Support, opposition voiced over proposed charter schools in Ypsilanti Township
Two proposed charter schools were in the public spotlight Tuesday at the Ypsilanti Township Planning Commission meeting when residents got a chance to ask questions about the project.
The organizers of the proposed National Heritage Academies K-8 school and the PrepNet high school presented the proposed site plan and answered questions from about 100 community members and members of the planning commission.
Supporters and opponents of the project were both well-represented and came prepared with questions about curriculum, extracurricular activities and traffic concerns. The meeting was informational only, and no decisions were made.
Dave Angerer, executive principal of PrepNet, said the proposed schools were an “excellent option for the portfolio of educational options in this community.”
“It will be a small high school, but we will have high expectations for academic achievement and moral conduct, and we’re excited to bring that to this community,” he said.
The proposed project would span 25 acres of land at the northwest corner of Merritt and Hitchingham roads. National Heritage Academies, which operates 40 charter schools in the state, is planning to build a K-8 school on the lot, and PrepNet, a Grand Rapids-based company affiliated with NHA, plans to open a charter high school.
The schools have not yet received the necessary approvals from a charter school authorizer, and the companies do not own the land for the proposed project. The timeline officials presented Tuesday shows the schools being approved by an authorizer in the spring, with construction taking place in time for opening in the 2011-12 school year.
Bill Davis, a local consultant who has been working with NHA since 1999, said developing the new schools would not result in any new taxes or millages for local residents.
Many members of the public who spoke said they had concerns about the speed at which traffic comes down Hitchingham Road.
Callie Clyburn, who lives blocks from the proposed site, said the traffic wakes her up every morning because of the noise and the congestion. She worried about bringing school children into the area.
“People fly down Hitchingham,” she said.
The speed limit on Hitchingham Road is 55 miles per hour. Officials at the meeting discussed possibly lowering the speed limit — along with other ways to reduce speed in the area, such as new traffic lights — in the future. Roundabouts have not been part of the discussion to this point, officials said.
Some administrators from local school districts were also present at the meeting to give officials their opinion on the project.
Lincoln Consolidated Schools Superintendent Lynn Cleary said she believes the new schools would hurt both Lincoln and Ypsilanti Public Schools, the district in which the complex would be located.
“I wonder at times, when we look at the population of the community, are there enough kids to go around?” she said. “Are we able to provide a quality education with the competition that’s going on?”
NHA and PrepNet officials said the three local NHA schools — Fortis Academy, South Arbor Academy and Keystone Academy — have a combined waiting list of about 700 students. Angerer said repeatedly that the location for the new schools was based on demand.
Nathan Ardle, who currently home-schools his four children, said he was excited about the proposed high school.
“We are considering our options, including home-schooling our children all the way through high school,” he said. “We’re much more likely to put them in the public school system with National Heritage Academies.”
A number of educators from local charter schools and parents with children currently attending charter schools also gave their support for the project.
Angela Fort, whose son has attended South Arbor from kindergarten through eighth grade, said she was thrilled to have a choice to continue her son’s education at a charter high school. She said she wasn’t trying to take funding away from traditional public schools, but wanted to make the right choice for her son.
“Everyone needs competition. I’m not trying to take something from someone else — it’s just competition,” she said. “Everyone doesn’t want the same thing. I could have sent my child to Lincoln (schools), but I didn’t make that choice. I made the choice I wanted to make.”
Sally Richie, vice chair of the planning commission, asked Angerer if the fact that Ypsilanti High School’s test scores are among the lowest 5 percent of high schools in the state would be something officials would take into consideration during the application process. He said he did not believe the state was looking for that type of information.
Richie said it was hard to believe a charter school would open following the recent closures of Ypsilanti's Chapelle Elementary School and East Middle School.
“It’s really hard for me to look at the fact they’re continuing to close our schools, losing one school after another, and here we are building another facility in YPS,” she said. “It’s hard for me to get my head around that. We have all these schools closing and another one opening.”
Kyle Feldscher covers K-12 education for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.
