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Two examples of public schools that work
Two examples of public schools that work

I was a member of the town hall audience at WOTV 8 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and serve the Northview Public Schools community as superintendent of schools.  When the 15 year old high school student posed a question to Governor Snyder regarding public schools, his answer started with a comment I have heard him make many times - "public schools in Michigan are broken.  Its been about the adults and not the kids."  I continue to be troubled by his comments and I believe he is making a broad generalization based upon a smaller group of schools that may fall into the statements he makes.

Here are two examples of "public schools that are not broken" that happened today in Northview.  I hope they provide our Governor with some stories of public schools that work.  There are hundreds of examples in Northview alone.

  • Audra Whetstone's AP English class at Northview High School utilized accomplished adult writers to provide immediate and professional feedback on first draft essays today.  Six community members and the teachers participated.  I witnessed this first hand and Audra sent this email message at the close of the day - "Thank you for finding the time to pop into class today. What an awesome surprise!! I know that you had a full schedule, so it makes it that much more meaningful. This is definitely one of my favorite days in AP Language. The energy for writing that the Peninsula Writers bring and that the students absorb is incredible and so rewarding."  My question to our Governor and Legislators is "are your referencing Audra, the six community members, and the AP English students when you say public education is broken?"  

 

  • Today at Crossroads Middle School, 31 adults from the community gathered in the media center to receive information about mentoring students.  Another 40 adults will come together tomorrow for the same reason.  Over 80 adults mentor 120 of our students at least once a week.  Our own staff members, teachers and support staff alike, including the superintendent are involved.  My question to you is "are you talking about our adults when you say public education in Michigan is broken because its about the adults and not the kids?"

Senator Jansen and Representative MacGregor, our elected officials continue to say that schools in their legislative districts are working.  I wonder if Governor Snyder has talked with them.

Governor Snyder, how about taking the time to see a public school system that is working?  How about some "relentless positive action" and comments regarding public schools that work.   We always have room to improve as we are not perfect, however, we are not broken.  We are not about the adults.  We are about the kids and improving the quality of life in our community.  You have an open invitation to Northview.

Respectfully,

Mike Paskewicz