Thomas Pedroni, associate professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education was quoted in The Herald-Palladium, "Statewide rally for black schools set"

Return to news listing

The Herald-Palladium, 9/11

Statewide rally for black schools set

By Louise Wrege

Supporters of schools with predominantly black student enrollment across the state are meeting in Detroit this weekend to discuss the fight against the closing of their school districts, from Benton Harbor to Detroit and places in-between. “The Statewide Uprising Against Black School Dismantling” will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. There are many common factors that have led to the closing of predominantly black school districts across the state, said Associate Professor Tom Pedroni at Wayne State University. Pedroni is one of the organizers of the event. He said black school districts must come together to point out the pattern and to find ways to stop it. Pedroni said representatives from the Inkster and Buena Vista school districts, which the state closed in 2013, are expected to speak, along with people from Highland Park, Muskegon Heights and Albion. “We want to say that we’re here as a network to stop districts from being closed, or even schools from being closed,” said Pedroni, who specializes in researching urban school districts where the students are mostly poor and of color. “But in the end, what we really want to do is recognize that this is a pattern that keeps repeating itself and begin to isolate through discussion ... the different elements that seem to lead over and over again to this crisis.” He said when state policies interact with poverty and racial issues, black school districts are negatively impacted the most. And the explanation is usually that local leaders mismanaged the district. “All of us who are participating don’t agree that it’s as simple as that,” he said.