Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ypsilanti's Turnaround Problem

Now that you've read about Detroit, let's turn our attention to Ypsilanti. Ypsilanti has two interrelated problems. One problem is their deficit. The other problem is that their high school has not achieved adequate yearly progress in the last few years--giving it the dubious distinction of being a "failing" school. [And having said that, I also have to say that I know several people who have been very satisfied with their children's education at YHS.]

Their high school turnaround plan has been accepted by the state, and there is a lot of discussion going on about their deficit elimination plan--which includes the systematic dismantling of custodial and food service staff as district employees, as well as making YHS into a grade 7-12 school.

In Kyle Feldscher's article, trustee Andy Fanta is quoted as saying this:
“We’re not asking the right kinds of questions when addressing this budget,” he said. “We’re focusing on cutting, cutting, cutting. We’re not focusing on what we’re doing and what kind of district we want, and we’re not answering the parents who are asking those type of questions.”
There is some excellent analysis in Mark Maynard's post:

More school consolidation in Ypsilanti, and its long term ramifications 

Mark has been blogging for a long time about Ypsilanti, and he puts something interesting up at almost every day, sometimes more often than that. Oh, and by the way--if you want to see the actual documents, you can find the submitted deficit elimination plan on the YPS financial page (scroll down). And here is the approved YHS turnaround plan.

PS I neglected this piece from the article: 

Trustees asked Houle to present another version of the plan at a board district operations committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the East Middle School building. The meeting is open to the public.
The district has to turn a plan over to the state by Jan. 25.

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