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Posted on Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 11:19 a.m.

New charter school to open in Willow Run in fall 2012

By Paula Gardner

A new elementary school will open in the Willow Run school district this fall under a charter issued by Northern Michigan University.

NMU's Board of Trustees authorized the charter this month, according to the Marquette-based university's news service.

The South Pointe Scholars Charter Academy will be a newly constructed facility—initially housing classrooms for "young 5-year-olds" through 5th grade, but eventually housing K-8, according to NMU.

The school will be managed by National Heritage Academies, a for-profit charter operator that also runs South Arbor, East Arbor and Fortis academies in Washtenaw County. It runs 43 schools in Michigan, and also operates in seven other states.

The new school will be new construction, according to NMU. It will be located at the corner of Ridge and Geddes roads in Superior Township.

Student registration is tentatively scheduled to begin in February, according to a spokesman for the school.

NMU's newest charter school brings its total to six, according to the university. Recent Michigan "smart cap" legislation allowed the expansion.

Meanwhile, Willow Run schools closed two buildings at the end of 2010-2011 and cut employee pay as part of a district restructuring. It was named to the state's list of lowest-achieving schools in 2010.



Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

I live very close to this proposed school and am happy to see it built. I have no intention of putting my kid into willow run schools. Ranked as poorest performing? No thank you.

Albert Howard

Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

AAPS and WISD take note.

J. A. Pieper

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

AAPS has begun participating in schools of choice for nearby local students, ever checked into the schools they offer up for a "choice" school? Not the ones rated the best as per state testing data, they just want the dollars, and don't want (possible) lower skilled students entering their elite schools! Charters will continue to draw students away from public schools, remember, the grass is always greener elsewhere!


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

Charter schools, no accountability, no oversight, no research behind the reason for their being. Throw in the public funding and you have created a free market for profit dream come true.

Steven Harper Piziks

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

No, he's right. There's no accountability for opening a new charter. The new law doesn't require a for-profit company to prove they know how to educate students or that they can run an effective school. I =have= read the law.


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

either that or he made the judgement they are a farce on all accounts.


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 4:16 p.m.

@hank Apparently you haven't bothered to read the laws, or maybe don't understand the laws, that govern public charter schools when it comes to accountability and oversight.


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 3:43 p.m.

State law requires that we provide an education for children k-12th grade. No requirements about the effectiveness or quality. Since education is costly, the republicans have found a way (charters ) to do this on the cheap. May the lowest bidder win.


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 12:26 a.m.

Many of these students will come from Canton and VanBuren Schools. There is a huge wait list at one charter in the Canton area. Several families have always taught their kids at home in this area for numerous years. I wonder if they will attend this school? I think the private schools in the area will loose students to the new school also.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 10:36 p.m.

A for profit school cares about the student head count not the educational opportunities provided for its students. Their number one priority will be to generate a profit not the students academic ability. The republicans are bowing to the for profit gods again.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:55 p.m.

IF employee turnover is high in charter schools (and I do not have specific data to quote, only what others have written here), then there is a reason for that. The turnover rate in K-12 public education is low because of decent pay, decent benefits, decent working conditions, pension plans, etc. I worked with staff (in a local K-12 district) who had been in the district for 20, 30, even 40 years. Bet you wouldn't see that in a charter school.


Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

@Steven Harper Piziks, Good reading comprehension skills should be mandatory, especially for those who are teaching our kids. I am not debating that turnover is low at a traditional public school because most people realize that once you are in a union, it's hard to be fired. What is being debated is the comment "I do not have specific data to quote, only what others have written here" referring to public charter schools turnover rate is high.

Steven Harper Piziks

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 12:48 a.m.

No, maallen. It's quite true. Turnover rate in public schools is quite low these days. The turnover rate in my school district, for example, is just about nil. Just about the only losses we have are due to retirement and layoffs. Mostly the latter.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 7:27 p.m.

"I do not have specific data to quote, only what others have written here." That's right, let's perpetuate myths. Since someone wrote it, it must be true. And if we repeat it enough times then it will become true. Still waiting for the facts/data that the turnover rate is "high."


