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Original article URL: http://bridgemi.com/2014/04/albion-high-slighted-in-bridge-article/

Guest commentary

Albion High slighted in Bridge article

Ashlin Tabiadon

Ashlin Tabiadon

As a graduate from Albion High School who has gone on to pursue an education at Albion College and made Dean’s list first semester, I am highly offended by some of the comments made in Bridge’s article, “13 Miles to Marshall,” on the move Albion High students had to make this year to Marshall High School. I can understand what was trying to be accomplished by these articles, however I am not fond of the ways these goals were reached.

If we are all going to be stuck in a world where everyone has to point out a difference in money and skin color, we might as well be stuck in the past, not learning from the mistakes our ancestors made.

[Quoting from the Bridge article] “Our Albion kids have more hurdles, whether it be academic or economic. Our rich Marshall kids I guarantee have more resources than our Albion kids. Why wouldn’t they have more success?” This is probably one of the pieces that bothered me the most. No teacher in any school should be teaching with this attitude. Why does everyone have to point out money differences? Or why does that mean that your kids get to be more successful? I was born and raised in Albion, and went to Albion schools my whole life. I would like to think that I am just as successful as the students that graduated from Marshall in the Class of 2013.

“But they can’t know what they haven’t been taught.” I know that people cannot know what they haven’t been taught, but do not tell me that my teachers in school did not teach me anything! I worked my butt off to accomplish the things that I did in school, my GPA, getting accepted to all of the colleges that I did, BEING A PART OF THE CLASS THAT RAISED THE ACT SCORES BY TWO WHOLE POINTS FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR!

None of that would have been possible if my teachers did not teach me anything. So don’t tell me they did not do their job! In some of the classes that I have taken at Albion College so far, I have known things that my professors are talking about because of my previous teachers. Some of the students in those same classes struggled with the things that I already knew from my high school education.

“You become what people expect of you.” Are you telling me that my teachers never had any expectations for me, or the other students?! I can guarantee you that my teachers had higher expectations of me than my parents did at times! My teachers STILL have expectations for me, and I am not even in their classrooms anymore!

Yes, there may only be one Albion student in an AP course at Marshall High this year. Maybe that is because there were no classes offered at times or to students that wanted to take AP courses. I know for a fact that there are many students who are signing up for all the AP classes they can take next year. Where is that information?

“Closing a town’s high school, and busing more than 150 poor, mostly black kids to a middle-class, white school…..” Seriously, who said it was okay to say this?! Why must we always focus on color and money? Can we just say busing more than 150 ALBION STUDENTS? Instead they have to be “poor, mostly black kids.”

“Last spring, before the merger, the staging of “Happily Never After” at Albion High School involved a couple of chairs and a canvas painted like a brick wall.” Is there something wrong with putting on a small production? If I remember right this whole thing is about the students’ rights? I mean that is what everyone is saying, well I was in “Happily Never After” and we had such an awesome time putting that on. Just because it is bigger does not make it better.

“Differences extended from the dance floor to the school parking lot. Many Marshall Juniors and Seniors have their own cars, parking in the student lot on the east side of school. Most Albion students ride buses that pull up on the school’s south side – separate entrances not by color, but by income.” Again, who said this was okay? So they go in different doors, does that REALLY make a difference?! NO! Also, I know there are a lot of schools that have buses drop off at a different door than the one by the student parking lot. I am sure this helps cut down on a flood of students coming in one door. It has nothing to do with income!

Ultimately, I found the article to be very biased and it displayed a lot of details that have really hurt our community. The poor reporting displayed in “13 Miles” was uncalled for and far from the truth. I hope you will consider running another article that has been researched better and displays the truth. There should be no twisting people’s words or making them seem biased or racist, and there should be no need to say “poor, mostly black kids,” or “rich, white Marshall kids.”

They are all students who want a good education, and to make lifelong friends.

Ashlin Tabiadon was born and raised in Albion and was a member of the last graduating class from Albion High School (Class of 2013). She is finishing her first year at Albion College.

Editor’s note: Bridge’s March 25, 2014 article, “13 Miles to Marshall,” provides a detailed chronicle of the merger this school year of high school students in Marshall and Albion. The consolidation of the two schools is being closely watched as districts across the state look to save money and improve education. The views expressed in the article reflect the sentiments of the students, teachers, parents and school administrators interviewed. Those interviews were supplemented by data from state and federal sources and the two school districts.

Bridge welcomes guest columns from a diverse range of people on issues relating to Michigan and its future. The views and assertions of these writers do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan.

