Michigan City Outsources All of Its Schools

Stephanie Banchero and Matthew Dolan, Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2012

The public school district in this hard-luck city has come up with a radical answer for its troubled education system: It is outsourcing all of it.

Highland Park School District, one of the state’s lowest-performing academically, says it will turn over its three schools and nearly 1,000 students to a private, for-profit charter school company—the second district in Michigan to take such a drastic step to avert financial collapse.

The abrupt news last week sparked concern—and in some cases, relief—from parents and other residents who packed a Wednesday night meeting in the faded industrial city, which is nearly surrounded by Detroit.

The parents came to hear from the charter company, Leona Group LLC, which promises to improve the learning environment and boost student performance in a district where only 22% of third graders passed state reading exams last school year and just 10% passed math. The results were even worse for high-schoolers: About 10% were proficient in reading, and none in math.

{snip}

Highland Park decided to privatize its schools after years of enrollment decline, poor fiscal stewardship and allegations that a board member stole more than $125,000 by submitting false invoices; the charges against the member are pending.

During the 2010-2011 school year, the district spent $16,508 per student. By comparison, Michigan districts on average spent $9,202 per pupil that year. In the process, Highland Park ran up an $11.3 million deficit over its $18.9 million school budget.

The district got itself into financial trouble, in part, because it didn’t cut staff as fast as its enrollment declined along with the city’s population, leaving it with higher per-pupil expenditures, said Joyce Parker, who, under a controversial state law, was appointed district emergency manager in May by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

“The financial problems were immense and we had to look at nontraditional ways to get the district back on track,” said Ms. Parker, who has full control of the district and made the decision to convert to a charter after ruling out a merger with a neighboring district.

{snip}

Unions have been sidelined after the district’s entire professional staff was laid off, as allowed by the state emergency law, but teachers can apply for jobs with Leona. Leona has budgeted about $36,000 a year for Highland Park teachers on average, the company said—compared with almost $65,000 a year the teachers received in the 2010-11 school year.

{snip}

Highland Park is where Henry Ford opened his first assembly line and Chrysler Corp. built its original headquarters. It has suffered the same ills as Detroit, its larger neighbor: an exodus of auto jobs, depressed housing stock and a surge in crime.

{snip}

[Editor’s Note: According to this website, the under-18 population of the Highland Park School District is at least 96 percent black.]

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  • 1proactive2

    Highland Park is beyond belief destroyed, and it is truly a dangerous black city.  But their politicians, to include their school “leaders”, dress like fashion plates while driving gleaming new cars.  It truly is, “a black thing”.

    • The Verdict of History

      I am outraged, but surprised, to note that this article fails to mention ANYTHING about the RACIAL composition of these schools.

      This is a black problem, not an education problem.

    • Detroit_WASP

      You are exactly right about the clothes and cars.  I worked in a charter school in Detroit and the administrators (all black) were getting annual incomes well into the 6 figures and driving BMWs and Jaguars.  Meanwhile, I litterally did not have any text books in my classroom and was making worksheet copies from busy work booklets I had purchased at the teacher supply store.  God as my witness that is a true story.   

      The text books were “on the way” but I never saw them because I quit to take a job in the suburbs (for less money).  
       

  • Detroit_WASP

    I know how to get the scores up.  Replace all the black students with Whites and Asians.

    Just make that one change and watch the scores more than triple.

    • The__Bobster

      Replace all the black students with Whites and Asians.
      _____________

      Why did you mention Asians and then use Kentucky for your comparison? There are very few Asians there. Are you John Chinaman’s alter ego?

      • Detroit_WASP

        There are Asians in Detroit.  I guess I should have said north Asians. 
        North Asians score better on IQ tests than whites…..like it or not that’s the way it is.  

      • JohnEngelman

        The biological superiority of Orientals and Jews is obvious to everyone but a race bigot.

    • El_Magyar

      Thanks for the information. Where did you get your numbers?

      • Detroit_WASP

        El Magyar,

        Google it.  It is all off the web.   But it is not from a single study.  My family came from Clay Co. KY and moved to Detroit like a lot of “Hillbillies” did.  I was a teacher and thought it would be interesting to compare the two places.  I just looked up the data on different websites. 

        If you want to see an interesting story about race and IQ, google “shut out of the military”  It breaks out military ASVAB scores by race.  The ASVAB test is an IQ test to see what jobs a person would be qualified for in the military.   The results are the same as the SAT and ACT.  Whites and Asians on top, then Hispanics, then Blacks last.  

