North Godwin Elementary School
Like most of Michigan, the Grand Rapids area has been hit hard by the recession and suffered a further blow in 2009 when its GM stamping plant shut down. But just down the street from the plant, North Godwin Elementary School keeps its students’ options open by helping almost all of them — even those whose first language is not English — meet or exceed state standards. Teacher selection, induction, and evaluation are driving the school’s improvement. As former principal Arelis Díaz says, “We know we have to put the best people before our kids.” Today, Díaz is working at the district level to “scale up” the success she led at North Godwin.