58 comments from Bridge readers.Add mine!

  1. Cris Doby

    Well said!

  2. Rebecca

    Very well said and the editors note does not dspute the sentiments of the alumni. Too bad the writer focused on color and wealth. There has to be more in 2014!

  3. Mark

    Thank you Ashlin for making the case of taking responsibility for your own future regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in. If more people had that attitude that would eliminate many problems we see in our society today.

    1. LeAnne

      Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  4. anonymous

    The “13 Miles to Marshall” series of articles introduced many readers to an evolving situation that is under the microscope around the State with regard to school and/or district consolidation. The differences in income, opportunity, and achievement (all highly positively correlated based on recent education articles) are essential to the articles. I also believe the racial components were important as well, particularly for those scrutinizing the Albion-Marshall situation for possible changes to their school/district. What I took from the series is that racial bias is primarily an issue among the parents, not the students. That message should be included. I believe that the original series was well-researched. Ms. Tabiadon’s comments seem to be a mix of sour grapes and of those made by someone that didn’t fully understand the original articles. I realize that it sounds terribly harsh, but her lack of understanding can (and will) be interpreted by some as evidence of an Albion education.

    1. been around

      Anonymous,

      I was with you until the last two sentences. The author of this article was not indulging in sour grapes, but was being defensive as could be expected. As a recent AHS graduate and without the benefit of the perspective that comes with age and experience she was reacting viscerally to what she undoubtedly perceived as an attack on her former school. Personally attacking this young woman’s intelligence as you did in the last sentence can (and will) be interpreted by some as evidence that you are a colossal jerk.

      1. anonymous

        Been Around: Point taken. My last two sentences, ala Ms. Tabiadon’s article, need not have been written. In her case one might expect a high level of emotion. In my case the most likely attribution is that I’m a colossal jerk. I hope that the latter sentences you’ve pointed out do not significantly diminish the comments that preceded them.

    2. Chuck Fellows

      The lack of undestanding is reflected in the sincere series of articles that are rooted in a cultural paradigm dating from the program “Father Knows Best”.

      There is a system problem that our culture is unable to see since it is so invested in the 200 year old process we call “education”. Just because we believe it worked for us (how do you know it did?) does not mean it will work for our children. Follow the money.

      You can start to adjust your paradigm by watching “How Schools are Killing Creativity” by Ken Robinson on http://www.ted.com. To get a teacher’s perspective watch “What Teachers Make” by Taylor Mali at the same web site.

  5. jenny

    NOW THAT IS JOURNALISM! Thanks for writing this from someone’s view that knows first hand. I am proud of you Ashlin. Very proud.

  6. Jenny

    @ anonymous. Wow! Your comments are quite degrading as well. Evidence of an Albion education comment is going too far. Geez people, can you only get a good education from anyplace BUT Albion? And we shake our heads in wonder at why this society is so screwed up.

    1. anonymous

      Jenny: How are my previous comments degrading? From my perspective we have a series of well-done articles introducing the Albion-Marshall situation, underscored by comments from decision makers there indicating that they feel the former Albion students will be exposed to greater educational opportunities at Marshall. And we have a recent Albion graduate flaunting both her pride in being an Albion graduate and her lack of understanding of the scope and aim of the articles. Ms. Tabiadon has every right to voice her opinions and I commend her for doing so. However, I don’t agree with her reasoning. She wants to strip much of the important content from the original articles. I prefaced my Albion education comment by noting that it sounds terribly harsh, but that doesn’t change my opinion that Ms. Tabiadon’s comments can be interpreted to support the original articles. In short, her comments are a poorly reasoned response and do not provide the positive portrayal of an Albion eduction which she intends to show. Is that degrading? I don’t believe so, but perhaps you do. Your comment regarding only getting a good education form anyplace but Albion is unfounded. Such was neither implied nor should be inferred. We’re not discussing “anyplace,” we’re discussing the relative merits of Albion and Marshall. The results of their decisions and experiences may be a strong influence on the future actions of others.

