26 at-risk Detroit schools could be forced to close

- Protesters gathered outside a Detroit high school Monday in response to the state's list of at-risk schools that could be forced to close.

By Any Means Necessary, or BAMN, took issue with the State School Reform Office's list of low-performing schools and stood outside Detroit's Osborne High School.

"The state's answer well let's just shut it all down and give them nothing. No!" said Steve Conn, a Detroit Public Schools teacher and BAMN supporter.

The at-risk list includes 38 schools -- 26 of them in Detroit -- that were in the bottom 5 percent for academic performance for the past three years in a row.

"The young people need help; they need support; we need resources in the schools. We need a pay scale for teachers so they can recruit new teachers. The last thing we need is more school closings that will further decimate the city," Conn said.

Detroit school leaders reacted to the announcement inside Coleman A. Young Elementary -- a school now off the list -- trying to find ways to get other schools off that priority list.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers President Ivy Bailey called the decision to close the schools another blow to the progress they're trying to make.

"Some of our children have been a school, and every year the school closed. We can't continue to have that," she said.

While the folks with BAMN plan to hold more demonstrations throughout the city, there's also a learning summit scheduled Jan. 31  and Feb. 1. Representatives from out-of-state schools plan to discuss ways to stop these closures.

"It us time for Detroit to come together and for us to do what's right for our children," Bailey said.

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