Wallace Likes Right-Sizing Plan

By: Jason Colthorp Email
By: Jason Colthorp Email

New information on the Lansing School District's right-sizing plan.

The findings of a task force seem to be right in line with what the superintendent has in mind. The end report was pretty blunt-- for the last three decades, Lansing students have changed, but the district has not changed with them.

Subsequently, it's lost half its enrollment in 25 years and the current students are underperforming in buildings that are substandard.

The recommendations include eliminating all three high schools in favor of one new one. One of the old high schools would be turned into a ninth grade campus. Basically, the patchwork is over-- it's time to move into the 21st century.

Four elementary schools would be closed periodically over the next five years as the district builds four bigger elementaries in the four corners of the city. After those are ready to go, the district would close another 10-12 elementary schools.

When it comes to student achievement, the task force found high levels of student and teacher absenteeism. So, there should be more rigid accountability for teachers and administrators. It would also reach out to the other intermediate school districts and LCC for more effective programs to attract students.

The superintendent-- who was not part of this task force-- likes what he sees.

"I have looked at the drafts and documentation on the web," said T.C. Wallace. "This fits very nicely into the vision I have for this district, the one I've put forth during my tenure here."

In saying the district hasn't changed with its students, it means there has been a shift from a majority of white students to a majority of minority students. This report finds that the district must become more multicultural to meet its students needs. It's believed these recommendations could make Lansing one of the top districts in the state.

The public is welcome to attend the school board presentation on March 5. Other public hearings will be scheduled in the following weeks. The board will make a final decision March 26.

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