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Our Kids Deserve Better

Whoops! We Lost Another One.

Last year at East Grand Rapids Public Schools, there were only 5 seventh-grade students receiving special education services.

Think about that for a Minute.

For the school year ended 2012, there was a total of 246 seventh-graders at EGR Middle School

Only 5 were receiving special education services. The year before (see report), this class had only 6.

Does that even seem plausible to you?

What Happened to that Student?

The year before, this class had 6 students receiving special ed services. Now, only 5. What happened to that student?

  • Did the parents finally give up fighting for special ed eligibility?
  • Did the parents run out of money to hire attorneys and advocates?
  • Did the family move to a district where services specified in the IEP actually get delivered?
  • Was the family lucky enough to get Schools of Choice in another district?
  • Was the student remarkably cured of his/her qualifying disabilities?

And Why Only 5 Special Ed Kids?

  • Weren’t there teacher referrals for special ed evaluations?
  • Weren’t there parent requests for special ed evaluations?
  • How many special ed evaluations were conducted for kids in this class?
  • Did absolutely none of the kids evaluated qualify for special ed services?

Maybe there weren’t many teacher referrals for special ed evaluations. If teachers perceive they have better chances of winning the lottery than getting a kid qualified for special education, why refer a kid for an evaluation?

Why Bother?

Even if a teacher or parent succeeds in getting a student qualified, what’s the likelihood the student will actually receive appropriate services?

One parent, whose child has a learning disability in math, was told the student would only receive extra help in math from Mrs. Pappas EVERY OTHER YEAR, because one year she was helping math students, and the next year she’d be helping reading students.


Recently, the middle school (and also Lakeside) was designated a Focus School, which the State defines as ”the ten percent of Michigan schools having the widest gap in student achievement between their lowest and highest performing students. These schools have the greatest issues in supporting their lowest achieving students, whether their overall performance is high or low.” Dr. Shubel, in her August 17, 2012 letter called the Focus Schools designations “unwarranted.”

If EGRPS were an Average District…

If East Grand Rapids were an average school district, it would have 32 seventh-graders receiving special education services. More than 6 times the current number of special ed students.

That’s right. We looked at all Michigan public schools districts with more than 1000 total students. (EGRPS has about 3000 students.) The average percentage of seventh-graders receiving special education services was 13%.

13% was the average. That’s not Detroit, Grand Rapids, or Flint, but the average.

What do you think about this? Any comments?

Here’s the Data:

