Digital divide: How some Michigan students are being left behind

DPSCD students will get computer tablet

Digital divide: How some students are being left behind
Digital divide: How some students are being left behind

DETROIT – A plan was announced to give a computer tablet with high-speed LTE internet connectivity to every Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) K-12 student before the end of the school year.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer suspended in-person learning for the rest of the school year at K-12 schools across the state on April 2 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

READ: Detroit students to get 50,000 laptops, free internet as part of $23 million investment

While that’s encouraging news for Detroit students, there are still far too many children and parents lost in the new world of remote learning.

In Michigan, by law, every single child must have equal access to education. Which begs the question, in the time of coronavirus can there really be such a thing as education for all?

Adrian, 12, is a student who hasn’t been able to access remote learning. His mother, Megin Manser, believes that unless something drastic happens he will fall behind.

“We don’t have laptops for them to use. Some of them have tablets but the screens are cracked and so they can’t see the work,” she said.

In their household two single women are raising five boys. Both women were paired together by Grace Centers of Hope’s after care, drug recovery program in Pontiac.

“I want them to get a better education so they can be something in life,” Manser said.

Fishbowl is an app that engages professionals to speak freely and confidentially about their workspaces. The organization surveyed 6,000 teachers nationwide two weeks ago.

RELATED: How parents can turn Michigan schools closing into positive experience

“The state that performed the worst actually was the state of Michigan," Matt Sunbulli, with Fishbowl, said. "At 62 percent of the teachers reported that less than a quarter of students were attending remote classes.”

In an education roundtable, Local 4 assembled educators in the tri-county area. In attendance were superintendents from Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. We also spoke with the president of the Michigan teacher’s union, the MEA, and superintendents from geographically and economically diverse districts.

Watch the video above for the full report.

About the Authors:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.