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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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UPDATED: The Education Achievement Authority takes its (dog-and-pony) show on the road to Ann Arbor

Tomorrow, October 23rd at 1:00, the Education Achievement Authority, Gov. Rick Snyder’s failed experiment with Detroit school children, will hold a board meeting at the downtown campus of Wayne County Community College. Following that, at 4:00 p.m., on the campus of the University of Michigan, a public forum will be held called “The Future of Education in Detroit – The Role of Charter Schools, Nonprofits, and the Education Achievement Authority” (flyer is HERE.) Along with the the co-director of the Education Policy Initiative and a charter school CEO, EAA interim Chancellor Veronica Conforme and Dan Varner, State Board of Education member and Chief Executive Officer of Excellent Schools Detroit, are two of the panelists.…

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Detroiters shunned by Terri Lynn Land ask again to meet with her while Land’s crass “I’m a mom” strategy is revealed

Residents living in the Detroit zip code 48217 area sent a letter to U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land, asking her to spend some time in their community so that she could experience first-hand the effects corporate polluters – who support Land’s campaign – and their pollution are having on their health.

Land refused to even accept the letter, much less agree to meet with the people who would be her constituents if she were to be elected.

Today, those same residents of Michigan’s most highly polluted community took the conversation to Land’s hometown of Byron Center in an attempt to get her to listen to them.…

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As predicted, one of the remaining two Education Achievement Authority Chancellor candidates drops out

Five days ago, writing about the lack of professionalism and transparency with the Education Achievement Authority’s Board of Directors, I wrote this:

[I]t looks very much like Veronica Conforme has already been chosen to remain in the Chancellor position and [the EAA Board is] simply drawing out the process until Superintendent Jenkins withdraws his name. He does, after all, have a job and being part of this process jeopardizes his ability to do it with the full support of the Sagninaw schools community.

Yesterday, that is exactly what happened:

One of the two remaining candidates in the running for chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority has withdrawn from the race.…
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Education Achievement Authority Board decries lack of public involvement that they make nearly impossible

With the departure of the disgraced former Chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority John Covington, the EAA Board has been searching for a replacement. In the meantime, they hired Veronica Conforme to take the reins (along with the $325,000/year salary) as the interim Chancellor. Conforme, who had been consulting with the EAA since January, was the chief operating officer, chief financial officer and deputy chief schools officer for the New York City Department of Education. Before assuming her new role, she was a finalist for superintendent of Orleans Parish public schools in Louisiana but withdrew her name for consideration.

Under Conforme’s “leadership”, the EAA sent out incredibly deceptive mailings to parents of students (and some non-parents!) in surrounding school districts with the intent to fool them into believing their kids had been assigned to EAA schools.…

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Explosive Education Achievement Authority exposé pulls back curtain on who profits from expansion: the software vendor

Since the beginning of the year, I have been documenting the ongoing travesty of Gov. Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit children known as the Education Achievement Authority (EAA). Through exclusive interviews with current and former teachers and administrators, I detailed how the software platform called “BUZZ” was a total disaster from the very first days of the EAA’s existence. During my research for those pieces, I was never able to find a payment from the EAA to Agilix, the software developer of BUZZ and associated software like Brain Honey that is based on the BUZZ platform.

A new piece out this past week by ACLU journalist Curt Guyette, published in the Detroit Metro Times, pulls back the curtain on the connection between Agilix, the EAA and and a third party called the School Improvement Network or SINET.…

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The clock is running out on Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Managers

On December 12, 2012, just a few weeks after the General Election, Michigan legislators passed the bill that would become Public Act 436, the latest iteration of Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager Law. Voters had overturned the previous version of the law in November and Republicans wasted no time in resurrecting it, overturning the will of a majority of voters and interfering with the democratic process.

When Gov. Snyder was asked recently to defend this outrageous act, he answered this way:

Actually, what we did was look at some of the key issues and concerns that were clear about the public vote.…
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AUDIO: Father of Michigan’s Emergency Manager law Al Pscholka convinced Rick Snyder is beloved in Detroit

Al Pscholka, Father of the Emergency Manager law, with Gov. Rick Snyder after the bill signing

When Public Act 4, Michigan’s amped-up Emergency Manager law, was signed into law in early 2011, it was immediately put to use in Benton Harbor. It was the first time the new version of the law, which allows the state to impose an unelected person in charge of an entire city and gives them the power to dismiss local elected officials, was used. Benton Harbor was “represented” in the state House by Al Pscholka and, as it turns out, Pscholka was the author of Public Act 4.…

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