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Posted on Fri, May 3, 2013 : 7 p.m.

Consolidated school district offers jobs to 171 teachers; 73.6% are from Ypsilanti

By Danielle Arndt


Two women leave Ypsilanti High School Friday afternoon and wave to two teachers seated underneath a tree, taking in the news of their employment status with the new district. Teachers in Ypsilanti and Willow Run were notified Friday of whether or not they would be offered a position in the consolidated school system.

Daniel Brenner |

Editor's note: The headline of this story has been corrected to reflect the right percentage of Ypsilanti teachers that were hired.

Teachers at Ypsilanti and Willow Run schools received notice Friday of their status with the new consolidated district.

Of the 258 total internal applicants, 171 or 66.3 percent received "yes" letters, informing them that they had met the criteria established by the joint Board of Education and the High Quality Teachers and Teaching Committee and will be offered jobs with Ypsilanti Community Schools.

Of the 171 teachers guaranteed spots in the new district, 43 employees, or 25.1 percent, were from Willow Run, while 126 people, or 73.6 percent, were from Ypsilanti.

Ypsilanti Public Schools, which currently staffs 184 teachers, had 183 people apply for a position in the new district, which equates to about 71 percent of the 258 total applicants. YCS and Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel said while it appears nearly every teacher from YPS applied, in actuality there were some paraprofessionals and administrators from within the district who also applied for teaching positions because they also have the appropriate teaching certificates.

YCS officials have encouraged employees of both districts from the beginning of the merger process to apply for multiple positions within the consolidated district.

From Willow Run Community Schools, there were 73 applicants, about 28 percent of the total number. The district employs 90 teachers for the 2012-13 academic year.

Thirty-two teachers, or 12.4 percent of the total applicants, were told they met the consolidated district's hiring criteria, but because of enrollment uncertainty and budgetary restrictions, they will be placed on a callback list for if a position becomes available. The breakdown of "maybe" teachers was 12 from Willow Run and 20 from Ypsilanti.

Roughly 21 percent of the total applicants or 55 teachers were given "no"s from the new district. Eighteen of those were teachers from Willow Run, while 37 were teachers from Ypsilanti.

Of the 171 teachers who were told they will be given a job within the new district, 131 of the teachers were white, 26 were black and 14 were an unknown ethnicity. Documents provided by WISD officials show that 15.5 percent, or 40 of the total applicants, were black.


WISD and YCS Superintendent Scott Menzel speaks about the teacher notification process at a press conference at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Ypsilanti Public Schools Administration Building.

Daniel Brenner |

Menzel said just because a person receives a "no" doesn't mean he or she is not a good teacher.

"There were some cases where not enough evidence was provided in that short window to demonstrate that a teacher met the criteria," he said. "If additional postings for positions have to go out, people who were given a 'no' can be reconsidered and will have more time to provide that evidence."

He added the interviewing and the methodology used was not foolproof: "Could it be possible that a strong teacher didn't get a 'yes' letter? It's possible. Could it be that someone got a 'yes' who might not be the greatest? It's possible.

"… (Hiring's) a human process," Menzel said. "We tried to be diligent and we worked to be consistent."

Teams of retired teachers and retired administrators were assembled to conduct the interviews. They were given training prior to the interviews to ensure consistency throughout the process, officials said. Candidates were scored on a scale of 1 to 5 in four key areas: application review, references, a classroom visit and an interview.

But teachers in Ypsilanti and Willow Run have been critical of the hiring process and of the teams who did the interviewing and application review.

Ypsilanti teacher Barbara Martin called the process "weird" and "mysterious" saying some of her colleagues did question whether it was equitable.

Teachers from Willow Run, who asked to remain nameless for fear of losing their "maybe" status in the new district, said the team of retirees didn't ask candidates what they taught often until the end of the interview. And despite having observed the candidates in the classroom first, on more than one occasion the teams could not figure out the teachers' roles without asking. One Willow Run special education teacher said the team confused him for a paraeducator.

Teachers also expressed concern that their references were not contacted. Menzel said the "references" that was included in the teacher's overall score was not based on the references the applicant provided. This score was based on a survey initially given to the teacher's supervisor or building principal to complete about the candidate.

