One high school’s miracle revival. And what may kill it.

Hazel Park High School went from the bottom 5 percent of Michigan high schools to one of the top 15 percent in two years. (Bridge photo by Keith A. Owens)

Don Vogt has been principal of Hazel Park High School for 14 years. For most of those years, he came to work each day and, by his own admission, did the minimum amount required. No less, but not much more either. Nobody seemed to complain, no one was expecting more.

And that approach worked fine, until it didn’t.

In 2012, Hazel Park High School was identified as one of the poorest performing high schools in the state of Michigan, putting it at risk of being placed under the control of an emergency manager or even shut down. It was what Vogt called a “swift kick in the gut.”

Brutal enough that Vogt and the majority of his fellow staff members decided this was not how their story would end.

“I’ll be very honest, we weren’t successful for 11 of my 14 years,” Vogt told Bridge. “We just kind of went with the flow; we maintained and tried to keep our head above water.”

With the clock running, and the threat of a school takeover similar to that for struggling schools in Detroit hanging over its head, Hazel Park High created a transformation plan that would elevate student achievement from abysmal to remarkable.

The school’s ACT scores have risen sharply, along with graduation rates. Since 2012, the school went from the bottom 5 percent of public high schools in the state, to ranking among the very best. In 2013-2014, the most recent year for which scores are available, the school had risen to the 85th percentile statewide.

“Here we have a sense of community,” senior class salutatorian Miranda Gavel said of the changes. “Like when we needed to raise ACT scores, we buckled down.”

The results are evidence, Vogt said, of what a little incentivized desperation can do when a school community joins together – parents, teachers, administration, and students – and refuses to fail. The school’s improvement may serve as a lesson, even a blueprint, for education across Michigan, as Gov. Rick Snyder recently assumed more direct control of school turnaround strategy.

After success, catastrophe

But Hazel Park High’s revival may be short-lived. For just as the school reversed its fortunes, the Hazel Park School District began to unravel. By March of this year, the district, which has 14 schools (including 6 adult and alternative schools), announced that it faced a deficit of $6.2 million, which is expected to nearly double by the end of June to $11.8 million.

The district expects to cut 169 workers by July, including 46 teachers. Superintendent James Meisinger resigned on March 9. The curriculum administrator and business manager also resigned. Interim Superintendent Dr. Rick Repicky posted a two-page letter on the Hazel Park Schools website saying the district was trying to fix this “surprise” gap, which he said was more than four times the $2.6 million deficit expected this year.

Talk about a kick in the gut.

“I had to pink slip 15 (high school) teachers on Wednesday,” Vogt said in April, adding that they were newer teachers, many of whom were among the school’s best (The district’s union deal requires the newest teachers be the first to be let go).

[After this article was published, district officials contacted Bridge to say that, contrary to the principal's statements, the district did not lay off the teachers strictly based on seniority; rather, the layoffs were based on a host of factors including performance and relevant training.]

Superintendent Repicky later clarified that “only” 12 teachers at Hazel Park High will be let go, leaving 28 at the school. The district also imposed a 10 percent across-the-board salary cut to address the massive deficit.

The cuts to teachers and finances, Vogt said, “could cut our heart out.”

A long road

To understand what a blow the recent setback could be to Hazel Park High, and why Vogt takes it so personally, consider what the high school managed to accomplish in such a short time, and how it was done.

“It was a very tough school,” Vogt said of the school he inherited 14 years ago. “There were a lot of fights.”

Since his arrival, Hazel Park High has become an open enrollment school, allowing students from outside the city to enroll. Demographically, Hazel Park High breaks down similarly to many high schools in Michigan, with roughly 73 percent identified as white and most of the remaining students as African American with a smaller number of Hispanic and Asian students.

By Vogt’s admission, and that of several teachers, not much was done about the school’s academic performance until the school was notified in 2012 that it was now considered a “priority school”, meaning it was in the lowest-performing 5 percent in the entire state of Michigan. Kathy Kish, who has been a counselor at the high school for 30 years, remembers what her school was like before the turnaround.

“Beforehand, it was like it was business as usual,” she said. “And then when we got hit with that, it was like, ‘OK, we’re all being a little lax here. We really need to get on board and put some things in place and change these scores.’”