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

It's interesting to see all the comments that slam low performing public schools while others are slamming the charter school for-profit model. Let's take a look at the Detroit area schools. Probably some of the worst schools in Michigan. Do the problems stem from the teachers, administration, or students? (not too many other choices) It is obvious the administration has been corrupt for many years causing probably millions of dollars in waste that could have been used to better the classroom environment. There are good and bad teachers. There are exceptional and mediocre teachers. Then add the pressures put on the students. Peer pressure to conform towards a non-academic status. Many single parent families. Students that may have to work in addition to school. All of these have an adverse affect on the learning environment. But in this stormy sea of doom rises Cass Tech whose can boast a 95% college attendance rate for their students. If this can happen in a public school system, why can't it happen throughout all school systems throughout the state? It takes a strong commitment from school administration, teachers, and students to make it a success. This model is capable of repetition. The will to succeed is only needed to plant the seed.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 7:24 p.m.

@jns131, Please explain to us how charter schools ".. take the best and the brightest and help them succeed?" On the public charter school's applications there are no questions asking a student for their grades or anything. So how does a charter school take the brightest and best?" Way too many people say things as facts, but have nothing to back it up. Average joe? That is the point charters are here for. To take the best and the brightest and help them succeed in Detroit, those that want to succeed do. Not just Detroit but mostly in the failing school districts themselves.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 6:53 p.m.

Average joe? That is the point charters are here for. To take the best and the brightest and help them succeed in Detroit, those that want to succeed do. Not just Detroit but mostly in the failing school districts themselves.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

The myth of Cass Tech, Renaissance, and MLK. All perform badley when compared to an average Michigan High School. Reference the MEAP and SAT scores.

average joe

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

Cass Tech is a school that has excelled not only in a worn city as Detroit, but is also one of the best in the state. However, Cass Tech is not a true 'public' school but a magnet school. They take the brightest students from the DPS, with minimum test scores required. But they are giving those that want to succeed a path to do so, & with the 95% college bound, one has to applaud the concept & those who make it work.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

It's fairly obvious everyone has already made up their minds. The point is that it is the choice of the parents where they choose to send their children and where their tax dollars should go. It is not their decision anyone else is entitled to make. If it works, great. If it doesn't the parents can always put their children back in public schools. In this case, what do the parents have to loose?


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

This assumes that there will be a viable public school waiting for them. I don't think that is such a safe assumption. Even if the school is there, it will likely be weakened by the instability that occurs when families come and go.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:23 a.m.

Uncompromising union represented public school teachers are sucking the life out of public education at the expense of the taxpayer. Charter schools hold their own academically and they do it with less funding, much less funding. So why doesn't the opposition put their money where their mouth is and save the taxpayers some money and tell your union reps to back off the self serving money grab. 85% of the revenue going to salaries and benefits for union represented public schools isn't about the kids, it's about self serving greed. All the union opposition and rhetoric is getting old when they keep asking for more and more money.

Steven Harper Piziks

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 12:45 a.m.

Snapshot, where do you think school money =should= go if not to pay the staff??


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Funny how corporate welfare never bothers some folks.

average joe

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

katmando- The money NHA uses to build another school comes from the profit off all their other schools. It is not directly &quot;taxpayer money&quot; like a public school's bond millage would be, &amp; certainly not a ponzi scheme. If one wants to argue that it is 'taxpayer money', then I guess all the money donated to certain political organizations by the education unions could be considered 'taxpayer money' as well, since it originally was part of the union member's compensation, and paid for by the public school.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:09 a.m.

using tapayers money to build a school then charging the taxpayers rent on said property. Sounds a lot like a Ponzi scheme to me.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 11:43 p.m.

A lot of good information Cash...I hope people will click on the link and read it.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 8:47 p.m.

ever wonder how charter schools work? If the public schools do not work without making a profit how do the charter schools work and still make money? They are able to pick and choose their students.They can demand parent involvement .Do you really think the teachers are going to be as good working at sixty percent pay?When Tricky Ricky (snider)and his school for profit pals have taken all the education tax dollars , what will happen to public schools??


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 2:06 p.m.

&quot;Choice&quot; in the context of schools is a myth. It assumes equal access to all, and nothing could be further from the truth. Most charter schools are not located in the midst of need; they lie on the outskirts, where personal transportation is required. That eliminates the ability of many students to attend. And the parental interest and involvement that may give charter schools a boost are not as plentiful in these needy areas, either. Why do you think we have the situation we do?


