Sunday, July 6, 2014

Schools: Plus Ça Change Plus C'est la Même Chose*

*The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Last week I wrote about Freedom Schools and the Freedom School curriculum, and I was looking for an Ann Arbor connection.

Didn't find a direct one (although if I had actually visited the Ann Arbor library I am sure I would have). I did find this interesting article in the "Old News" section at

I was looking for information on Freedom Summer Schools and I found that in 1971 Ann Arbor had a Black Liberation School.

"Members of the Black Liberation School staff requested permission to use the facilities of Northside school this summer without paying rent," arguing that they were serving the Northside school district.

[Was anyone who read this a part of that? Please post some information about the Black Liberation School in the comments!]

But also, there were many things that sound like the themes of the Ann Arbor school board meetings today: budget cuts, layoffs and resignations. When more people resigned than expected, Superintendent Westerman (who still lives in Ann Arbor and is on the Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel) told the school board, "We now have some freedom not anticipated to extend invitations to more of the probationary staff that were sent termination notices."

A citizen argued for transportation services to low-income students. "It is inhumane for the board to not at least give some assistance to these students." 

Last, but not least, the board recognized the retirements of custodians Clifford Bryant and Mikkel Thomsen, "for serving 'our school system with great loyalty and distinction.'"

Screen shot of a June 17, 1971 Ann Arbor News story.
Found online at:

I would be remiss, I think, if I didn't mention that the Ann Arbor District Library has a wonderful summer game, which you can play both off-line and on-line, and can be found at:

Consider subscribing to Ann Arbor Schools Musings by Email!

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