Detroit has some of the nation's worst public schools. Neither money nor racism can explain this. The fancy white-majority subburbs around Detroit all spend *less* per pupil than does Detroit, but they get much better results. Only one district in Detroit's county gets/spends more than Detroit, and it's also a failing, black-majority district (Inkster).
Wayne County Government School Per-Pupil Spending from all sources (local, state, federal):
Inkster: $14,400 - Black/Fail
Detroit: $11,600 - Black/Fail
Grosse Point: $11,000 - White/Pass
Dearborn: $10,000 - White/Pas
Grosse Ile: $ 9,300 - White/Pass
Wayne-Westland $ 8,600 - White/Pass
Livonia: $ 8,500 - White/Pass
Northville $ 8,400 - White/Excellent
Plymouth-Canton: $ 7,900 - White/Excellent
Dearborn Heights: $ 7,500 - Whte/Pass
I omitted many of the Wayne districts, most of which lie outside of the Detroit metro area. I listed the most famous and largest Wayne County districts within Detroit metro: Detroit and its near western neighbors. The top two best-funded schools are both black-majority, and the two worst. At least by reputation, the best are Northville and Plymouth-Canton, which are heavily honkey, but among the least-funded. These suburbs lie to Detroit's west. If we look across Detroit's famous "8 Mile" border along its northern edge, into Oakland County, a slightly different picture emerges, but one that confirms my assertion:
Bloomfield Hills: $14,400 - White/Excellent
Birmingham: $13,000 - White/Excellent
Southfield: $13,000 - Black/Fail
Farmington: $11,500 - Whte/Pass
Troy: $10,600 - Whte/Pass
Novi: $10,500 - Whte/Pass
Royal Oak: $10,400 - White/Excellent
Pontiac: $10,300 - Black/Fail
West Bloomfield:$10,200 - White/Excellent
Madison: $ 8,700 - White/Pass
Ferndale: $ 8,600 - White/Excellent
Berkley: $ 8,600 - White/Excellent
What do we see here? All black-majority schools in the Detroit metro area are failures, they are all run by black folks and they all are among the best-funded. Inkster ties for best-funded, and only two honkey schools get more funding than Detroit; Inkster also rates as having one of the very worst-performing districts in the state, even worse than Detroit! All the four black-majority districts receive more funds than do several excellent white suburban schools. None of the white-majority schools are overall failures, and many of them obtain excellent results with just a fraction of the budgets afforded the failing Inkster and Detroit schools.
What is the answer? Clearly not money, and clearly not more discussions about racism.
Per Student annual funding:
"2004-05 BULLETIN 1014 Michigan Public School Districts Ranked By Selected Financial Data Published May 2006" here & here [For Detroit, see page 50 (County = Wayne, Detroit City School District, code 82010), header "All Sources".]
Update: 2007-8 data for Detroit (p. 51): $12,100.
This shows No Child Left Behind "Meets" vs "Does not meet". Search by district, then look for the High School assessment rating.