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Remember Robert Bobb, the Emergency Financial Manager in Detroit who made a mess of things in the Detroit Public Schools? The person who I wrote about in, Robert Bobb: The Sad Saga Continues? The one who Eli Broad still thinks would make a great DC Chancellor of Schools? The one who I wrote about on the Huffington Post ? That Bob Bobb? Well, BAMN came through and was victorious along with the Detroit School Board on taking back their schools.
Here is the press release:
COURT DECLARES EMERGENCY FINANCIAL MANAGER’S TAKEOVER OF DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS ILLEGAL
BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) and Detroit School Board Score Major Legal Victory Against Market-Based Corporate Education Models.
Ruling comes on the eve of crucial election in Detroit Federation of Teachers.
The Wayne County Circuit Court held today that Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb has violated the law for the last 20 months by illegally taking control over the academic affairs of the Detroit Public Schools.
The Court held that Bobb had no legal authority to seize that power. It also declared that he had no educational expertise or experience — that “all [Bobb’s] study in education has emanated from unvetted sources, who may stand to benefit financially should his academic plans come to fruition and who have supplemented his pay.”
Finally, it held that his educational plan was a “fix” that was “short on teaching and learning wisdom,” an opportunity where some “stand to profit shielded …from the eye of public oversight of competitive bids” because of Bobb’s one-man rule.
In the words of the ruling, [Bobb] “was empowered to figure out how to pay for education fashioned by the Board. Instead he created education products he proposed to implement. His business paradigm envisions competitive marketplace schools where parents shop like consumers for the best schools with best being dictated by survival of the fittest principles of caveat emptor [buyer beware]. …Schools will compete for the best students, leaving less gifted children or those that come from households that somehow fail to present their children to school in the optimal ready-to-learn state, [to] fall by the wayside. Only schools with the best teachers will thrive and without encouragement to foster cooperation among and between teachers and schools, the weak perish.”
George Washington, an attorney who represented the Detroit school board, said “This decision is the beginning of the end of Bobb’s illegal dictatorship and of the pro-charter and anti-education policies that he has attempted to force down the throats of Detroit’s students and citizens. We will do everything necessary to enforce this decision.”
The decision comes on the eve of a crucial runoff election in the Detroit Federation of Teachers. Steve Conn, a long-time BAMN member who is a candidate for President on the Defend Public Education/Save Our Students slate, supported the lawsuit and hailed the decision. Keith Johnson, the current President of the DFT, has supported Bobb from the day he was appointed.
Shanta Driver, the National Chair of BAMN and one of the attorneys on the case, said “This decision rejects the educational program and the political methods that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and plutocrats like Bill Gates and Eli Broad have used in their attempt to destroy public education. The decision and Steve Conn’s election as President of the DFT will vastly strengthen the national fight against Duncan’s pro-charter, market-based competitive education model and will make it possible for us to repair the enormous damage that Duncan, through enforcers like Michelle Rhee and Robert Bobb, has already done to our children’s futures.”
Update on December 11, 2010
We Celebrate Our Huge Victory in Court, and Demand that Bobb Resign Now!
Submitted to the December 9th DFT General Membership Meeting
1. In a huge victory this week for the people of Detroit, most especially our city’s students and teachers, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Wendy Baxter issued a permanent injunction barring Robert Bobb from controlling DPS academics or educational policy.
2. Judge Baxter found that there was no absolutely legal basis for THE emergency financial manager to control academics or educational policy.
3. Judge Baxter further said that Robert Bobb had no experience or educational training that made him fit to control academics. She said that Bobb’s market-driven academic plans ran contrary to the findings and recommendations of educational expert witnesses in the case.
4. Judge Baxter further took note of the fact that although Bobb’s Chief Academic Officer refers to herself as Dr. Barbara Byrd Bennett, her doctorate is a purely honorary degree.
5. Since the judge’s decision, Bobb has continued to arrogantly thumb his nose at DPS students and teachers, announcing his intention to appeal this decision (with DPS funds, of course), in spite of State Superintendent Flanagan’s Advice not to appeal, and declaring a new DPS hiring and spending freeze, despite the desperate need for more teachers as well as books and other school supplies.
1. That the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) hereby reiterates our demand that Rob Bobb resign.
2. The DFT office is hereby instructed to widely disseminate this resolution: Tomorrow, December 10th, it will be faxed and emailed to all local news media, TV Channels 2 , 4 , and 7, WWJ 950 AM and WDET FM radio, the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Michigan Chronicle, and Michigan Citizen newspapers. The full text and title will also be posted in a prominent position on the main page of the DFT website and printed on the front page of the next edition of our union newspaper.
Update on 2/12/2011
-Submitted by Dora Taylor