Skeptical Parents Question Restructuring Plans

By: A.J. Hilton Email
By: A.J. Hilton Email

Skepticism may be the word to describe parents reaction to plans to re-organize Lansing's three high schools.

"The parents don't have any input, and it's already set in stone," said Jackie Harris, a parent of a junior at Everett High School. "They said it's not, but it sounds like it is to me."

Superintendent T.C. Wallace says that's not true. He addressed parents Monday evening on the district's tentative restructuring plan. One facet would extend either the school day or year at sexton. Any teachers there who don't sign on would have to re-apply for their jobs... As would all teachers at Eastern and Everett.

"It's been five years. If not this, what? If not now, when," said Wallace. "We are inviting everybody to the table to be a part of the solution."

Around 125 parents attended the parent forum at Everett High School. After a presentation explained what the plan entails, unconvinced parents fired off questions.

"What is the goal of displacing the teachers? By shuffling them around, you're not really solving anything," said Erick Balcarcel. Balcarcel has two children attending Everett. "There was never a clear explanation as to what the goal would be, or what the goal would achieve."

Wallace's goal is simple: to make sure all three high schools don't fail to meet another set of federal testing standards.

Harris echoes those sentiments, but now worries a potential switching of teachers could result in her daughter switching schools.

"My daughter is a junior, and she'll be a senior next year," said Harris. "She already likes the teacher she has, and then to know next year they might be there, they might not."

While parents agree on the need for change, Monday's meeting proves we're a long way from consensus on exactly what changes to make.

Superintendent Wallace says comments made during Monday's meeting will be incorporated into the district's reconstitution plan. The Lansing School Board will vote on it March 20th.

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  • by Robbie Location: Lansing on Mar 11, 2008 at 04:06 AM
    It's apparent the "stakeholders" are not supportive of this "top down" plan...we can only hope the Board is listening. No one has explained what moving the teachers around will accomplish; we don't seem to be "weeding out" any substandard teachers since they've all been assured that "no one is losing their job" so, again, what is the point? It seems to be a morale buster which is not what we need right now. The Board needs to research what, if anything, has worked in other places facing a similar situation. I understand there's plenty of evidence that reconstitution isn't a sure fix; especially not the component of alienating the staff, parents, and students.
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