Please know that increased competition almost always benefits the customers on the whole. If the market (local citizens) is demanding a new product (better schools) it is because the existing product (Lincoln schools) doesn't meet the needs of the market. It's unfortunate that bringing new & better products (Charter schools) to the market results in existing products becoming obsolete or forcing them to change, but that is the economics of it. There is a way to prevent this from occurring, however, improve the existing product so that it meets the needs of the customers!!! Though complaining of unfair advantages and placing blame on external factors isn't going to improve the product. I would advise the Lincoln school district to follow a path to success similar to the one laid out by one of our local automakers. That is, identify the needs and wants of your customers (e.g. a well rounded, world class education that includes teaching our children how to be wholesome human beings, etc.), make an internal assessment of where you are failing to meet those wants and needs, come up with a plan to fix the problems, and then execute the plan. I know there are certain constraints that the public schools face that charter schools don't (e.g. union labor, apathetic parents, bureaucracy, etc.) but many school districts somehow succeed. I assume this has been attempted but the leadership isn't there to make it a success??? Finally, I admit that charter schools aren't perfect and have room to improve but bear in mind that we are in competition with nations around the globe whose citizens want to live the "American Dream". They are hungry for our lifestyles and our jobs. To compete with these nations we must educate our children with the best of our ability...and we are very able. I am certain that Lincoln schools isn't an example of our best effort.
Fri, Jan 28, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.
I think religious schools like the National Heritage Academies are wonderful. They teach respect for God and country and will ensure our children are great patriots. (Shh, don't tell that "moral focus" means "religious"!) Funded by a billionaire, NHA schools teach the proper respect due to money and corporations. Demanding excellence in science, NHA schools rightly teach creationism, so our kids can be intellectually on par with those from Texas and elsewhere. NHA schools build their business on going back to the heritage of our Founding Fathers. Just like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin say we should ... back to the good ole days of slavery, when some folks - of the darker skinned persuasion - knew their place. Yep, we should be bursting with pride and gratitude that these businesses/schools are in our community. I know it's not a popular opinion, but those Arabs really had a good idea with those Madrasah things. And that's what NHA schools are like ... publicly funded religion. And as long as that religion is the right brand of Christianity, then that's a very good thing, IMO. And surely we know the FFs REALLY intended for the second amendment to prohibit the establishment of only non-Christian religions .. that wasn't intended for the Christian ones. And finally, I just want to thank newspapers like this one for not looking too closely at the history, connections, and theology of the New Heritage Schools that are infiltrating our communities ... we need news media such as yourself to ensure the success of these fine patriot building, God supporting, creationist teaching schools. After all, these are our children. How will they worship money or go to war without being taught how?
Sun, Jan 30, 2011 : 2:49 a.m.
Seriously? Moral focus is "religious"? So, compassion, respect, perseverance are only for religous people? I find that to be an odd assertion. The reference to the mafia is even more bewildering...
Sat, Jan 29, 2011 : 11:15 p.m.
Stacey, Yes, I HAVE been in an NHA school and investigated them, which is why I posted here. I was horrified to discover something like this is allowed to go on in our country, with the support of otherwise decent people such as yourself. It's alarming, and a reflection of the kind of quasi religious, corporate worship that is going on elsewhere in the US. I guess I was just shocked that it was happening here in Michigan ... and so quietly and efficiently, too. Family values? Maybe if your last name is Corleone.
Sat, Jan 29, 2011 : 3:10 a.m.
This is certainly one of the most bizarre and untrue comments I have seen. Have you ever been INSIDE an NHA school? Have you ever actually met anyone affiliated with NHA? What the families there have in common is family values and an interest in the education of their children, not religion or skin color. Come visit some time.
Thu, Jan 27, 2011 : 9:15 p.m.
