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District, Union teachers differ on GRPS plan

12:48 AM, Dec 4, 2012   |    comments
Grand Rapids Public Schools
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- While some teachers in Grand Rapids Public Schools may not approve of the district's revised transformation plan, many community members and leaders say it has their backing.

The Grand Rapids school board held a public hearing Monday night on the district's "Transformation Plan 2.0," which includes closing ten district schools, repurposing more school properties, reinvestment in several school programs, committment to the turnaround plans for underperforming schools.  The plan would also save nearly $5 million a year.

One controversial aspect of the plan is the effort to re-commit to the turnaround plan for Union High School.  It's intended to help the struggling school, which ranks among the lowest-performing in the state.  The turnaround plan calls for partnering with Teach for America, which could bring newly graduated teachers into the school.  The Union oppose the partnership, saying it would cause "upheaval" for the school and its students.  District leaders say Teach for America has had many successes in other struggling schools.

Several community leaders attended Monday night's meeting, speaking out in favor of the transformation plan.

The school board will hold a final vote on the plan at its December 17 meeting.

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