This emergency manager fired all the teachers and wonders why his schools are failing
Muskegeon Heights is one of the school districts in Michigan that has had the democratically elected school board tossed out and replaced with a private for-profit management company by the state's governor.
The managers fired nearly every teacher and replaced them with low-paid fresh faces. Low-paid fresh faces that nearly all quit before their first semester was over.
Michigan is proving to be a laboratory for conservative education reformers like Michelle Rhee and Bill Gates. And the experiments are, to a school, failing. And the students are bearing the brunt of the disaster.
At least one in four teachers at the new Muskegon Heights school district have already quit the charter school this year. That’s after an emergency manager laid off all the former public school teachers in Muskegon Heights because he didn’t have enough money to open school in the fall. That means there have been a lot of new, adult faces in the district.
Students say the high teacher turnover has affected them and top school administrators say it has held back academic achievement this school year.
Students: teacher turnover causing issues in the classroom
17-year old Muskegon Heights senior Deaisha Cooper says many of her friends transferred out of Muskegon Heights schools over the summer. Then homecoming got canceled because of fights. It took a couple of weeks to get her class schedule right.
“It’s not like what your senior year is supposed to be,” Cooper frowned.
Now she’s upset the only teacher left at the high school who worked for the old public school district, one of her favorites, Ms. Fisher, just left for a new job at Grand Rapids Public Schools. She says Ms. Fisher took care of the senior class, made sure they “were all right.”
“When she left it just seemed like everything just fell downhill and it seemed like the school was just running by day by day and they don’t know what they’re actually doing,” Cooper said.