leadership development and strategic planning for their future, and the future of their students, and are proud to offer our expertise to support this partnership.”

In a news release, DPS said the district has pledged to create “a high performance environment,” provide necessary resources and technology, use “comprehensive performance management” and promote behavior “that reinforces a lean, agile performance-driven culture.”

The project will be led by a team of senior faculty members from the Ross School, under the direction of Kim Cameron, the school’s William Russell Kelly professor of management and organizations. DPS administrators, teachers, principals and other staff members will spend time with the UM team at the Ross School, and Ross faculty will make follow-up visits to the district.

DPS plans to work with other universities and stakeholders on the restructuring and continue reviewing all contracts, policies and procedures, the district said.

Darnell Earley, who became DPS emergency manager in January, announced a restructuring plan this month aimed at stabilizing the district’s finances, boosting student performance and preparing for possible changes to be recommended next week by a coalition that’s studying ways to improve schools in Detroit.

At the time, Earley said the restructuring could include school closings to help shrink a $170 million deficit.

“The bottom line is that all players in the Detroit education market must not only improve individually, but also work together to create an efficient and effective public education delivery system in Detroit,” Earley said in a statement about the Ross partnership.

SLewis@detroitnews.com

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