Highland Park Schools
|School District of the City of Highland Park
Highland Park Public Schools
Location in Wayne County and the state of Michigan
|Intermediate District||Wayne County RESA|
|• Emergency Manager||Jack Martin|
|• Total||969 students|
Highland Park Schools, officially the School District of the City of Highland Park, is a school district headquartered in Highland Park, Michigan, United States in Greater Detroit. The district serves the city of Highland Park, a total of 2.98 square miles (7.7 km2) of land.
As of August 2012, prior to the outsourcing of the remaining schools to the Leona Group, the district had three schools with almost 1,000 students. As of that year it was one of the lowest performing school districts in the State of Michigan. As of that year the district does not directly operate any schools. Instead it authorizes three charter school systems to operate, The Highland Park Public School Academy System (PreK-12) by Leona Group, Northpointe Academy (K-8), and George Washington Carver Academy (K-8). The three Leona Group schools, previously directly controlled by the district, operate under the name Highland Park Renaissance Academy.
In 1977, the current high school was built for the increasing numbers of students transferring from other school districts (particularly Detroit). Some students were motivated by Highland Park students' access to Highland Park Junior College, which was known to be selective. Jack Martin, who was the emergency manager of HPPS appointed by the state, said that it was a junior college "that was harder to get into than Wayne State."
With the loss of Chrysler and drug dealers coming into the area, the high school was a point of pride for the District and City as it remained a draw for black families seeking suburban-style education with out moving there.
Being in the 1990s, the district began its decline with the closing of its pool that state-champions used to train in. With students slowing began to leave. Cuts to programs both academic and after-school accrued yearly. In 1996, another hit came in the closing of Highland Park Community College. Deficit spending and deterioration of the buildings began setting in during the 2000s. Since 2007, student enrollment has dropped off quickly with families either leaving the District altogether or transfer the students elsewhere.
In 2003, 45% of the district's students did not live in Highland Park. This prevented significant closings of schools, prevented a state takeover, and added $2 million to the district's budget. Sally Howell, author of "Competing for Muslims: New Strategies for Urban Renewal in Detroit", wrote that "Many of the non-resident students who matriculated in Highland Park had serious disciplinary, academic, or personal problems."
Efforts to attract Arab and Muslim students
In 2005 the district made plans to attract Arab and Muslim students resident in Detroit and Hamtramck. Dr. Theresa Saunders, the superintendent of the school system, hired Yahya Alkebsi (Arabic: يحيى الكبسي), a Yemeni-American educator, as the district's Arab Muslim consultant. It added Arabic-speaking teachers, and began offering instruction in Arabic. Sallow Howell, author of "Competing for Muslims: New Strategies for Urban Renewal in Detroit", said that the district began treating "Muslim families more directly like consumers". Howell said that the district agreed "to segregate Muslim students from mainstream classrooms" but that the district routinely denied that this was the case.
In January 2012, the State of Michigan's review team issued a report recommending that the Governor appoint an emergency manager. The team found that the District had 3 or more years of deficit spending, failed to spend money according to grant and appropriations and failure to have policy and procedures in place. The School Board voted to challenge the appointment of an Emergency Manager. On Monday January 30, 2012, Emergency Manager Jack Martin appointed by Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder took control of the School District. The District is the second school district to fall under the direction of an Emergency Manager. The current buildings are highly deteriorating thus fourcing consideration of moving the current high school student to the previous high school and closing of Barber Focus Academy in February 2012. Additional three closed school that the District owns will be torn down in 2012. In July 2012, the Highland Park School District was reported to have one of the lowest literacy rates in the country with more than 90% of students failing college reading entrance exams, 97% failing math and 100% failing social studies. These dismal scores prompted a lawsuit by the ACLU against the state of Michigan.
In August 2012 the district outsourced all three schools to Leona Group LLC. The emergency manager, Joyce Parker, and her predecessor, Jack Martin, had determined that there was insufficient funding to continue direct operation of schools.
- Highland Park Renaissance Academy High School Campus (formerly Highland Park Community High School)
- Highland Park Renaissance Academy Barber Campus
- Highland Park Renaissance Academy Henry Ford Campus (formerly Henry Ford Academy and Henry Ford Elementary School)
- Cortland Elementary School
- Ferris Elementary School - Currently abandoned—slated to be razed in 2012.
- old Highland Park High School - Has had different usages since closing as a high school in 1978—could be reopened in 2012.
- Liberty Elementary School (formerly Liberty Focus Academy)
- Lincoln Avenue Elementary School - This school has been razed.
- Midland Elementary School - Currently abandoned—slated to be razed in 2012.
- Thompson Elementary School - Currently abandoned—slated to be razed in 2012.
- Willard Elementary School - This school has been razed.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (November 2012)|
- Telma Hopkins, actress
- Martha Scott, State Senator
- Reggie McKenzie, retired NFL player
- Ingrid Walton, better known as CoCo, WJLB morning co-host
- J. Douglas "Doug" Hollie, a 1980 graduate, retired NFL player
- Howell, Sally. "Competing for Muslims: New Strategies for Urban Renewal in Detroit". Located in: Shryock, Andrew (editor). Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend. Indiana University Press, June 30, 2010. ISBN 0253004543, 9780253004543.
- Foley, Aaron (February 2, 2012). "From state-of-the-art to state takeover: The rise and fall of Highland Park Public Schools". mlive.com. Retrieved 2 February 2012. (Archive)
- Home. (Archive) Highland Park Schools. September 29, 2008. Retrieved on November 5, 2012. "20 Bartlett Highland Park, MI 48203"
- Banchero, Stephanie and Matthew Dolan. "Michigan City Outsources All of Its Schools ." The Wall Street Journal. August 2, 2012. Retrieved on November 5, 2012.
- "School District of the City of Highland Park." Wayne County RESA. Retrieved on November 5, 2012.
- Howell, p. 219.
- Cecil, Angel. "HIGHLAND PARK SCHOOLS SEEK MORE ARAB, MUSLIM STUDENTS." Detroit Free Press. January 28, 2005. News p. B2. Retrieved on September 8, 2013. byline says: "HAMTRAMCK, DETROIT INTEND TO KEEP THEM"
- Howell, p. 220. "HPS, like a dozen or more local charter schools, sought to outmaneuver more experienced districts by[...] and agreeing to segregate Muslim students from mainstream classrooms, a policy that is routinely denied in Highland Park but is also very much on display in local charter schools."
- Howell, p. 223.
- "Panel recommends emergency manager for Highland Park School District". Detroit Free Press. January 4, 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "About Us." (Archive) Highland Park Renaissance Academy. Retrieved on November 5, 2012.
- Highland Park Renaissance Academy - Webpage for all Highland Park public schools, now operated by Leona Group
- Highland Park Schools (Archive)
- School District of the City of Highland Park - Wayne RESA