Lenore Barshaw, another school counselor who worked at Hazel Park High for several years before it was labeled a failing school and then rejoined the staff for the past two years, agreed.

“Before, you would see students in the halls just roaming,” Barshaw said. “Not going to class. If kids didn’t feel like going to class they didn’t go to class. Now the halls are swept. You are expected to be in class.”

Rebuilding a school

After being labeled a priority school, Michigan’s School Reform Office initially presented the high school with the option of becoming a charter school, shutting the school down, or firing the principal and many of the staff. School leaders strongly opposed all three options, which could have led to the high school being taken over by the Education Achievement Authority. They chose instead to present an aggressive transformation plan for survival.

“The first thing they wanted to do in the plan was they wanted to replace the principal,” said Vogt, the principal. “So I fought it. My feeling was, I got us into this, and I’d like to play somewhat of a part in getting us out.”

“My feeling was, I got us into this, and I’d like to play somewhat of a part in getting us out” ‒ Principal Don Vogt on his school’s drive to improve

A native of St. Louis, Vogt notices everything around him as he makes his rounds throughout the school, chastising some students who don’t appear to be where they should, questioning others, showing glimpses of impatience, but also generously commending those whom he feels have achieved something worthy of recognition.

Vogt said he immediately went to work with his staff and members of the community on a way to save their high school the same way that he walks his hallways, which is fast.

Three steps

The transformational plan he helped devise had three main parts:

Add an ACT prep class to help students perform better on the test.

Create a free or reduced-rate summer school to accommodate the majority of families who would not be able to afford the extra expense. Research shows that low-income students tend to lose more knowledge during the long summer break than students from more affluent families because they have fewer opportunities and resources to stay academically engaged. Students, many of whom were behind on credits, would be given 16 credit hours for summer school attendance.

Adopt flexible scheduling that would allow students to make up class work before school by coming in an hour early and working with a teacher.

All of the recommended changes were approved and went into effect during the 2012-2013 school year. Teachers agreed to an additional 30 minutes being added to the school day. Getting their buy-in wasn’t difficult, Vogt said, since they knew the alternative could be the loss of the school altogether.

Using At Risk Grant Funds, which are federal funds targeted for at-risk students, the high school went to work bulking up its academics.

An ACT Test Prep course was added to every junior's schedule in the fall of 2013.

The school launched a comprehensive reading remediation program, which gave teachers more time to work with students on their literacy skills, which Vogt said had been identified as an area where students needed the most help.

The school also changed the way it administered standardized tests — the Michigan Merit Exam and ACT, by giving them in small groups, rather than in large, mass settings.

Through a grant from the Walmart Foundation, Hazel Park High students were offered an hour-long, four-day-a-week after-school tutoring program in four core subjects called PASS (Preparing All Students for Success).

Vogt said students also benefit from the Promise Zone program in Michigan. Promise Zones are community-based scholarship programs designed to provide financially challenged high school students with the funds they need to attend college.

Hazel Park High also added inspiration to students’ education.

The school began teacher and student performance recognition as both a motivator and a morale booster, including naming a student and teacher of the month.

Assistant Principal James Gordon, himself a graduate of Hazel Park High School, class of 1989, held academic pep rallies to get students revved up and competitive about their academic performance like a football coach about to usher his team onto the field.

Vogt said Gordon’s appointment as assistant principal made a tremendous difference in helping turn the school around, and students interviewed for this article tend to agree. When asked what has helped make the most difference in their school, three of them immediately identified Gordon.

“He knows where the students are coming from,” said Gavel, the senior. “I just feel like he communicates well with the students, and he knows how to get things across to us that other adults might not.”

Another senior, Braxton Buckner: “When Mr. Gordon became vice principal, he made it a goal to get those scores up...He’s definitely a good motivator of getting something going.”

But Buckner said it’s not a one-man show, teachers in general are readily available to students.

“It’s a really helpful staff,” he said. “If there’s ever any help that you need you can talk to a teacher and they’re usually pretty good at it.”

A few students said there is still room for improvement. Gavel, for instance, said college prep remains overwhelming for some students and the staff could do a better job explaining, for instance, how to register for college. August Dean, another senior, said it would be helpful if preparation for the ACT test and college began when students were sophomores rather than juniors. There should also be more classes to choose from, particularly language classes, Dean said.

