New Hope for Detroit Public Schools

Michigan’s governor appoints a new emergency manager.

Posted: 05/05/2011 04:09 PM EDT
Filed Under education

Roy S Roberts

Detroit Public School parents can have a bit of hope after a shaky start to the year. This week, just months after residents learned that the state would close 70 Detroit public schools and layoff notices were sent to 5,500 teachers—in addition to the 59 closed last year—Michigan Gov. Rick Synder appointed Roy S. Roberts to become the next emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools.

 

Roberts is a former General Motors executive, where he made history as the highest-ranking African-American employee.

 

In a city where just 1 percent of high school graduates are college-ready, compared with 16 percent nationwide, Synder believes Roberts will bring a new, passionate-perspective to the position. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Synder said of Roberts: “We have someone who blends that best balance—business skills sets, community skills sets and someone so well-respected. So I'm very excited to have Roy on board."

 

At 72, the Bloomfield Hills resident tells the Detroit Free Press, "There are a lot of things I could've done. This is what I want to do."

 

Roy Roberts successor, Robert Bobb, accepted the job overseeing the system’s 87,000 students, in 2009. Bobb had proposed a unhighly unpopular plan that sought to eliminate the school system’s $327 million budget deficit. Under the plan, some high school classes would have jumped to 60 students.

 

The transition between Bobb and Roberts will occur over the next few weeks and Roberts will officially start around May 15.

 

(Photo: Patricia Beck/Landov)



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