Menzel said the hiring team quickly realized calling of the candidates' references would be too time-consuming and would push back the decisions even further. Officials wanted to give teachers adequate time to make other arrangements, especially if they were not guaranteed positions, he said.

School officials determined how many teachers it would need to hire back by estimating the new district's enrollment totals for 2013-14 at 80 percent of the current school year. Officials do not anticipate losing 20 percent of its student population, Menzel said, but they wanted to be on the safe side and be able to confidently offer positions to the "yes" teachers without those teachers needing to worry about being laid off when school resumes in the fall.

"We wanted to make sure we were not overcommitting. We didn't want to get to August or September and realize half our students didn't show up and we have more teachers than we need… That has a financial impact as well," Menzel said.

Eighty percent of Ypsilanti and Willow Run's fall 2012 enrollment would be about 3,825 students. Ypsilanti had 3,339 children enroll at the beginning of the year, while Willow Run had 1,442.

Menzel said although the new district still does not know yet what its total operating budget will be for the 2013-14 school year, officials are working closely with legislators to try to pass a state statute that would allow two consolidating districts to keep the highest per-pupil foundation allowance. Ypsilanti receives $7,513 per student, whereas Willow Run receives $7,310.

Right now, state law requires consolidating districts to use a blended foundation allowance, which Menzel said is not an incentive for smaller districts to consolidate.

If the new legislation succeeds and the 3,825-student projection is correct, Ypsilanti Community Schools could expect to receive about $28.7 million in state funding.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Tue, May 7, 2013 : 11:28 p.m.

The article currently states, "Of the 171 teachers guaranteed spots in the new district, 43 employees, or 25.1 percent, were from Willow Run, while 126 people, or 73.6 percent, were from Ypsilanti." My confusion: I always thought that 43 + 126 = 169. From where are the two mystery teachers?

martini man

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 9:43 p.m.

Gorsh folks ...aren't you glad you voted for this wonderful "Consolidation " Idea ?? Looks like all our education problems are finally solved !! Now if we can consolidate the city of Ypsilanti with Ypsilanti TWP .... it'll be literally heaven on earth for all of us . It just keeps getting better and better.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 12:27 p.m.

Why would we want to change when what we had before was working so well? Changing a broken system is the first step to better outcomes. Change we must, as sure as time does ...

A Voice of Reason

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

The MEAP scores for both of these districts are not very good, so I am hoping that they hired back the best teachers of the lot. I am not sorry for one moment that a teacher looses a job if they are not good and is embarrassing to even feel sorry for people who are not dedicated and good at educating kids. Mandating a child to a mediocre education (and life) so an ineffective teacher can keep their job is shameful.

Sam Leckrone

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 3:34 a.m.

I do have at least some confidence in the process. One of my former teachers--and she truly is an excellent teacher!--told me today that she was re-hired. I had volunteered to be a reference for her--which is something that I would NOT have done for some of the other teachers I have had. I graduated from Ypsilanti High in 2003, and I went on to the U-M Engineering School, then grad school at Purdue. Now I'm working as a civil engineer. If I can be successful going to the Ypsilanti Public Schools, I don't know why other students after me cannot achieve the same kind of success.

A Voice of Reason

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

it is embarrassing


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

Danielle, please provide a breakdown of the salaries of the applicant pool no names), and the salaries of those hired (no names). I think money may have played a big role, though not listed as one of the criteria, obviously. Unfortunately, if money was a factor, it was an unfairly biased hiring program. I bet the super had a goal of XX dollars for the teaching staff for 2013-14, and the hired teachers had to fit into that overall number. That would eliminate more senior teachers in spite of their performance. I do think this needs to be investigated.

Millicent Little

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

There appears to be no 'visible' rhyme or reason as to how teachers were selected. Friday, I spoke with many of my colleagues with varying times spent teaching in the district. Some people with 20+ years received yes letters, some received no letters. Same with teachers new to the district (5 years or less)...some received yes letters, some received no letters. It would really clear up a lot of confusion if the decision making process is revealed, especially since the criteria changed at seemingly the last minute.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 5:33 p.m.

