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When Kalamazoo Schools Superintendent Michael Rice takes on the job of State Superintendent he will tasked with the job of improving education in the state. Western Michigan University Professor of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology Brett Geier says Rice is up to the challenge. 

Geier was a teacher, principal and Superintendent of Bloomingdale Public Schools, before he became a professor. He says Rice is very intelligent, a good listener and understands the challenges and dynamics of public education. Geier says Rice will be a champion and advocate for marginalized student populations.

KPS To Begin Search For New Superintendent

May 10, 2019
Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Michael Rice - photo by William Edgerton, WMUK
William Edgerton / WMUK

Kalamazoo Public Schools are in the market for a new superintendent. Current Superintendent Michael Rice is leaving to become the state’s new superintendent of public instruction. 

Columbine High School senior Lisa Kreutz, in wheelchair, is presented her diploma by school administrator Barb Monseu, left, during graduation at Greenwood Village, Colo., on Saturday, May 22, 1999. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Ed Andreski / The Associated Press

Across the country schools now work to prevent a shooting in their classrooms. There are also drills in case someone does open fire in a school building. Bridge Senior Writer Ron French explored what schools in Michigan are doing to make schools more secure and to prepare in case of an active shooter.

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Bridge Senior Writer Ron French says the odds that a shooting will happen at any one school are astronomically low, but he says schools still have to spend time and money preparing for an active shooter in their building. Bridge examined what districts across Michigan are doing to make buildings more secure and the drills in case of an active shooter. 

French says that even though the costs of school security keep rising there is little agreement about best safety practices. He says there are a few simple things that everyone agrees on like locking outside doors. But French says the type of security and the details of active shooter drills varies from district to district.

Western Michigan University's BTR Park - file photo by WMUK

Michelle Miller-Adams says when local communities are struggling economically, leaders look to attract an employer that will bring lots of jobs. But the Senior Researcher for the Kalamazoo-based Upjohn Institute for Employment Research says “that is a very low percentage strategy.” The Upjohn Institute launched a project last year on how communities can attract and keep good jobs.