(Ferndale Schools, http://www.ferndaleschools.org/districtnews/documents/FridayNews_March4_2011.pdf)
Board Vice President Keith Warnick and Deputy Superintendent Henry Gold attended the National School Boards Association Federal Relations Network Conference in Washington D. C. The conference provides school districts with information regarding education related legislation, so they may effectively lobby elected representatives during the conference, as well throughout the year.
One of this year’s featured speakers was Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.
Keith Warnick had an opportunity, in open session, to ask Secretary Duncan a question about University High School being designated a persistently low performing school, based on State of Michigan criteria, despite its obvious success.
He provided Secretary Duncan with background on the successes of UHS, including its high graduation rate, 100% college admission rate and 85% college retention rate.
Duncan’s response was that a school such as UHS should be celebrated and requested that the district forward to him directly, via email, supporting information so that he can become more familiar with the issues that the Ferndale School District faces in its defense of an obviously successful high school.
Not only was Secretary Duncan’s response welcomed by Warnick and Gold, but the audience of nearly 1,000 people applauded University High School for its success and for Duncan’s response that it should be celebrated. This was Warnick’s sixth trip to Washington. He believes it is an invaluable experience to learn about new legislation, meet congressional decision makers and board members from across the country, and share his knowledge with his colleagues on the Board.
For more information about Ferndale Public Schools, check out their website at www.ferndaleschools.org