      1. Race to the Top

        Anonymous: You seem like an intelligent person (maybe even a college professor), but the fact that you have to ask “How are my previous comments degrading?” suggests that you are lacking in empathy. Ashlin lived through the struggle to close the school she loved last year and is obviously still emotional about it. In response you chose to stress your point that she missed the purpose of the article, and degrade her education and accomplishments. You do realize that she is 19 years old right? I hope you are proud of yourself for your comment, but to most people you are a “colossal jerk.”
        P.S. Albion Public Schools does not need you as a PR person, so like my Albion educated mother would say “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

        1. anonymous

          Race to the Top: OK, I’m a colossal jerk who has not displayed the level of empathy you prefer. I see neither as being relevant here. There is an oft-used phrase most are familiar with called “real world.” This is the real world. Displaying a lack of critical reasoning, as I believe that Ms. Tabiadon has done, is not a path to success. What I find more distressing than her article is the proliferation of “right on” type of comments which positively reinforce that emotion and typing in capital letters are more important than understanding, reasoning and objective thinking. I do believe that my reaction to this article better serves the author than pats on the back do. Your comment that I’ve degraded her accomplishments is unfounded. I don’t recall discussing the author’s accomplishments. I also don’t believe that I’ve degraded her education. My comment was, “I realize that it sounds terribly harsh, but her lack of understanding can (and will) be interpreted by some as evidence of an Albion education.” That’s an accurate statement. It could have been worded differently, but it’s nonetheless accurate. I didn’t say that I’m judging her education. I’m not. I’m judging her article. If this article came to me as an editor I would have told the author that her emotional and, in my opinion, not well-formulated response could be used against her by those with a differing opinion. Is that more palatable for you? It’s simply a different choice of words to communicate what I originally stated. This isn’t a case where the author poorly reasoned why she supports one baseball team over another. She’s attempting to defend her education and, in my opinion, has done so poorly. Do you see the difference? Getting back to empathy, it certainly has its place but I view this as a critical thinking forum and as such empathy isn’t a high priority. As for the adage of not saying anything at all, that is as great a disservice to the author as the emotional “right on” responses are. No need for a response to the following, but consider this: Are you upset with me because I’m a colossal jerk who has not displayed the level of empathy you prefer or are you upset (with me?) because you fundamentally agree with some/most/all of my points and it troubles you to be like-minded with a colossal jerk who has not displayed the level of empathy you prefer?

          1. A

            I’m the AP English student who dropped the class in late March. Not because it was too challenging for me but because I had a busy schedule and I knew I couldn’t commit to the upcoming projects. I had grades similar to my Marshall classmates and I even asked to get back into the class about 2 weeks after switching. I hate the fact that marshall and albion are being categorized. Some people wouldn’t understand the emotions that come along with a situation like this. I sit in my classes and see everyone getting along. As an Albion student graduating from Marshall this year I’m hoping that the classes under the graduating class will have as much success as we’ve had, So In the next 5 years no one will remember the worries of the two schools merging, but will congratulate our success because after all of our hard work, we deserve it.

          2. A

            My previous comment was not towards you. It’s something meant to be said as my personal opinion. My phone clearly clicked something it wasn’t supposed to.

  7. Dean Smith

    Like most of us who graduated from AHS and grew up in Albion I also regret this consolidation. There are new and innovating approaches to education today focusing on the full spectrum of today’s life and needs. Have we really focused on the creative and flexible approaches to education as we should be doing? We could have created a different curriculum and organization to implement it. Money has gotten to be the tale that wags the dog and I am not convinced that this is the way we should cave into especially when it comes to education. We have sold the soul of our community.
    Dean S.

    1. been around

      Dean,

      The soul of the community of Albion did not reside in the high school. Closing AHS, while a blow to community pride, was absolutely necessary. In 1975, over 1,200 students attended AHS. In 2013 that figure was 170 and contrary to the opinions of some former students, parents, and teachers the overwhelming majority of those were not receiving a high quality academic education. If the community had been willing to accept the changes necessary to save the high school before 2013 perhaps it would still be open, but due to the divisions within the community that could not or did not happen. The closing of AHS is a wake-up call to all of Albion. Raise the expectations for teacher performance, student behavior and academic achievement or the State will be closing down the entire school system just as it did with Inkster and Buena Vista. You can’t have a school without students and if the K-8 component doesn’t improve quickly more people will be voting with their feet and sending their elementary children to other schools.

      1. S. Michelle

        Been Around, Do you have children attending Albion Public, and if so, Do you feel education your child is receiving is inadequate??? My 9 year old is LOVING school, and my 4 year old will be starting g school soon. I personally know things are not in that bad of a situation that we as parents are going to send our kids elsewhere. After attending our school carnival last night, I feel our community support has began to swell again, the kids were well behaved and so many parents were there all happy with the turn out!!!! Go Albion!!!

