Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
May 19, 2013
Next week, my daughter Natalina will be graduating from Grandville High School with an excellent public education that has engaged her, challenged her, and prepared her for college and beyond. It has been an extraordinary return on value. The system has served her and her classmates well. A few weeks ago, the Buena Vista school district shut down and ended the school year early for some 400 students. The state and local school board dithered till last week and now have figured a stop-gap way to allow school to complete the year. The system has not served those students well.
Of course there are all whole host of social, political, and economic reasons for why all this is. Which is to say, there is no simple solution to “fixing” Michigan’s public education system. But maybe the first step is admitting that it is difficult and going from there.