Urban school decay

I don’t know how Will Richardson came across these pictures of the Detroit Public School Book Depository, but I can’t get them out of my head so I’m sharing them here. [click on each image for a larger version]

Detroit Public School Book Depository 01 Detroit Public School Book Depository 02 Detroit Public School Book Depository 03
Detroit Public School Book Depository 04 Detroit Public School Book Depository 05

As a former urban educator, these pictures really speak to me because they’re photographic metaphors for the decay and rot that we have allowed to take hold in our largest urban school systems. Detroit. Chicago. New York. St. Louis. Houston. Miami. Philadelphia. Los Angeles. Washington, D.C. And so on… They all have wonderful schools, but they also have dozens/hundreds of schools that would make you weep if your child had to attend them.

Where is our moral shame? Where is our humanity?

UPDATE: I neglected to properly attribute these photos (I wasn’t as sophisticated with my attribution back then). I’m so sorry, Ted. Everyone, please go here to see these:


7 Responses to “Urban school decay”

  1. The status of many of our city school systems is criminal. Thank you for posting these images as a reminder of what is happening in so many places as this year gets started.

  2. Hmm, interesting timing for me. In California there was a huge lawsuit on just this issue (the Williams suit). ACLU sued the state for unequal access/services, and settled with the state. Schools in the bottom 30% are inspected annually to make sure that we have enough textbooks (one per child) in all subject areas that they are tested on. Here is the URL http://tinyurl.com/32tqz8 for an anniversary story done in the local paper.

    I think I may try to do a post on using the cudgel of the court system to address these issues, etc.?

  3. The sad thing is that there are places in this country, and this world that could still use those resources…probably a few around the Detroit area I would imagine…thanks Scott the images are burned in my head too.

  4. i was just doing a google search. i was there this past sunday. i too have pictures. its amazing to see something like this. many books still there in better condition than the ones we had in high school (i am 23 years old). some of them dating back to 1983 and earlier. believe it or not, there is a room on the 2nd floor that somebody lives in. despite being very sad to see. but very interesting at the same time. for me personally, it envokes so much curiousity. i want to see all the places in detroit like this one.

  5. this is what happens when you vote democrat every election for a long enough amount of time.

  6. At least give me an acknowledgement!

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