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 6:51 p.m.

Remember now, DPS was about to be handed over to charters to help ease the funding and problems the schools had. Turn around. But instead the teachers and parents screamed. I think the board did too. So, DPS is still public and still in trouble. If they went charter a lot of the problems the publics were having would go away. Sort of.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 9:39 a.m.

@cash Have you bothered to look at the books for charter schools? It's an open book to the public. All you have to do is just open your eyes and look. That's why you have two eyes and one mouth. More looking and less talking will do you some good. Where is your proof &quot;board members have been replaced for asking?&quot; Your allegation is quite lacking without proof. We will be waiting for your proof with great anticipation! Where is the proof that they take only the children they want? We will be waiting again with great anticipation for the proof. Again, you are more concerned about the money than two schools failing and the Willow Run distric being on a list of the worse schools in Michigan. Finally parents have a choice where to send their kids. But all you are worried about is the money. So far no one has offered how to make the Willow Run schoold district better because they are too worried about the money. Sad.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 9:30 p.m.

You are so correct, tomnspats. Once the taxpayer money goes to the private corp no one is accountable. We don't know where our money is going. And does anyone on the &quot;board&quot; at the charter dare ask? It's clear they do not. Board members have been replaced for asking for information. It's all behind closed doors. This is not private is for profit business paid by taxpayers, but they are not answerable to them. Therein lies the bite. There's no accountability. Too many cozy relationships....look at Huizenga and GVSU....he basically paid them (with a tax deductible donation) for his approved charters so he can make more profit. All of this is done using OUR money! Why don't people wake up? Because they are lulled into the &quot;private does it better&quot; baloney. This is a millionaire making millions more by taking taxpayer money and accepting only the children they want (no transport - no take) and hiring entry level grads, keeping them and replacing them with new grads etc....never getting the best teachers. It accomplishes one thing....takes money from taxpayers and hands it over to millionaire JC Huizenga....the rich get richer and the middle class get a low class education.

shadow wilson

Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 8:57 p.m.

This is such crap.Do you know how charters work? Have you ever been in a charter school? Some parents don't give a damn about their children or their childrens well being including education; some do. For those that do charters offer an alternative to traditional public schools. I must keep repeating to you all that charters are public schools.So when a parent that cares about their child's well being and takes the time to and effort to enroll them in a charter this is wrong because........? if they are not happy with their experience at trad public schools why should they not have a choice? If any of you bother to visit charters you will see that it is the poor and minority(black) parents that see hope in charters.This crap about picking and choosing is a lie_ visit a charter you will see it is just like any other public school.

Jen Eyer

Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 8 p.m.

An off-topic comment was removed.

Michael Turinsky

Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:23 p.m.

Its Synder taking care of big business with tax payer dollars. I was on the school board at an NHA school, never knew where any money was going. Very high turnover rate with the staff. Parental involvement needs to be mandated and all schools will succeed. Just another way to destroy the middle class. Anti Union, Anti middle does this help the economy????


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 9:30 a.m.

@Michael Turinsky &quot;...never knew where the money was going.&quot; Wow, you must not have been actively involved or paying attention because it is discussed all the time. Plus by law they have to have their books open for all to see. &quot;Very high turnover rate.&quot; Ok, I will bite. But what do you consider high turnover rate? Have you compared that to the traditional public schools? And when you say &quot;staff&quot; who are you referring to? &quot;Parental involvement needs to be mandated.&quot; It's not mandated at the traditional public schools but yet you want them mandated at the public charter schools? Really? You must not have lasted on the board too long.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 11:48 p.m.

Good luck mandating that parental involvement!


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 8:53 p.m.

It helps the 1% get richer.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

This story drapes and diverts attention from the job hostage-takers. Millions are out of jobs for what: one, two, three years, now? Can't have them as headlines.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:01 p.m.

@Braggslaw - I don't disagree with you at all about the state of the Willow Run Schools. Your assumption that this academy will improve things for those kids is a logic leap too far. They aren't effective uses of tax payer money. They will make Willow Run appear worse because they will siphon off kids who are solid performers and those that don't work out with get jettisoned right back to Willow Run after count day. I do see a possible benefit to going to county-wide schools districts and/or heading to small schools with multiyear classrooms and other more dramatic solutions but from where I sit this for-profit charter stuff is just sucking my tax money into some guys pocket who doesn't deserve it.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 6:47 p.m.

