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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One of the two remaining candidates in the running for chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority has withdrawn from the race.…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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BREAKING: Terri Lynn Land refuses letter from Detroiters inviting her to spend a day in their polluted community

Last week, residents of the Detroit zip code 48217 held a press conference and invited Terri Lynn Land to spend a day in their community to see the impact of the pollution spewed by her campaign supporters and hold a public forum where they could ask her questions about it.

The also took out a full-page ad in the Michigan Chronicle:


Click for a larger version

One of the residents there also penned an op-ed for the Detroit News:

Pollution from big corporate oil companies is killing me. Due to toxic emissions from the corporate polluters in my community, I suffer from skin burns, hair loss and a toxic white mass on my brain.…
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BREAKING: EAA Board to interview two fired superintendents to lead the Education Achievement Authority

This post has been updated to add details regarding the reason Timothy Chargois was fired as superintendent of Beaumont ISD in Texas.

When John Covington was hired to head up the Education Achievement Authority – Governor Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit kids – he left behind a failed school district in Kansas City. Some Kansas City school board members claimed that Covington, the district’s superintendent at the time, had faked a conflict with the board president in order to renege on his contract. Shortly after he left, Kansas City Public Schools lost their accreditation.

With Covington now gone, resigned in disgrace from the EAA after poor performance of students in the “District for Misfit Schools” and lavish overspending by school administrators, EAA administrators are looking for a new leader.…

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Detroit residents invite Terri Lynn Land to spend a day in the polluted environment her benefactors help create

Yesterday, residents of the Detroit zip code 48217 held a press conference where they invited U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land to spend a day in their community to “enjoy” the polluted environment they live in every day. It’s polluted largely because those supporting Land’s failed candidacy have polluted it; groups like Koch Carbon and Marathon Oil. They want Land to explain her policies that protect these industrial polluters and allow them to get away for despoiling their neighborhoods and challenged her to organize an open forum with residents of the area so she can have a chance to defend her positions.…

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GUEST POST – Manufactured Emergency: The Neoliberal Assault on Michigan

This article is cross-posted from the website of Political Research Associates and appears in PRA’s upcoming Fall, 2014 issue of The Public Eye magazine, a special edition on neoliberalism and the Right. It was written by Jane Slaughter, an American journalist based in Detroit who writes frequently on labor affairs. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, The Progressive, Monthly Review, and In These Times.

The term neoliberalism refers to “ideas associated with economic liberalism, which advocates — under reference to neoclassical economic theory — support for great economic liberalization, privatization, free trade, open markets, deregulation, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy.”

Manufactured Emergency: The Neoliberal Assault on Michigan

Those who want to privatize public services and destroy unions have made some successful incursions into the once union-friendly state.

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