        1. been around

          I am glad that your 9 year old loves school. I hope that every K-8 student attending Albion schools feels the same. This is not, however, the measuring stick that is used by the State of Michigan to determine if a school is succeeding or failing. Nor is it the standard used by many parents to decide if their child will attend said school. The wake-up call I refer to for Albion is that the community doesn’t set the academic standards for its children, the State of Michigan does. From the response to the closing of AHS it is obvious that most students and their parents/guardians preferred for it to stay open. They liked their school just the way it was, but AHS was not meeting the academic needs of its students so it was closed. Having 10 valedictorians and 10 salutatorians may have made people feel good, but it didn’t indicate anyone had received a high quality education. Grade inflation and low expectations may make everyone feel good for four years, but it does not prepare students for higher education or for the expectations people will have for them after high school. If the K-8 system that now exists in Albion proceeds along the same path that the high school did very soon there will not be a public school system in Albion. I hope that parents like you will hold the administration and teachers accountable for making sure that the standards for student behavior and academic achievement are a priority, not whether or not your children like going to school. If your children never complain that school is too hard then that probably means not much is being expected of them.

    2. Chuck Fellows

      Amen

  8. Jimmy

    I graduated from AHS in 2002. I got a great education from there. Albion students will never get the same treatment at Marshall schools. This was a big mistake to put two schools togather that has never got along. When the closed the high school down the kids should have went to concord or springport.

    1. Jared

      Negative Jimmy Riddle, serious? I started my freshmen year at Concord and have never seen so much hatred, ignorance, and racism. As a new student people would come up and talk to me. I told them I was from Albion and they turned their noses up with disgust. Majority of them never talked to me again. I’m white and we are talking about 2000-2001. Concord and Spring port what a joke.

  9. Emily

    Very well said! As a senior at MHS, it’s disgusting to see that someone would write an article. The buses unload at those doors because of safety reasons. Personally, if I came from Albion I’d ride the bus because there’s no point in wasting my gas. But I live 5 minutes from school so there’s no point to be the first on my bus just to go about a mile and a half. Everyone thinks different about the whole situation. Personally, I’m not rich my dad is a truck driver. Gone Monday through as late as Saturday evening. My sister and I both work. Along with my mom. We all have our chores we do feeding cattle everyday. Anywhere you go you will see snotty people, and I’m not saying there aren’t those type of people here. Also, I’ve attended Marshall all 18 years of my life and personally my test scores aren’t anywhere where they should be. Scoring in my lowest of my class on my act. I was tested for reading disabilities in 6th grade but I’m what they called border line so there was nothing they could do for me. I honestly am so blessed that this merge took place, I don’t care what so ever if it’s because of money or what not but I’ve learned so much from my new classmates and I wouldn’t trade the friendships I made for anything!!! Thank you for bringing some what of a positive to this nightmare! AHS+MHS= a new beginning!!!

  10. Jimmy

    Jared do you think that you could have went to Marshall and been treated like one of them or would you have been treated like you was a outsider.

    1. been around

      Jimmy,

      I appreciate your loyalty to AHS, but the sentence structure, grammar, and capitalization in both of your posts indicates that you did not receive a quality academic education, especially in Language Arts.

    2. Jared

      I can only speculate due to the history of our two towns of whether I would have been excepted there. Marshall is more upper class then Concord, and the school is probably 5 times as big so I’d imagine it would be less cliquey, less farmers, which could lead to being accepted more easily. The only other thing I could compare would be my brother went to Marshall and I don’t think he had any problems. I also had a sister that attended Concord her whole life so go figure. I loved Albion from elementary to graduation. Had amazing teachers all the way in many subjects (except Math just being honest). It’s sad Albion closed but Marshall I’m sure is the best place for Albion students because it definitely wouldn’t be Concord, Homer, or Springport. It’s really sad that those 3 schools pick up and drop off bus loads of Albion kids to the bowling alley and churches.

    3. Jared

      I can only speculate due to the history of our two towns of whether I would have been excepted there. Marshall is more upper class then Concord, and the school is probably 5 times as big so I’d imagine it would be less cliquey, less farmers, which could lead to being accepted more easily. The only other thing I could compare would be my brother went to Marshall and I don’t think he had any problems. I also had a sister that attended Concord her whole life so go figure. I loved Albion from elementary to graduation. Had amazing teachers all the way in many subjects (except Math just being honest). It’s sad Albion closed but Marshall I’m sure is the best place for Albion students because it definitely wouldn’t be Concord, Homer, or Springport. It’s really sad that those 3 schools pick up and drop off bus loads of Albion kids to the bowling alley and churches.