In regards to Mr. Woodruff's comment below: Please take note that all NHA schools are identified as CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS and they are REQUIRED to abide by the same requirements as DISTRICT PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Sorry that you have been completely misinformed. Secondly, there is absolutely NO discrimination for students which have IEP's or behavioral problems. NHA schools in fact welcome them with open arms and there have been MANY wonderful successes with the progress of such students. In regards to extracurricular activities, I can personally tell you from my own experience that both my sons who graduated from South Arbor Academy went on to play Football, Basketball, Tennis and Track at Milan High School when they graduated and were star players. South Arbor has always had excellent teams in basketball, volleyball, soccer and cross country and has gone on to provide may public high schools with their star athletes. Also, graduates from our drama department have been awarded the main roles in their high schools plays and our band program is absolutely second to none. Again, you have been grossly misinformed. Lastly, in regards to parental involvement, it is WELCOMED and ABSOLUTELY NOT REQUIRED! Parents want to be involved because they are excited about the school and they know that they will be welcomed with open arms. I do wish that for once and all these rumors would stop. NHA and Prep Net are simply meeting a demand in our community for more in education for our future leaders.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 6:29 p.m.
When 70-75% of your students have not met or exceed state standards (according to MME scores for Ypsi, Lincoln, and willow Run) how do you justify your existence? These schools have failed and they have statistically doomed the children attending the schools. Parents should have a choice between dooming their children or giving them a chance.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 8:49 p.m.
I'd like tp vote for this 20 times because I agree with it so much ;o)
dading dont delete me bro
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 6:10 p.m.
@nate, why doesn't the township planning board (or any township board) have to approve/disapprove this? there's a church (community) being built near whittaker and bemis rds. that had to be approved. it was even put on hold until there was more information brought forth by the church to satisfy the 'board'.
Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 10:08 p.m.
Schools are out of the PC authority - it is at the State level
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.
In the state of Michigan Charter Schools are public Schools. they recieve money from the state and have to follow the same guidelines. the only diffence is the administration. The families envolved with the schools have a say in the schools. Unlike the traditional schools where anyone in the community can influence direction. currently our unions (teachers, custodians, UAW) are influencing the elections for who best will support their postions. With charter schools parents are able to do what parents should do take care of the education of their kids. It is up to the parents of the children to educate and hold thier children responsible for the education we are paying for. As for special needs nothing is stoping parents of special needs from working with charter schools to find a better educational system. All it takes is asking a governmental body from supporting one. How about asking Eastern to sponsor a school that will meet these special needs. I would love to see one open up in the old fletcher school that Eastern currently occupies.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 8:45 p.m.
Special-needs kids are entitled to a free and appropriate public education, under a least-restrictive standard. Many SN kids do well in mainstream classrooms with in-class supports or pull-outs. Why should they be removed from the local schools, instead of requiring that those local schools meet their federally-required obligations to educate all students?
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 8:18 p.m.
I thought EMU was going to open a school for autistic children there. What happened to that?
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.
We have WAY too many districts already in the State and in our area. There is already TONS of competition and plenty of options for parents. We need to improve the schools we have vs. building more of them. The comment made in the article that the proposed schools "would not result in any new taxes or millages" is disingenuous in my opinion. Do we get to collect property taxes from the new schools? If not then we have a big opportunity cost here. But also, schools create traffic issues, they have utility needs, policing needs - who pays for all of that? We have made a huge investment in the form of bonds and millages in our existing District. Any new charter in our area will result in less resources for that District and will only serve to hurt our investment further. That just doesn't make financial sense to me.
Thu, Jan 27, 2011 : 7:52 p.m.
@Nate: I agree that Lincoln has a huge financial incentive to attract students, especially with the exodus of Michigan residents to other states. This has resulted in major programming changes, which in turn have put Lincoln on an upward trajectory. There is clear evidence of this. But competition and choice are so rampant that we are at a point where more competition does nothing to provide further incentive, and that's my key issue here. @Glimmertwin: I disagree with your characterization of the District and there's likely nothing I can say to change that. @Sandy: Private schools, existing charters, home schooling, ECA, International Bacc, online ... something like 80% of Michigan Districts are schools of choice. There are PLENTY of options. Agreed that substandard schools effect property values. Two points here: 1) This is an argument NOT to add a charter, since adding one will only pull resources from the local District, and 2) Be careful about assuming a Charter will do better. See what the Free Press said about Charters vs. Public schools: <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20090510/NEWS06/100121023/Michigan-charter-schools-fall-short" rel='nofollow'>http://www.freep.com/article/20090510/NEWS06/100121023/Michigan-charter-schools-fall-short</a>.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 9:36 p.m.
