Studying the schools: the Chamber supports engaging business leaders in education.


While the most important stakeholders in the schools are the students and their parents, civic and business leaders also have a vested interest in the success of schools within a community.

The Detroit Regional Chamber, in partnership with the Skillman Foundation, created the Civic and Business Leaders Engagement Project to enhance the need for quality education within the city of Detroit and to engage business partners in true relationships that build upon a shared understanding of values while supporting a culture of achievement that is mutually beneficial to the businesses and the schools.

As a part of the initiative, business and civic leaders were given an opportunity to visit high performing/improving Schools in Detroit that have exceeded statewide averages in academic performance despite serving students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"My experience in touring Marcus Garvey Academy and learning about the exciting strides made by the dynamic leadership and staff brought into perspective that even our most underprivileged youth can thrive with good leadership and appropriate support," said Suzanne Shank, president and CEO of Scibert Branford Shank ft Co., LLC.

Shank, along with Channel 7 News and other businesses, has made the decision to continue to support schools like Marcus Garvey Academy (DPS), which has demonstrated that a high quality educational environment can be created and sustained with the right leadership and targeted support. The Civic and Business leaders Engagement Project works to support The Goods School Network of schools, and to assist the Skillman foundation in targeting support to schools within the six neighborhoods as identified by the Skillman Foundation Good Neighborhood Initiative.

The opportunity to observe schools like Marcus Garvey Academy (DPS) or Detroit Edison Public School Academy (Charter) gave way to various decisions on how to replicate these successful schools. An activity that developed from our feedback from the civic and business community was a roundtable discussion that invited high performing leadership and civic and business leaders together to discuss...

To continue reading