  11. Suzy

    Although the “13 Miles…” article just makes me ill, I was glad to see that someone has FINALLY brought to the surface that the School of Choice law has been a MAJOR contributor to this epidemic!! My question then is, ‘WHY HASN’T SOMEONE DONE SOMETHING TO TRY TO CHANGE IT!?!?!?!?” Kids should be able to attend school in the community in which they live. This creates Community Pride and Respect. When there was no “School of Choice” law, your option was to go to school in your community, pay tuition to a school of your choice or move. Albion was once a GREAT CITY, Full of Life and Prosperity…but many factors over the years have led to it’s decline…which is heartbreaking. But instead of wallowing in your own self pity, step up and start contacting the Educators and Legislators that can work to change this “law” and work to bring your community back to what it should be!!

    1. Zeke Jennings

      “Kids should be able to attend school in the community in which they live.”

      They can.

    2. been around

      Suzy,

      Students can attend school in the community in which they live. Albion parents for years have been choosing to send their children to other schools for many reasons. The school choice option is not going away, because parents want that option. The students of AHS at one time did receive a high quality education, but those days are long gone. Students and their parents knew this which is why so many chose to enroll in other school districts during the last decade. Why should a parent be required to send their child to a failing school when there are academically successful schools just down the road? Albion was once a great small town in many ways. It will never be the town it was for the same reason Detroit, Saginaw, and Flint will never be. Its people have abandoned it. Albion’s population is half of what it was 40 years ago. The Malleable (and all of its unskilled labor opportunities) isn’t coming back. People move to where the jobs are and where they believe their children will be safe (relatively speaking). In order for Albion to be that kind of place will require the type of radical honesty and courage rarely found. Those of us who lived in Albion during its heyday can cherish the memories, but it is wishful thinking to believe those days are going to return. We can mourn the loss of AHS, but broken schools are only a sign of a broken community. The community must fix itself before there will be a high school created that will be worthy of anyone’s children.

    3. anonymous

      Suzy: Yes, school of choice is a major contributor to this epidemic. The epidemic is students being granted much greater educational opportunities. This is to be celebrated. If school of choice has led to a large exodus from your school, then that school wasn’t providing what the customers (students and parents) desired. At least not relative to their nearby peer institutions. It’s supply and demand. If the only way to keep a school going is to force students from a defined geographic area to attend it, when given free choice many would attend elsewhere, that’s not “community pride and respect.” It’s entrapment. There’s far less incentive to provide a quality product when you have a monopoly on the market, as many schools did prior to school of choice. Sadly, this is even true for areas of fundamental need such as education. Competition is healthy, and the customers (students) are beneficiaries.

      1. Race to the Top

        Anonymous: So how do you explain the “death spiral” of students (372) leaving Marshall public schools over the last few years? If their school is so great why are students leaving for schools of choice? You seem to know a lot about Albion’s problems. Are you part of the problem, or willing to be part of the solution? You seem to have a very negative viewpoint for some reason. Maybe why you post as anonymous.

        1. anonymous

          Race to the Top: The “death spiral” as you say has the same explanation as my previous post. Supply and demand. If students are leaving Marshall in large numbers via school of choice then Marshall is not providing what the customer wants relative to other available options. Why do you say Marshall is so great? I’ve never said or implied that, so you’re picking it up somewhere else. Local school officials clearly feel that Marshall is a better option than Albion. That doesn’t mean that Marshall is great. Obviously if students are leaving Marshall then the population there feels that there are even better options. It’s all relative, but it’s relative within a limited geographic area. For example, when comparing local public schools options you wouldn’t include Alpena or Traverse City in the comparison because it’s not practical for a student living in either Albion or Marshall to physically attend school in either Alpena or Traverse City. As for Albion’s problems, I know very little. I have no connection to either Albion or Marshall. My viewpoint is not negative, it’s objective. Local educators appear to feel that Marshall offers students more opportunities than Albion. Local customers appear to feel that there are better options available than Marshall. Again, not negative, just objective. And I have no reason to believe that assessment is not accurate. I’m very interested in how other educators interpret the results of the Albion-Marshall union and how they react to it in their own decision making. That’s the interesting part of this story, its potential for a much broader impact. I’m not driven by emotion re: Albion or Marshall like many on this thread are. As for posting as anonymous, that has already been explained.

  12. Lex

    Very nice article!!!!

  13. Zeke Jennings

    I lived in Albion from the time I was born until the time I graduated from Albion High School in 1993. So, like Ashlin, I feel I have a pretty good point of reference. Ashlin and many of my Albion friends and former classmates are upset with the way Albion was portrayed in the story.

