Schools dodge a bullet

By Charles Sercombe

Here’s one list Hamtramck Public Schools is glad to not be on.

The Michigan Department of Education recently released a list of the bottom 92 schools in the state.
Hamtramck Public Schools were nowhere near them.

Out of the 92 schools listed for having failing grades and being lowest achievers, 42 of the schools are located in Detroit. All of the schools are required to submit a plan on how they will improve or they face being taken over by the state.

Hamtramck’s lowest achiever is Holbrook Elementary School, which is one of the oldest school buildings in the state. The southend school has a number of challenges, school officials say.

The biggest hurdle for teachers and staff is the language barrier of the students. Many of the students come from homes where English is not the native language.

Superintendent Tom Niczay has high expectations for the school’s future uptick in grades. He said the school’s new principal, Russell Robinson, is someone who has a proven track record.

“He’s a turnaround expert,” Niczay said.

Although Niczay said he’s pleased with the district’s standing, he aims to shoot higher.

“We can do much better,” he said.

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