The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Privatized School District:
“Chaos”

Feb 4, 2013

After six years of deficits and poor student performance, the Muskegon Heights Public Schools, a poor, overwhelmingly black district in western Michigan, was turned over last year to an Emergency Manager appointed by Governor Snyder.

That Emergency Manager, Don Weatherspoon, has no education training or experience. He promptly fired every single employee of the district and hired a for-profit charter school company, Mosaic, to run the newly recreated district.

Surprise, surprise: after one semester under Mosaic, the district is worse than ever.

Day one of the school year found the district in chaos, according to numerous parents, teachers and students. Schools started the year without basic supplies. High school students didn’t receive their schedules until several weeks after the year started – and then, the schedules often had wrong or missing classes.

More than one in four teachers hired by Mosaic have already quit halfway into the year, citing a poor school environment and an “at-will” employer who fires employees the minute they complain. Some math classes have already had several teachers, adding to the chaos. Student after student has reported they have learned nothing this year.

What does the Emergency Manager who fired everyone as soon as he started say now? Give it time! Be patient! “We’re building an airplane as we fly it,” Weatherspoon said.

Clearly Mosaic wasn’t brought in because it could offer any expertise in the building of a solid learning environment! No, the issue for the state was purely to turn public schools over to private profit – no matter the cost to working-class kids.