A Rose for Detroit Blog

Kids need a community of caring adults

“Children in Detroit are forced to be alone, and from that either become something or nothing,” said Angelina, a bright young woman who explained that she learned many life lessons on her own and by gleaning advice from friends who had strong support networks.

Growing up in poverty can be a very isolating experience. Survival replaces growth. Fear replaces hope. ... Read More

Tips for Grads

Skillman Foundation staff share words of encouragement with our Detroit graduates!  ... Read More

Stanford grad thankful for Detroit supporters

Almost a year ago, a dream that once felt intangible transformed into my reality. Last June, I graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in African and African American Studies and a minor in Creative Writing.
Although college was a time of abundant opportunity, I often struggled to overcome fears of inadequacy. ... Read More

Detroit schooling chaos

If you listen to the advocates for an unregulated marketplace model for Detroit education you hear two arguments. One ideological: markets work better than government; And two: that charters in Detroit are outperforming district schools. They contend the system of authorizing charters is working. As we have explored previously, the data on student achievement in Detroit charter schools also does not support the claim that the current system working is for charter schools students. ... Read More

Letter from Detroit student, Imani Harris

My name is Imani Harris. I am a very concerned sophomore at Renaissance High School.

I am writing this letter because I am appalled. I am appalled at the fact that there was ever a thought that already struggling teachers should work for free while our emergency manager, legislatures, etc. continue to be paid. ... Read More

Leading Detroit: Angela Reyes of Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation

Tired of burying children, Angela Reyes became a community leader by organizing youth programs. Reyes vividly remembers going to the funerals of young people close to her every other week.“It was traumatic for me as a mother, it was traumatic for the community." ... Read More

Philanthropy as a Platform for Civic Leadership

Philanthropy is often the tie that binds communities together. From city to city, state to state, country to country, the vast majority of people benefit from or participate in philanthropy. The true power of philanthropy, however, lives deeply beyond the art and form of grantmaking, and lends itself towards the ability – and responsibility – to equip and empower communities to move forward. ... Read More

Restructuring Detroit K-12 education

As the legislature debates restructuring K-12 schooling in Detroit, a reporter asked me why Excellent Schools Detroit (ESD) hasn’t worked. If "worked" means a substantial increase in the number of quality schools in the city of Detroit––or for that matter outside of Detroit but serving lots of Detroit kids––then clearly it hasn’t worked. None of us involved in the creation and operation of ESD these last six years would claim that the quality of schooling has substantially improved in the city. But that isn’t a realistic standard to judge an organization that doesn’t operate or authorize schools; nor sets education policy at the state or local level; nor regulates schools. Student achievement in Detroit––or any other urban area in Michigan with similarly low student outcomes––can’t substantially change until state policy changes. ... Read More