No Notice, No Goodbyes: A Southfield School’s Abrupt Closing Strands 90 Detroit Families

More than a third of their students–36.7 percent, to be precise– were from Detroit. They crossed borders in search of something better, only to be walked out on by administration and teachers.

The news reported today: After promising to keep the school open until the end of the school year Taylor International Charter School’s entire staff walked out. Needless to say, students and families are distraught.

And the harsher reality is that 90 of these students had already left Detroit’s hectic school environment hoping to find a secure, decent education across the city line.

The school is located in Southfield, Michigan, a suburb right across Detroit’s northern boundary, Eight Mile Road. Promising everything any parent could want without moving out of the city: Transportation, before- and after-care and smaller classrooms are all listed on their inviting website.

However, once again Detroit student have been failed. Don’t get me wrong, all of the school’s students and their families are affected by this closure, but the reality is that Detroit students are afraid to return and yet now grow even more afraid to go across borders.

On top of fear, there’s the practicalities. Who will send these students’ transcripts to new schools? Who will address parents’ concerns? Will students’ grades suffer, with classes ending with no notice? Most unanswerable: When does this stop?

If student success is a school’s primary focus, why do they keep failing the children? Why not have transition plans?

Some tend to think that Michigan charter schools are out performing local public schools. They don’t, and can’t, when they open and close like this. And it’s only getting worse. Charters elsewhere may be a saving grace to some low-income families, but here they fail our families too. Only a few slaps on the wrist when they close shop and seek out new buildings to occupy under new aliases and with new websites and cute uniforms luring in more victims.

Not fair!

My heart goes out to these families who keep getting shuffled around because schools have no accountability once they close. Ninety children may seem like a small number but I guarantee you that there will be more if no one holds all schools accountable.


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