Cosby tries to boost Detroit schools

Bill Cosby said US public schools are suffering. Bill Cosby said US public schools are suffering.
By Associated Press
September 2, 2009

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DETROIT - Bill Cosby had heard about the tough-as-nails and uncompromising man tackling fraud and improving education throughout Detroit’s public schools, and wanted to help.

So the 72-year-old actor, comedian, and activist decided to loan the district his celebrity as Detroit tries to hold off plummeting enrollment amid a fiscal crisis that a few weeks ago spurred suggestions of a possible bankruptcy.

“All around the United States of America - in the cities and the counties - our public education is suffering and has been suffering. Cuts, cuts, cuts. No jobs in the area,’’ Cosby told reporters yesterday as he began a day that would take him from shooting commercials to visiting homes in one of Detroit’s hard-hit neighborhoods.

He has joined “I’m In,’’ emergency financial manager Robert Bobb’s $500,000 campaign to stop the flow of students leaving the district - and maybe persuade parents to give Detroit another shot.

Bobb has been visiting city neighborhoods, meeting with parents who had pulled their children from the district in favor of either private and charter schools or schools outside Detroit. “This has a chance,’’ Cosby said.

The district’s graduation rate is among the lowest in the nation; the dropout rate among the highest.