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Playing Hookie for a Better Education?

Students studying and taking notes.
Students studying and taking notes.

The effectiveness of the current American education system has been under contention for many years. Even though the Pew Research Center reports that the millennial generation is the best educated as of yet, with around 34% earning at least a bachelor’s degree, we’re still finding many students don’t have the same opportunities as their peers.

According to the Lansing State Journal, teachers in the Detroit public school district saw such substantial problems with the local system, both due to improper educational practices and unsafe building conditions, that they shut down nearly 60 schools in the district with a “sickout” protest.

A group of teachers called Detroit Strikes To Win, led by ousted teachers’ union president Steve Conn, met on Sunday night to discuss not only the organized sickout protest, but even the potential for a district-wide strike in the future. This protest is based on what they are describing as, “deplorable teaching conditions.”

As a result, the Detroit Federation of Teachers held a conference to discuss the severity of the toxic environmental and learning conditions that both educators and students face in Detroit classrooms.

This protest may just have done the job, with the the Detroit Free Press reporting that Detroit will be launching inspections of all public schools after Mayor Mike Duggan visited four schools following the sickout.

“This effort isn’t about blaming anybody,” Duggan said in a statement this evening “It’s about making sure that every child and every teacher in Detroit goes to school in a safe and healthy environment.”

An initial inspection of 20 school buildings is expected to be completed by the end of the month, with all 97 schools being inspected by the end of April.

State Sen. Goeff Hansen also stated that two bills would be introduced to the legislature to address the school district’s problems and debt.

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