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State releases list of failing schools

Posted: 6:26 PM, Sep 01, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-02 11:41:55Z

The state has released the list of the bottom 5% of schools. Schools that could be closed next year if they don't make some improvements.

With a new list of the state's failing schools there are a few noticeable absences.

Eastern, Cavanaugh, Riddle, Eastern, North, and Willow Schools are no longer on bottom 5% among the state.

But Attwood and Gardner in Lansing now are.

"This is the first time they've both been named," said Caleb Buhs, spokesperson for the Department of Technology, Management & Budget. "They will become part of the 2015 cohort of priority schools list."Even though those schools are off the failing list they still are priority schools and will be overseen by the School Reform Office.

"There essentially is no difference between the bottom 5% and those on the priority list" Buhs said. "They all get the same attention."

The only way to get off the list and be cleared of school closings is by meeting 3 standards.

Pass necessary exams to get off the bottom 5%. Meet math and reading requirements and have 95% of the district taking the M-STEP.

"We're not happy just moving them out of the bottom 5 because if you're still under 10% under 15% necessarily you're not in a great position," Buhs said.

But for Lansing District Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul the news none of her schools are closing is encouraging.

"I do have a little bit of relief. I actually feel a lot more encouraged because I think what it says to us is that what we have been doing is in the right direction," Caamal Canul said. "We're going in the right direction."

She tells me the district is already working harder to stay on the right path.

"We've also implemented pacing guides so that we have our curriculum completely paced in all of our grade levels and all of our content areas so that way kids know where they're suppose to be in the year," Caamal Canul said.

Since the district is still on the priority list it'll continue to get visits from the state.

"The goal is not to penalize school administrators or local school districts," Buhs said. "It's to incentivize help and we want to see the local leaders provide these uprisings in their schools."