Also, your investment is already hurt by having a school that underperforms year after year. People don't want to buy houses and raise children in an area with substandard schools. .
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 9:04 p.m.
There are no affordable choices available in this area at the high school level UNLESS you put your kids into Saline or Ann Arbor during the years they offer school of choice (elementary and/or middle) or you put your child at Milan or they enroll at WTMC or ECA. Do you know of any others? Other than private schools, of course.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 6:03 p.m.
>> We have made a huge investment in the form of bonds and millages in our existing District. And what strings come with this investment? The school district continues to get money from us, yet shows us no improvement in the quality of education our kids receive. The scores prove it. All this money for all these fancy amenities is just throwing good money after bad, unless they show dramatic improvement. If Johnny dan't read, what does it matter that he learned not to read in a nice, shiny new school?
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.
Maybe the current schools need to take some financial hits before they will begin to implement changes desired by parents. Without financial incentive they may never make the changes necessary. I guarantee that Lincoln will strive to improve even more because of these schools. If so, then all kids will benefit. After all, it is about the quality and safe education of our children, not the continuance of a particular form of education.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.
Two words MEA and competition! One fears the other , one fears no one . I say bring it on ,let's lose the old model that has not worked , bring our kids into the new century !
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 4:47 p.m.
In what I found to be an interesting article in the Ypsilanti Courier a couple of weeks ago, there used to be an excellent Lincoln-Milan combined hockey team. Lincoln dismantled it. When the coach inquired as to why he was told too many Lincoln students were transferring to Milan Schools. Thus they wanted to disassociate. The administrators at the school denied it, but he was left with no other explanation and the students were left with no hockey. So it sounds like Lincoln is aware that it is in trouble enrollment-wise.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 8:08 p.m.
average joe, I am sure that it was cut to try to stem the tide of transfers. By doing so it hurt the young people who just wanted to play hockey with their team mates and didn't care about the politics.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.
Thanks for the link, bj23.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 6:47 p.m.
After reading the article in the Ypsi Courier, I believe the reason the Hockey team was dismantled was indeed because of the exposure to, & eventual transfer to Milan schools by Lincoln students. ("we'll teach those Milan schools"...)It had nothing to do with money, other than maybe the program wasn't bringing in any/as much $$ by admission sales, or since Eve Claar seems to focus more on Girl's sports, maybe since there isn't a girl's hockey team .... She sure didn't use much "tact" when she told the coach about it; minutes after the last game.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.
<a href="http://www.heritage.com/articles/2011/01/08/sports/doc4d2933efac38c857413314.txt?viewmode=default" rel='nofollow'>http://www.heritage.com/articles/2011/01/08/sports/doc4d2933efac38c857413314.txt?viewmode=default</a>
dading dont delete me bro
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.
no to loosing more of our ruralness out here in the south district of ypsilanti township. as for the timeline, good luck getting anything approved by the township board.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 5:38 p.m.
It doesn't have to be approved by the board. It will be built on time. As to the rural nature of the area--there are already hundreds of homes in that area. It stopped being rural a long time ago. As we tell people all the time, don't buy property near open fields expecting those fields will stay that way forever. Development in a country with a growing population is the normal course of things. We live less than a mile away from this school and are excited to see it come.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.
How terrible to give anyone a choice, right? If disruptive or disinterested students are not allowed in a charter school then no one should be... is that the conclusion of some of this criticism? @tim: Michigan has school choice. Poor kids from Detroit are going to school in the Grosse Pointes right now. Not sure if you knew that from what you posted.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.
Having an IEP doesn't equal disinterested or disruptive.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 5:16 p.m.
Jay - I think all schools should be able to expel disruptive students. Those kids really need help and many teachers don't have the skills to deal with them -- there should be a special school with trained staff to educate problem children. The problem with school of choice ( and charter schools for that matter) is transportation. It's very difficult to hold down a job and get your kids to and from school, but if the school is closer that is helpful.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.
