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William L. DeFrance. Professional Background 28 years of business experience in telecommunications industry 7 years of K-12 experience Chief Operating Officer-Flint Schools Superintendent-Eaton Rapids

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william l defrance
William L. DeFrance
  • Professional Background
    • 28 years of business experience in telecommunications industry
    • 7 years of K-12 experience
      • Chief Operating Officer-Flint Schools
      • Superintendent-Eaton Rapids
    • Economics instructor for 30+ years-currently adjunct instructor at University of Michigan-Flint
academic background
Academic Background
  • B.A. from Youngstown State University-Economics in 1973
  • M.A. from Cleveland State University-Economics in 1976
  • M.A. from Wayne State University-Sports Administration in 1993
  • Ed.D. from Wayne State University-Educational Leadership in 2000
personal goals
Personal Goals
  • Developed a very intentional approach to reading business and educational literature
  • Used technology extensively in university teaching for application to ERPS classrooms

Education Journals

Education Week


Chronicle of Higher Education

ASCD’s Educational Leadership

Sports Journals

Sports Illustrated

Coach, Referee

Sporting News

ESPN the Magazine


Business Journals



Bottom Line

Federal Reserve Publications

Wall Street Journal

Washington Post Weekly Journal

literature post cj
Education Journals



Phi Delta Kappan

Education Audio Journal

Reading Today


NRC Material

Scientific Studies of Reading

Reading Research Quarterly

American Education Reading journal

Digital Direct

Business Journals

Harvard Business Review


Business Week


The Economist

Common Sense magazines

Plus all Pre CJ journals

Literature Post CJ
integrating technology
Integrating Technology
  • Actively participated in blog.
  • Accessed online material as part of audio journal.
  • Used CJ online lessons with administrative team starting in August, 2008
improving university teaching
Improving University Teaching
  • Took Blackboard class and became fluent in its use.
  • Incorporated current literature into classes: Undercover Economist and Freakonomics.
  • Piloted electronic textbook with online problems and exercises incorporating into class assignments.
teaching learning
Teaching & Learning
  • Started literacy camp for struggling readers who completed 1st-4th grade in Lockwood Elementary School.
  • Worked with other superintendents in the ISD to develop and implement an academic compact-had Board resolution.
  • Added additional advanced placement classes at high school (from 2 to 7).
  • Developed comprehensive district approach to instruction and curriculum.
  • Moved district into top third of academic performance in mid-Michigan.
  • Led process to school elementary based upon declining enrollment.
  • Developed plan for community center for building-still working
  • Proposed but did not receive support for management model to run four school systems.
  • Helped high school principal in the move to trimesters in 2006-2007.
  • Took over role of principal at alternative high school.
  • Started marketing plan with television commercial debuting during summer Olympics.
can t manage can t lead
Can’t Manage, Can’t Lead
  • Implemented tiered grade level buildings for 2008-2009 (K-1, 2-3, 4-6 to go with existing 7-8 and 9-12 buildings.
  • Bought 18 acres to extend ERPS campus for two new buildings.
  • Negotiated 30 year lease of broadband to Sprint for $2.5 million (net present value). ERPS received cash payment of $750,000 for 2007-2008 school year.
  • Improved fund balance over four year tenure.
  • Built insurance cap into contracts for health insurance.
organizational development
Organizational Development
  • Promoted using the strategic planning process-just started in September/October 2008.
  • Used ecumenical approach for stewardship on construction projects-still in use after four plus years.
  • Used sale of obsolete buildings and lease to build fund for curricular needs-$120,000 per year.
  • Started Board mini-retreats (had six this summer) on specific issues and topics.
  • Moved Board elections to every other even year November elections-one of few districts in state with move savings over $25,000 per year in election expense.
data driven
Data Driven
  • Set up employee approval process for Board through Personnel to review replacements and additions.
  • Have annual academic performance reviews at Board meetings.
  • Use keep cost tracking on major projects and Board decisions.
  • Track teacher and student performance by grade and as students move between buildings.
  • Started boy/girl class options for students and parents.
relationships communications
Relationships & Communications
  • Started superintendent’s parent group to work issues as well as community group to review school policy (NEOLA) changes.
  • Used Board committee to set location for transportation buildings.
  • Used student groups for ERPS moves.
  • Use community service for restitution in student discipline cases.
  • Meet with major factories in town annually.
  • Nurtured gift of 12 acres of land to district for use for science trips and expansion of nature preserve.
  • Helped grow Education Foundation.
politics everywhere
Politics Everywhere
  • Wrote two weekly columns in Gannett paper and local newspaper.
  • Dealt effectively with issues around placement of new transportation facility and closing of one building.
  • Unified stakeholders in how to use closed building.
  • Developed strong relationships with Chamber of Commerce, hospital, and city government leaders-community center, construction projects, regional library..
eaton rapids public schools systemic change

Eaton Rapids Public Schools-Systemic Change

Academic and Financial Success at the

High Schools

eaton rapids public schools
Eaton Rapids Public Schools
  • Complex
    • Lockwood Elementary (K-1)
    • Greyhound Intermediate (4-6)
    • Middle School (7-8)
    • High School (9-12)
    • Early Childhood
    • Greyhound Central High School
    • Transportation, Administration
  • Northwestern Elementary (2-3)
enrollment trends
1994 3,122