        This is how we know the tests ARE VALID.  They all give results that are consistent.
        And it is no coincidence that the highest scoring groups put men on the moon, cured polio and split the atom.  Meanwhile, the lowest scoring groups never even invented the wheel or indoor plumbing.  

        You can also google, “the achievement gap in milwaukee public school outcomes by gender race and income level”  AGAIN, same results.  It shows that lower income whites that qualify for free lunch do better on standardized tests than middle income blacks that do not qualify for free lunches. 

        • crystal evans

          But there are sections on the ASVAB that require prior knowledge such as mechanics and electronics sections. In order to pass these portions, you need to know the basics of each. I should know I failed the mechanical portion but did well on the electronics section.

          • Detroit_WASP

            Any electronics or mechanical education a kid gets in high school is minimal at best. 

            But I guess even 30-year-olds take the ASVAB.    

          • crystal evans

            The Army takes recruits up till the age of 34. Many kids learn mechanics by working on cars.  Some high schools teach auto mechanics.

          • Detroit_WASP

            I used to teach high school Voc. Ed..  Believe me, it’s real basic, but likely does help a bit on the ASVAB.  But as I said b/4, blacks have MORE spent on them and their education than whites.  

  • crystal evans

    I am surprized that the teachers union have not complained since the charter school is going to pay less than Highland Park school district did. I would not be surprized if few of the current teachers would be rehired by the charter school.

  • It’s always fun to see the “we dont get enough funding” lie trotted out unintentionally.  16 grand a student and 9 out of 10 of them can’t read.

  • Chimp Master Rules

    Looks like a sad Christmas for many Highland Park families now that administrators will  no longer be able to steal.

  • slimcat1

    It is interesting that during the jim crow era, blacks learned to a certain degree, even having a higher caste of somewhat learned people to look at within their communities. All that of course was destroyed when integration came along. Now all is chaos with them. Of course, they have low IQs, but they were able to concentrate up to a point. Now they’re just lost souls and of course, will have to be dealt with harshly before long. A truly sorry state of affairs.

    • crystal evans

      Blacks had their own schools and colleges. They are now called HBCU’s. Historically Black Colleges or Universities. Since the administration, faculty and students were black, many black students did well there and earned degrees. In fact, even today, most Blacks earn graduate degrees from these schools.

  • crystal evans

    I am sure there is going to be some racial quotas in hiring. Since the pay rate is going to be low, they are not going to attract top experienced teachers. The rest of the teachers are going to be Teach for America types or other newbies.

    • The__Bobster

      Catholic schools attract very good teachers despite the lower pay because they’re willing to take less money if they don’t have to put up with the crap they do in public schools. 

      • crystal evans

        But don’t these teachers have to be Catholic and have to live up to the standards of the Catholic church? There have been cases of single female teachers who got pregnant and were fired by the school.

        • No, neither teachers nor students need to be Catholics. The same thing with mainline Protestant schools. Only with Evangelicals you gotta be “kosher”.

  • crystal evans

    Succeeding in school is not part of the ghetto culture.  Drug dealing, gangbanging and pimping is. Since they are not encouraged to go to school or if they go, they wreck havoc in the classroom because they are not there to learn. It would be interesting to see how charter schools will work in this environment.

    • El_Magyar

      Exactly, crystal. And it starts at home.

      • crystal evans

        You are so right. How can junior be expected to learn when his mama dropped out of high school when she became pregnant with him?

  • crystal evans

    You forgot English classes. Especially writing skills.  On the college entrance exams, there is a writing sample that the student must complete and this sample is sent to colleges that the student has applied to. One good thing that will come out of this curriculum is that there will be no need for remedial English and math courses in colleges.

    • The__Bobster

      Why are colleges admitting students who need remedial English and math classes? Don’t they have any standards at all anymore?

      • crystal evans

        Local community colleges give math and English placement tests to students, if they score too low on the placement exam, the students are then placed in remedial math and English. These are often no credit courses that have to be passed in order for students to move on in college.

  • JohnEngelman

    During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.            – George Orwell

  • JohnEngelman

    Editor’s Note: According to this website, the under-18 population of the Highland Park School District is at least 96 percent black.           

    The single best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percentage of the population that is black and Hispanic. 
                          
    – Jared Taylor, from “The Color of Crime”
    http://www.colorofcrime.com/colorofcrime2005.html     
                                
    According to Neighborhood Scout, Highland Park, Michigan has a crime index of one. Zero is most dangerous. 100 is safest. 
    http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/mi/highland-park/crime/

    • ncpride

      Gee John, are you actually quoting one of those brilliant White guys you swear are not discriminated against? Perhaps we should ask our very own Mr. Jared Taylor if he feels belittled, marginalized and discriminated against. Or is he not brilliant enough?