A focus beyond high school

With funding obtained by the Sutar-Sutaruk Meyer Foundation, a Troy-based philanthropy, plus other private donations and money earned from the school’s metal shop “after years of constructing weather vanes and selling them at art fairs”, the school was able to raise $200,000. That will help ensure a $2,000 Promise Zone Scholarship to every Hazel Park High student accepted to a college or trade school.

It turns out, not all parents were initially on board with the high school's sharper focus on college preparation. Hazel Park, a predominantly white, working-class suburb of nearly 17,000 residents just north of Detroit, suffered economically over the past decade, like many communities in Michigan. Vogt said he had noticed a rise in abandoned homes.

With more than 75 percent of Hazel Park’s students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch, many families began to view a college education as an unrealistic or unaffordable dream rather than an opportunity for advancement.

“I know there was a lot of push and pull with the community and we had to get a lot of buy-in from the parents because a lot of our parents, not only have they not been to college, but a lot of them haven’t even graduated high school,” said teacher Carla Brown. “So our students would not just be first-generation college graduates, but first generation high school graduates.”

The parents eventually did get on board, and the results were dramatic.

By the end of the 2012-2013 school year, Hazel Park had moved from the bottom 5th percentile a year earlier to the 48th percentile among Michigan public high schools. By the end of the 2013-2014 school year, student achievement produced another dramatic leap o the 85th percentile. Hazel Park High was reclassified from a “priority” school to a state “reward” school, an honor reserved for top-performing schools, or those that had made the greatest gains or exceeded expectations.

The state-appointed monthly monitors would not longer be needed.

What else has improved?

Graduation rates, certainly. For the class of 2013-14, 84 percent graduated within four years, compared with a 74 percent four-year graduation rate in 2011-2012.

The rise in ACT test scores is also noteworthy. Hazel Park High students’ composite average ACT scores rose from 16.5 in 2011 to 19.1 in 2014. The most dramatic increase was in English, where the average score rose from 15.1 to 19.1 over three years. The percentage of students considered to be “college ready” in all ACT subject testing categories rose from 4.9 percent to 12.2 percent.

The end of excellence?

But then came news about the district’s financial problems, and Hazel Park High, like others in the district, was hit hard. Vogt acknowledged the situation could become dire. “So now we have to regroup after all the dust settles and see what we’ve got.”

The fear, he said, is that the school’s gains from intensive academic interventions will be compromised by district finances. “In the meantime, we lose our curriculum director, our superintendent, and our business manager,” Vogt said. “And we’ve got all these cuts looming. So the worst case scenario? Yeah, it could be real bad.”

Repicky, the interim district superintendent, concedes that Hazel Park High along with the rest of the district face some tough choices. But in a written response to one of several questions posed by Bridge, he suggested there is hope for the high school.

Repicky contends there is “minimal” risk the progress made at Hazel Park High would be halted if teachers continue to work together to challenge students. But he said he cannot promise that all of the academic interventions of recent years will be kept intact.

“We will keep our primary reading intervention at the high school,” he wrote, “but adjustments in other areas may occur. We will be working with our federal At-Risk funds to see how we can best cover other interventions.”

As for how long this financial crisis could last, Repicky said the district’s long-term plan is to erase the deficit “in 5-8 years, depending on state funding.”

By that time, Vogt, the high school principal, will be long gone. He said he’s retiring at the end of this school year. But for now at least, the mood at Hazel Park High seems to be leaning more toward resilience than defeat.

“Although our morale has gone down,” said Brown, the teacher, “I haven’t seen any kind of change with the teachers and their interactions with the students and the quality of education that they’re providing to the students. That says a lot about our teachers and how much they care about our students.”

Keith A. Owens is a freelance writer, blogger and musician based in Detroit. He is a former member of the Detroit Free Press editorial board, syndicated columnist for Universal Press Syndicate, columnist for the Detroit Metro Times, and Senior Editor for The Michigan Chronicle.

