State Reformers Lack Education on DPS Challenges

Dear Team Life Remodeled,

As you are aware, I’ve been outspoken in my disapproval of the plan by the State School Reform/Redesign Office (SSRO) to close 25 under-performing schools in Detroit.

Life Remodeled is not alone in trying to make a difference in Detroit schools and neighborhoods, as you can read here on the non-profit education news site Chalkbeat. We were shocked when the list of schools targeted for closing, based on three consecutive years of academic underperformance, was issued last month.

When I met with SSRO leaders recently, it was clear they have little understanding of the complications and obstacles related to educating children in the city of Detroit. One leader shared his disgust that the Detroit Public Schools has “allowed” a number of students to graduate high school who were not academically prepared for college. I challenged him to instead focus on the tremendous accomplishments DPS teachers and administrators have made in keeping hundreds of challenged youth in school and off the streets. I also informed him that if the State closes these schools without providing a better alternative, it would result in further deterioration and increased crime in the neighborhoods where the schools are located.

DPS has much to improve academically, and Life Remodeled is committed to supporting the administration and the newly elected school board as we work together toward a brighter future.

I remain confident that Cody, Osborn and Denby High Schools – where Life Remodeled has invested millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours in the last three years — will remain open. Yet I can understand how some of you may feel your previous donations of time and money were in vain. Believe me, they were not.

On a more positive note, I am excited to share that the support of our upcoming project in Central Detroit is stronger than ever. We are leasing and repurposing the Durfee Elementary-Middle School building to provide substantial educational enhancements for DPS students and the local community. The building lease is in Life Remodeled’s name, so we are confident that working together with community leaders, we will continue our mission to remodel lives one neighborhood at a time.

Grateful for Your Support!

Chris Lambert |CEO|
Life Remodeled