      • JohnEngelman

        I would not have quoted Jared Taylor if I did not respect him and his opinions. 

        • ncpride

          As do I, so am I to understand that he is indeed a brilliant White guy who is belittled, marginilized and discriminated against in your opinion?

          • JohnEngelman

            Brilliant whites like Jared Taylor do well in this country.  I never said they were “belittled, marginalized, and discriminated.” 

          • ncpride

            Of course you didn’t, because then you would have to admit you are wrong. Despite having ‘done well’ as you put it, brilliant White men like Taylor, Derbyshire and Buchanan (just to name a few) have indeed been belittled, marginalized, and discriminated against because they speak the truth and hold unpopular opinions, no matter how much you deny it.

          • JohnEngelman

            ncpride,
             
            Anyone who presents controversial opinions will be disputed, and sometimes insulted. Those who cannot bare this should remain silent. 
                      
            It happens to me here when I point to the genetic superiority of Orientals and Jews. 

          • ncpride

            I don’t see non-whites being disputed and insulted, but rather cheered on by the media and government, or met with utter silence when they present ‘controversial’ views.

    • anarchyst

      JohnEngelman–your jewish supremacist side is showing–

      It’s not IQ, but cultural and social insularity that makes the ashkenazi jews so successful.  The number one reason for Jewish “success” is that Jews look out for each other. It is much easier to get into any field of study or profession if “your own kind” is already there to “grease the skids” and make it easier for you to excel.  When you know the correct answers to the “test” and impart them to your offspring and social peers, success is just about guaranteed. 
      The  “freedom and individual responsibility and initiative” gene does not exist in anyone other than white Europeans. 
      Orientals exist under a “group consensus” arrangement where individual initiative is frowned upon. 
      Blacks thrive under s “strongman” dictatorial environment. 
      Jews thrive under a “kibbutz” system whice entails socialism and communism.

      Whites would do well to emulate Jewish cohesiveness and cultural insularity (without the communist aspect of jewry).It is a shame that many Jews fight against us whites when we attempt to emulate their cohesiveness and cultural insularity, the reasons for their (and potentially our) success.

      • JohnEngelman

        The academic, professional, and financial success of Jews and Orientals cannot be understood without consideration of superior average intelligence which is obvious by every objective criteria. 

  • 1proactive2

    Your schedule is very practical, sensible, and it would produce results.  That means it would never be implemented. If it were there would be riots in and around the schools with black parents leading the resulting carnage.  Then there would be charges of, you guessed it, “racism!” The MSM, the nation’s PC watchdogs, would go media guns ablazing on the side of the blacks.  
     
    The rules of any government education bureaucrat or political office holder in Michigan are: 
     
    “Thou shall not make black childen earn anything.”

    “Thou must be give black children whatever they want to include passing grades.”

    “Thou shall emphasize ‘self-esteem’ above all else”.

    Dr. Al, you’re on to something good, but sorry to say, it will work which means it will be ignored by the politicians and educrats.  Much too dangerous for them and their careers.    

  • The__Bobster
  • anarchyst

    There are houses in Highland Park for sale for as little as $300.00 .  Yes, that’s “three-hundred-dollars”.

    • JackKrak

      Yeah, true, but then you have to figure in the cost of building a 15 foot wall around it, installing state of the art security systems and video monitoring, a tunnel system for emergency escapes and ammunition storage, 24 hour protection and escort services from an armed team of ex-special forces guys, twin turret-mounted .50 calliber gun towers, weekly food supplies flown in by helicopter and maybe a mine field if you’re still not 100% sure that your new neighbors will leave you alone.

  • IKantunderstand

    My oh my, they certainly make it seem that poor old Highland Park is just a victim of economic circumstance. The first assembly line factory ever in the history of the world is a decaying jewel in this city run by people who would be comfortable in the Congo. Why this factory hasn’t been restored is beyond me. Oh, wait, of course I know, despite the fact that the majority of blacks who migrated here from Mississippi made more money on the assembly lines of Ford Motor Company than they ever could have made back south, that still did not equate to being educated. They do not appreciate history; indeed, they can’t, because they can’t read. Trust me, the city of Highland Park, was a pristine diadem. As per usual, in this poor benighted country, the Whites fled. And continue to do so. We are running out of places…

  • Rebelcelt

    Thanks Pablo,
    One cannot make a silk purse out of a sows’ ear.