Dear JRW: Until more is brought to light through investigative reporting ( if anyone decides that needs to be done) allow me to give you a personal snapshot that might prevent people from pushing panic buttons. I casually talked with four teacher colleagues at YHS on Friday after notice distribution. These four were ALL hired back, and they all have many more years than I do. I only have eight, and they have 11, 15, 27, (and I can't remember how long the fourth employee has served the YPSD--but longer than I have, suffice to say). So! Let us be fair, open-minded, and not panic, folks. Some excellent, veteran (complete with gray hair!) staff members are coming back. As my wonderful husband always says, "Let calmness prevail."


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

"Candidates were scored on a scale of 1 to 5 in four key areas: application review, references, a classroom visit and an interview." So, does this mean that seniority was not a factor? That all teachers had an equal chance in this process regardless of seniority, or how much they were being paid (newer teachers are less expensive for the district)? So, the best performing teachers were hired?


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 10:26 a.m.

Candidates were not scored on "references". In fact, they told teachers to get references twice, first from students and parents, then from professionals. Then they refused to take them. The application had several ridiculous parts, and the classroom visits and interviews were not good tools in most cases. A more accurate picture of a teachers qualifications would be his/her annual reviews, improvements in student test score over the years, supervisor input, etc. Although they had all of this for the internal employees, they didn't use it. As a result they did not get the best performing teachers. They got some, but I know of at least 5 highly qualified teachers who got no's, and at least 4 unqualified, incompetent teachers (and I know this because I worked with them personally, they have repeatedly received poor annual reviews, and their supervisors have met with them about their shortcomings) who got yes's or maybe's. It was as though they had picked names out of a hat.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

And as to the "best performing" teachers being hired - not exactly the case, either. I personally know of at least 1 highly effective, veteran, much beloved by her colleagues, parents, and kids teacher who was not rehired.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 6:54 p.m.

As of a 2011 change to the law, seniority can no longer be a primary factor in hiring/rehiring teachers. At best, it can be used as a tie breaker between two equally qualified teachers.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 3:27 p.m.

Do the number of "no" responses reflect the teachers that were encouraged at the last minute to rescind their applications?

Danielle Arndt

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

Actually, localvoice, thank you for asking about this. I forgot to include the information in the article, but just 3 teachers withdrew their applications prior to Friday's notifications. I am not sure whether the total number of "no"s is inclusive of the withdrawals or not, but I will find out. I would assume not because the idea was to give teachers control over their employment statuses and if they rescinded their applications, they would not receive a letter. But I'm just speculating here, I'll find out for sure.

Sam Leckrone

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

"Teachers also expressed concern that their references were not contacted. Menzel said the "references" that was included in the teacher's overall score was not based on the references the applicant provided." This concerns me because, as a former student of Ypsilanti Public Schools (2003 graduate), I had volunteered to be a reference for at least one of my former teachers. Yet--I was not contacted. I was hoping that those of my former teachers who were EXCELLENT candidates for the job would have been re-hired. I still have yet to hear from them, though. But, one thing is for sure: There were a few teachers there for whom I WOULD NOT have been willing to serve as a reference.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:06 a.m.

@BasicBob: Perhaps you should have been hired to head up the hiring process instead of the consultant who was hired. What you said in your comment was just common sense: "They have employment records, educational achievements, reviews, and the opinions of current supervisors. Interviews and applications play a small part in the decision." Unfortunately, the exact opposite happened. Employment records and annual evaluations were not looked at, resulting in incredible teachers getting passed over, and a couple of horrible teachers (with poor evaluations to back it up) getting hired. Interviews and the ridiculous online application played a huge part. Also, the interviews consisted of the same 7 questions/20 minutes format, so teachers interviewing later in the process had weeks to practice answers. It was really a sham.

Sam Leckrone

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 3:04 a.m.

It turns out that the teacher I supported DID get a job with the new district.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

JRW - it appears that NONE of the references were called. And letters that parents were asked to write went ignored by the interviewing team.

Basic Bob

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 5:56 p.m.