Is there really any such thing as a public school ? Wealthier parents move into wealthier school districts that don't as many problems associated with poor neighborhoods. Well guess what-- the parents in those poor neighborhoods want the same education and learning environment for there kids as those wealthier parents do for theirs. Charter schools expel problem students. Wealthy school districts expel those same problem students through high real estate costs.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 2:56 p.m.
Mr. Ardle, NHA schools are NOT public schools. They don't take everyone, they discourage students with IEP's or behavioral problems. Will the NHA students go to Lincoln for athletics, music, drama? How many kids will get admitted and then, after count day, be discharged and go back to the public schools? When Charter Schools have to provide all services to all students, come and talk about it, until then it's apples to oranges . Also, much success is based on parental involvement, and in charter schools, it's expected and demanded. Try demanding parental involvement in public schools.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 10:14 p.m.
I just thought of what distinction you make between different types of "public" schools. There are government run schools and privately run schools. They all use public funding, but are run by different groups of people. That is one consideration when choosing where to send your children. Will they get a better education from a school run by the government (more bureaucracy; less responsive to market pressures) or privately run (less bureaucracy; more beholden to market pressures because their existence depends more fully on meeting the demands of the families they serve).
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 9:13 p.m.
My family has been involved with an NHA school for the past 9 years. Two of my three children have IEPs. They have received excellent services and I have never once felt that my children were not welcome. I have also observed many children with behavioral issues receive extra support in the classroom, and return to the school year after year. Can you clarify where you got your information that NHA schools discourage students with IEPs and behavioral issues? Perhaps this is true for certain schools but certainly not the school we've been involved with, so just be cautious in making general statements like that.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.
I agree that parental involvement is the most important aspect to kids success in school. Parents are clamoring for these schools because they provide the kind of environment and education they want for their children. Maybe the non-charter public schools need to "expect" and "demand" more from their students and from parents. I know in many cases that is impossible, but often they lower their standards to the lowest common denominator. These charter schools are publicly funded schools--thus they ARE public schools. They use public funding. They don't use private funding. They are governed by the same rules as non-charter public schools. How else would you define public? As to who they take, they are required to do open enrollment for the first few years of operation. They mentioned that at the meeting last night. They will offer athletics (though not the variety of larger schools), music, drama, and many other programs. If parents want more for their child they can send them to one of the larger schools with more programs. They offer an environment that is more conducive to education. That is why we are more likely to bring our kids into the public school system than we would be if Lincoln was our only option. We may still choose to send them to Lincoln HS if we are not able to get into PrepNet, but we would also be more likely to continue homeschooling them through their high school years. There are many homeschooling parents who are excited about the possibility of sending their children to these schools.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.
Ismy understanding correct - the township has no say in whether this can be built or not at this point. The only obstacles are obtaining the charters from the schools and the actual purchase/lease of the land? There is no zoning modification required... is that correct?
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.
Correct. They will not have any problems getting the needed charter from the state. I'm sure they already have agreements and funding ready to go to buy the land.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.
If Lincoln Consolidated and Ypsilanti Public were providing top notch education there would be no demand for a new charter school. Let's be honest with ourselves, these two school districts are two of the worst ( other than Willow Run) perfermors in Washtenaw County.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.
Willow Run is a 6 plus year or more failing school which nominates them for NCLB and an option to opt out of this district to a district that is non failing, like Ann Arbor or a Charter. Willow Run has never been a first choice for me.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.
I'm not a fan of franchised charter schools like the National Heritage Academy but I am a supporter of locally spearheaded efforts. The fact that school district officials are not supportive of them in their backyard is not surprising but if they were effectively educating our young people, there would not be any need for Charters. I hope the planning commission within the boundaries of its zoning laws is fair in its consideration to this request.
Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.
The PC has not authority over this. It was for information only.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.
I hope the planning commission is fair, as well. The children in these underperforming public schools DESERVE to have a choice in education.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.
Mr. Feldschur: There is a photograph of an architectural design which is protected by copyright. Please cite the author/designer of the graphic displayed.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 7:01 p.m.
fishbeck, thompson, carr & huber, inc. created for National Heritage Academies (K-8) PrepNet (9-12)
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 1:50 p.m.
