Elected Detroit School Board members are speaking out after Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Wendy Baxter ruled in their favor over academic control of the district.

At Tuesday night’s School Board meeting, Board President Anthony Adams says the board will not stop academic progress as suggested, and that they fully embrace academic reform, adding that they are prepared to work with Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb. The board is asking Bobb not to appeal the judge’s ruling giving them control over academic policy.

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“We don’t need to waste any more time and legal fees that the district is paying, which is money that could be used for instruction,” Adams said. “It could be used to enhance our bilingual education program. We’re gonna say let’s sit down at the table so that we can work out what we need to do in order to move this district forward.”

Adams reaction to a hiring freeze imposed by Bobb: “We’re happy that he’s adopted a spending freeze because we don’t want the district’s deficit to increase any more than it has during his tenure.”

Following Judge Baxter’s ruling, Bobb issued the following statement:

“Ironically, Judge Baxter’s ruling comes a year almost to the date after the announcement that Detroit’s schoolchildren ranked lowest in history on a national math test. Judge Baxter’s ruling is a step backward and endorses the past academic policies which, along with the financial practices and the overall direction of the school district, were a total failure.”

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“There’s nothing in the Board’s academic plan that sets measurable goals for the district. In just 12 months, the programs that have been put in place to ensure academic rigor have provided the greatest hope that Detroit families have seen in years.”

“The ruling fails to address the basic question of how to separate the academics from the financials.”

“Clearly there are significant legal and legislative issues to be resolved, and this order does not resolve them.”

There’s no word yet on whether or not Bobb plans to appeal.

Click here to visit the Detroit Public Schools’ web site.

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