Education secretary: Detroit schools are ‘ground zero’

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said May 13 that Detroit’s troubled public schools are "ground zero" for education in the U.S. and promised federal help if leaders are willing to make necessary changes, reports the Associated Press. The Detroit Public Schools system has been rife with mismanagement and few budget controls for years, and Duncan said its chronically poor graduation and dropout rates are unacceptable. "Detroit is New Orleans two years ago without Hurricane Katrina, and I feel a tremendous sense of both urgency and outrage," he told reporters. Duncan, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, newly elected Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, and Robert Bobb, the district’s emergency financial manager, spoke with students at Cody High School about improving education. The city was Duncan’s second stop on his national "Listening and Learning Tour." Duncan, who led Chicago’s public schools before President Obama tapped him to lead the Education Department, said Detroit should look to Chicago and other cities where education reforms have worked. If that is done and Detroit applies for federal Race to the Top stimulus funds, Granholm said she believes Duncan will be "very supportive…"

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