An investigation into practices at Douglass High School unearthed grade and absence fraud. The principal resigned and Springer put in a replacement who led the students to graduation, despite years of academic mismanagement.
The recession hit the budget hard; layoffs and furloughs followed. Springer took a voluntary $25,000 pay cut. Dunbar Elementary was closed.
New academies opened at area high school, giving students specialized training in subjects like finance and health. Transportation was improved to get children where they needed to go.
Uniforms were in. A grade-changing policy was out.
Teacher recruitment efforts expanded across the country. Teach for America came to the district.
The challenges remain, namely poverty. But Springer said he is hopeful for what lies ahead
“There are teachers, administrators, support staff and Board of Education members in this district who are focused on children and their successes,” he said. “They don't get the recognition they deserve, but they are changing lives on a daily basis.”