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6 Important Questions for Board Candidates

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in EGR District Performance | 5 comments

Dear Candidates: Your constituents are interested in the issues on this blog, which has had more than 1000 visits in the last 10 days. We’re trying to decide whom we should elect as the people’s representatives in governing the Administration. While there was a Candidates’ Forum, the Administration controlled what questions were asked and which questions were posed to whom. There were no unfiltered questions from constituents. Also, your allotted response time for answers was very short. So we’re inviting each of you to answer a few more questions to help voters make decisions.

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Are EGR School Improvement Plans Secret?

Posted by on Oct 17, 2012 in EGR District Performance | 0 comments

PA 25 requires each school district to complete, submit, and publish a District Improvement Plans and School Improvement Plans for each school within the district. A search of the EGRPS website for the District and School Improvement Plans yielded no results. In the interest of transparency, let alone compliance with the law, why doesn’t East Grand Rapids Public Schools publish both the District Improvement Plan and the individual School Improvement Plans on its website? Parents, for certain, would like to know how the District plans to improve things for their kids.

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Candidate and Forum Reviews

Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in EGR District Performance | 19 comments

Here’s what we learned at the EGR School Board Candidates’ Forum Tuesday October 9. A review of the Forum itself and the competing candidates, including Mark Hessler, Michelle Rabideau, Peter Ruppert, and Elizabeth Welch-Lykins

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Check Back for Candidate Reviews

Posted by on Oct 9, 2012 in EGR District Performance | 0 comments

The Candidates’ Forum was Tuesday night. A forum moderated by the School. We’ll be Posting Candidate Reviews. Based on what we saw and heard at the candidates’ forum, we’ll give you our opinions of the candidates and the forum itself in the next day or two. If you’re concerned about East Schools and the issues on this blog, you’ll want to check back for these. Sign up on the right-hand side of this page, and you’ll be automatically notified when we post those reviews. (Your email address will not be shared with anyone.)

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EGR Schools of Choice at New Highs

Posted by on Oct 8, 2012 in EGR District Performance | 8 comments

EGR residents choosing to switch to other public schools and private schools will likely eventually leave the district to pay lower taxes and be able to buy more house for less money. If we can’t attract and keep our own residents, property values will go down. You won’t need to live in East to go to East. We need to pay attention. People are voting with their feet. They’re increasingly choosing to go elsewhere.

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Nobody Cuts Special Ed Further, Faster than EGR

Posted by on Oct 7, 2012 in EGR Special Education Data, Featured | 3 comments

In its first five years, the Shubel administration cut K-12 special ed 45% to the lowest level of any public K-12 district in the state, from 9.78% to 5.38% of students. The graphic at the left is an accurate depiction of what’s happened. It’s no wonder the District earned Focus School designations.

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Tests Show 1 in 3 EGR Students Failing Math

Posted by on Sep 27, 2012 in EGR District Performance, Featured | 6 comments

One in three East Grand Rapids Schools students aren’t proficient in math. These aren’t special ed results; these reflect the entire district. It’s time to stop talking about a “tradition of excellence.” It’s time to start delivering it.

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Science, Soc. Studies EGR MEAP Scores Low, Trending Down

Posted by on Sep 26, 2012 in EGR District Performance | 0 comments

While Math and Reading MEAP proficiency rates for East Grand Rapids Public Schools are higher, there’s more to a good education than math and reading; those are the basics. As kids prepare for college, they need to excel in other, focused subject areas as well. The scores in those other areas aren’t great—and they’re trending down.

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Kent ISD Defends EGR Slashing Special Ed.
Do the Reasons Make Sense to You?

Posted by on Sep 25, 2012 in EGR Special Education Data | 0 comments

East Grand Rapids Public Schools Special Education has been slashed by 45% in five years, to the lowest level of any district in the state, the question is whether EGR public schools is failing to identify and serve kids that need special education services. The other big question: Is anyone really watching what’s happening? Kent ISD Special Education Director, Laurie VanderPloeg, defends the district’s practices. Here are her three proof points. You decide.

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East Grand Rapids High School Down
263 Notches in National Rankings

Posted by on Sep 14, 2012 in EGR District Performance | 0 comments

EGR High School slipped 263 notches in the Newsweek’s 2012 national rankings of the best high schools. East Grand Rapids High School also slid several notches among ranked Michigan schools.

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98% College-Bound. Only 43% College-Ready.

Posted by on Sep 13, 2012 in EGR District Performance, Featured | 2 comments

While parents’ influence and income mean 98% of EGR kids are college-bound, ACT scores show only 43% of EGR kids are college-ready. EGR’s college-readiness hasn’t improved over what it was five years ago. Yet, Forest Hills moved 16 points in a single year.

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Real Problems or Creative Accounting.
The True Cost of Going to EGR Schools.

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012 in Finance | 0 comments

EGRPS cites $3.5 million in reductions, yet the Mackinac Center contends the district budget has grown $4.3 million during the same time.

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EGR: Lowest Middle School Special Ed in State.
Neglect earns Focus School Designations.

Posted by on Aug 23, 2012 in EGR Special Education Data, Featured | 1 comment

EGRPS’ neglect of lower performing students recently earned it “Focus School” designations for both the Middle School and Lakeside Elementary. Administration responds with hubris.

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How You Can Help

Posted by on Aug 8, 2012 in EGR Special Education Data, Featured | 0 comments

If the data and information on this site concerns you, you can do something about—in as little as five minutes. Please get involved. Please take 5 minutes to make a difference in the lives of our kids and the future of our district. Read this post for several ways you can get involved today.

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Want the Big Picture?
View this InfoGraphic.

Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 in EGR Special Education Data, Featured | 0 comments

Want the big picture? Here it is. An InfoGraphic showing the dramatic, systematic erosion of special education at East Grand Rapids Public Schools, including proposed cuts for next year. Click “Read More” to learn more and see the larger, full-detail InfoGraphic.

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EGR Special Education Secret to Minimizing Learning Disabled Kids

Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 in EGR Special Education Data, Featured | 0 comments

In 2011, the district had the lowest number of identified LD kids of any K-12 public school in MI. This year it’s even lower. EGRPS says they follow the law. But did you know the law says the district gets to write its own rules as to who qualifies? Check out their “secret” to minimizing LD kids.

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Huge Special Education Disparity Between EGRPS and Other KISD Public Schools

Posted by on Apr 12, 2012 in EGR Special Education Data, Featured | 2 comments

Is special ed that different in other nearby school districts? EGR parents of special needs kids already know there’s a significant difference. But here are some hard data that shows just how different EGR is when it comes to identifying special ed kids. Take a look.

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