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“The Affordable Care Act was a refuge in my time of need,” says City of Detroit retiree

People continue being helped by Obamacare — and it’s a winning issue. Politicians and pundits, take note.

When City of Detroit retiree Cora Dolley learned that she’d no longer be receiving health insurance coverage from the City, she was worried. For 10 years, $150 had been deducted from her pension check to cover hospitalization expenses and provide other healthcare services at a low cost.

But the benefits Dolley had been promised were taken away, just like that.

The City gave us $125 a month to go buy some healthcare. That’s cruel. Without Obamacare, I would never have known I was eligible for tax credits and I’d have to pay a lot more.…
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Banks & insurance companies ask Detroit to eat its seed corn, obtain bids for billions of dollars for DIA art collection

It’s priceless art, not an “asset”

The Detroit Free Press is reporting this afternoon that Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. has filed paperwork with the federal bankruptcy court overseeing Detroit’s bankruptcy showing that several four separate investors have made bids on the priceless art collection held by the Detroit Institute of Arts worth billions of dollars.

A financial insurance giant that will shoulder steep losses if the City of Detroit’s restructuring proposal proceeds said it has lined up tentative bids of $2 billion for the Detroit Institute of Arts or a portion of its collection in a maneuver designed to pressure the city to sell artwork to pay off debt.…
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Detroit Public Schools: A case study in the failure of the Emergency Manager system

Lansing, we have a problem

The amped-up Emergency Manager laws passed by Michigan Republicans in 2011 and again in 2012 were specifically designed to give far more sweeping powers to the one unelected potentate who assumes control of the school district or municipality. The sweeping away of local elected officials and the snuffing out of local democracy was needed, said the proponents, because the elected leaders were simply incapable of doing the job properly themselves. In fact, the unspoken implication is the local communities deserved to lose their democracy since they voted for such inept leaders in the first place.

The bedrock presumption in all of this is that the state is completely capable of stepping in and handling the affairs of the local municipality or of the school district.…

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UPDATED x3: As Republicans twist arms for EAA expansion votes, Detroit Democrat Harvey Santana is helping them out

What gives, Harvey?

[Photo by Anne Savage, special to Eclectablog]

Yesterday was another day without a vote on HB 4369, the legislation that would expand Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s failed experiment on Detroit children known as the Education Achievement Authority. I’ve spoken to multiple legislators who say that bill proponents are close to having enough votes. However, there is so much evidence that the EAA is failing Detroit children rather than helping them that even some Republicans are distancing themselves and refusing to vote for expansion.

(UPDATE: MIRS news service is reporting that Republicans DO have enough votes and will vote today.)

UPDATE 3: As of 3:30 p.m.

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The data is clear: Emergency Management not working in Detroit Public Schools

The EAA isn’t the only experiment being conducted on Detroit children

In all of the sturm und drang over Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s Educational Achievement Authority experiment with Detroit children, it’s easy to forget about the other experiment they are part of: state control of the Detroit Public Schools by an Emergency Manager. I’ve written reams on this topic but not much recently given that the EAA has sucked so much oxygen out of the room.

However, I haven’t forgotten about this and neither has my friend Dr. Thomas Pedroni, Director of the Leonard Kaplan Education Center for Critical Urban Studies and Associate Professor for Curriculum Studies at Wayne State University.…

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UPDATED: Rick Snyder redefines “success” and “progress” for Detroit students

In a Detroit News op-ed today, Governor Rick Snyder doubled down on his support for the failed experiment with Detroit students known as the Education Achievement Authority. The piece, titled “The EAA is a worthy experiment” is nearly comical in its Polly Annaish view of the EAA. Our governor seems to have bought every single story told to him about the EAA while conveniently ignoring ANYTHING negative.

[UPDATE: The title of the op-ed was changed since I originally posted this to "Every student deserves effective education". Apparently they don't want to admit what they are doing with the kids in the EAA.]

The most audacious part is this:

MEAP scores released last week reveal that in many cases, we’ve stopped the downward spiral.…
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UPDATED: In-depth analysis of MEAP data for the EAA shows a striking lack of “achievement” & significant declines in proficiency

Several days ago, I wrote about how MEAP testing scores of students in the Education Achievement Authority experiment in Detroit fail to support claims that students in the system were actually making progress. Further analysis of the “cohort data” which tracks individual students from one grade level to the next shows that the situation is actually much worse than the broad mean proficiency scores suggest.

Dr. Thomas Pedroni, Director of the Leonard Kaplan Education Center for Critical Urban Studies and Associate Professor for Curriculum Studies at Wayne State University, analyzed the raw cohort data and his findings are staggering. He published his analysis in a blockbuster piece titled, “MEAP cohort data reveal stagnation and decline in EAA student test achievement”.…

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An EAA grab bag: no vote yet in House, EAA supporter(s) rush to the defense of Nolan principal, and more

Just a few odds and ends from the world of the Education Achievement Authority, Gov. Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment with Detroit students. First, although a vote had been predicted yesterday, various reporting suggests that Republicans in the House and Senate are still struggling to come to an agreement on what the expansion of the EAA should look like. Some House Republicans, for example, want the local Intermediate School Districts (ISDs) to have a bigger role. That component of the expansion legislation was removed in the Senate version who want to skip over ISDs and not allow them the “right of first refusal”.…

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Rep. Ellen Lipton responds to news that State Departement of Education is ending exclusivity contract with the EAA

I don’t normally just reprint press releases but this one is so well done and so perfect that I couldn’t really add much to it. Ellen Lipton has been a fierce, fierce warrior in the battle to save Michigan’s public schools. Along with Sen. Hopgood, she was, for far too long, a lone voice calling out the Education Achievement Authority for its failed model. She put nearly $3,000 of her own money down to get data from the EAA that Chancellor John Covington refused to give her and then, when he had no choice because she filed a FOIA request, he dumped thousands and thousands of pages of data on her, unsorted and nearly unreadable.…

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REMINDER! Deadline to submit a Netroots Nation panel proposal is TOMORROW!

Plain and simple, tomorrow is the deadline to submit a panel proposal for the Netroots Nation conference in Detroit this summer.

Need details? Start by clicking HERE.…

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