Roy Roberts Is Making Detroit Public Schools Great

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Every family has one.

The go-to person who brings stability when something serious happens -- a funeral, an accident, an emergency.

One of 10 children, Roy Roberts is that person in his family. And for years he was that kind of guy as a pioneering African-American executive for General Motors.

In playing that "go-to-guy" role as emergency manager for the Detroit Public Schools since last May, Roberts' major goal has been to establish stability.

So by his own metric, how has he fared?

So far, he has replaced legions of temporary consultants left over from the prior emergency manager with permanent employees. He increased long-term debt as a way to lower the annual deficit. And, he says, he won't use his sweeping authority to dismiss the controversial school board or cancel teachers' contracts.

This year, DPS plans to close some schools and open others and also share some administrative services with the new state-run Education Achievement Authority. And Roberts may sign on to lead for another year, he says.

"These kids deserve a degree of stability," he said. "We've got to make sure the school system is something that people will want to aspire to."

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SOURCE: Detroit Free Press
Chastity Pratt Dawsey
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