Actually if they are not jettisoned into WR then they are sent to Belleville schools which are also a mirror image of WR since Belleville opened up themselves to school choice. I remember the parents screaming when the first year this happened? Teachers could not teach because they were handling behavior issues in each of the classrooms and the children could not learn because of the problems WR sent them. Sad fact.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 9:24 a.m.

@lorie &quot;They aren't effective uses of tax payer money.&quot; Where is your proof of this statement? How are they not effective? Please tell us because we will be waiting. &quot;They will make Willow Run 'appear' worse because they will siphon off kids who are solid performers.&quot; Where is your proof of this? Do you realize that when you apply to a charter school they don't ask for grades? So when a lottery is held, how do they know who are the smart ones? We'll be waiting for the facts to your statements. Again, it all comes down to money doesn't it? You would rather send your kid(s) to a failing school district because &quot;from where I sit this....stuff is just sucking my tax money into some guys pocket who doesn't deserve it.&quot; You know what? The union employees, the board, the teachers, the administrators at Willow run doesn't deserve my tax dollars nor yours for their failure to educate our kids. They are on the list of lowest achieving schools in the state.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:53 a.m.

Like I said, unions are sucking the life out of education and anything and anybody who tries to educate the children without going through the union will be subject to union rhetoric. It's the same old story, protect your own at all costs, even throwing our kids under the bus to retain 85% of the tax revenue for their own. Charter schools are funded with fewer dollars but manage to spend a greater percentage of the revenue on the kids. When unions change their self serving ways, come to the table and talk turkey not pork and beans.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 11:31 p.m.

Why don't you martyr your children and send them to Willow Run? I am sure that they would take your kids... and the money. Willow Run should not exist.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

Exactly...and to this mega-millionaire who is NOT accountable to us even though he spends our money. In other words he can hire entry level teachers and when they get better, fire them and hire more entry level teachers. He can cut corners on texts. Only residents who can afford to transport their own children can attend. So....where does the rest of money go? I think we know the answer.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

Now let me follow this because this charter stuff is confusing. Northern Michigan - not exactly known for its scholarship in Education, is opening a Charter School by paying Heritage Academy to manage it? So our state tax dollars are going to a private for profit company. Right? For both the teaching of the kids and the managing of the school. And a school that charters such schools sitting right next door who has a pretty strong record of great has to wonder why NMU is doing this here and forking all this over to a private for-profit school management company. Seems like a gigantic rip off for the locals thanks of a NMU?

Steven Harper Piziks

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 12:40 a.m.

Actually, snapshot, that's not true. According to this report: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> a mere 27 percent of U.S. schools run by for-profit companies achieved Adequate Yearly Progress.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 9:16 a.m.

Wow, two schools closed, teachers pay are cut, and it was on the list of lowest achieving schools in michigan and all you care about is the money? I thought this was about the kids and not the money? A charter school is opening up to give the parents a choice and all you care about is the money. Now the kids have a chance instead of being stuck in a failing school system. But yet all you care about is the money. Sad.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:46 a.m.

Uncompromising union represented public school teachers are sucking the life out of public education at the expense of the taxpayer. Charter schools hold their own academically and they do it with less funding, much less funding. So why doesn't the opposition put their money where their mouth is and save the taxpayers some money and tell your union reps to back off the self serving money grab.

Monica R-W

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:13 a.m.

Lorie, Excellent comment! Cash, Excellent reply! So no-one want to attend NMU -wonder why- to pay for their version of 'education' on the grades 13-18 end of they want to get a hold of taxpayers public school dollars to prop up their failing first product? Wow, that rich!


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

Cash, great job. Please post that on the full comment board.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:29 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Yes it certainly does. Funny how corporate welfare never bothers some folks.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:02 p.m.

There is no Wonder. Google Amway, Blackwater, or Koch Industries.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 6:14 p.m.

emk06, I have been a substitute teacher in many Washtenaw County public schools for many years. I am curious though about the curriculum difference between charter and public. Personally, I think the job that teachers and the curriculum in the AA elementary schools is wonderful. I can see a large difference between students abilities between the different districts.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 6:01 p.m.

