Wednesday, January 30, 2008

From the Governor's State of the State

"...And, we will create new high school opportunities, particularly small high schools, to help the tens of thousands of students who now leave high school without a diploma stay on a path that leads to success in college and beyond." What was she talking about? Here is an excerpt from mlive:
Granholm pushes for tougher schools
Posted by Peter Luke Gazette News Service January 28, 2008 08:35AM
LANSING -- Gov. Jennifer Granholm will propose Tuesday a $300 million state fund to provide planning and startup cash for the creation of as many as 100 small high schools in Michigan.
The schools, designed to replace dysfunctional, industrial-model high schools plagued by high dropout rates and low academic achievement, would be:
• Proposed by local school districts and limited to 400 students or less on a general admission basis.
• Governed on site by a principal with increased autonomy to set budgets, establish curriculum, hire teaching staff and establish work rules.
• Possibly partnered with universities, businesses, foundations and nonprofit institutions to establish specialized fields of study.
• Based on an emerging national reform model that stresses rigorous course work, academic relevance to the real world, personal relationships between staff and students and individualized study plans.
While I certainly applaud the innovative idea of creating new schools to compete with existing schools that are failing, I must ask, why doesn't the Governor support Charter Schools? Four years ago, a retired businessman offered to build 15 new specialized high schools in Detroit, with his own money. But they could not be built unless the legislature, with the Governor's support, lifted the cap on charter schools in Detroit. There was no support or leadership from the Governor on getting this done.

I will have more to say on this in a future e-newsletter. If you would like to receive my free weekly newsletter via e-mail, just drop me a note at

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