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July 29, 2005


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Damn Spence, are you from MI?!

I have been in Catholic school all my life, save two years in 3rd and 4th grade.

I went to Bishop Gallagher in Harper Woods. I graduated in '99 so I was fortunate enough to not get caught up in this school-closing stuff. I actually by-passed the all-boy Notre Dame in favor of the co-ed Bishop Gallagher. Best decision I ever made, lemme tell ya.

I'm interested to get your thoughts on why race might be involved in the decision to save Borgess over ND. The last time I was in Notre Dame, I was there to take the ACT. It still seemed pretty much as you described it, 80-90% White, the rest minorities. There are definitely more Blacks in Borgess. We used to run track and cross country against them. But if I'm not mistaken, I believe ND has been around longer. So if race is involved, why would the donor choose to save Borgess over the traditionally white ND? -Unless the donor was Black (which I doubt).

For me, the real tragedy is that the private school kids essentially have nowhere to go now. My mother used to threaten me with public school. I have experienced the transition personally actually. My mother put me in public school in the 4th grade so I could learn to (to use her exact words) "be around my own people". The work was noticibly easier. The transition from private to public school is the equivalent of leaving church to go listen to "Welcome to the Jungle".


if i had to hazzzzard a guess, i would suggest it has something to do with the facts that:

a) there are more black folk in detroit
b) black folk in detroit are underserved by public schools

white folks in MI have other options.


even in hamtramck


"even in hamtramck" Ha!!

Damn do ALL u guys live in MI? We need to do a meet-n-greet one day.


Sure they have more options. But it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to save Borgess over ND. Notre Dame is located in a suburn which is just east of Detroit, Harper Woods; and the border between the two is only 1 street, Kelly Road. So Notre Dame is actually closer to where Black kids are. In order to get to the other school (the one that was saved), you'd have to go through at least two cities to the north.

I mean, unless its something retared, like them wanting to keep the good Notre Dame name "unsullied" by the presence of Black folk in its hallowed halls, I can't see why they'd do that. Yes, there are more Black ppl in Detroit, but they never went to Notre Dame in the numbers that they went to B Borges, because I'm sure the Notre Dame tuition was a lot higher. I'm hoping they just decided, "Lets save the school with the most Blacks." But that seems unlikely.

Lester Spence

I don't live in Detroit anymore (though I've BEEN here for the past month on vacation--we're going back to baltimore tonight).

But read your own post again. If the Notre Dame kids have more legitimate options--decent public schools, decent private schools--then why would a funder save it? Black working class Detroit kids had three legitimate private school options. Borgess, DePorres, and Benedictine.

Benedictine closes before there is a strong effort underfoot to underime/revitalize (depending on standpoint) Detroit public schools. DePorres and Borgess? Both close....both re-open because of an infusion of capital that does NOT come from alumni.


As de Porres alum, there is a certain brand cache to the school name that connotates blue chip athletics, which, if promoted right, could become a cash cow for this new investor. Not sure about the Borgess angle, but have to agree with bro. Kenyatta that perhaps race was a factor.

One thing I do know is that, as a Detroiter, I learned from some conversations with suburban caucasians at U of M that their schools taught Higher Order Critical Thinking Skills such as pneumonic device and other metacognitive skillsthat were geared towards self-retrofiting information for analysis and retention. DP taught no such thing. Perhaps the reintroduction of these schools represent a continuance of schools that are still borne (no pun intended) of planned obsolescence.


Sorry guys deporres is closing see Free Press www.freep.com Aug 2 05



This Sunday in the Editorial Section:


This is an interesting take on why De Porres was not allowed to stay open.


Can you explain why the DPS would not want to leave DePorres open...Is DPS more interested in holding the line against charters than they are in trying to bust up the teacher's union and restructure the collective bargaining agreement? In New York, private schools cannot be converted to public charter schools.


Can't say that I've really been following this too closely. However, from friends who still teach, it seems that the Board is definitely trying to bust up the teacher's union by provoking a strike (that's gonna happen, according to some of my former colleagues).

I could see the Board not wanting to Charter De Porres' legacy, easy. With serious money behind the endeavor, folk would be clamoring to become a part of that system. It would put a serious drain on a few surrounding schools.

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