Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: Honoring the legacy of Detroit’s lost schools

Good morning!

I was out with my family a few weeks ago in the suburban community where I grew up when I decided to take my children on an impromptu tour of my childhood — the house where I grew up, the local public library, the neighborhood school.

“See there,” I told my kids as we pulled up next to the playground in front the school. “That’s where mommy used to play when she was your age.”

It was a fun day that I didn’t give much thought to at the time. But reading Lori’s story yesterday about the sale of an iconic high school building reminded me how much special moments like the one I was able to share with my children aren’t possible for many native Detroiters. Far too many playgrounds, community centers and schools have closed their doors, turning into blighted eyesores, or empty, grassy fields.

That’s why it’s nice to see school board members thinking about ways to preserve parts of Detroit’s history as they sell off buildings they don’t need any more. They called for the giant blue “K” that has stood sentry outside the decaying former Kettering high school to stay, even when the land itself is used for something else. One board member said she would push the district to look for every opportunity when selling property to “repurpose and honor what was there before.”

Scroll down for that story and the rest of this morning’s headlines. But before you do, we have a quick favor to ask: We’re looking for retiring teachers to feature in an upcoming Q&A series and we need your help finding them. If you’re retiring this year after a long career in education, we’d love to connect. Just leave your contact information here and we’ll be in touch. And if you know someone else who fits the bill, please forward this newsletter. Thanks — and thanks for reading!

— Erin Einhorn, Bureau Chief


Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.


KETTERING The Detroit school district plans to sell Kettering High School and another vacant school building for $2.6 million — money the district could use to address the more than $500 million repair bill it faces on its existing buildings. Chalkbeat

BUDGET The Michigan House has joined the Senate in proposing a 2020 education budget that would shun the “weighted funding” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to send to schools that serve needier students. One local school board, meanwhile, passed a unanimous resolution backing the governor’s plan. The Detroit News Associated Press CBS Detroit WDIV

BENTON HARBOR The sad story of how Benton Harbor High School came to face potential closure has teachers blaming administrators, administrators blaming the school board and the board blaming the state. Some of the state’s most vulnerable students are caught in the middle. Bridge Michigan Radio

CHARTER SCHOOL A charter school student used her graduation speech to condemn the management company that runs her school in a now-viral video. MetroTimes WXYZ

RIGHT TO READ A newspaper editorial board backs Whitmer’s opposition to a federal right-to-read lawsuit, saying the courts aren’t the place to address problems with literacy in Detroit. The Detroit News

GROSSE POINTE A vote on school closures in a suburban school district has been postponed. The Detroit News