The Willow Run School District is an utter absolute disaster.... period. Parents who were doomed to send their kids to Willow Run, now have an alternative. A good result.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

The children do have a choice if they are Willow Run residents under the failing school act and no child left behind mandate. This is why ours is in no fail district. State and Federal tells us if your school district is failing and you want to be in a non failing district that has school choice? Hint, Ann Arbor for one, you can go to that schools enrollment adviser and superintendent and request it. I pretty much told them I want the education and they want the money. Win win and ours got in. Nuff said. You do have a choice and your choice is to leave. We did. If I wanted a babysitter? I would pay for that too.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

Guess or punt who this thread doesn't want utter failure compared to.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 5:56 p.m.

I recently resigned from a charter school managed by NHA. It is a poor working environment. I didn't feel like a teacher, instead I felt like a business where all I cared about was raising a student's test score. I lasted 3 months. They expect teachers to stay after 3 days for committees, meetings, and clubs (which they don't pay you for). We got a ten minute lunch (as did the kids) with a ten minute recess. Needless to say, I lost 15 lbs within a month from not eating. They overwork their teachers and it is just a sad and miserable place to work because everyone is tired and sick. Since then, I have subbed in public schools where they TREAT you well and consider you to basically be an employee (which I never quite felt with NHA). NHA gives all these perks in the beginning but it fades quite fast. If I was a parent I would stay with public. My dad has been an educator in public schools for 37 years and has seen students come from charter schools with an A- average and then drop to a C- once in public schools. This says a lot about what goes on in charter schools. I am so glad to be out of there!! I will not apply to teach at this charter school--I would rather sub!

J. A. Pieper

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 5:16 p.m.

One friend worked at a charter school and was responsible for all the children in her classroom until the parents came to pick them up. Want to go out, do errands, go out for a quick meal, take a nap? Have your child go to a charter school and then don't go pick them up when school is over, no worry, the classroom teacher will be there for your child. Hey, lots of parents think this is a great part of the charter school day, does it mean their child is getting a better education?


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 6:38 p.m.

What you are talking is also true for the public education teacher as well. Although as for the clubs? This is strictly voluntary. Charters have no unions and can do more for their students then the teacher who is public and has a union and has to do what her union teacher contract states. The only thing I hated about Fortis was as a parent being told you have to show for after school band and singing. This should not be mandatory. But it is. So we left. Only reason. If it was not mandatory? We would have stayed.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 10:44 p.m.

Interesting. It's difficult to imagine a teacher who after years of college, student teaching, etc., would give up her/his classroom in favor of working as a sub. Looking at the initials in your username and the timing mentioned in your post, it's likely that my child is one of your former students. So, I'd like more data please.... 1. Which test scores were being tracked...NWEA growth scores, MEAP scores, classroom test scores, or both? What was the target for your class? What would happen if you missed the target? What would happen if you met the target? 2. Which perks 'faded'? Be specific. 3. Just how long were you expected to stay after school for committees, meetings, and clubs? Did the meetings help support your class? Was this expectation set upon your hire? There are many students who participate in these clubs at no cost who otherwise would not be able to. 4. The rotation and shared teaching with your peers allowed you to be responsible for teaching 2-3 subjects. Is this or is this not preferable to teaching 5-6 subjects. 5. The students at this school now receive a 15 minute lunch and 15 minute recess, which was changed upon request from a parent; sixth graders can stay in on certain days to get ahead on homework or serve as math tutors. Did you share your concerns with the Dean/Principal before electing to move one? We wish you the best in your future endeavors.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 6:34 p.m.

I suppose we have no choice but to assume this anecdote is true?


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 6 p.m.

Thank you for your work and sharing your experience. We need more good people to come out and tear the hood of these enterprises.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 5:31 p.m.

Sounds like finally somebody is worried about the Children since the Greedy Teachers and Administrators only care about themselves! If a Charter School puts out a product like the Public School, the school will closed. This is unlike our public schools where people get 12-15 % raises!

