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Proof that Eastern Michigan University’s EAA affiliation is hurting College of Education student teachers

The faculty and students of Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education have been actively seeking to end the institution’s affiliation with the Education Achievement Authority, Gov. Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit students. Among the many horror stories coming out of the EAA, we learned this past week that they are literally experimenting with 100-student kindergarten classes.

I’m not kidding.

There has been a protest rally, a petition, and open letters which I have posted HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Each time, the students and faculty have been rebuffed by their Board of Regents.

Things have gotten so bad that nearly a dozen school districts refuse to accept EMU College of Education students as student teachers.…

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Disgraced former EAA chief cashes out with hefty severance package

Earlier this month, John Covington, the former head of Governor Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit students – the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) – resigned to become a consultant (and, according to Covington, to take care of his mother.) As Jack Lessenberry explained it in his Metro Times titled “Detroit’s EAA ‘fatally flawed’” (a terrific piece worth reading in its entirety), his “resignation” was a face-saving move for everyone involved.

John Covington, the imperial head of Detroit’s fatally flawed Education Achievement Authority, got fired last week.

They’re all denying that, of course. The cover story is that suddenly, at the start of the week, he “resigned to care for his ailing mother,” which is touching, presuming he has one.

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For-profit charter school corporation’s Detroit media ad buy now has a price tag: several hundred thousand dollars

UPDATE: I hadn’t taken into account that the National Heritage Academies actually began their ad blitz at the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News on Sunday. This post has been updated to reflect that.

It’s Day Four of the explosive Detroit Free Press exposé of Michigan charter schools and also Day Four of the National Heritage Academies complete takover of the websites of Detroit’s two biggest newspapers with a monstrous ad buy. NHA is Michigan’s largest for-profit charter corporation. Like yesterday, when you open the webpages of the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News today, you’re greeted with an overwhelmingly large NHA banner ad:


Click for a larger version

If you have your browser set for normal view (I zoomed out to grab this screen shot), the ad takes up well over three-quarters of the window.…

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Michigan Education Association (MEA) launches site to educate members about Mackinac Center

The corporatist front group Mackinac Center is waging a no-holds barred, blatant attack to destroy teachers unions and they seem to have a particular hatred of the Michigan Education Association (MEA). The group, heavily funded by millionaires and billionaires like the Koch brothers and the DeVos family, is shameful in their approach. They have used the Teacher of the Year to promote their anti-union agenda. Earlier this month, the sent out emails to every teacher in over 50 districts encouraging them to leave their union. They followed that up with a mailer to teachers’ homes.

The MEA is fully aware of this campaign to destroy them and has been working behind the scenes to build a portal to educate their members about the Mackinac Center and, equally important, why an MEA membership is so important to them.…

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For-profit charter corporations now in full-blown panic mode over Detroit Free Press investigative reporting

As I wrote about this morning, Michigan’s largest for-profit charter school company, National Heritage Academies (NHA) responded to a blockbuster new investigative report being published at the Detroit Free Press this week by buying up all of the ad space on the front page of their website as well as the website of the Detroit News. It turns out that isn’t the only over-the-top response the charters have had. The Detroit Free Press clearly has them in full-out panic mode.

I have had reports of several candidates for the state legislature receiving the following email from the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), that attempts to refute the outstanding journalism by the Free Press.…

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UPDATED x2: As Detroit Free Press does week-long exposé of charter schools, National Heritage Academies buys up all its ad space

NOTE: This post has been updated HERE.

The Detroit Free Press is running a spectacular, week-long series on charter schools in Michigan and the woeful lack of oversight and accountability our state exercises when it comes to charters. While some states have outright bans on for-profit schools, 61% of Michigan charter schools are run by for-profit corporations and over a third are in the bottom 25% of academic performance.

One of the main players in the for-profit charter business is National Heritage Academies, Michigan’s largest for-profit school management company. In response to this incredible journalism by the Detroit Free Press, they have purchased pretty much all of the ad space on the front page of the Free Press website this morning.…

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More heartbreaking proof that the EAA is failing Detroit kids

This morning, I lit into MLive reporter Khalil AlHajal for his atrocious “journalism” regarding Governor Rick Snyder’s failed experiment on Detroit kids, the Education Achievement Authority. As I was publishing that post, another article about the EAA was published by Bridge Magazine which was also posted at MLive. In stark contrast to AlHajal’s piece, this one by Chastity Pratt Dawsey, titled “F is for frustrated – disorganization at Detroit EAA schools leaves students scrambling to graduate”, is exemplary.

Dawsey’s piece shows how high school students in the EAA are being thwarted in their efforts to graduate and get into college.…

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MLive erroneously reports that EAA student MEAP scores “showed improvement”

I don’t normally hammer on the mainstream media journalists in Michigan. The job they do is very difficult and they are doing it with fewer and fewer resources all the time. I also try to cultivate a reasonably positive relationship with them because I know the relationship between full-time journalists and bloggers is often contentious.

That said, when a journalist perpetuates something as “fact” that is actually untrue, particularly if it helps to support something I disagree with, I feel compelled to point it out and that is why I am writing about this post at MLive.

The article is about the person chosen to be the interim Chancellor for the Education Achievement Authority, Governor Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit children.…

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Mackinac Center continues its efforts to encourage freeloading & destroy teachers union with mass mailing

Last week I wrote about how the corporatist front group Mackinac Center had sent a mass email to teachers in over 50 school districts in Michigan encouraging them to leave the Michigan Education Association, one of the two largest teachers unions in the state.

Their effort didn’t stop there. This week, teachers across the state received postcards in the mail urging them to freeload off the work their union does on their behalf to secure reasonable wages and benefits by leaving the union. This shameless effort to destroy the MEA is transparent in its intent: starve the MEA of the funds it needs to operate to help teachers work with the dignity they deserve and to be adequately compensated for the essential service they provide to society.…

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Detroit News: EAA Chancellor John Covington to resign to take a new job

On April 1st, I ran an April Fool’s Day joke post that I titled, “BREAKING: EAA Chief unexpectedly quits to take new job – ‘Screw you, guys. I’m going home.’

This morning the Detroit News is reporting that my parody post was not far off the mark and that this is actually happening – John Covington, Chancellor of Gov. Snyder’s failed experiment on Detroit kids, is leaving. Not because he is being fired but because Covington is bailing out on Detroit and taking a new job.

John Covington is in talks to leave as chancellor of the embattled Education Achievement Authority.…
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