    I have to ask: Are the facts stated in the original story inaccurate? Yes, the median income in Albion is well below the state average. Yes, the majority of students at Albion High School when it closed were African American. Yes, income levels in Marshall are much higher than Albion. Yes, Marshall is mostly white. Of course there are plenty of exceptions, but we’re talking about majorities.

    The author makes note of these facts to give a reader not familiar with either community a feel of the diversity between the two towns. Anyone who grew up in Albion knows that Marshall is a very different community than Albion.

    It’s an emotional subject. We’re all proud of our town and our high school and don’t like it to be portrayed in a negative light. Still, I can’t call the story inaccurate.

  14. Ashlin

    The crazy part is that everyone is allowing for the fact that Albion students, teachers, alumni, etc were misrepresented in the article…yet somehow you don’t seen to consider the fact that Mrs. Smith (or anyone else quoted) was misrepresented as well.

    Come on…isnt it possible that the author of the article did a disservice to ALL?

    1. David Zeman

      Ashlin,

      I’m glad you had the opportunity to have your voice heard in this column today, it obviously resonated with some others who had a similar viewpoint.

      But let’s be clear here. The people featured in the Bridge article were not misrepresented, and in fact have confirmed that we represented their views and the situation with the high school merger fairly and accurately. That doesn’t mitigate your own feelings about the article stemming from your own experience at Albion. But at the same time, we remain incredibly proud of the reporting and writing that went into this article.

      David Zeman
      Editor
      Bridge Magazine

      1. Ashlin Tabiadon

        Again I would like to point out the fact that this “Ashlin” is not the author of the guest commentary. I am not sure who Ashlin is, they were either using my name or have the same name as me. For future record I will always be using my first and last name to comment on this so there is no confusion.

        Thank you,
        Ashlin Tabiadon

  15. jean

    Very good article and all Marshall students are NOT rich white kids.

  16. Zeke Jennings

    Don’t mistake those for facts, Ashlin. Those are opinions, just like your guest commentary article. Unless you spoke to those quoted, you’re putting words in their mouths by saying they were misrepresented.

    You’re entitled to your opinion and I think it’s great Bridge published it to show a different point of view. I just so happen to disagree and don’t think the article was nearly as inaccurate as a lot of people, yourself included, are making it out to be. Statistics don’t ever tell the whole story, but statistics do support the tone of the article.

    Best wishes.

    1. Ashlin Tabiadon

      Zeke, I just want to point out that the comment made by Ashlin in the comment section of this guest commentary is not the same Ashlin that wrote the guest commentary.

      1. Zeke Jennings

        My apologies. Sorry for assuming.

    2. Someone who actually spends time with these students

      I actually go to Marshall High School twice a week to help out. I have talked to the students and teachers. There has been a very negative reaction to this article amongst both the students and teachers. Many feel like the school and teachers were misrepresented. Ron French took a lot of things out of context because like every journalist he had an angle that he wanted to write from.

  17. Ashlin Tabiadon

    @Zeke Jennings
    Zeke, I would just like to point out that the comment made by Ashlin in the comment section of this guest commentary is not the same Ashlin that wrote the guest commentary.

    1. david zeman

      Ashlin,

      If that’s true, I’m guilty of the same assumption as Zeke. I assumed that earlier comment was yours, and responded to it as if that were so. My apologies, Ashlin T.

      best,

      David

      1. Ashlin Tabiadon

        Sorry David I didn’t see this before I replied to your other comment. Thank you sorry for any confusion.

  18. Race to the Top

    I would rather struggle with AP format on my papers in college than grow up a condescending, bigoted, snob. But that is just me. I’ll keep my 19 on my ACT and what I learned at Albion, it has worked out well for me.

    1. S. Michelle

      Right on Race to the top!!! In my opinion, both the Bridges article AND the article on mLive.com more or less, portray those of us who graduated from Albion, live in Albion, and / or send our children to Albion, as Third World citizens, unable to attain quality education or have a quality life. Albion pride forever!!!

  19. albiongradandproud

    Obviously Anonymous is too afraid to post their name in fear of being recognized. Closet elitist, racist, however you want to call it….. The comments made make me sick to my stomach. Insulting the intelligence of a young girl and where she got her education… classic move from one who obviously has never taken the time to get to know anyone from Albion or spent much time here. Attitudes like these are all that is wrong with our world.

