Nat Pernick, M.D.: The Public's Important Role In Detroit's Public Education - Guest Blog

April 15, 2013

In the past few years, Detroit’s image has come a long way.  For young professionals in particular, the City is considered a cool place to be.

Now, it’s time to turn the corner to make public schools in Detroit a destination for parents and students.  It’s so important to have a strong public education system in Detroit. Philanthropy is one crucial way to get there.

As a pathologist, I think we should work together on solving the underlying problems with public schools in Detroit, and not be satisfied with providing “hospice care.”  We have a moral responsibility to help our kids, and we can be successful if we increase public involvement, the indispensable ingredient in public education.

Everyone talks about the importance of education, but we need more than just talk. In recent years, the State of Michigan has been backing away from supporting education, cutting back on K-12 funding. This is a mistake.  We have to support public education with public dollars.  And we in the private sector have to make public education a priority also.

Education is a participatory activity. Raising funds – big or small – is part of participating and being involved.  We need more money to support great teachers, making their careers more rewarding for them.

Think about what it takes to grow and maintain a beautiful garden. It doesn’t just happen. If you want that kind of garden next to your home, you have to take responsibility. You must put in the time and show the daily care. You have to pull the weeds each week. You have to spend the money on the best equipment and soil. I believe it is the same way with our schools. You can’t just act like quality education will happen, on its own, without you.

Additionally, strong schools are so important in getting businesses to develop and locate in Detroit. Education is actually more important than low taxes to the future of business success. Students who gain exposure to the arts and STEM programs will be the best future employees for the businesses that need to grow in our community.

A well-rounded education is imperative for success in life. That’s something that schools simply can’t provide by themselves.

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