The Unheard Voices


The failing schools in the Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD) are urged to enter into a partnership agreement with the State of Michigan to avoid school closures in June 2017. The partnership will also involve the schools procuring the aid of other partners to further help improve the schools that are deemed critical, awaiting the fate of the 2017, Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-Step).

School districts have 60 days to reach a deal with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). Some districts have already shown an interest and have contacted the Michigan Superintendent, Brian Whiston.

Heaven Young a student at Gompers Elementary Middle School, states that she has been a student at the Gompers site since Pre-School. Gompers is the school where her educational process began, and she hopes to graduate 8th grade from Gompers in June 2020. Heaven says she understands the process of the testing and hopes for the best in a classroom that houses 41-42 students, per one teacher.

$21.4 million Gompers Elementary Middle School, 14450 Burt Rd,. Detroit, MI 48223, faces being closed after three years of failing the M-Step test. Photo by: Cynthia Gladden

The children’s, educational outcome rely on enough children passing the M-Step test per school district. Considering the over crowded classrooms, prepping for the test is not going to be an easy job for the teachers, of Detroit. According to Heaven, the children will take the Manning Early Access Program (MEAP), test first to measure the success of advancement in grade level. The results of this test usually are graded and sent back to teachers within 48 hours. The M-step test will follow for overall school performance of the students measured by the State of Michigan’s guidelines for growth in performance.

The students who work hard at being good students, voices need to be heard. This not just a about a one student problem, it’s about all of the students who want to learn, and they are the ones who really suffer from the massive amount schools that have closed over the years in Detroit, since it’s decline.


Gompers Elementary/Middle School

The Gompers Elementary/ Middle School community has been encouraged to take the necessary measures to prevent the dilapidation of the $21.4 million school that opened its doors in the 2011 school year, in Detroit, Michigan.

Parents and students were notified in January 2017 that Gompers Elementary /Middle School could possibly close its doors in June 2017, along with 37 other schools in Metro Detroit. The 111,882 square-foot school consolidated and replaced three older schools: Harding, Vetal, and Gompers Elementary Schools. Harding Elementary and its Annex were demolished and the new 2-story building was constructed on that site, which houses Pre-K thru 8th grade students. The closing will cause a hardship for many families, as many Detroit Public Schools have already been closed due to the decline of Detroit and state testing scores for children. The city has no plans for the schools facing being vacated and this will only add despair to a city on the edge of rebuilding itself.

Heaven is a former student of Warren G. Harding School, she now attends Samuel Gompers Elementary Middle School and has dreams of being a doctor and now wonders where she will graduate from in the future. Image by: Cynthia Gladden

The children have to be educated and the Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder has delayed the decision to close from February 2017 to May 2017, giving the Michigan Department of Education time to come up with a plan for making sure the children are educated properly and are able to bring up test scores.

Schools that do not pass the state testing three years in a row are subjected to closing instead of seeking solutions to better the test scores. School closings lead to more abandoned buildings in a city whose population has a steady decline. Detroit parents are faced with, where to educate their children, who have dreams to succeed. Finding a place to meet the educational needs for the children of Detroit will be a chore for most parents and they will find it hard to fulfill their children’s educational requirements within the city limits, since many schools have already closed.