Kalamazoo schools to file suit against state office

Plans for legal fight against school closings

KALAMAZOO, MICH. - The Kalamazoo and Saginaw public school districts, along with nine parent plaintiffs, will file a suit against the state's School Reform Office to halt the closures of two schools identified by the SRO as low performing.

On Thursday, Kalamazoo Superintendent Michael Rice told media that he does not believe the SRO operated legally or collegiately when it came to identifying which schools face closure. 

►Related: 38 Michigan schools could be slated for closure by state

"There is no addition by subtraction," Rice said, citing closing these schools would not benefit the community. 

Washington Writers' Academy and Woodward School for Research and Technology are ranked among the lowest-achieving schools in the state. 

Student parents have joined the districts in their complaint stating that standardized test scores should not be the only metric used when determining if a school is successful or not. The district claims the SRO only spent four hours at each school speaking with students, parents and staff.

►Related: State School Reform office makes site visit to Muskegon Heights Academy

Parents told WZZM 13 that the SRO asked leading questions.

"It was very one sided," said Jim Seaman, one of the parent plaintiffs. "They seemed like they were more interested in getting the answers to fit their processes rather than being able to answer our questions."

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