Contents of this issue:
- DPS hires new superintendent effective immediately
- Ontonagon support staff receives pay increase
- Accountability forces charter public school to close
- Pfizer employees explore teaching career options
- DPS suspends two administrators
- New issue of Michigan Education Report; win an iPod
DPS HIRES NEW SUPERINTENDENT EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
DETROIT — A divided Detroit Public Schools board voted late last
Thursday night to hire a new superintendent and cancel its
contract with William F. Coleman III, according to The Detroit
Connie Calloway, currently superintendent of the Normandy, Mo.,
schools, inherits a district facing a $200 million deficit and
planning to close 52 schools this year, The News reported. The
News also reported that Calloway's first superintendent job
ended when the board of education in that district voted to
terminate her contract early.
The News did not give specific information about when the
termination occurred or what school district it was, but the
Dayton Daily News reported that Calloway's contract with
Trotwood-Madison City Schools in Ohio was terminated in 2003.
Teachers in that district complained of low morale due to
involuntary staffing changes, according to the Daily News. The
Trotwood board placed Calloway on leave, then paid her $200,000
to buyout her remaining contract, the Daily News reported.
Detroit schools have lost more students per year — about 10,000
-for the past several years than the 5,700 students in the
district Calloway oversaw in Missouri, The News reported.
"This candidate is not qualified to come to this district to
handle the challenges this district is facing," DPS Board Member
Jonathan Kinloch said, according to The News. Kinloch also said
Calloway is a supporter of charter public schools, The News
Wendell Wood, a former Detroit teacher, told The News Calloway
is the right choice.
"They did a search and got qualified finalists," he told The
News. "She is highly qualified in administration, finance and
improving test scores."
The Detroit News, "Calloway picked to lead Detroit Public
Schools," March 8, 2007
Dayton Daily News, "Former Trotwood superintendent to lead
Detroit schools," March 12, 2007
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Former DPS CEO Grudgingly
Testified to the Benefits of Educational Liberty," Aug. 10, 2005
Michigan Education Digest, "Sudden changes in DPS superintendent
search," Dec. 19, 2006
Michigan Education Report, "DPS enrollment down by thousands,"
Feb. 23, 2007
ONTONAGON SUPPORT STAFF RECEIVES PAY INCREASE
ONTONAGON, Mich. — Support personnel in the Ontonagon Area
Schools will receive a 2 percent pay increase in exchange for
accepting a less costly version of health insurance purchased
from the Michigan Education Special Services Association,
according to The Daily Mining Gazette.
The Ontonagon Education Support Personnel Association, which
represents 27 bus drivers, cooks, custodians and secretaries,
will switch from SuperCare I to Choices II, The Gazette
reported. The insurance is contracted through MESSA, a third-party administrator affiliated with the Michigan Education
Association, a school employees union.
Teachers in the district agreed to the same switch last year,
according to The Gazette.
"These are tough times so people are giving and everybody's
doing what they can to make it work," Superintendent Matt
Lukshaitis told The Gazette.
The Daily Mining Gazette, "Ontonagon school board approves
support staff contract amendment," March 1, 2007
Michigan Education Digest, "MESSA insists: 'we do not earn
profits,'" March 6, 2007
Michigan Education Report, "Require MESSA data-sharing to let
districts shop around," Dec. 15, 2005
Michigan Education Report, "Berrien ISD settles contract,
rejects MESSA," Feb. 27, 2007
ACCOUNTABILITY FORCES CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL TO CLOSE
HART, Mich. — Lakeshore Public Academy will close at the end of
this school year due to low test scores and declining
enrollment, according to The Muskegon Chronicle.
"They just don't think it will continue to be viable financially
with the number of students they have, and the responsibility to
implement new (state) high school requirements," Edward
Richardson, director of charter schools for Grand Valley State
University, told The Chronicle. GVSU authorized the Lakeshore
Richardson said GVSU was concerned with the school's test
scores, particularly on the Michigan Educational Assessment
Program, according to The Chronicle.
"We believe the board did take into consideration their finances
and (students' academic) performance, and they made an
appropriate decision for their students," Richardson told The
About 100 students attend the K-12 school, most of them of high
school age, The Chronicle reported.
The Muskegon Chronicle, "Lakeshore Academy charter school to
close," March 5, 2007
Michigan Education Report, "Charters make strides on MEAP
tests," Feb. 23, 2007
Michigan Education Report, "Choice and Accountability in Public
Schools," Oct. 16, 2006
PFIZER EMPLOYEES EXPLORE TEACHING CAREER OPTIONS
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — About 175 Pfizer employees, many of them
scientists who already hold doctorate degrees, would have to
return to school for a year in order to be qualified to teach
science and math to Michigan school students, according to The
About 175 employees attended a meeting at the University of
Michigan, which offers a one-year program for professionals who
wish to earn a master's degree in education and be certified to
teach, The News reported. About 120 employees attended a similar
meeting at Eastern Michigan University.
Pfizer announced it will close its Ann Arbor office in 2008,
according to The News.
"This is going to be a big need for this state," University of
Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman told The News in reference
to new state-mandated high school graduation requirements that
place an emphasis on math and science.
According to Michigan Education Report, several other states
employ teachers who are certified through alternative programs
that do not require additional degrees. These programs, such as
the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, are
designed for working professionals with content expertise who
wish to change careers.
The Detroit News, "Pfizer workers explore teaching prospects,"
March 9, 2007
Michigan Education Report, "Michigan lags behind some states;
Alternative teacher certification," Nov. 21, 2006
Michigan Education Report, "Teacher shortage feared; many blame
cumbersome certification rules of dubious value," Dec. 31, 2001
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Must Teachers be Certified
to be Qualified?" Feb. 1, 1999
DPS SUSPENDS TWO ADMINISTRATORS
DETROIT — The chief financial officer and a cash manager for
Detroit Public Schools were placed on leave last week as the
district investigates wire transfers to contractors, according
to The Detroit News.
CFO Dori Freelain and Delores Brown, cash manager, were placed
on leave by Superintendent William Coleman III, The News
reported. Joyce Hayes-Giles, school board vice president, told
The News neither woman is suspected of doing anything wrong, but
that employees had to be questioned without supervisors present.
The district is investigating whether millions of dollars have
been transferred to vendors and contractors through its Office
of Risk Management without proper bids or contracts, The News
The Michigan Office of State Aid and School Finance requires
districts to seek bids on any purchase more than $19,211,
according to The News.
The Detroit News, "2 DPS execs suspended as payments tracked,"
March 6, 2007
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Six Habits of Fiscally
Responsible Public School Districts," Dec. 3, 2002
Michigan Education Digest, "Detroit Public Schools spent $1
million on artwork," Feb. 27, 2007
NEW ISSUE OF MICHIGAN EDUCATION REPORT; WIN AN IPOD
MIDLAND, Mich. — The expanded spring issue of Michigan Education
Report is available now, and can be accessed on the Web at
Michigan Education Report is offering readers a chance to win an
iPod when they comment on articles in its spring 2007 issue.
Comments can be made via e-mail about stories on the U.S. House
Fellows program (https://www.educationreport.org/8238
district health benefits savings
whether private employees
in public schools provide the same quality of service as public
employees in public schools (https://educationreport.org/8254
), a community college
cooperating with home-school students
and the role of profit in
public schools (https://www.educationreport.org/8250
Please visit https://www.educationreport.org
for more information.
MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education
a quarterly newspaper
with a circulation of approximately 150,000 published by the
Mackinac Center for Public Policy (https://www.mackinac.org
a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational