Detroit Plan Would Close 45 Schools

Susan Saulny:

In a continuing overhaul of one of the most troubled school systems in the nation, officials in Detroit on Wednesday announced a plan to close 45 of 172 public schools at the end of the academic year. The move is the latest in a string of efforts aimed at rescuing an academically failing district in the midst of a financial crisis.
Detroit has closed more than 100 schools since 2004, yet still has more than 50,000 excess seats throughout the system.
Robert C. Bobb, the emergency manager appointed last year by Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm to take control of the schools, proposed the closings, which would eliminate as many as 2,100 jobs, in the face of a deficit expected to peak at $316.6 million and a dwindling student population.
Only 3 percent of Detroit fourth graders were proficient in math on the last National Assessment of Educational Progress, an annual test of basic skills. The district is the largest in Michigan, with 87,000 students, most of whom are poor and black.