"... Ypsilanti Public Schools, the district in which the complex would be located." Is this really in the YPS district? The proposed building site is about two miles from Lincoln, which I thought was well within the district limits. Could someone please clarify?
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.
<a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/CGI_SD04_L_WASHTENAW_103281_7.pdf" rel='nofollow'>http://www.michigan.gov/documents/CGI_SD04_L_WASHTENAW_103281_7.pdf</a> I stand corrected. Looking at the map, that side of Hitchingham appears to be in the Ypsilanti School District. Apologies.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.
It is in the township - Lincoln Consolidated School District. The property is staked with pink flags. The article must be in error.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.
"Are we able to provide a quality education with the competition that's going on?" Lynn Cleary ******** Doesn't competition push you to higher performance? How does school competition affect classroom teaching? This logic was part of the reason my kids left Lincoln.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.
Ypsilanti schools are closing because parents are choosing to take their children elsewhere. Not one of the school districts in Ypsilanti is a viable option if you are serious about your child's education. I know many Ypsilanti parents with young children and they are choosing Milan, Ann Arbor Learning, South Arbor, Saline and Ann Arbor. Rumor has it that Milan will soon be closing the School of Choice option because they are full. If the Ypsilanti schools were competitive they would have no worries. As a parent with kids in YPS for 13+ years we got tired of hearing about "Strong from Start to Finish" when test scores kept going down at the high school. Unless you get your kids in early at some of the schools of choice, your options are limited at the high school level. More high school options are good for Ypsilanti children.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.
Another reason ours will never set foot inside an Ypsi school nor a WR school. We are considering the International school as the hi school option. Less crowds and better options.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 1:23 p.m.
My daughter attended an NHA school in Jackson kindergarten through 2nd grade. It was a fabulous, diverse school with an extraordinary culture of respect, perseverance and academic excellence. And Dave Angerer formerly led one of the most successful, college-prep schools in the NATION: Black River Public School in Holland, as recognized in Newsweek's annual ranking. What a tremendous opportunity for families in Ypsilanti and Washtenaw County as a whole.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.
>>The speed limit on Hitchingham Road is 55 miles per hour. Officials at the meeting discussed possibly lowering the speed limit When that road was first paved I contacted the township regarding the excessive speed. They told me to contact the county, which I did. The county told me that if I didn't like the speed limit, that was too bad, it was going to stay 55 mph. Shortly thereafter the county police from time to time would place the "radar trailer" on the road as a reminder for motorists to abide by the speed limit. After all that failed, they made Merritt-Hitchingham a four-way stop, which certainly has helped. With or without the school, that road is not safe. The sidewalks that are there are not contiguous - some properties have them, some don't. The road shoulder is narrow. I still shake my head at the fact that kids can be playing in their own back yard and a car can come charging down the road at 55 mph just 10-20 feet from them. Thank you County Road Commission. As far as the school? Cleary needs to retire. According to her quote in this article, as usual, she just doesn't get it. Lincoln high school is failing in every academic sense of the word, and yet she speaks like the district should be entitled to get the district's students. If she was a real leader, she would be working to make Lincoln a more attractive choice for students and then there would be no need for competition. Exactly what is wrong with bureaucrats that have made their entire career from government and taxes. They just don't get that people expect what they pay for.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 12:42 p.m.
It's funny how the establishment can't get it's head around this idea and concept. It's no wonder the test scores are so low. Doing the same thing over and over even when it's not working is crazy. That's why enrollment is dropping. People are making choices and taking the options they have. Protecting the status quo is not the answer, unless you are a teacher or administrator in one of these failing institutions.
Wed, Feb 2, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.
I think they were thinking "green". Use a vacant building instead of building another.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.
They don't own the land and haven't received approval by an authorizer and expect to have children in classrooms in 7 months...wow! Ambitious.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.
They have done this type of building before in this time frame. They will have no problem getting the charter needed from the state. I'm sure they have the funding and agreements ready to go to buy the land. Based on their previous experience, these schools will be operational by next fall.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 2:34 p.m.
Fortis Academy was building an addition to an already existing structure when they first opened. They I think added another section and now have a K-8 building. Things do happen in a blink of an eye. They may not own the land but for the right price? Anything can be bought.