Dramatic Changes Planned for Lansing High Schools

LANSING - This morning the Lansing School District introduced an 11 point plan to make the district's three high schools to meet Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind Act. Currently, Lansing's high schools are at "Stage 4 " of the No Child Left Behind Act. If the schools were to get to Stage 5, they would be taken over by the state.

There will be no job losses at the schools, but there will be a displacement of teachers. The district will shuffle teachers between the three high schools. The 250 employees at all three high schools will have to re-interview for their positions.

The district also plans an extended school day at Sexton High School for students who need extra help. This plans will be implemented for the 2008-2009 school year.

The 11 points of the plan include:
1. Fundamental reform in building leadership governance
2. Personnel changes in teaching and support staff
3. Strong home-school-community connection, including student progress communication
4. Comprehensive system of prevention and intervention for struggling students
5. High expectations that all students will learn by highly qualified, engaged, and motivated staff
6. A safe and orderly environment
7. Services of reform specialists to coach staff and monitor student achievement and improvement initiatives
8. Personalization of alternative learning opportunities for students
9. Extended Year Learning Community at Sexton High School
10. Transition support for incoming 9th grade students and transfer students
11. Allocation of resources ensuring effective utilization of time, space, money, and personnel focusing on improving student achievement

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  • by Moriah Shiddat Location: MSU student on Mar 9, 2008 at 07:59 PM
    As a former studdent of Sexton: I agree that at times it felt that some teachers did enough just to get bye. My junior year I had chemistry and I remeber doing a total of just 2 expirements that entire year 2! Some of my math teachers were not that great with the exception of one. I am not saying this just to be unrealistic I was basically a straight A student throughout highschool. However I did have some great teachers that cared about their students and wanted them to achieve, so I do not think it is fair to place the blame entirely on the teachers. I remember my classmates and I trying to talk to Dr.Banks and set up meetings and she never tried to get back to us. I remeber her coming to the school and she refused to meet with us for just 2 mins. In perspective I think she was an idealist. She set unrealistic goals( magnet schools etc...) how are you going to create loads of magnet schools in engineering and science when you have students struggling with intermediate Algebra!!!
  • by Rachael on Mar 4, 2008 at 09:53 AM
    As a former teacher in an inner city setting, I don't find it fair to point the finger directly at the teachers. Where are the parents? I recall several occassions, where I took my own personal time to meet parents, only to find them cancelling or clearly not showing up at all. I experienced other occassions where I would deliver an informative lesson, only to have a fight break out in my classroom, or have a parent arrested on a field trip for assaulting the bus driver. Come on people, you are supposed to be a role-model, not a preview for the new Spike Lee movie! I am so tired of teachers getting blamed for not "doing their job". A teacher only shares 6 hours of their day with a student, where a parent spends the remaining 18.How can a teacher be blamed for "leaving that child behind", when our pure focus is to make sure that child succeeds. Since my resigantion I have been a substitute in the Lansing high schools,and from my experience,I find the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
  • by JT Location: Lansing on Feb 29, 2008 at 10:38 AM
    T.C. Wallace and the school board are awfully quick at blaming the teachers and the support staff. What about the administrators??? Aren't they in charge of the schools? I didn't hear anything mentioned about them intervewing for their jobs. Once again the Superentendant and the school board lack any kind of long term vision. They have known about this problem for 5 yrs and now the threat of take over is looming they are quick to lay blame on everyone one but themselves. I think they need to do another study on this or hire some more out of state consultants for millions. The Lansing school board and Superentendant are a joke and untill some one on kalamazoo st. pulls it together it will only get worse.
  • by Brenda Location: Tax on Feb 28, 2008 at 08:25 PM
    The blame for failed schools is being placed upon teachers, students and parents. I think the blame should be placed on an ineffective, hostile school board and it's selection of superintendent. As a tax payer the school board needs to be recalled. This plan is the outcome of the consultant firm hired by the school board for a million dollars. A firm that does not have a clue about our community. Also, where is the commitment to our community when the superintendent, assistant superintendent do not live in our community. It's time for our community to take our schools back!
  • by Anthony Greenburg Location: Lansing on Feb 28, 2008 at 05:00 PM
    I echo what Jerry Swartz has said. We've not been doing the same things over and over again. Under the previous administration and the current one, new programs have been brought into the high schools over the past few years. There is the International Baccalaureate Program at Eastern H.S., for example. The new administration has brought in coaches from AZ to the tune of $2.25 million and a Kaplan test preparation program. None of these new initiative have been given the chance to blossom. Additionally, why is it assumed that teachers are the reason for low student performance? That's offensive to me, a high school teacher at Lansing Eastern. My association president wants me to have a good attitude and be willing to work with administration. That is difficult and presents me with some personal challenges; I am offended by the implications of the plan in terms of blaming teachers. It is my sincere hope that LSEA, community, School Board, and administration can work this out
  • by FGM Location: Lansing on Feb 28, 2008 at 04:44 PM
    When schools do not meet AYP the assumption is made that schools/teachers are failing the students and that schools must change. Achievement will not occur until teachers, parents, and students are all WORKING together. This means active teaching, active parenting, and active learning. Unfortunately, no one can legislate parenting or students, so laws such as No Child Left Behind and programs such as the one unveiled by the LSD go after the only entity that can be legislated: schools/teachers. Will making teachers interview for their jobs create achievement in students? No. Will restructuring the high schools create achievement? Doubtfully. Education is not an inoculation. Education must be a cooperative intervention. No plan or restructuring or law will work unless it has the authority behind it to FORCE all three components - teachers, students, and parents - to do their jobs. A plan with anything less than that doesn't have a snowball's chance of succeeding.
  • by James Location: Lansing on Feb 28, 2008 at 04:28 PM
    A safe and orderly environment needs to be first on this list. This can only be achieved when administrators demand that students respect teachers. Blatant disrespect is no longer viewed as a significant behavioral violation. In general there is an undercurrent among administrators that the teacher is at fault. They are not being sensitive enough to the poor confused child. Disrespect becomes like a cancer virus corrupting the school community. We need the "broken window" theory of prevention. If we accept disrespect, swearing as something we can overlook, then greater problems are inevitable. All this other reconstitution will fail if administration does not demand respect toward ALL teachers as the starting poingtfor every child in the district.
  • by Melinda Location: Lansing on Feb 28, 2008 at 02:08 PM
    My son is a 1999 graduate of Lansing Eastern High School. I chose to live in Lansing and send him to Eastern and I would do it again. When are parents going to be held accountable for being part of their child's educational process? The teachers at Eastern are some of the finest, caring, committed educators I have met. My son received a top notch edcation (k-12 in Lansing, ateended and graduated from college and is now a teacher himself. Who does he credit for this? His Lansing teachers!!
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