Steven Harper Piziks

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

Wait--12-15% raises in public schools? Oh my god! Are you living on Mars? I haven't had a raise in years and years, and in the last four years, my salary has been CUT, sometimes TWICE a year! 12-15% REDUCTION is more usual.

Steven Harper Piziks

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 12:34 a.m.

Pieper is absolutely right. I used to live in the Willow Run school district, and the community attitude toward education was just horrible. The high school couldn't hold a single event without a fight breaking out. At one of the football games, two girls--both pregnant--started a fight over the boy who had gotten them both pregnant, and it spread into a near-riot. When we attended school concerts at the elementary school, parents talked among themselves at full volume while the kids were singing, and when their kids were done, they grabbed their children and left, so by the time the fifth graders were on the stage, the gym was almost empty. My son's sixth hour algebra class behaved so badly, the teacher spent more than half her time on discipline, and if she paused to help one student, two others would throw a book and a third would vanish out the door. His health class was even worse. When I went to parent-teacher conferences, the room was almost empty. I saw maybe a dozen parents. How do you teach in a place like this? We finally moved away. My oldest son was amazed at the difference at his new school. He refused to attend a football game until I went with him because he was afraid of a fight breaking out, and was stunned when one didn't. &quot;The students here are so quiet,&quot; he told me at the end of the first week. &quot;They don't yell at the teachers or talk back or throw stuff at my head or call me names. They don't fight in the halls. I feel safe here.&quot; You can't lay this at the feet of the teachers. I lived there, and I know.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 6:01 p.m.

@J. A. Pieper When two schools close in the district and the district is on the State of Michigan's list of poor performing schools, then there is a huge problem. Instead of trying to identify that problem or problems, the public school system cries that it is because of lack of money. Apparently parents feel that the public charter schools are doing a decent job because their are long waiting lists to get into the schools. &quot; the charter schools will take all children, and then dismiss the behavior problems once count day has passed.&quot; Where is your proof of this? Again, it is so sad that you and many of your cohorts continue to perpetuate the myth. If you are going to make an accusation, you better have facts to back it up.

J. A. Pieper

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

So, all the problems in Willow Run are because of the teachers? What about the population? Many families leave Willow Run in any way they can, move to Lincoln if they can afford to move, apply for a position in other school districts that have open enrollment. Who are the people leaving? The families who expect an education, leaving behind the families who depend on public schools for &quot;babysitting&quot;. The teachers are left with the families who are not involved in their child's education, hence making it difficult to teach the children because of non-interest from home. It is hard to teach a class of children when kids are throwing things at you when you turn your back to work with another student. I would leave also, but not because of the teachers, because of the population. One poster is so correct, the charter schools will take all children, and then dismiss the behavior problems once count day has passed.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 9:07 a.m.

@godsbreath64 Apparently you didn't read the article too closely. Willow Run Schools closed 2 schools. It was named to the state's list of lowest achieving schools in 2010. They cut pay, etc. And yet you talk about teaching properly? If these two schools were doing that and then the parents wouldn't be pulling them out now would they? Meanwhile, Willow Run schools closed two buildings at the end of 2010-2011 and cut employee pay as part of a district restructuring. It was named to the state's list of lowest-achieving schools in 2010


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:33 p.m.

How much do you know about exactly how your tax dollars are being spent by JC Huizenga? Once it is in his hands, there is no more public scrutiny. People complain about school boards and about teachers much do you know about where the taxpayer money goes in charters?


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

If you think the teachers who make 40,000 a year are greedy just wait until we get complete corporate control over the education system. Soon enough, students will clock in and out for recess like a factory worker!


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

Yeah no greed in corporate America running the charters...none whatsoever. Just keep spewing the anti worker stuff. That way people ignore the reality about corporate profits in education. Shhhhh...don't mention it.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 5:38 p.m.

The surest sign of greed is forsaking the market for one's skill and education to teach PROPERLY the children that are our future under structured pay scales. Oh, the greed of it all. Where can I get in? Facts please!


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 5:02 p.m.

Michigan's resegregation. Get your headlines, here!


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 6:32 p.m.

This is a densely populated black area. So I can't see how resegregation can work here. Plus is that word? I don't think so.


Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 10:25 p.m.

Compare the demographics of King and Mitchell and then tell me that our current schools are models of diversity.