Partnership with school district could turn around students’ future


Hamtramck Public Schools has a very unique chance to make this district a magnet for students.

          The school board was presented with a plan, called Community Initiative, that would team up foundations and corporations who would provide funding to boost the district’s teaching resources. Its goal is to increase students’ reading and math skills so they can qualify to take manufacturing jobs.

          As tough as the job market is these days, there are scores of jobs that go begging because employers cannot find qualified people to take them.

          This is a brand new approach to solving the literacy crisis facing major cities like Detroit.

          Hamtramck could serve as an incubator for what promises to be a growing partnership between schools and private industry. It’s got the attention of the governor’s office and leading corporations.

          At this point, some of the specifics are fuzzy, but the bottom line is that there is no financial risk to the district.

          Either the partnership will succeed or fail. The rewards are worth entering into.

          All school officials have to do is sign a letter of interest and attend a meeting in November to see if there can be a program tailor-made for the district that everyone involved agrees will work.

          It’s a no-brainer, and there is nothing to lose.

          But sadly, at Wednesday’s school board meeting what should have been a brief conversation turned into a tortuous hour-long talk that at times turned confrontational.

          The last thing this board needs to do is scare off potentially good investments. If there are any strings attached, the board will have plenty of time to sort out the details.

          The district has to give the green light to continue the exploration process by Oct. 24. We suggest they wait no longer than this coming Monday.

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