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Comments

Grady
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 10:04am
"and the staff could do a better job explaining, for instance, how to register for college." unless things have changed, this is not the job of teachers, but of counselors and PARENTS and what does "register" for college even mean? Apply? Go to the schools website - its easy! Community College - same thing! These kids are likely tech and web savvy --- they need to take ownership of their future and not rely on others
HP Citizen
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:33pm
You've apparently never been to college. You don't just go online and apply. It's significantly more in depth than that. Then you also need to apply for student loans, which takes financial information of yourself and both of your parents not to mention many hours to complete. Yes the students and parents need help navigating it since it's most likely their first time dealing with it, after all. The more kids they help get into college, the more parents that will choose HP schools because of their higher acceptance rates. It's a win-win.
Clouse
Fri, 05/22/2015 - 9:10am
Most of Hazel Park parents are not college graduates and have blue collar jobs. They're children maybe tech savvy but the parents are usually not. Guidance councilors should be responsible for meeting with students as FRESHMAN not, sophomores or juniors and getting them on track for college or a trade school. There should be an overall plan set in action,when making class schedules. The student's schedule should reflect what they're plans are for after graduation.
Das
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 10:32am
Why do poor school districts have to cut their freshest, most energetic and devoted teachers? The lazy answer would be because the union demands a last hired, first fired policy. The actual answer is that the State of Michigan's per-student funding has decreased over time. Only wealthier cities who can afford to tax their residents beyond the state's per-student rate can keep up with inflation and provide some stability. Is this a fair, democratic way to fund public schools? How many students in poor schools are negatively impacted by this policy? Why does a child's zip code have so much impact on their future?
Jarrett Skorup
Mon, 05/25/2015 - 10:27pm
I don't really follow your logic. It's obviously your first point (the union contract demands it). Why would a lower foundation allowance cause a school district on its own to lay off its better, cheaper teachers?
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 10:46am
First, it's difficult to get past the admission that they didn't take it seriously that they were a chronically-failing school until it became clear the state might intervene. Second, it's astonishing the Principal says he was forced to layoff teachers based on seniority -- when the practice of LIFO (last in, first out) was expressly forbidden in state law in 2011. This should be interesting....
Ron Stoneman
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 1:06pm
The 2011 State law you've referenced applied when collective bargaing agreements that were intact prior to the law expired. Several districts legally had to follow seniority until these agreements expired.
Chuck Jordan
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:16am
Another sad story about the future of education in Michigan.
Mary Kovari
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:21am
This is a wonderful and hopeful article how "brutal honesty" by school leaders and a willingness to use best practices especially collaboration can turn around even a school that has a traditionally working class population. Thanks Mr. Vogt for showing us what can be done by good hires, collaboration and most importantly, honesty about what should be going on in schools. I hope the education community takes notice and begins to focus on the desperate need for adequate funding for Michigan public schools.
Barry Visel
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:22am
I missed the explaination of how they got into a deficit problem, an important missing part of this story.
Karen
Sat, 05/23/2015 - 10:40pm
I completely agree. The fact that there is a sudden deficit is a gaping hole in this story.
Diane
Mon, 05/25/2015 - 8:56am
It is not so sudden. It has been going on for years but was hidden and kept quiet by a lot of people. Now they have retired or resigned-no one will pay for this fiasco but we can pray it is on the way to being fixed! A principal who admits he ignored it for how many years. WOW
Laura j. Champagne
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 12:32pm
How does one go back and apologize to students who were there during the first 11 years of his administration for whom it seems little effort was made to ensure their academic success?
Kristy
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 1:52pm
The district got into the financial issue for a few reasons, mass exodus of residents in the 2008 recession era, probably one of the hardest hit suburbs of Detroit, people were renters, lost their jobs and left the town. It was like a ghost town for a few years around here. Every student who left also left a small per student funding hole. Secondly, the district can only estimate on how many kids will show up in the fall, through the traditional and alternative programs. They have to be prepared for the best and worst, it is always a big scramble in the beginning of a year to make sure there are enough or not too many teachers in the district. There was a deficit elimination program in place, however the people in place to execute it were not following the plan as they should have been. That has all changed now, the people are all new, and looking to improve in big ways. The residents care and want the schools to succeed, it is not a great situation but we are dealing with it and are looking to our new superintendent to guide us.
