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Muskegon Heights students protest at board meeting, frustrated with managing firm New Paradigm for Education

High school students say they're missing out on an education because of curriculum and staffing issues in the district.

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. — Students enrolled in the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System say they are tired of the management in the district. High schoolers protested before Monday night's academy board meeting and spoke out during public comment. 

More than a dozen students called out New Paradigm for Education during the protest, which is the managing firm that oversees district operations. 

At the meeting, the academy board's attorney announced they are taking legal action against the district board for removing the academy board president from her position. Antonette Robinson held the position for eight days. 

The district board last week issued a vote of no confidence against the academy board as a corrective action plan to address curriculum and staffing issues was not completed.

The academy board said they couldn't do that without cooperation from New Paradigm. 

Both teachers and students expressed their frustration with the firm at the meeting. 

"My education isn't being what it's supposed to be," Junior Mikayla White says. "As an 11th grader, I should be learning how to write essays and figure out what to do for college, and I'm not getting that. I sit in school all day and do copy work."

"We're losing teachers because the work you send in is incomplete," Freshman Falon Hohl says. "They're having to use their paychecks to buy stuff that should've already been sent with it."

"When it comes to these babies and their education, books and supplies is all I need," Kathy Jackson, a teacher in the district, says. 

At the meeting, the academy board and New Paradigm agreed to do a work session to complete the corrective action plan. The board is expected to call a special meeting on Dec. 5.


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