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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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Rick Snyder finally finds ANOTHER teacher who supports him: the Oakland County Republican Party Vice-Chair

Last month I posted a piece about a Rick Snyder finally finding a teacher who would support him in public. It turned out to be his neighbor at his million-dollar lake house and that post that has enjoyed over 27,000 views.

Well, Gov. Snyder has found a second teacher willing to do a commercial for him. This time it’s another retired teacher, Pam Williams. Who is Pam Williams? I’m glad you asked.

Pam Williams is the Vice-Chair for the Oakland County Republican Party, Precinct Delegate, and an Executive Board member of the 9th Congressional District. She’s a busy Republican, too:

In an essay begging the tea partiers not to splinter off from the GOP, she says Democrats are “trying to destroy our great county” by “incentivizing dependency, and advocating collective equality rather than individual merit”.…

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Democratic State House Rep. Jeff Irwin explains Gov. Snyder’s cuts to education on Let It Rip

This past weekend, Democratic State House Rep. Jeff Irwin from Ann Arbor debated Governor Snyder’s $1 billion in cuts to education funding with Republican Pete Lund on Fox News’ Let It Rip program. Lund used the argument that shoring up the teachers pension fund is “education funding”. Irwin pointed to the diversion of money from classrooms and teaching and higher education out of the School Aid Fund saying, “It’s not paying for books, it’s not paying for teachers.”

And he is exactly right. Ask any teacher or any school board member if they have more or less money to use in the classroom to teach children.…

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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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Rick Snyder finally finds a teacher who supports him: his neighbor at his vacation home

After claiming he was going to run a strictly positive campaign, Gov. Rick Snyder has a new negative attack ad out that features a retired teacher named Linda Thaler.

Turns out that she lives literally right next door to Snyder’s vacation home on Gun Lake in Middleville, Michigan.

The reality is that, despite Ms. Thayer’s contention otherwise, her neighbor and friend Rick Snyder HAS cut funding going to classrooms. Here’s the lowdown on the ad:

The Snyder ad references Public Act 236 of 2003. That particular bill passed 38-0 in the Michigan Senate and every Democrat in the House at the time voted against it.…

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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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VIDEO: Foreclosure King David Trott wants to shut down the Departments of Education and Energy

On July 16th, candidates in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District primary race met for a candidates forum, hosted by the League of Women Voters. During that forum, candidates were asked how they would solve our nation’s infrastructure problems.

When Republican David Trott, Michigan’s notorious “Foreclosure King”, answered, he made a shocking statement. At a time when education is one of America’s most important issues, Trott said we need to shut down the Department of Education and the Department of Energy, as well:

What we need to do is take money from some other parts of the federal government and redirect it to America’s infrastructure because it’s in bad shape.…
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Michigan Democrats introduce bill to place moratorium on opening of more charter schools

In the wake of the Detroit Free Press‘s explosive eight-day exposé on Michigan charter schools which revealed an astonishing lack of oversight, transparency, and actual performance in charters, Democrats have responded this week with a bill that would place a moratorium on opening any more charters. The legislation was introduced by state Representative Sarah Roberts. Rep. Robers and minority vice chairwoman of the House Education Committee, Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton, revealed the new legislation at a press conference today.

The legislation has several components:

  • Require complete transparency, including financial disclosure by authorizing bodies, charter schools and educational management organizations and their subcontractors.
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Disgraced, recalled, homophobic former Education Comm. Chair Paul Scott now a lobbyist for anti-teacher group StudentsFirst

Former state House Representative Paul Scott earned a reputation during his time in office as one of the most anti-teacher legislators in Michigan. In his position as the Chair of the House Education Committee, he oversaw some of the most egregious attacks on teachers since Republicans swept into power following the 2010 election. It was bad enough that, eventually, Scott was recalled by voters in his district. The recall had a long and convoluted history with Scott attempting – unsuccessfully – to have the courts throw it out three times. In one of his attempts, he used the ludicrous rationale that he himself had created too much confusion for the recall to continue.…

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