I'm pretty sure the references for every candidate would say the same thing. Otherwise, why would you agree to be listed as a reference? They have employment records, educational achievements, reviews, and the opinions of current supervisors. Interviews and applications play a small part in the decision.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 3:59 p.m.

Then what references were used, if they were not the ones the applicant provided? This doesn't sound right.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

I can't speak for the process or for those that have gone through it. However, I can't help but think that regardless of who was offered jobs there would some A2 article and some outrage. Change is never easy nor does it ever seem fair. I just hope that whatever happens that the district(s) can somehow turn the decline around. In a perfect world these districts would be so exceptional that there would be no demand for charters and students would be lining up to enroll in them.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 10:33 a.m.

So much of the hiring process is who you know/playing favorites/biases. It should have been years of dedication to their districts.. Sad to think of some of the experience/knowledge/history that was lost getting rid of these teachers. It's like middle school---who is the "most popular."


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 11:45 a.m.

The "seniority system" contributed to the failure of these districts. Breaking it, at least once, may give the new district a chance for success. Certainly, if they had followed business as usual and retained teaches by seniority, they would have had an even slimmer chance for success.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 2:29 a.m.

There are a lot of issues with this entire merger and the way it is being handled. I do think the process of hiring teachers was very flawed, but the numbers seem to indicate it was done fairly across both districts from a simple numbers standpoint. More staff was hired from a larger district than a smaller one. I do think there is a significant issue with the potential enrollment for next year. I think 80% might be generous as the number remaining in the new district. I already hear pretty good reports today of students likely leaving the new district of other local districts. I also think charter schools will pick up a lot of students. The financial aspect of the merger is interesting. I don't know how the current law blends the money, is it by district enrollment, or an average of the two districts. The article states an estimated 28.7 million if the legislation gets approved. If it is not approved, and they use a blended formula based on enrollment, the funding will be 28.5 million. It isn't much, but that 200K could pay for a couple more teachers and support staff in a district that will need a lot of help.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 2:12 a.m.

My thoughts are with all of the teachers of Ypsi and Willow Run. It was a tough day but teachers are amazing people. My best to all of them!

tom swift jr.

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 10:07 a.m.

As of the time I'm writing this, two people "voted down" moonunit's comment. How very sad that anyone can vote "down" an unpolitical comment that wishes people well and acknowledges the difficulty of this day. What kind of hate fills the heart of someone that would do that, how dark is their view of the world and the people they share it with?


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 4:34 a.m.

You said it Dave H.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 2:10 a.m.

Based on the number in the article, currently 28.5% of the total teacher applicants are WR teachers and 71.5% are Ypsi. teachers. 25.4% of the WR applicants were offered jobs. 74.6 of the Ypsi. applicants were offered jobs. When you add in the maybes that will be offered jobs based on enrollment the percentages change a bit, WR 29.5% Ypsi 70.5. The total enrollment of both districts was 4781, 30% WR and 70% Ypsilanti. So looking at these percentages, it does not seem to me that Ypsilanti is given an unfair advantage based on what each district brought to the table. 70% of the enrollment was Ypsilanti. 71% of the job applicants were Ypsilanti teachers. 74.5% of for sure hires are Ypsilanti, if you add in maybe's 70.5% Ypsilanti. 30% of the enrollment was Willow Run, 29% applicants were WR teachers, 24.5 will be hired and if you add the maybes 29.5% will be WR teachers. Yeah, the whole process of closing the two districts is hard, but these numbers tell me that there is some equity in the hiring process.

Basic Bob

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

Many people want to believe that equal means 50%. Willow Run could not fill half of the positions if all of their applicants were given jobs. If you ask me, planning for 80% students returning seems like a low number. We will see who registers in the fall.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

This is definitely a point that should have been clarified in the article. As written, it's too easy for people to assume that there was a huge bias in favor of Ypsilanti teachers. Poor reporting.

Speedy Squirrel

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 2:07 a.m.

