By Carol Cain

(CBS Detroit) – Entering his second year on the job, Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) discussed revamping its school curriculum and growing enrollment with Carol Cain, Senior Producer/Host of “Michigan Matters” in a wide-ranging interview.

Vitti, whose four children attend DPSCD schools, announced last week that the district would immediately shut off drinking water in all school buildings after tests at 16 turned up high levels of copper or lead.

Currently, the district is handing out bottled water but Vitti said a task force is examining other options. He added that drinking fountains could be eliminated and replaced by water stations which would be equipped with a piping process that would involve frequent water testing.

Aging infrastructure is a problem for many cities and schools particularly in the nation’s rustbelt.

Vitti, who grew up in Dearborn, came back to Michigan from Florida to take over the job of running the state’s largest school district. He has been working on a strategy to improve Detroit schools.

He is now implementing it with the new school year officially here. It includes a revamped curriculum.

Then, the roundtable of Denise Ilitch, CEO of Ilitch Enterprises, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, and Charlie Beckham, municipal consultant who just retired from the city of Detroit, talk politics.

Gov. Rick Snyder has said he won’t weigh in on the current gubernatorial contest between GOP Bill Schuette and Democrat Gretchen Whitmer.

Patterson, who has endorsed Schuette, said he didn’t think it made much difference.

Ilitch , a Democrat, talked about reports that the Republican National Governor’s Association is taking money out of Michigan’s gubernatorial contest to distribute in other states as a sign Whitmer is picking up steam.

Beckham also talked about his upcoming one-man show “ Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time” being held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American Studies on Saturday Sept. 15 which will detail his riveting life and time working for every Detroit mayor since Coleman Young.

Watch MICHIGAN MATTERS Sunday at 11:30 on CBS 62.


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