Ralph Bland, Superintendent of Detroit-Edison Public School Academy, discusses his biggest challenge in the day-to-day: keeping the level of excellence consistent. This means consistent academic achievement, consistent good student behavior, consistent attendance, and consistent quality instruction. To maintain consistency, Bland uses a lot of monitoring and feedback to help teachers continuously improve. In addition, he relies on, and is thankful for, the parents of his students.

Ralph C. Bland is Superintendent of Detroit Edison Public School Academy-DEPSA (Charter), a self-managed school with 1100 students and a staff of 110. Under Ralph’s leadership the school has been named by the Center for Education Reform, one the top 51 charter schools in the nation. In addition, to being an award winning K-8 grade school, Ralph led DEPSA into being the first charter school in Michigan to win the prestigious- Michigan Blue Ribbon Award. This award is only bestowed upon schools that are exceeding state and national academic standards. While Ralph has spent the last eight years leading Detroit Edison Public School Academy into award winning and national status, he/DEPSA has also, been recognized by The Michigan Quality Council, Michigan Association of Public Charter Schools, and North Central Association (NCA) Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. Ralph has always had a passion for education. Over the years, Ralph has served in many leadership positions- Lead Teacher, Athletic Director, Community Resource Director and Principal. As a first grade teacher, Ralph won the Booker T Washington Teacher Award. Ralph is also a successful “Social Entrepreneur”, who sits on the advisory council of the United Way Education Preparedness Division and is a founding member of the coalition For Excellent Schools Detroit. Ralph, in his spare time, serves as a mentor for a school in Northwest Ohio.

Quote: “Excellence in Education is not an option. Clearly if we are to transform America, we must transform how we educate children. No longer can we allow the adult dismay to create overwhelming obstacles that impede children from access to or benefiting from a high quality education. We hold these truths to be self evident.”