Charles Richards
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 2:04pm
Barry Viset is exactly right. How did the district get into a deficit situation? That is a crucial part of the story that Mr. Owens failed to illuminate; Absent that explanation, the entire article becomes the standard, simple plea for more money. And I would have liked to have seen a reply to Gary G. Naeyaert's assertion about LIFO (Last In Fist Out) being eliminated in 2011. And was that claim made by the Principal or Mr. Owens? Principal Vogt's admission that he wasn't giving a 100% reinforces the belief that teachers and administrators need the prod of competition and accountability in order to give their best performance. This episode falsifies the belief that altruism on the part of public employees is sufficient.
Lynne M Haley, DDS
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 2:09pm
I attended Hazel Park High School in 1959/60 then moved to Livonia...a fantastic upgrade in quality. HP had a beautiful new building with all the amenities for athletics, but not much interest in education beyond high school. Most of my classmates were focused on 16 years of age and out. There was a great disrespect for most teachers and bulky football players sang soprano. I hope that the turnaround maintains steam and that the district can head off financial disaster...all those resignations might indicate more than a little malfeasance of cash management. The academic turnaround is quite an accomplishment
7screamingdizbusters
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 2:40pm
A few years ago at a Lansing high school they had to let the band teacher go, this guy was top notch and had the students really motivated, the band won a number of awards etc. but budget cuts and the seniority system worked against him. A lot of people were upset but he ended up somewhere else. It was a real shame.
Jessikuh
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 7:17pm
I just wanted to say that i graduated (2012) because of Mr vogt being on my butt all the time about how important and education is. It might be his fault because he’s principal so the load landa on his shouoders but its not just him. I personally loved vogt. He was one of the very few in that school that actually treated you like a person. He wasn’t just some jerk that didn’t care . Yes its true many of us just roamed the hallways myself included when we didn'twant to be in class. But we all know that by the time kids get in highschool they're old enough to make their own decisions and tthey're probably not going to listen to what anybody else has to say.
Alynn
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 7:38pm
they made mister Terrill retire a few years back because his teaching methods were unethical. I went there the first year he started and he made us students want to learn he made it easy for us to understand and made us push ourselves to heights we did not know we were capable of.. He made learning fun
Cassandra
Fri, 05/22/2015 - 12:26am
What!? Unethical? What was so Unethical about Mr Terrill's teaching? He made kids want to learn. I started a paper fight with him and the other students at the end of the 07/08 school year, last day. We all loved him, he made all of us feel valued, and I saw him motivate so many students to read who had no interest before!
Denver Edwards Jr
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 9:04pm
I think they need to get rid of the teachers that just sit at their desk and text on their phones. There are so many teachers that I had at HPHS that just didn't care. The only great teacher I had that didn't fool around and actually did their teaching job and made sure students understood the problems was Mr. Ford. He has passed away now and I would hate to see what that school has become. Students are playing games, on their phone, fooling around at that school I always saw it and I know it still is going on. THAT SCHOOL IS A JOKE!!!
Class of 2012
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 9:18pm
I think it is wonderful how Hazel Park is turning itself around. However, I wonder how much of this article is actually true. For example, their guaranteed scholarship. My graduating class, alumni of 2012, was the first to be offered this "Promise Zone Scholarship". There were news cameras on the football field and parts of our graduation were aired, along with the idea of this amazing new source of funding. This funding would aid us in attending a college within Michigan. Each "recipient", a few dozen of us, received a medal which was a symbol of this scholarship. However, I do not know of any of these students who even received a dime of this "promised" money. I can only hope for the ending of lies toward the current students of Hazel Park High.
summer
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 10:01pm
To be honest I think this is complete bullshit. Even tho I don't go to Hazel Park High School anymore, I still come visit the teachers I had when I went. I don't think it's fair that some of my favorite teachers are getting fired even tho they have been working there for years. I was recently informed that my favorite teacher Mr.Bird is getting fried which is complete bullshit. He's the best teacher in that school and he has the highest education there and plus he's been working there FOREVER! In my opinion teachers shouldn't loose their jobs because of this it's stupid.
Reality
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 10:51pm