7th Graders
Special Ed
7th Graders
Special Ed
East Grand Rapids Public Schools24652.0%
DeWitt Public Schools21983.7%
Armada Area Schools15785.1%
St. Joseph Public Schools204115.4%
Fennville Public Schools11975.9%
Northville Public Schools588366.1%
Gull Lake Community Schools226146.2%
Vicksburg Community Schools205136.3%
Goodrich Area Schools185126.5%
East Lansing School District269186.7%
Gladstone Area Schools11886.8%
St. Louis Public Schools8866.8%
Olivet Community Schools11786.8%
Melvindale-North Allen Park Schools204146.9%
Crestwood School District271197.0%
Rockford Public Schools599427.0%
Cheboygan Area Schools142107.0%
Hudsonville Public School District467337.1%
Houghton-Portage Township School District9877.1%
Ida Public School District12597.2%
Hartland Consolidated Schools476357.4%
Imlay City Community Schools188147.4%
Lakeview Public Schools (Macomb)332257.5%
Otsego Public Schools185147.6%
Thornapple Kellogg School District224177.6%
Clare Public Schools10587.6%
Mona Shores Public School District286227.7%
Novi Community School District503397.8%
Lakeshore School District (Berrien)227187.9%
Stockbridge Community Schools138118.0%
Sturgis Public Schools237198.0%
Buchanan Community Schools124108.1%
Elk Rapids Schools9988.1%
Forest Hills Public Schools810688.4%
Tawas Area Schools10798.4%
Cassopolis Public Schools8378.4%
Blissfield Community Schools10598.6%
Marysville Public Schools209188.6%
Ithaca Public Schools116108.6%
Richmond Community Schools139128.6%
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools15021308.7%
Manchester Community Schools8078.8%
Allen Park Public Schools296268.8%
Mattawan Consolidated School307278.8%
East China School District352318.8%
Spring Lake Public Schools193178.8%
Troy School District942848.9%
Milan Area Schools179168.9%
Negaunee Public Schools123118.9%
Springport Public Schools6769.0%
Warren Consolidated Schools11711059.0%
Fraser Public Schools423389.0%
Ravenna Public Schools8989.0%
Berrien Springs Public Schools163159.2%
Grand Blanc Community Schools728679.2%
Oxford Community Schools378359.3%
Portage Public Schools643609.3%
Lake Fenton Community Schools139139.4%
Farmington Public School District810769.4%
Romeo Community Schools415399.4%
Meridian Public Schools8589.4%
Laingsburg Community Schools8589.4%
St. Johns Public Schools274269.5%
Mason Consolidated Schools (Monroe)9499.6%
Williamston Community Schools167169.6%
Coopersville Area Public School District198199.6%
Ovid-Elsie Area Schools125129.6%
Parchment School District114119.6%
Kalkaska Public Schools114119.6%
Napoleon Community Schools114119.6%
Fitzgerald Public Schools207209.7%
Grass Lake Community Schools9399.7%
Schoolcraft Community Schools9399.7%
Three Rivers Community Schools175179.7%
Flat Rock Community Schools133139.8%
Yale Public Schools194199.8%
West Ottawa Public School District538539.9%
Ecorse Public Schools7179.9%
Comstock Park Public Schools172179.9%
Byron Center Public Schools263269.9%
Dearborn Heights School District #7263269.9%
School District of the City of Royal Oak3583610.1%
Lake Orion Community Schools6326410.1%
Bath Community Schools69710.1%
Chippewa Valley Schools128613110.2%
Byron Area Schools981010.2%
Charlotte Public Schools1962010.2%
Kenowa Hills Public Schools2352410.2%
Lowell Area Schools3033110.2%
Clio Area School District2532610.3%
Saranac Community Schools961010.4%
Brandon School District in the Counties of Oakland and Lapeer2392510.5%
Davison Community Schools4494710.5%
Durand Area Schools1141210.5%
Kelloggsville Public Schools1711810.5%
L'Anse Creuse Public Schools9129610.5%
Hopkins Public Schools1131210.6%
Portland Public Schools1411510.6%
Ann Arbor Public Schools118312610.7%
Saginaw Township Community Schools3944210.7%
Benzie County Central Schools1311410.7%
Utica Community Schools227124410.7%
Hamtramck, School District of the City of2042210.8%
Freeland Community School District1391510.8%
Jenison Public Schools3774110.9%
Walled Lake Consolidated Schools126613810.9%
Bedford Public Schools3924311.0%
South Redford School District2462711.0%
Riverview Community School District2092311.0%
Hartford Public Schools1091211.0%
Dearborn City School District142515711.0%
South Lyon Community Schools5626211.0%
Holt Public Schools4985511.0%
Cass City Public Schools72811.1%
Kingsley Area Schools1171311.1%
Lapeer Community Schools4565111.2%
Manistee Area Public Schools1251411.2%
Dundee Community Schools1251411.2%
Waterford School District8209211.2%
Oak Park, School District of the City of2492811.2%
Huron School District1862111.3%
Rochester Community School District117713311.3%
Corunna Public Schools1591811.3%
Marlette Community Schools971111.3%
Allendale Public Schools1832111.5%
Sandusky Community School District871011.5%
Tecumseh Public Schools2522911.5%
Berkley School District3564111.5%
Almont Community Schools1301511.5%
