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INTERVIEW – Former EAA teacher: “I really think that they are being dishonest with the public, teachers, and parents”

One of the recurring themes in the conversations that I have had with various teachers and administrators who work or have worked for the Education Achievement Authority is that when financial benefactors or members of our state government came to visit, the entire school transformed. Schedules were altered, often on the fly, to accommodate the visitors’ schedules. Kids ate lunch very early or very late, and as you’ll learn in this interview, teachers were reassigned from their normal classrooms to pose as teacher’s assistants for other teachers to give the appearance that large classrooms had multiple adults in them even though that was not normally the case.…

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BREAKING: Dick DeVos threatening Republicans who don’t support EAA expansion with massive financial support of primary opponents

The best government corporatist money can buy

I have confirmation from two independent sources in the Michigan legislature that multi-millionaire Dick DeVos is using the threat of massive financial support for Republican primary opponents of vulnerable Senate Republicans to force them to vote for the bill that would expand the Education Achievement Authority statewide. The same approach was used to peel off recalcitrant House Republicans before they passed the EAA expansion bill last month. If Democrats John Olumba and Harvey Santana had not voted for it, however, they would not have had enough.

According to my sources, DeVos has pledged to fund Republican primary opponents to the tune of $100,000 each.…

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Pontiac for-profit charter cancels humiliating “Teacher Appreciation Week” activities

Yesterday, I wrote about the activities planned for teachers at the Arts and Technology Academy of Pontiac (ATAP), a for-profit charter school run by Mosaica. These “Teacher Appreciation Week” activities featured a variety of what can only be described as humiliating activities planned for the teachers to raise funds for the school. They included:

  • MANDIVA – Our 3 favorite male faculty members in heels for an hour
  • SAVE MY JOB – 3 faculty members will stand in the parking lot during dismissal and hold a sign.
  • CREAM FACIAL – Students will throw pie in 3 faculty members’ faces during an assembly.
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UPDATED: For-profit charter group Mosaica celebrates “Teacher Appreciation Week” with compulsory teacher humiliation activities

Teacher humiliation for fun and profit

Mosaica Education, Inc., a self-described “for-profit education management organization”, runs eight different for-profit schools in Michigan:

  • Arts and Technology Academy of Pontiac
  • Bay County Public School Academy
  • Bingham Arts Academy
  • Edgewood Elementary School
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School
  • Mosaica Online Academy of Michigan
  • Muskegon Heights High School
  • Muskegon Heights Middle School

In fact, the entire Muskegon Heights school system, under the control of an Emergency Manager, is run by Mosaica. They are in the news lately because they’ve had to secure loans from the state because they are unable to make payroll.

The Arts and Technology Academy of Pontiac – a K-10 Mosaica-run charter with roughly 600 students – has an annual fundraiser to bring in revenue to the school.…

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An open letter to EMU leadership from a former student, current teacher regarding partnership with the EAA

Eastern Michigan University is under increasing pressure from public education advoctates, its own faculty and student body, and from former students to end its partnership with Governor Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit students known as the Education Achievement Authority. I have published open letters to the EMU Regents HERE and HERE

The impact is being felt. There are now multiple school districts where teachers are refusing to accept student teachers from EMU’s College of Education:

  • Ann Arbor Public Schools
  • Washtenaw County Education Association Member Schools
    • Chelsea
    • Dexter
    • Lincoln
    • Manchester
    • Saline
    • Whitmore Lake
  • Taylor
  • Northville – unconfirmed
  • Wayne Westland – unconfirmed
  • Livonia – unconfirmed

Today we have another open letter, this one to EMU President Susan Martin from an EMU College of Education graduate and current teacher Cynthia Nicholas.…

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Muskegon Heights schools still financially insolvent despite Emergency Manager’s outsourcing to for-profit charter

Wait, Emergency Managers were supposed to solve these problems weren’t they???

In what can only be seen as an embarrassing repudiation of the Republican idea that Emergency Managers are capable of “fixing” financially-struggling schools, the Muskegon Heights schools system has had to borrow nearly a quarter million dollars from the state in order to make payroll. This was after Emergency Manager Gregory Weatherspoon turned the school system entirely over to Mosaica Education, Inc., a for-profit charter school corporation — or as Mosaica likes to call itself, a for-profit education management organization — a year and half ago.

The state is fronting $231,000 to the charter school district in Muskegon Heights so it can pay its employees.…
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Another OPEN LETTER to the Regents of Eastern Michigan Univ. from a College of Ed. faculty member

Earlier this week, I published an open letter to the Regents of Eastern Michigan University who made the decision to partner with the Education Achievement Authority, Governor Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit’s children. In it, he admonished the Regents for betraying the history and legacy and mission of EMU by supporting an education model that relies on untrained, inexperienced teachers. EMU’s reputation and history as a “university for teachers” seemed to be thrown to the curb with this move and continues to be thrown to the curb by their continued support.

Today, we have another open letter, this one from EMU College of Education faculty member professor Stephen Wellinski.…

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The one reform education in Michigan needs (and it has NOTHING to do with money)

As Gary notes below, this post will be his last at Eclectablog. It’s been a joy to have him writing for the site and sharing his wisdom and insight into the world of an educator who is on the cutting edge of science-based education models and who understands both the benefits and perils of the use of technology in the classroom. We wish Gary, his wife, and their new baby all the best and invite him to come back to share his knowledge with us any time.

- Chris

Note: This month marks the close of my tenure with Eclectablog. I have thoroughly appreciated, enjoyed, and learned from the opportunity to write with this talented and caring team over this past year.

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Open Letter to Eastern Michigan University Regents regarding EMU’s partnership with the EAA from a faculty member

“Your support for the EAA is a black-mark on this university’s history”

Yesterday, Eastern Michigan University’s Board of Regents met and, as part of the meeting, they took public comments. Below is the commentary of Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the EMU Special Education Department, Steve Camron. It does a fantastic job of outlining why EMU’s partnership with Governor Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit students, the Education Achievement Authority, is so antithetical to the University’s legacy and purpose. I have written before about EMU’s history as a teacher education institution:

When Eastern Michigan University was founded in 1849, it was called the Michigan State Normal School.…
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EAA bill now goes back to the Senate so our work is not done + impressions on yesterday’s vote

The fight continues

Yesterday’s narrow passage of the legislation that will expand the failed Education Achievement Authority experiment statewide was a blow to those of us who rely on data and facts to inform our decisions. With the help of two supposed progressives from Detroit, Representatives John Olumba and Harvey Santana, the bill passed by only two votes. THEIR votes.

However, the fight is not over. The legislation now goes back to the state Senate where I’m told there’s a good chance they won’t pass with changes since the House significantly altered it from the previously-passed Senate version. This gives opponents more opportunities to shine a light on the colossal failure that the EAA represents, a system run by a man who left Missouri to come to Michigan only to see the Kansas City school district he previously headed up lose its accreditation shortly after his departure.…

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