How does a school go from the bottom 5% to top 15%? If anyone would actually look at the data they would see the % of students taking state tests dramatically dropped. As stated by a HPHS teacher, "We changed IEPs so they wouldn't have to take state tests." Compare the # of special education students against the # that didn't test = same #. (See Mi School Data website) Also...there are teachers failing their students and being allowed to get away with it. Parents are told the teacher doesn't have to reteach, but that the student has to stay after school with someone else to get their education. The administration (high school and superintendent) only cares about report card grades and not what is actually happening in the classroom. Teachers don't update grade books online regularly so parents and students have no idea what their grade is.
Brianna
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:48pm
I am a student at hazel park high school I have personally seen a change over the time I have been here not only last year but this year too I personally feel that we schould keep the young teachers they are better in the class room they not only teach us they make the learning fun this approach helps students such as i learn not only from reading a book (I dont personaly learn that way ) but by listening and doing hands on witch helps thoughs who learn differently the "older" teachs tend to be on there phones and do nothing but give us a book and some work sheets saying here do this its on this page
Carolyn
Sun, 05/24/2015 - 10:44pm
There is not a single punctuation mark in your comment, along with incorrect grammar. I have noticed similar issues with comment from students, past and present, as I have read through them. I do not understand how it is possible for a student to graduate with such a incompetent command of English! There is no possible way a student can succeed in any subject
Carolyn
Sun, 05/24/2015 - 11:16pm
(I think I may have entered this too soon....) ....can succeed with out knowing basic English and grammar. How sad is it that the majority of staff didn't give two yanks of a rat's tail prior to the threat of State takeover! Neither one of my parents were able to finish school (they would be in their 100's if alive), but they impressed on their children the importance of a high school education, at a time when such education equipped you to get a decent paying job. And I did the same for my children. Our daughter was the first to graduate college in my family! Every school should encourage the participation of parents in their children's education. Sports should not take precedence over academics; you fail in basics, you don't play on the field/court! I think it is just as much the responsibility of parents/taxpayers if a local school is pushing out failures and don't demand change! I'm fed up with the excuses of lack of education for parents, economic disadvantage, racial inequality, etc. It is a matter of getting off lazy butts, all the way around, and putting forth the effort to expect kids to do well. It is time for parents to do their jobs as parents by setting an example for their kids that shows the benefits of hard work, and not easy welfare. Let it be there to help you, but not be the answer for living! Don't accept stupid excuses for poor academic accomplishment, and refuse to tolerate inappropriate behavior. That DOES NOT mean child abuse is acceptable, but it seems the State authorities have taken away from the parents and schools the means to effective discipline; and likewise, the means to treat children as children and not mechanical beings. If a child needs a hug, then give it. If a teacher can't do so appropriately, then they should be fired and teacher unions should not be able to intervene! The common thread in all this is COMMON SENSE. It is the one subject most educators seem to have failed.
Diane
Mon, 05/25/2015 - 8:52am
Very well said Carolyn. This mess stems back longer than most believe.
Chuck Jordan
Sun, 05/24/2015 - 12:14pm
I'm sure cutting teachers (young or old) and programs, increasing class sizes etc. will help continue their success.
William C. Plumpe
Tue, 05/26/2015 - 2:44am
And extremely complicated situation to say the least. Academics on one side and finances on the other are almost always going to be in conflict except in the wealthier districts like Birmingham and the Pointes. So "poorer" districts are at a disadvantage from the start. But as the improvement in test scored shows money isn't everything and progress can be made if you are careful. Reminds me of a Zen story, An aspiring student goes to a teacher and studies and meditates for a year and is not enlightened. The teacher says to meditate constantly for a month and see what happens. The student does so and then is still not enlightened. The teacher says meditate constantly for another week then come back to me. After another week the student still isn't enlightened, The student visits his teacher early in the morning. The teacher says: "Meditate one more day and if you aren't enlightened by tomorrow morning go jump off the high cliff by the river." By lunchtime the student is enlightened. Would that this would happen to Michigan schools---the enlightenment that is. There seems to be too many old ideas and patterns that stand in the way of progress particularly teacher contracts. We want to pay teachers well and treat them fairly but we also need to stay within budget too.
William C. Plumpe
Tue, 05/26/2015 - 3:17am
I am all for teacher's getting good pay and am usually a staunch union supporter but on the other hand I don't like the standard "teacher good, management bad" rant that some teacher's union supporters spout out. It may endear your most radical supporters to you but I really don't think it accomplishes much except gives a chance for the rabble rousers to speak up. Ultimately we should be for the kids and not the adults.
John Stone
Tue, 05/26/2015 - 9:30am
I have known a number of teachers over the years and whether they are in an upper class suburban district or inner city school system they all say the worse part of the job is dealing with administrators. I think the problem is not that one side is always right and the other wrong, it is that they are approaching situations from a different perspective.