  • JohnEngelman

    If the Southern Whites had been gifted with Northern industriousness they would have grown their own cotton and tobacco. The slave trade would never have existed. We would not have this problem. 

    • crystal evans

      The plantation owners wanted the slaves to work in the fields. Some slaves were taught skills such blacksmithing, carpentry, and sewing which enabled them to earn a living when slavery ended.The majority ended up working as sharecroppers. They were working on someone else’s land for a share of the crop at the end of the year. Most of the time, the ended up in debt because what they needed was purchased on credit or they were shortchanged by the property owner.

    • ncpride

      Because there was NO slavery in the North, right John?

      In the speech, Webster, like Pilate, washes his hands of anything to do with
      American slavery. “The domestic slavery of the Southern States I leave where I
      find it, — in the hands of their own governments. It is their affair, not
      mine.” This allows him to keep within the frame of the Constitution, and at the
      same time cleverly disavow more than a century and a half of New England slavery
      and slave-trading, which had financed the first families and institutions of his
      home district.

    • ncpride

      And for the record John, I don’t necessarily disagree with you. We should have found ways to manage crops better, and we made a terrible mistake bringing slaves here, but when I see we, I mean all Europeans… I don’t think it’s fair to lay the blame completely on the South.

      • JohnEngelman

        I think most of here on American Renaissance regret the slave trade. It was our original sin. The United States would be a far better country if it had never existed. 

      • crystal evans

        Who would have worked the fields if Africans had not been brought to the New World? The Indians did not have the capacity for this type of work. Indentured servants would easily run away and assimilate with the population.

  • crystal evans

    It is no secret that education majors are among those that do the poorest in college. They also have problems passing national standardized tests that are required in order to be credentialed.

  • crystal evans

    It is no secret that some of these so called “parents” use dope in front of their kids, go through men as often as most of us change our clothes, and is receiving all the benefits that befit a welfare queen, welfare for x number of kids. Foodstamps and Section 8 housing. Benefits that we as taxpayers pay for.

  • crystal evans

    The reason for integration was the blacks felt that the white schools were better equipped than the black schools because white neighborhoods paid more taxes than blacks did.  But they did not take into account that most schools were neighborhood schools, where a child had to live in that neighborhood to attend. The neighborhoods were not going to be integrated anytime soon. To overcome this barrier, busing was introduced but it was a failure because parents fought it and the kids that were bused were often not welcomed in their new schools.  School administrators came up with magnet schools, most of them located in minority neighborhoods. These magnet schools would concentrate on the arts, math and science, giving specialized training in these areas that were not available in any other public school. This was done to attract white students to these schools. In order to enter these schools, academic achievement was the main criteria plus a portion of the class would be based on affirmative action so that blacks and latinos would have access to these schools as well. Parents had to apply to the school or schools that they wanted and entry would be based upon a lottery that would be held to fill open spots in these schools. In large cities, this is how open spots in charter schools are filled.

  • Nothing can go wrong here with Tamasha Jones, Vice President for Academic Support, Midwest, on the job.
    http://www.leonagroup.com/executive_bio-15-5.htm 
    I am all for this though, get rid of the public school systems altogether. Just don’t these jokers run the show in “better” areas. Charter schools are the current black scam, their results are barely better when it comes to testing than the public schools.

  • crystal evans

    You know what I find hilarious is that for years, Rep Steve Cohen of Memphis, TN has been trying to join the Congressional Black Caucus but even though he represents a predominately black district, he was not allowed to join because he is white. The reason for black colleges is that until the 1960’s blacks were not allowed to attend white schools in the south. Until then, most southern universities were all white.

  • crystal evans

    How long ago was that?

  • Laager

    What a revelation!
    In the 1960s Dr HF Verwoerd, the Prime Minister of South Africa, proposed a similar tailor made education system for blacks in South Africa. It was called Bantu Education. The theory behind it was why put them through an academic educational system that they struggled to cope with and would never use. Educate them only for the jobs they were likely to fulfill.
    The entire western world, including the USA, cried FOUL! This is racial discrimination, oppression and denial of opportunity. The UN went so far as declaring it A Crime Against Humanity.

    And here you are 40 years later on the other side of the planet proposing exactly the same thing.
    Extraordinary!

    In the USA you have had 40 years of civil rights and in SA they have had 18 years of managing their own affairs and in both places the same poor results are being produced.
    There must be a lesson in this for those that are willing to look for it.