Ypsilanti High School left out of the equation of improvement

Every school has a percentile ranking in the state of Michigan to show whether a school is doing exceptional or needs work. High schools in and around Ypsilanti reported a variety of numbers in the school year ending with 2013.

Washtenaw Technical Middle College located at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor and Saline High School both have a percentile at 97 percent and above, proving that exceptional programs are in place at these schools. Getting further into Ypsilanti, Lincoln Senior High School has a percentile ranking of 58, which is showing middle performance, but still not the worst.

However, Ypsilanti High School has the percentile ranking of 6, which is extremely low. There are many factors involved in the decline of the school’s performance and this result has determined how college-ready these students are in the end.

In its last year of existence, Willow Run High School reported its percentile rank to be at a 5 in the year of 2013. The merge to save the Willow Run School District was underway at the time, and the two rivaling districts were about to be in the same school. The sports rivalry between the districts had lasted for over 70 years, and they had to accept their differences.

However, although both schools resided in the same city, their students were undergo different expectations when it came to the curriculum.

Ypsilanti Community High School now houses students from the merging of Willow Run and Ypsilanti School District. This number has continued to grow, beginning with 4,000 students back in 2013.

Being a predominantly African American school district, It has been brought to the attention by Congress that there is racial bias in school discipline. As a result of severe discipline that happens to students, they are removed from the learning environment and can no longer continue their education. Some do not return while others go to a local community college to earn their GED.

Another factor contributing to this issue is that Michigan is the 6th in ranking of homeless students in the country. Student homelessness is an issue that several people face across the world.

A study conducted by the University of Michigan released that the total of more than 36,000 Michigan students are facing the hardship of homelessness. The breakdown shows that Ypsilanti School District has a total of nine percent of their students in a state of homelessness. This is equivalent to 410 students. The southern side of Ypsilanti holds the Lincoln School District, and their percent of homeless students is at a six percent.

Several students in Ypsilanti School District receive food from the lunch program, and based off of the homeless numbers, this may be their only meal. There is a total of 2819 students eligible for free school lunch out of 3855 total students as of fall 2017. In Saline Areas Schools, only 548 students receive free lunch when there are 5254 students total in the district.

Money is rapidly moving out of the public school systems due to the enrollment in charter schools expanding tremendously in Ypsilanti. The numbers are clear because Ypsilanti schools have been losing nearly 300 students per year. The differences between a charter and public school are prominent in today’s education system. A charter school is an independent business that focuses on performance and challenging students. Income to operate charter schools comes from the state. On the contrary, public schools are funded from multiple areas which is the state, federal and city taxes. This can differ because since the locals are funding the schools, it can fluctuate between low and high income areas. Ypsilanti can be a low income area, depending on the side of the city. Saline Area Schools, however, is an exceptionally high income area.

This is where expectation differences come in due to the low and high income areas. Schools are providing what they can afford. As the charter school movement continues to grow and performance exceeds, local Ypsilanti Public Schools may see this decreasing enrollment continue rapidly.

As for the administration, looking at Michigan schools hasn’t been on Betsy DeVos’ agenda, according to her interview with 60 Minutes. As Michigan schools continue to be overlooked, the community continues to struggle as a whole.

 

 

Starbucks CEO plans to correct racial bias in stores

Two black men were arrested at a Starbucks location in Philadelphia after employees dialed 911 as they waited for a business meeting.

One man asked to use the restroom and was turned away because it was for paying customers only. An employee approached the men asking if they needed anything, but they were only there to conduct business.

Reports say that the two males arrived at 4:35 p.m. and the dispatch received a call at 4:37 p.m. The meeting was supposed to occur at 4:45 p.m.

They were not told what they were being arrested for.

Starbucks is a meeting space for many people, however Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were seen as trespassers.

Since then, Nelson and Robinson have had a meeting with the CEO of Starbucks to discuss what happened. Further detail about this meeting has not been provided.

All 8000 Starbucks stores will be closed on May 29 for racial bias training in efforts to prevent similar situations. The training is still more than a month away but it will consist of programs directed by members of organizations such as the NAACP.

Public reaction to the CEO wanting to “take action” to this issue has been positive. It only took the CEO one day to respond to the arrest that happened in one of his stores.

The employee that called 911 for the men to be arrested has left the company.

Southwest airlines takes another fall

Southwest airlines continues to strike out when it comes to having a reputation for safe flights. Between emergency landings, fights and passenger removals, Southwest airlines keeps making headlines.

On Apr. 17, a passenger died after a plane accident when Flight 1380 had an engine explode. The impact of the explosion and debris broke a passengers window and was constantly pulling her. The pressure was so strong that her torso was experiencing a continuous pull out of the window. Passengers rushed to help her, causing seven more injuries.

One day later, another Southwest plane’s engine exploded in Nashville, causing yet another emergency landing. Birds entered the engine, causing the explosion.

It was just two months ago that Southwest Airlines was making the headlines when a Muslim man was removed from his flight. He was talking in an Arabic language, which caused people to feel uncomfortable. There is a lawsuit undergo against the company.

Curation of Ypsilanti School District

The Ypsilanti School District is at an idle for improving the schools due to the lack of support from many different factors.

Many of these issues occurred when Willow Run and Ypsilanti School Districts combined. This is important to note because both schools were suffering with their percentile ranks both below 10.

One discovery that I made was noting how many people are actually homeless at the various high schools in the area. The number of students, quite high for the amount attending the school, shows a possible cause for low performance. When these students have no where to go after school, it is not possible to know how they are able to complete their homework.

Curation of Ann Arbor’s Greek Life

In the past, Ann Arbor has not always had the best name for Greek Life. There are many negatives that have led to today’s situation.

On Thursday, November 9, all Greek Life activities were suspended at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Hazing and sexual misconduct was occurring, even though both of those issues are illegal at the university. During the weekend of the football game versus Michigan State, there were “30 hospital transports.”

Now as of 2018, it is being required that if those that wish to participate in Greek Life, they must complete 12 credit hours at the University. This means that no freshmen would be allowed to be recruited until the winter semester. It is now an issue of how housing is going to be effected.

A meeting with a greek life advisor is now mandatory due to Ann Arbor’s campus, which is effective at every branch.

Where might I be?

As an active journalist, I focus on social media to reach out to people and find out what people want to know.

My Twitter (@bychanelstitt) is what I use the most to find out what is occurring right in the moment. I use it to keep up with television shows and to find out local news.

Connecting with family is one of the most important things to me and I do this through Facebook.

At times, I get creative and collaborate with my friends to make videos and post them on YouTube. My music playlists are always updated on Youtube and Soundcloud.

As I further my career, I have been building a portfolio to send to employers and potential internships. Including work samples is an important part of this in the journalism field.