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CONFIRMED: Education Achievement Authority cheating teachers out of incentive pay

CONFIRMED: Education Achievement Authority cheating teachers out of incentive pay

Earlier this month, in an exclusive report here at Eclectablog, I reported that teachers in the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) were not receiving Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) payments as promised. The “District for Wayward Schools” had received millions of dollars in TIF grants from the federal government – $11.5 million over three years – to give teachers financial incentives for being good teachers. However, as I reported on June 9th, those funds were not being dispersed. In a email response to a teacher asking about it, EAA Associate Chancellor David Donaldson had this to say:

That is correct. 13-14 and 14-15 are totally unrelated.…
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Last month, Michigan Republican Senator Patrick Colbeck had an op-ed pulled and then republished at <i>The Detroit News</i> with modifications after he was busted <a href="http://www.eclectablog.com/2015/05/gop-state-sen-colbeck-revises-detroit-news-anti-obamacare-op-ed-after-getting-busted-for-lying.html" target="_blank">lying about various aspects of the Affordable Care Act</a>. 

Colbeck is now at it again. He recently published an op-ed in the <i>Canton Observer</i> attempting to convince readers that everything is fine with education funding, Republicans have actually INCREASED it, and that the problems that Plymouth-Canton Community Schools (P-CCS) are having are their own goddam fault.

However, shortly after it was published, the <i>Canton Observer</i> posted this <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheCantonObserver/posts/998808876809459" target="_blank">on their Facebook page:</a>

Michigan Republican Sen. Colbeck has op-ed pulled for inaccuracies. Again. (UPDATED x2)

Last month, Michigan Republican Senator Patrick Colbeck had an op-ed pulled and then republished at The Detroit News with modifications after he was busted lying about various aspects of the Affordable Care Act. Colbeck is now at it again. He recently published an op-ed in the Canton Observer attempting to convince readers that everything is fine with education funding, Republicans have actually INCREASED it, and that the problems that Plymouth-Canton Community Schools (P-CCS) are having are their own goddam fault. However, shortly after it was published, the Canton Observer posted this on their Facebook page:
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There was a 3rd SCOTUS decision this week progressives should be thrilled with, one with implications for Michigan

There was a 3rd SCOTUS decision this week progressives should be thrilled with, one with implications for Michigan

As the celebrations over the U.S. Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell (which upheld the Affordable Care Act [again]) and their decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (which found same-sex marriage bans to be unconstitutional) begin settle down, it’s worth looking at a third case they decided this week that should have progressives applauding. This one, Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. involved fair housing practices:

Civil rights groups won a victory Thursday, as the Supreme Court ruled that claims of racial discrimination in housing cases shouldn’t be limited by questions of intent.
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SHOCKER! Corporate front group Mackinac Center wants to turn all Detroit Public Schools over to charters

SHOCKER! Corporate front group Mackinac Center wants to turn all Detroit Public Schools over to charters

Oh, look. The corporate front group Mackinac Center wants to convert all Detroit Public Schools (DPS) to charter schools. This, they tell us would be “the best safeguard” and would “allow many independent charter school operators to try varying models for converted DPS schools.”

In other words, they once again want to experiment with Detroit school children.

In Highland Park, the emergency manager’s operating plan for the district included turning over educational responsibilities to a charter school, while using existing property tax revenue to pay down accumulated debt.

Muskegon Heights put a similar arrangement in place: Again, the district converted its schools into charter schools, and revenues from the district’s 18-mill nonhomestead property tax were dedicated to paying off Muskegon Heights’ debt.

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Debunking the Mackinac Center's phony teachers union "pension spiking" scandal

Debunking the Mackinac Center’s phony teachers union “pension spiking” scandal

I recently wrote about Michigan teacher Mary Davenport, a woman who had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in support from her union, the Michigan Education Association (MEA), only to turn around and claim they “weren’t there when she needed them.” She was duped into being the poster child for the campaign by the corporate front group Mackinac Center to encourage teachers to leave their union.