    1. anonymous

      AlbionGradAndProud: Please re-read my comments: 1. “I realize that it sounds terribly harsh, but her lack of understanding can (and will) be interpreted by some as evidence of an Albion education.” 2. “In short, her comments are a poorly reasoned response and do not provide the positive portrayal of an Albion eduction which she intends to show.” I’ve already agreed that the first comment need not have been written. I still believe that it’s accurate. I know nothing of the writer other than what is presented in her article and her article is poorly reasoned and does not provide a positive portrayal of an Albion education. She stuck her neck out and, in my opinion, failed. That is my opinion, which I’m entitled to just as much as you are entitled to yours. That we’re discussing Albion is largely irrelevant. The author could be defending any school on the planet. Remove Albion and fill in the blank with anything you like. Her emotional defense to a perceived slight of her alma mater still fails. Again, my opinion. As for not posting my name, if you’ve previously experienced harassment, repeated unsolicited telephone calls at all hours, and threats to you and your family because you were identified on a thread such as this by a zealot who believes that continued harassment is the appropriate response for a difference of opinion, then I believe you’d understand why “anonymous” is used. It says much more about you than me that you’ve labeled me a closet elitist and a racist because I don’t provide my name. You haven’t provided your name, either. By your logic you’ve labeled yourself a closet elitist and a racist, too.

  20. none

    The article you read had a lot of misleading information. Ive seen 2 different articles written from the same interviews from the same kids. My daughter is a Junior at MHS, and she says there are multiple kids from Albion in her Honors English AP class, not just one. She has made friends with a lot of Albion kids. The South side parking lot has always been the teachers parking lot and the other is the student side. The South side was under construction the last 2 years and now that the construction is done, the teachers have their parking lot back and all buses also drop kids off on the South side, not just the Albion bus. The techers side has a lot less traffic because there are a lot more student then teachers. Parents dropping their kids off are also directed to drop off on the student side. Its not about black or white or rich or poor. There are Marshall kids riding the bus as well. Marshall is not just rich kids but poor and middle class as well. Just because a kid drives a car doesnt make them rich. A lot of kids have to have a job to pay for their cars, and gas to drive it. I know some students who have 2 jobs just so they can make it to school. If they didnt have cars they might not make it to school because parents work and buses dont pick up inside city limits. I also think its time to stop pulling the racist card at a drop of a hat. 3 of my kids have best friends who are black and they come over to spend the night. Just a few years ago Marshall had a Homecoming Queen that was black, prior to Albions merger. The President of the USA is black which is by a majority vote. Its 2014 and not a single student remembers what it was like during the segregation times. I bet if it wasnt for history books, this conversation wouldnt even be happening. Cant we all just get along?

  21. none

    Just because there is only 1 Albion kid in 1 AP class doesnt mean theres not more in other AP classes. Last i knew there are multiple AP classes in each grade. This girl is not the only one in the whole school that is is from Albion in an AP class.

    1. Ron French

      Hello None. I suspect your daughter is mixing up honors classes with Advanced Placement (AP) courses. I communicated with the teachers who lead each of the AP courses at Marshall High School, and only one AP course – AP English, has a student who lives in Albion. There were two Albion students taking AP English, one in each of the two AP English classes offered during the course of the day, but one of the students dropped the class in March. There may well be more next year, and certainly will be more in future years, but there is one at the current time.
      As far as the parking lots, I would never have noticed the separate lots if it had not been brought to my attention by a Marshall-resident student. I then broached the subject with several Albion students, who said that yes, they’d noticed the same thing. As the story states, this certainly has nothing to do with race, but is another example of the little things, some of them unavoidable like the entrances, that illustrate differences noted by at least some of the students attending MHS this year.
      In response to more general concerns about the article, I’d say that the students, teachers and administrators quoted in the article were reflective of many others I spoke to over the course of a month. Students and residents have a right to be proud of their schools/communities, and they have every right to express those views in comments we’ve published (our policy is to print all comments, though we’ve deleted those that are overtly racist or include offensive language), but I’m hoping that in addition to criticizing the article and the author, that there be some reflection on how to make what has been a challenging merger even better than it is already.
      One last thing: Responses to the article from outside of Albion and Marshall have been unanimous: everyone views the merger as a success and the students, teachers and administrators as courageous and inspirational.
      thanks for reading.

  22. Mark

    Thank you young lady for speaking up and out on an poorly written opinion piece. We have produced Teachers, Doctors, District Attorneys’, High Ranking Military Personnel, Business Owners, Leaders and much more-but that didn’t quite make it in that article. We are Wildcats! Wildcats Forever! Class of 1982.

  23. Chuck Fellows

    Outstanding!

    This is a “right on target” comment from someone that actually did the work, someone who represents the people we should be listening to instead of the politicians, professionals and pundits!