Galesburg-Augusta Community Schools861011.6%
Avondale School District2833311.7%
Midland Public Schools6167211.7%
Grandville Public Schools4405211.8%
Delton Kellogg Schools1011211.9%
Plainwell Community Schools1852211.9%
Allegan Public Schools2352811.9%
Flushing Community Schools3604311.9%
Caledonia Community Schools3263912.0%
Gaylord Community Schools2422912.0%
Kent City Community Schools1001212.0%
Coldwater Community Schools2082512.0%
Bangor Public Schools (Van Buren)911112.1%
Public Schools of Petoskey2232712.1%
Fenton Area Public Schools2563112.1%
Clarenceville School District1321612.1%
Frankenmuth School District74912.2%
Haslett Public Schools1882312.2%
Fowlerville Community Schools2533112.3%
Kalamazoo Public Schools95411712.3%
Trenton Public Schools2202712.3%
Adrian, School District of the City of2352912.3%
Eaton Rapids Public Schools1782212.4%
Jonesville Community Schools1131412.4%
Perry Public Schools1211512.4%
Public Schools of Calumet1211512.4%
Grosse Pointe Public Schools6608212.4%
Port Huron Area School District7299112.5%
East Jordan Public Schools881112.5%
Jefferson Schools (Monroe)1521912.5%
North Branch Area Schools1842312.5%
Breitung Township School District1271612.6%
Dexter Community School District2693412.6%
Northview Public Schools2613312.6%
Anchor Bay School District5056412.7%
Saline Area Schools3935012.7%
Grosse Ile Township Schools1652112.7%
St. Charles Community Schools941212.8%
Jackson Public Schools3684712.8%
Clinton Community Schools861112.8%
Homer Community School District861112.8%
Howell Public Schools6488312.8%
White Cloud Public Schools781012.8%
Saginaw, School District of the City of5527112.9%
Central Montcalm Public Schools1712212.9%
Grand Haven Area Public Schools4265512.9%
Niles Community Schools2783612.9%
Hemlock Public School District1081413.0%
Watervliet School District1001313.0%
Fruitport Community Schools2453213.1%
Hastings Area School District2222913.1%
Western School District2373113.1%
Escanaba Area Public Schools1822413.2%
Cadillac Area Public Schools1972613.2%
Traverse City Area Public Schools6939213.3%
Coloma Community Schools1431913.3%
Lamphere Public Schools2182913.3%
Alpena Public Schools3154213.3%
Sparta Area Schools2172913.4%
Ferndale Public Schools2092813.4%
School District of the City of Birmingham6789113.4%
Whitehall District Schools1492013.4%
Vassar Public Schools1041413.5%
Warren Woods Public Schools2453313.5%
Clarkston Community School District6689013.5%
Lawton Community School District891213.5%
Woodhaven-Brownstown School District3835213.6%
Huron Valley Schools79510813.6%
Wyandotte, School District of the City of3094213.6%
Brandywine Community Schools881213.6%
Bad Axe Public Schools881213.6%
Cedar Springs Public Schools2493413.7%
Bangor Township Schools1902613.7%
Brighton Area Schools4896713.7%
Farwell Area Schools1021413.7%
Hamilton Community Schools1892613.8%
West Branch-Rose City Area Schools1452013.8%
Livonia Public Schools School District118016313.8%
Belding Area School District1592213.8%
Sault Ste. Marie Area Schools1802513.9%
Madison School District (Lenawee)1151613.9%
Southfield Public School District6378914.0%
Pennfield Schools1502114.0%
Mason County Central Schools1071514.0%
Bloomfield Hills School District4035714.1%
Onsted Community Schools1271814.2%
Oakridge Public Schools1482114.2%
Kearsley Community School District2964214.2%
Dowagiac Union School District1692414.2%
Edwardsburg Public Schools2042914.2%
Linden Community Schools2323314.2%
Lakeview Sch. District (Calhoun)2954214.2%
Iron Mountain Public Schools771114.3%
Pinconning Area Schools1051514.3%
Boyne City Public Schools1051514.3%
Chesaning Union Schools1402014.3%
Algonac Community School District1472114.3%
Croswell-Lexington Community Schools1542214.3%
Greenville Public Schools3004314.3%
South Haven Public Schools1382014.5%
Lakeview Community Schools (Montcalm)1101614.5%
West Bloomfield School District4466514.6%
NICE Community School District821214.6%
Okemos Public Schools3004414.7%
Kentwood Public Schools6539614.7%
Mason Public Schools (Ingham)2313414.7%
Lakewood Public Schools1562314.7%
Crawford AuSable Schools1422114.8%
Airport Community Schools1962914.8%
Wayne-Westland Community School District86512814.8%
Lake Shore Public Schools (Macomb)2563814.8%
Bay City School District6049014.9%
Pinckney Community Schools3485214.9%
Montague Area Public Schools1071615.0%
Monroe Public Schools4346515.0%
Oscoda Area Schools1061615.1%
Vandercook Lake Public Schools1061615.1%
Fremont Public School District1592415.1%
Chippewa Hills School District1722615.1%
Carson City-Crystal Area Schools661015.2%
Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools4096215.2%
Godfrey-Lee Public Schools1251915.2%
Orchard View Schools1902915.3%
New Haven Community Schools1111715.3%
Zeeland Public Schools4116315.3%
Beecher Community School District911415.4%
