Michigan Special Education Administrator Driven by Student Improvement

By Christina A. Samuels — February 26, 2015 1 min read
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If you read Education Week or follow @educationweek on Twitter (and I encourage you to do both!) you have probably seen the rollout of our 2015 Leaders to Learn From special report this week. We’ve profiled 16 innovative administrators around the country who have implemented great ideas to improve their school districts.

I had the pleasure of writing about Kathy Fortino, who helped steer the struggling Muskegon Heights, Mich. school district to more stability for its students with disabilities. The district was taken over by a charter company in 2012, one of the first in the nation to undergo that radical method of school reform. Two years later the charter company ended its contract, and Muskegon Heights, which now has about about 900 students, became a self-managed charter. The district is still facing challenges, but with the help of Fortino and other administrators, is slowing righting the ship.

I encourage you to read Fortino’s story (as well as the articles about the other 15 administrators in this year’s Leaders “class.”) Also, enjoy this video that offers a hint of her personality and working style:

A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.