    This courageous individual has pointed out the fallacy of all school reform movements. We adults are not listening to the people we should be listening to, those that do the actual work of learning, the teachers and the students.

    Children know how to learn. Children will learn those things they are interested in, Things children are interested in will drag along the knowledge they need to support that which motivates them. Children will seek the answers they need to support their learning. (example – khanacademy.org where tens of millions of teachers and students are seeking answers; Rafe Esquith and his Hobart Players; KIPP, Big Picture Schools, innovative charter schools and on and on it goes).

  24. Local Educator

    I think a lot of the original articles were taken a little out of context. There is a huge correlation between income and academic success, so it’s a very important detail in the original articles. The way a lot of you are interpreting the quotes about “rich” Marshall students is leading you to believe that they must think ALL Marshall families are rich. We all know that’s ridiculous…there is economic diversity everywhere, even Marshall, and the people quoted in the article know that, too. But as a whole, Albion families have lower incomes than Marshall families. This isn’t opinion, it’s just how it is. In turn, many Albion students have different home lives (in general) than the typical Marshall student. This is highly due to the families’ differences in income. It’s not personal. Statistically, children of lower-income families perform less successfully in school and on tests. There are many factors…amount of time a parent is available to the children due to work schedules, quality of parenting (a vicious cycle, also not personal), amount and level of support the parent is able to give the child at home…just to list a few. This difference in upbringing, home life, and culture does have a big impact on how these kids react to major changes in their lives. Everyone should feel pride in their school district, and it sounds like many AHS graduates do. But I bet those MHS students feel the same way about their school. What if it had been reverse? What if MHS had to come to AHS? There would be cultural shock no matter which direction it goes.

  25. Big Rich

    I have lived in Albion for almost 23 years. This is more than a sufficient amount of time in order to observe the full scope and spectrum of the individual dynamics of our entire secondary education system.
    During this period, I have unfortunately witnessed the gradual decline and demise of a complete school system. People who sent their kids to schools of choice outside the district simply voted with their feet and with their pocketbooks.
    To use a simple business analogy, no business owner in the real world actually cares about the particular skin color of the customer; their only concern is if the customer has enough of the color of green in their pocket to spend generously on their product or service.
    Equally true, every customer in the real world is only only concerned about the quality of the product or the service, not in the skin tone or pigmentation of the owner.
    The overall product of the Albion School District was becoming increasingly substandard. It was not the fault of any one specific dynamic or variable. It was just inevitably an entire systemic failure.
    Poor student behavior consistently left unchecked and uncorrected for many years by a lack of the proper enforcement of commonsense educational expectations and basic rules of appropriate and responsible behavior led to a complete break down of an entire educational milieu.
    This produced a broken cycle of teacher continuity and effectiveness which also accelerated a debilitating downward spiral of educational apathy.
    This continuous apathy and malaise created a motivational cancer that gradually resulted in declining educational standards and unsatisfactory test scores.
    The end product of which eventually caused the dissolution and displacement of the entire High School.

  26. parent

    my daughter went to Albion schools from 2nd grade to the 5th grade. in my opinion it was the administration that caused the decline of the school. in 4th grade my daughter went to the Consolidated School and that’s when the troubles really began, in my opinion they had too many children with two little supervision. The teachers were outstanding but many of them expressed their frustration at having so many children. we finally did move my daughter to marshall schools as a school of choice but only because the aministration was so horrible in Albion. nobody seems to remember that they went through so many administrators superintendent’s and they made such terrible choices. One such superintendent actually shut down her school Elementary School and made her classroom into their office! when I met
    with the superintendent the Secretary had one classroomfor an office and the superintendent actually
    had my daughters classroom for their office. the reason I saw the superintendent is because my
    daughters books has been stolen from her locker which they wouldn’t let her lock.my daughter went
    without books from October until January and I had complained up the ladder first the teachers,
    assistant principal, principal, and the superintendent. They wanted me to pay for new books but wouldnt
    let her lock her locker. They finally agreed to get her new books, but they didnt get them for herand finally
    in january at semester break we moved her.i had told them the administration about it in October that she had no books! When we left the school I was sad because my daughter really liked her teachers and I did too she liked her schoolmates but we had given up on that that administration. I don’t think she got a better education in marshall but they took care of the schools they didn’t crowd all the kids into one building and then administrator have their own office building and did not use a former school room for an office they took my daughters elementary school and made it into offices using funds they should have used for the school they ripped out lockers they move stuff around they put in air conditioners into the classroom that was now their offices that is a reason why I think the school failed. That should be the real story that you should research.

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