Contents of this issue:

  • DPS board ousts Calloway
  • Flint-area administrator pay averages $90,800
  • Michigan schools on 'top high schools' list
  • No cutting in these lines
  • No fingerprints, no contract


DETROIT - Detroit school board members Monday fired Superintendent Connie Calloway, placing her on paid administrative leave in a 7-4 vote, according to The Detroit News. Calloway called the decision unjust and said the board blamed her for the district's financial problems, The News reported.

A coalition of area leaders spoke or signed a joint letter in support of Calloway, according to The News, among them the heads of the Skillman Foundation, Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency, the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and the Detroit Parent Network, but school board members said that Calloway failed to provide adequate leadership, did not assure fiscal integrity and was uncooperative and unprofessional, among other claims.

One major board complaint was that Calloway and her team originally reported a fund surplus for the current fiscal year, but later returned with a proposed budget indicating a $408 million deficit, The News said.

General Counsel Teresa Gueyser will serve as chief administrator while an interim superintendent is sought, The News reported.

Calloway can contest the termination within 15 days by requesting a hearing.

The Detroit News, "Calloway: Firing an 'unjust decision,'" Dec. 16, 2008

Michigan Education Digest, "State to take financial control of DPS," Dec. 9, 2008


GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. - School administrators in Genesee County earn an average of $90,800 annually, according to a study by The Flint Journal, not including longevity pay, stipends or bonuses.

A quarter of administrators make six-figure salaries, The Journal reported.

The Journal reviewed salary information for a wide range of administrators, from elementary principals to superintendents, concluding that they receive a combined $34 million annually.

Some administrators have taken pay freezes recently, The Journal reported, though other school managers have received 2 to 3 percent pay hikes. Other districts have reduced administrative ranks by consolidating such services as special education and transportation. The study did not include cases in which administrative positions have been privatized.

Grand Blanc Public Schools had the highest average administrator salary in the county — $102,000 — among schools included in the study, The Journal reported. Superintendent Michael Newton told The Journal that the district has been gaining enrollment and consistently performs well on state tests.

"I think our community members are getting a bang for their buck," he said.

Flint Superintendent Linda Thompson told The Journal that the number of administrators there will decrease as schools close and the budget shrinks.

The Flint Journal, "Many Genesee County school leaders earn six- figure salaries as districts struggle with budgets, enrollment drops," Dec. 14, 2008

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "The Six Habits of Fiscally Responsible Public School Districts," Dec. 3, 2002


DETROIT - One Michigan high school — The International Academy in Bloomfield Hills — received a gold medal in the latest U.S.

News & World Report high school rankings, while 19 others earned silver and 54 earned bronze, according to the Detroit Free Press and U.S. News & World Report.

The International Academy ranked sixth in the country, the Free Press reported.

According to a report at the U.S. News & World Report Web site, schools are rated according to how well their overall student population, disadvantaged student population and minority student populations perform on state tests compared to the average score statewide. The rankings were based on 2006-2007 test data, the report said. The rankings also consider how many students take and pass Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests.

The awards were spread among high schools in 41 Michigan counties. Five of the honorees are charter public schools.

The Detroit Free Press, "International Academy ranked again among nation's top schools," Dec. 5, 2008

U.S. News & World Report, "America's Best High Schools," Dec. 12, 2008

Michigan Education Digest, "30 Michigan high schools on Newsweek's top high school list," May 23, 2008


TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - You've heard of the school lunch line, but how about the school car line? According to the Traverse City Record Eagle, a number of schools that don't provide bus transportation have instituted routine procedures to make sure students arrive and leave safely each day.

At Grand Traverse Academy, parents learn quickly the ins and outs of the after-school pickup line, Superintendent Kaye Mentley told the Record Eagle. Parents receive a decal signifying they are a GTA parent and also a rearview mirror tag displaying the names of students they are transporting. Students wait along a sidewalk or in an "on deck" area until adult staff or volunteers call their names, the Record Eagle reported.

Cooperation and communication make the system run smoothly at Holy Angels Preschool and Elementary School, Principal Lori Phillips told the Record Eagle. Staffers oversee the departure of about 230 students daily.

Several schools provide staff or adult volunteers with two-way radios to assist the process, the Record Eagle reported.

The Traverse City Record Eagle, "Marshaling the Troops: Carpool lines at school get technical," Nov. 25, 2008

Michigan Education Report, "Buses: 90 percent pass inspection," Oct. 13, 2008


HOWELL, Mich. - A joint venture between Howell Public Schools and Lansing Community College likely will end because the college instructors have not responded to a request for digital fingerprinting, according to the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.

The college offers programs at Howell's Parker Campus, including dual enrollment courses for Howell students, according to the Press & Argus, but now the school board has directed attorneys to investigate ways to end the agreement.

Superintendent Theodore Gardella said that state law requires fingerprinting, but that LCC officials have said their instructors' bargaining unit has not approved it, the Press & Argus reported.

The district now will consider partnering with a different college; representatives from Baker College and Cleary College already have told the school board that they are interested, according to the Press & Argus.

Stanley Chase, senior vice president for advancement and external affairs for LCC, said the college regretted the decision and that administrators would have liked more time to resolve the issue, the Press & Argus said.

Livingston Daily Press & Argus, "Howell district looks to sever ties with LCC," Dec. 9, 2008

Michigan Education Digest, "School district closes movie deal," Oct. 3, 2008

MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education Report (, an online newspaper published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.

Contact Managing Editor Lorie Shane at

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