1995 3,168

1996 3,159

1997 3,225

1998 3,272

1999 3,334

2000 3,270

2001 3,306

2002 3,219

2003 3,185

2004 3,145

2005 3,119

2006 3,061

2007 2,992

2008 2,921

Enrollment Trends
and more
And More
  • Fund balance is 5.0%.
  • Eaton County has highest incidence of divorce and alcoholism in the state.
  • There is a very wide range of housing stock in a district of 125 square miles.
  • We are just far enough from Lansing and Jackson that we may be not close to anything.
  • Attract and retain students
  • Administrative professional development
  • Technology proficiency
  • Data Driver (Achieve)
  • Professional learning communities (PLC’S)-in our fourth year
  • Keeping track of students in handoffs.
state comparisons
Above Average

Reading Proficiency

Math Proficiency

Return on spending

% Students with Disabilities

Household Median Income

Below Average

Core Spending

Economically Disadvantaged Students

Adults with college degrees

Single parent households

State Comparisons
2008 act performance ready for college
Content Area

English Composition


Social Science


All 4 ACT


55% 0% 50%

31% 0% 21%

41% 8% 35%

23% 0% 17%

17% 0% 10%

2008 ACT Performance-Ready For College
high school results
High School Results
  • Met AYP
  • Compositie Grade=B
  • Subgroup performance improving
beginning the journey
Beginning the Journey
  • Critical Issue: Could we create higher expectations and higher student performance at our two high schools recognizing that the freshman experience is a key in defining student success?
    • One traditional 9-12 high school
    • One alternative high school
2004 or pre mme
2004 or Pre MME
  • High school graduation requirements were not rigorous in either building:
    • Mathematics (2 credits)
    • Social studies (2.5 credits)
    • Science (2 credits)
  • Sustained enthusiasm for fine arts programs
    • Art -Band
    • Choral -LCC Voc Ed
what did traditional high school administrators and teachers do
What Did Traditional High School Administrators and Teachers Do
  • Increased graduation requirements in mathematics, science, and social studies in anticipation of state requirements.
  • Studied, discussed, and moved to trimester in one year (started 2006-2007).
  • Hired retired high school math teacher to be data collector.
  • Collected data for year end 2006, 2007, and 2008.
  • Used data in staff and professional development meetings at high schools.
alternative high school
Alternative High School
  • Program was housed in 1940’s building divorced from the school system.
  • Location was in city away from schools.
  • Teachers felt isolated from peers.
  • Class offerings were all of a packet or core pack nature.
key statistics
Key Statistics
  • Enrollment-February 2008
    • ERPS High School=967
      • Freshmen 256
      • Sophomores 244
      • Juniors 217
      • Seniors 256
    • Greyhound Central High School=85
high school graduation rates






Graduation Rate




86% (High School)

6% (Greyhound)*

75% District


10% Greyhound*

73% District

High School Graduation Rates
data to collect and review
Data to Collect and Review
  • Academic
    • Classes passed
    • Teacher/classroom grades
    • Grade point average (GPA)
    • Freshman versus sophomore=freshmore
    • A’s earned
data to collect and review33
Data to Collect and Review
  • Student Behavior
    • Suspensions
    • Absences
    • Tardies
  • YearGraduationSophomore
  • CreditsCredits
  • 2007 24.5 5
  • 2008 25.5 5
  • 2009 27 5
  • 2010 28.5 6
  • 2011 28.5 6
problem statement
Problem Statement
  • How do we increase vibrancy and rigor at the high school and keep students interested in learning by continuing to attract students in high end fine arts programs and to a top flight vocational/career education at Lansing Community College (LCC)?
  • Added additional staff.
  • Intentionally made Key Train modules part of class offerings.
  • Increased staffing in computer lab.
  • Partnered with traditional high school teachers to offer math tutoring.
  • Used Macomb ISD curriculum for English 9-12.
what can be seen between terms and years
What Can Be Seen Between Terms and Years
  • Suspensions by term do not have a stable pattern but are trending down.
  • Course failures are down both by term and year; there is a blip in English.
  • Special education percentage does vary by year-12.7% to 18.0%. In the last two years, we have more than 1/3 student population being special education or free/reduced.
some more insights
Some More Insights
  • Ten teachers have student failure rates 50% higher than school average. This is a drop of 40%.
  • There is not a pattern of high or low grades between regular education and special education.
  • We are analyzing failure rates by department as well as degree of difficulty.
  • Freshmen course failures have dropped close to 60% but failures are still an issue.
  • More than 20% of students have a course failure in the first term of 2008.
a summary view
A Summary View

1. For a term or trimester, absences have dropped 1 day per student!!

2. Discipline issues have decreased between 50%-75%.

3. GPA has improved slightly with students taking more core courses.

4. We have more work to do but we have found the road to travel.

where are we going
Where Are We Going
  • More AP classes.
  • More use of online class materials.
  • More use of best practices between two high schools.
  • Quicker reaction on remediation and expanded summer school offerings.