Neither of these communities wanted this merger. It was forced on them by the states funding model. Why is funding not apportioned based on need, rather than income and student count. Any fool knows that a student with a unstable home life, little supervision etc. is much more work than an upper middle class student with a solid path to college. The current state government looks at education like a business, which it really isn't. Education is an activity that we undertake together, as a community. I think this whole stupid merger, including making the employees re-apply for their jobs is ridiculous. Mark my words, any additional state support for this struggling new district is going to evaporate like rain on hot blacktop.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 4:36 p.m.

A2comments, I would like you to provide a credible source that says American education is lagging other countries because they treat education like a business, while we do not. In fact, I'll go first with a source that claims the opposite:


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 11:38 a.m.

Education is a business elsewhere in the world, which is why the US is so behind other countries. Schools can, and should, only do so much. They can only make up so much for uninvolved parents, and for that matter students. They waste a tremendous amount of energy and money on a small nu,Ber of kids that perhaps shouldn't be there because they don't want to be there.

greg, too

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 2:20 a.m.

I am not a fan of the merger, but it was voted on by both sides. Unfortunately, we were duped into thinking that it was an equal merger and that the students were the highest priority, which has been proven false by every move of the new board and the three headed monster.

Dan r OBryan

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 2 a.m.

is anyone really surprised . willow run was doomed the moment they wanted this merger ,i have said .willow run was under 2million in debt ,ypsi was 10 million ,and unable to continue to pay its staff. so a take over was Ypsilanti school survival plan., willow run bailout only 25 percent survived . this has been one of the biggest deceptions i have ever seen . wish people would have listen before the votes were cast . and as for Ypsilanti staff continue the path your on and nothing learned ,nothing gained . Lincoln schools stay away from a merger with ypsi once they run this new district in the ground.

Speedy Squirrel

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 2:15 a.m.

Ypsi should have merged with Lincoln in the first place. It should be illegal to force two districts in the bottom 1/5th to merge together.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 1:59 a.m.

The process used to select teachers to be hired back was so flawed from the very beginning. There was no plan and so much evidence of ridiculous interviews and constant changes made for the process. Scott Menzel ought to be ashamed. The public, the parents should be ashamed for allowing this to happen to dedicated, talented teachers who have gone beyond all measure to give their children the best and then told they were not good enough while other teachers, who could care less, are hired back. Who there CARES ABOUT THEIR CHILDREN????????????? Who is looking out for their best interests? Why doesn't the public care about educating their children in an orderly, caring, intelligent way?


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 4:07 a.m.

While I agree that some wonderful, talented teachers were let go....I think it's terrible to assume that the teachers kept "could care less" about the students. Seems a rather large assumption on your part...


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 5:23 p.m.

I was willing and ABLE to be the parent on the 4 person panel to observe the teachers. I tried and tried and tried to get a call. NOBODY called. There were a couple of parents planted on a team in the very beginning. I wonder how that worked out for those teachers!


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 10:24 a.m.

I was with you for the first 3 sentences, until you shifted the blame to the parents and the public. The public voted for something it did not get. The public voted for what was assumed to be preferable to a state takeover. The public expected to play a significant role in the shaping of this new district, but it became immediately clear that the only public input that was wanted ended in the voting booth. By then it was too late. If you look into the public contributions since November, I think you will see that our plans reflect our interest in educating our children "in an orderly, caring, intelligent way." We currently are unable to stop the board and administration from taking the path they have chosen, which is contrary to our wishes.

emily miller

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 1:30 a.m.

It is unconscienable that teachers with decades of excellent teaching were summarily dismissed in such a flawed process. References were not called, past evaluations were not reviewed and the outside interviewer process was brief and a sham. It is particularly sad as many of these teachers who have been committed to working with very tough kids over the years were punished and humiliated by an incompetent administration. This foretells a troublesome road for the students and the future of the Ypsi-Willow Run District.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 2:54 a.m.

@JRW, the process was extremely flawed, resulting in excellent teachers not being hired, and a few that are very poor getting hired. These below average teachers (and I only know of a few that were hired) had poor annual evaluations for more than one year, and I know this because I worked with them personally. Had these evaluations been looked at, the new district could have avoided making the same mistake twice in hiring them. No, I don't believe anything was based on salary. It was just a very poor and very stupid way to go about hiring internal candidates. I can see making some mistakes about teachers who are "on the fence" in terms of quality. But the mistakes made were ridiculous ones- extremely high quality teachers not getting jobs, and extremely poor teachers getting yes's or maybe's. Teachers in both districts are in shock about the outcome.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 4:01 p.m.

