The governor-appointed emergency manager who was put in charge of Muskegon Heights public schools decided to privatize the schools, fire the teachers, and hire a for-profit charter operator, Mosaica.
The governor and his rightwing allies are certain that a for-profit corporation will succeed where public education failed. You might say that Govermor Rick Snyder is following Andy Smarick’s belief that you can’t improve low-performing schools, you have to close them down and start over with new management.
So far, the Muskegon Heights takeover has been a disaster. Michigan Public Radio has been running a series about Muskegon Heights and learned that at least 25% of the newly hired staff left before the end of the first semester. The students are reacting to the turmoil by constantly testing their teachers, which makes it harder for the teachers to control their classes and harder for students to learn, as teachers come and go.
The company claims it had only 60 days to start up the school and that it hired the “best” teachers. But more likely the best teachers were not applying for a job in an impoverished district that pays $35,000 a year.