Constantine Public School District1041615.4%
Swan Valley School District1302015.4%
Marshall Public Schools1822815.4%
Battle Creek Public Schools3505415.4%
Morley Stanwood Community Schools1161815.5%
Chelsea School District1933015.5%
Wyoming Public Schools3335215.6%
Hillsdale Community Schools1342115.7%
Northwest Community Schools2363715.7%
Gladwin Community Schools1402215.7%
Van Buren Public Schools4266715.7%
Millington Community Schools1081715.7%
Big Rapids Public Schools1462315.8%
Maple Valley Schools951515.8%
Lincoln Park, School District of the City of3655815.9%
Mt. Pleasant City School District2644215.9%
Hesperia Community Schools691115.9%
Hart Public School District941516.0%
Charlevoix Public Schools941516.0%
Grant Public School District1442316.0%
Newaygo Public School District1252016.0%
Essexville-Hampton Public Schools1502416.0%
Swartz Creek Community Schools3044916.1%
Comstock Public Schools1552516.1%
Clintondale Community Schools1362216.2%
Harper Woods, The School District of the City of1111816.2%
Bullock Creek School District1482416.2%
Birch Run Area Schools1482416.2%
Tri County Area Schools2033316.3%
Taylor School District5909616.3%
Ionia Public Schools2143516.4%
Capac Community Schools1101816.4%
East Detroit Public Schools2724516.5%
Romulus Community Schools2053416.6%
Union City Community Schools841416.7%
LakeVille Community School District1442416.7%
Center Line Public Schools1983316.7%
Paw Paw Public School District1793016.8%
School District of the City of Inkster1552616.8%
Lansing Public School District89115016.8%
Wayland Union Schools2253816.9%
Grand Ledge Public Schools4147016.9%
Owosso Public Schools2344017.1%
Michigan Center School District1051817.1%
Westwood Community School District1402417.1%
Standish-Sterling Community Schools1282217.2%
Menominee Area Public Schools1572717.2%
Flint, School District of the City of64511117.2%
Pontiac City School District3706417.3%
Reed City Area Public Schools1041817.3%
Godwin Heights Public Schools1562717.3%
Hazel Park, School District of the City of2524417.5%
Leslie Public Schools1202117.5%
Houghton Lake Community Schools1192117.6%
Lincoln Consolidated School District3406017.6%
Montrose Community Schools1071917.8%
Gibraltar School District2584617.8%
Mt. Morris Consolidated Schools1663018.1%
Benton Harbor Area Schools2524618.3%
Mount Clemens Community School District931718.3%
Holly Area School District2795118.3%
Clawson Public Schools1472718.4%
Waverly Community Schools2494618.5%
Reeths-Puffer Schools3246018.5%
Hanover-Horton School District1021918.6%
South Lake Schools1552918.7%
Southgate Community School District3737018.8%
Harper Creek Community Schools1813418.8%
Ludington Area School District1753318.9%
Shepherd Public Schools1532919.0%
Van Dyke Public Schools2164119.0%
Lake City Area School District791519.0%
Roseville Community Schools3957519.0%
Caro Community Schools1352619.3%
Marquette Area Public Schools1923719.3%
Bloomingdale Public School District1132219.5%
Holland City School District2825519.5%
Roscommon Area Public Schools1062119.8%
Detroit City School District461693620.3%
Bendle Public Schools881820.5%
Willow Run Community Schools1172420.5%
Columbia School District1122320.5%
East Jackson Community Schools1072220.6%
Garden City, School District of the City of3497220.6%
Muskegon, Public Schools of the City of3156520.6%
Shelby Public Schools1002121.0%
Whitmore Lake Public School District751621.3%
Grand Rapids Public Schools115324621.3%
Redford Union Schools, District No. 12525421.4%
Bridgeport-Spaulding Community School District1192621.8%
School District of Ypsilanti2425422.3%
Madison District Public Schools791822.8%
Harrison Community Schools1313123.7%
Gwinn Area Community Schools942324.5%
Muskegon Heights School District972424.7%
Beaverton Rural Schools1183025.4%
River Rouge, School District of the City of701825.7%
Alma Public Schools1514227.8%
Carrollton Public Schools1474127.9%
Whittemore-Prescott Area Schools641828.1%
Quincy Community Schools98*N/A
Bronson Community School District91*N/A
Fulton Schools65*N/A
* If the number of special ed students is less than 5, the State suppresses the actual number. The actual number could be anywhere from 0 to 4. This generally happens with small districts.
  • Michigan public school districts with more than 1000 students. n=358
  • School Year Ended: 2012
Data Sources


  1. Thank you for sharing this information. It is very discouraging & sad to see our district distort & ignore such important issues.
    Your message needs to be heard by more residents, alumni & media. I have provided my email & would be interested in providing some funds for you to send more mailers to community members so they can see what is really going on & why are district is sinking.

  2. Hats off to you!!! Thank You!

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