It does sound like a terribly flawed process. I would like to see a breakdown of the salaries of those that applied and those that were hired. I would bet that the "cheaper" teachers were hired compared to those that applied. The district is looking to save money and that criteria, though not mentioned openly, may have played a big role.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 1:18 a.m.

To interested readers in general and Ms. Arndt in particular: I did say that the YCS hiring process was indeed a strange affair, in part because we didn't know if what we were saying (in the interview) was what the interview committee was looking for. I stated that the interview committee members gave very little feedback and showed minimal emotion (to make the process as equitable as possible, no doubt). I also added that some teachers were relieved to be told NOW of their future employment as opposed to being informed on the last day of school. Indeed, I felt that it was somewhat "gracious" of the new district to have given us our notifications today. I do not feel well represented, Ms. Arndt, by your report. To write only that I said the process was "weird" and "mysterious" without explaining why we teachers came away with those feelings is not full reporting and makes me sound dismissive of the process. I clarified those feelings to you during our interview. I shall repeat myself in this forum if I may: The interview committee members knew nothing about our reputations as teachers, the student and parent support we enjoy (a point I heavily stressed with you today), and could not have possibly learned enough about our best practices in a 15-minute classroom observation and 20-minute interview. Anyone would be a bit nervous and come away from the process thinking that it was strange, uncomfortable, and somewhat foggy, to say the least, especially if they thought that their careers were hanging on the judgments of three interview committee members who know nothing about your last eight years of faithful service. I hope that this clarifies things, and thank you for reading and allowing me to fully represent what I said today. In the future it may be appropriate to provide clarification on quotes so that the source being quoted does not come away feeling misrepresented as I did. Thank you! Barbara Martin


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

I'm sorry if I misrepresented Mrs. Arndt's statement. Now you know how Mrs. Martin must have felt.

Paula Gardner

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

@Gorc, what Danielle said is hardly an "admission." The basics of the story need to be conveyed, at that moment and as they're understood, during a breaking news event. The essence of a story can change - a crash can turn into a fatality; the results of a council vote can be amplified by adding elements of the discussion around it; etc. But the phrasing does have to "set a tone" to convey scope and impact. I may not have used that exact phrase to describe it, but it's part of the fundamental aspects of writing a news story.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

"Especially when something breaking happens, we often try to get the 'nuts and bolts' information about numbers, processes, etc., and to set the tone, out to the community as quickly as possible" That's an interesting admission...."to set the tone" Is trying to report the news in an unbiased manner or manipulate the community's reaction to a story?

Danielle Arndt

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

Just to clarify, GP. Reporters don't delete comments on their articles. There are specific employees designated to moderate our site based on our commenting guidelines. And as far as I can recall, I've never written a Toys for Tots article for But I would be intrigued to learn of this ghost you claim I quoted. So please enlighten me. Meeting and quoting a dead person is certainly something I'd like to remember.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 8:03 a.m.

Babs, Danielle Arndt quoted a deceased person in her 2012 article on Toys for Tots. So I am not surprised at all by how your interview was "broken up" in the article. Its a shame you had to stress over it and take the time to clarify your own comments. I hope you get a chance to read this comment before she deletes it.

Danielle Arndt

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 3:11 a.m.

Hi Barbara, I'm sorry you feel misrepresented. There is a second story running tomorrow morning that includes more of our interview, along with additional thoughts and observations from other teachers as well. This is not uncommon that interviews would get broken up in this manner. Especially when something breaking happens, we often try to get the 'nuts and bolts' information about numbers, processes, etc., and to set the tone, out to the community as quickly as possible. Then we like to come back after the information has had time to be digested with more details, community reactions and reflections. So that was the purpose of the above story. Hopefully you will see that the rest of your thoughts are adequately represented in the second-day story. Thank you for sharing these feelings with me, though. And please contact me again if you have other concerns.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 12:55 a.m.