In the letter Davenport signed that was sent to thousands of Michigan teachers using their taxpayer-funded work email addresses, Davenport railed against what Mackinac Center calls “pension spiking” by MEA president Steve Cook whose pension will be based on his MEA salary.…

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Michigan GOP finds U.S. Constitution not "Constitutionony" enough

Michigan GOP finds U.S. Constitution not “Constitutionony” enough

The GOP propaganda campaign to divide and conquer the electorate and control Michigan education moves ever onward in the state Senate with the passage of SB 209, a bill to amend the existing school code to include specific teaching emphasis on what the GOP designates as the “core principles” of the U. S. Constitution, the First, Second and Tenth Amendments. These just happen to be the party’s favorite recruiting Amendments of the GOP.

These three Amendments are perhaps the least complex, the God and guns and states rights Amendments (That is, “making no laws respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms;” and “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively.”).…

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Michigan Rep. reveals GOP agenda: "I believe in publicly-funded education, not necessarily publicly-delivered"

Michigan Rep. reveals GOP agenda: “I believe in publicly-funded education, not necessarily publicly-delivered”

It’s not often that Republican speak the truth about their overarching agenda. They more often cloak it in palatable language that makes it more appealing and disguises their heartlessness and their true goals. But every once in awhile one of their members gives us a glimpse of what their real agenda is. Mitt Romney did it when he made his “47 percent” and “binders full of women” remarks, for example.

That happened in Michigan this week when Republican House member Tim Kelly of Saginaw Township made this rather stunning comment:

I believe in publicly-funded education, not necessarily publicly-delivered.

The remark was made in the context of his outrageous proposal to simply eliminate the Detroit Public School system because, according to him, “They’ve had their opportunity and…they’ve squandered that opportunity.” That proposal, particularly coming from the chairman of the House Appropriations School Aid Subcommittee, is shocking enough.…

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Common Core foes are losing it, seeing monsters where no monsters exist

Common Core foes are losing it, seeing monsters where no monsters exist

Back in March, I penned an essay critical of Michigan tea party legislator Todd Courser’s complete freak out over a bipartisan move to create a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) endorsement for graduating high school students. If students complete six credits each of math and science, a half credit each of technology and engineering, and meet certain other criteria, they would be eligible for a STEM endorsement on their diploma. If the bills that have been introduced are passed into law, Michigan would be the first state to do something like this.

Courser, tossing red meat to his tea party supporters, most of whom are virulently against the implementation of Common Core standards in Michigan, called the legislation “a framework for homeschoolers to be regulated in Michigan” and says that it will “lead to expanded government control over private education”.…

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New Michigan legislation to punish the poor

New Michigan legislation to punish the poor

This week the Michigan Legislature passed House Bill 4041, what they call the Parental Responsibility Act. Gov. Snyder is probably eager to sign it because it has the word “responsibility” in it and impacts only the politically powerless. The Michigan Department of Human Services will be required to eliminate cash assistance to poor families if any child in the household under age 16 is repeatedly absent from school.

On the face of it this seems like a good “enforcement” idea because education is indeed the route out of poverty in the long term. But passing this bill is just more grandstanding by a do-pretty-much-nothing legislature that’s got no handle on solutions to the real and overarching problems confronting Michigan.…

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Ann Arbor teachers file Unfair Labor Practice suit against school administration

Ann Arbor teachers file Unfair Labor Practice suit against school administration

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been traveling in China for work for the past two weeks. I’m now back in Michigan and have finally recovered from my jet lag and the 12-hour time difference. I appreciate your patience during my absence. Regular posting will now resume : )

Back in 2011, shortly after Republicans took control of our state government, one of the first things they did was to enact a series of laws designed to diminish the ability of teachers to bargain collectively for fair wages, benefits, and working conditions. The new laws created local boards that would govern teacher discipline, teacher evaluations, teacher tenure and strengthened a prohibition on strikes to further harm unions that encourage them.…

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