Fixing Detroit schools no easy task

Ingrid Jacques
The Detroit News

The clock is ticking on a coalition of Detroit community leaders who have taken on the challenge of improving public education in the city.

And the schools need help. Yet it’s hard to imagine what the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, led by the Skillman Foundation, will come up with in a short period of time.

Gov. Rick Snyder said last week that he wants the group to have its agenda ready by March. At least some of the ideas will likely need legislation to go into effect, so the governor doesn’t want to waste any time.

Detroit now has one of the most complicated public school networks in the country, including Detroit Public Schools, an array of charter schools and the Education Achievement Authority — the state-run reform district which operates 15 schools in Detroit.

The coalition wants to bring better management and oversight of these disparate school systems. So does Snyder, and the governor understands that he must get much more community backing in whatever form the next round of reforms take.

The group’s task is important, but far from simple.