Will there be more resources available to students in both districts with the consolidation? A given "benefit to all?"

greg, too

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 1:03 a.m.

Yep. Whatever resources that they can get through school of choice or the charters.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 12:22 a.m.

Oh,I bet the lawyers will be waiting on this one. It seems like the rules were changed on the teachers several times? Was a processed announced in the beginning and then changed ? Who is responsible for this terrible treatment of human beings?


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 12:27 p.m.

"Who is responsible for this terrible treatment of human beings?" I'm not taking a sides whether the process to select the candidates was fair or otherwise. But the above comment makes it sound as though people were water boarded.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 11:31 a.m.

Snyder set the tracks...

tom swift jr.

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 12:56 a.m.

I think you can consider Menzel responsible for this system.

greg, too

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 12:36 a.m.

The non elected board, which was appointed by the un-interviewed Menzel.

tom swift jr.

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 12:15 a.m.

This is a dark day for our community, the fine teachers that were abuse by this sham of a process, and the children of this new "district".


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 2:45 a.m.

@Andrew: nicely stated. It is easy to blame the district or the teachers. The fact is that many of the students in Ypsilanti and WR begin their schooling functioning well below national averages. This is probably the result of poverty, low tax base, etc. There are many excellent teachers in both districts who make far less than neighboring districts, yet work longer hours with more difficult kids and parents, and have to buy their own supplies. Please don't be so naive to think that students in places like Ypsilanti, WR, or Detroit are doing poorly on standardized tests simply because the teachers are "failing". These teachers should be commended for the work they do and relationships they build with students in less than ideal situations. Many of my past students came to school every day to tell me about how the police were at their house the night before, or how their dad was in jail again, and how there are 12 people staying at their 2 bedroom apartment. These kids still made progress academically. SonnyDog09, your brief statement tells me you haven't really looked at the big picture. Apparently, you feel that the mostly white, middle and upperclass children of Saline and Farmington Hills are on the same playing field as many of our students who don't have clothes to wear or food to eat. If I can teach a child and they make good progress that year, I do not feel like a failure even if that child is still not proficient on the MEAP, and I resent your blanket statement. Not sure if you just weren't thinking it through, or if your just a bit narrow minded.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

SonnyDog, the teachers have not failed. It's easy for some to look at things this way, but that is simply not accurate. There are more and more factors that affect student success which are out of the teachers' hands. Don't be fooled by what seems so simple on the surface. Poverty, less funding, fewer resources, larger class sizes, ineffective standardized tests, ever-changing curriculum demands. It's unrealistic for people to think kids can succeed in such an environment. Be careful where you point fingers. As for the process, it was shoddy, at best. As for how it will affect the kids, probably not much. They will still have dedicated, qualified teachers and building-level administrators who will all do their best to see that their students succeed. The painful part will be a squabbling, near-sighted central administration that lost the plot a long time ago.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 12:09 p.m.

There is a price for failure. The districts failed. The teachers failed. You are what your record says you are.

Jack Gladney

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 12:14 a.m.

What's going on there with the goose step salute in the photo?

Jack Gladney

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 2:14 a.m.

Thanks for the clarification, Usual Suspect.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 1:21 a.m.

Dear Jack: Ms. Clark was simply waving to Ms. Frances Heires and to me. We were both sitting under a pine tree, reading our notification letters together (opened on the count of three). There was no goose step salute involved, I am delighted to report! It was merely a have-a-nice-weekend wave meant for two tired and greatly relieved teachers at YHS. Hope that helps. barbara martin

Usual Suspect

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 1:20 a.m.

I can understand how somebody who's not very friendly wouldn't know a wave when he sees one, likely not getting very many from people.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

This will do nothing to change the view of the families in WR that this was simply a YPS takeover. And, you now what, they might be right. I have read a good deal of posts on various forums complaining about the process, that reference letters were not accepted, references were not called, applicants were given less than a day to prepare, etc. I think the bean counters might want to expect less than 80% of the past enrollment as the board and Menzel has done nothing to endear themselves to either parties in this consolidation, especially WR.