Nick Krieger (@nckrieger):
Detroit Schools Emergency Manager Steve Rhodes is asking the public to participate in developing an informal nickname for the new Detroit school district. Give me a break.
State law prescribes the legal name of the new school district. Pursuant to Section 381(3) of Public Act 192 of 2016, the name of the new district must include the words “Detroit” and “school”; it must also include the word “community,” the word “district,” or both. This doesn’t leave much room for creative nomenclature.
The new district already has an official name: “Detroit Public Schools Community District” or “DPSCD.” So why does it need a nickname? Your guess is as good as mine.
The nickname will be entirely informal, with absolutely no legal status. It’s a pure gimmick. Rhodes apparently thinks that he can improve his image in the community by allowing Detroiters to help develop the nonbinding nickname. He’s seriously out of touch.
And so I ask: What’s in a name? A state-supervised school district by any other name will still lack true local control (my apologies to the Bard).
The people won’t be fooled by this ploy. Giving DPSCD a cute nickname does not change the fact that the district remains under state supervision and subject to Draconian, discriminatory legal rules that apply only in Detroit — not in any of Michigan’s other 540 school districts. I suppose it’s possible that Rhodes just doesn’t get it. But at times, it almost seems like he and the members of his transition team are going out of their way to be extra insulting.