In just one week, parents in Rochester succeeded in organizing and advertising a demonstration that drew 650 participants to march and wave signs at the school district’s 20 buildings on Monday – all in support of students in Detroit.
Next Monday morning, drivers passing by school buildings in Rochester will see school employees, students, and parents waving signs in support of Detroit Public Schools. Those drivers will probably assume staff members or union organizers planned the event, but they didn’t.
Parents are planning this protest.
The Rochester Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Council is organizing a “walk-in” to fight against a destructive DPS restructuring plan rammed through the House by Republicans in the dark of night earlier this month. The parent activism is motivated by concern for Detroit schoolchildren – who deserve better than what they’re getting – and the fear that some Republican lawmakers plan to push similar anti-public education policies statewide.
As more school districts adopt pre-Labor Day start dates, and others consider shifting to some form of a so-called “balanced calendar,” public opinion often remains divided.
While it’s not scientific, the Michigan Department of Education recently posted a one-question “Quick Poll” to gather opinions on the issue, asking: “Do you support the current post-Labor Day start of the school year?” Respondents so far have been divided, with 54 percent answering “YES” and 46 percent “NO.”
Several Lansing-area schools are considering a switch to a balanced calendar, in which students have a shorter summer break in favor of longer fall and spring vacations. However, public opinion is mixed.
Equal parts rally, carnival, party, and reunion, a Saturday event in Lansing to celebrate and empower educators will feature food vendors, activities for kids, high-profile speakers – and plenty of positive energy.