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UPDATED: Now that Agilix’s BUZZ software has been fully beta-tested by Detroit student guinea pigs, it’s time to cash in!

As I reported over a year ago, the Education Achievement Authority – Gov. Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit children – was used as a testing ground for software that endeavors to teach children using computers with little teacher interaction. The colossal failure of this software called BUZZ has been well-documented here on this site.

At the time, I wrote this:

What seems very clear from these accounts is that this is not user-friendly software by any fare stretch of the imagination. A little digging shows why: The EAA was the field testing operation for BUZZ which is a product of Agilix.…
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NEWS ROUND-UP: This week in GOP idiocy in Michigan

There’s been so much in the news about over-the-top idiocy from Michigan Republicans lately that I thought I’d just put them all in one post. Over the past week or so, they’ve been trying to further degrade a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion and to corrupt our democracy by rigging the electoral system in favor of Republicans. But, sadly, they didn’t stop there.

So, without further ado, here’s the round-up.

SNYDER ADMINISTRATION AWARDS FAILED OUTGOING DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS EMERGENCY MANAGER $50,000 BONUS

In his outstanding piece for The Metro Times, Curt Guyette showed how, after four Emergency Managers and being under state control for six years, the Detroit Public Schools system is further in debt than ever.…

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Columbia, SC parents ask why disgraced former EAA Chancellor John Covington is a finalist to run their schools

As I reported earlier this month disgraced former Chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority John Covington is a finalist to be the superintendent of the Richland 1 school district in South Carolina. At the end of that piece I implored them not to do it.

It appears that some parents in Columbia are starting to ask some hard questions about Covington (as well as another of the three finalists):

Two of the three finalists to lead Richland 1 schools have been dogged by controversy in their careers, prompting some parents to question why they would emerge as top contenders to lead the 24,000-student district.…
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When former EAA Chancellor John Covington bailed on Detroit, it wasn’t just to “care for his mother”

Last June, Dr. John Covington, the notorious former Chancellor of the state-run “School District for Misfit Schools” called the Education Achievement Authority, unexpectedly quit his position to “take another job” and “care for his mother”. Covington has a quite infamous history. When he left his position as the superintendent of Kansas City schools after faking a conflict with the board, the district lost its accreditation shortly afterwards. While he ran the EAA, Gov. Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit kids, he spent nearly a quarter million dollars on things like travel, gas, a chauffeur, and furniture. The incredible educational failures of the EAA under Covington have been well-documented on this website.…

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Gov. Snyder proves his rhetoric on Michigan’s Emergency Manager law was lies, will appoint new EM for Detroit schools

When Governor Rick Snyder was asked about overturning the will of Michigan voters when he signed new Emergency Manager legislation into law a few short weeks after voters voted it down in 2012, he defended the move with this comment:

Actually, what we did was look at some of the key issues and concerns that were clear about the public vote. That got to the point of how long someone was in the position and did the community have other options to choose. So, we modified the law to take those into account. So, what we did was look at, okay, here are the issues, here are some of the primary criticisms and put that into account of having a new law to go forward.
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UPDATE: Education Achievement Authority seeks to expand itself by authorizing new charter schools

This post has been updated below.

Last month, Governor Snyder announced that he was forming a 31-person coalition to present alternatives for education reform in Detroit. The coalition, called the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, is a made up of representatives from public schools, the school reform community (many who are actively working to undermine traditional public schools), education activists, elected officials, teachers unions, and corporations. You can read the full list HERE.

However, before this group has even had its first meeting, the Education Achievement Authority has put out a Request for Proposal for new “turnaround school” and charter school operators to open new schools in the fall.…

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Detroit’s “Tent City” is Tinsel Town to its “Mayor”, Charles “CJ ” Johnson

It’s mid-morning on Monday, December 29, 2014. The air is crisp and clear and the light is shining through a slight morning frost/haze as the sun will surely burn it off and present the day. I’m in Downtown Detroit, just off I-75 on East Larned a block behind Jefferson. It’s 26 degrees and the almost empty field in front of me is called Lafayette Park. On a warmer day and, perhaps, at a later hour, the park would have a few people enjoying the setting, maybe eating a box lunch or just enjoying the surroundings. But today that scene is more spartan with not a person in sight save a small enclave of pop-up tents off to the side of a line of barren trees that are serving as the home to a sprouting community of homeless people.…

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BREAKING: Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to resign “within days”

BloombergBusinessweek is reporting that Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr will soon be resigning. The Detroit City Council voted unanimously in late September to remove Orr as the Emergency Manager and his tenure was to end when the plan of adjustment was approved in bankruptcy court and implemented. The first of those two steps has happened. Orr’s resignation will likely come before the second step has, however:

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr said he may submit his letter of resignation to Governor Rick Snyder within days.

Orr, who was appointed to handle the city’s affairs as it labored through a record $18 billion municipal bankruptcy, said he wasn’t interested in repeating his act in another troubled city.

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While Detroit contended with largest municipal bankruptcy, its lawyers were robbing it blind

The price tag for the attorneys and associated staff that are handling Detroit's bankruptcy is expected to hit at least $200 million. However, some terrific reporting by WXYZ in Detroit is turning up some scandalous things. The law firms who are running the show are ringing up incredibly large tabs for things like receiving emails, reviewing press coverage, and one is even paid to take a chauffeured car in from another state. ...
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Michigan exports its anti-democratic model: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie considers an Emergency Manager for Atlantic City

Remember when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came to Michigan to visit Governor Rick Snyder in March? And when he came back again in September? At the time, everyone assumed that it was because he was fundraising as part of his role as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

It turns out that it may have been as much as fact-finding mission as anything else. This week, Christie announced that he is considering imposing an Emergency Manager on the city of Atlantic City:

An emergency manager to oversee the city’s troubled finances and the creation of a new public-private development corporation are part of a package of reforms Gov.…
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