The teaching profession is steadily being transformed into a “gig job” on the model of Uber, Lyft and AirBnB wherein customers are paired with independent providers via Smart Phone apps. The model grew out of human desperation during the bleakest days of the Great Recession. As teacher shortages roll out across the nation we can count on Republican legislatures to follow the “shock doctrine” and use the disturbing teacher shortage situation to implement their ideological agendas. In this case it’s the ongoing destruction of classic American public schools and placing K-12 education in the largely untested hands of those for whom schools are just another institution to be run on a business model, especially the for-profit model.…
Some terrific reporting by John Wisely and Ann Zaniewski of the Detroit Free Press shows that Gov. Snyder’s failed experiment on Detroit school children, the Education Achievement Authority, is still a place where corruption is still a big problem.
After former EAA Chancellor John Covington left under a cloud of scandal and corruption, Veronica Conforme was brought in to set things right. Hailing from the New York City school system, she had been doing consulting for the EAA for some time under Covington prior to ascension as his replacement.
One of Conforme’s first actions was to engage in a deceptive program to poach students from other schools.…
You have to give the group headed up by rabid tea partier Pasquale Battaglia credit; they are persistent. After having their request to charter their tea party charter school denied by Brighton Public Schools, they have turned their attention now to Whitmore Lake Public Schools.
The WLPS voted on October 26th to put out a call soliciting a cyber charter school for their district. This attracted attention of Battaglia’s Livingston Classical Academy – part of his American Classical Academy group, formerly known as American Christian Academy – who plan to pursue a charter from WLPS:
The following essay was written by Mitchell Robinson and was originally published on his most-excellent blog at MitchellRobinson.net. Robinson is associate professor and chair of music education, and coordinator of the music student teaching program at Michigan State University. His essay is reposted here with permission.
The Great Lakes Education Project is a Michigan advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the charter school agenda in the state. GLEP’s official mission statement says the following: “Because a zip code shouldn’t determine the education outcomes for children, GLEP believes we must expand choice, improve quality and increase accountability. We support Governor Snyder’s ‘any time, any place, any way, at any pace’ approach to education.” But it’s worth noting that Michigan leads the nation in “for-profit” charter schools, with nearly 80% of the state’s charters being of the “for-profit” variety, making GLEP not so much an educational organization as a PR firm for charter school authorizers.…
GUEST POST: Was Michigan charter school board complicit in theft of tax dollars by its founder Steve Ingersoll?
Steve Ingersoll has become the face of charter school operators scamming Michigan taxpayers by siphoning tax dollars intended for education into their own personal bank accounts. Ingersoll founded and operated the Bay City Academy in Bay City and the Grand Traverse Academy in Grand Traverse County. Last spring he was convicted on three counts of criminal tax fraud connected to his management of the Bay City Academy.
The Grand Traverse Academy severed its relationship with Ingersoll shortly before his indictment in 2014. However, they had known about financial irregularities in Ingersoll’s operation of their charter school as early as a year before but continued to keep him on board and, as recently as January of this year, defended him as a “philanthropist” who helped them “stay out of deficit”:
Gov. Snyder’s State School Reform Officer received $100K in tax dollars for “ghost school” she never opened
Yesterday I wrote about a report from the Center for Media and Democracy that showed how 25 proposed charter schools in Michigan received $1.7 million in tax dollars but never actually opened. It turns out that one of those schools was the Detroit College Preparatory Academy, the brainchild or “dream” of a woman named Natasha Baker.
Here’s what Baker’s dream involved from an article in the Metro Times published in 2011:
Charter school scam: 25 Michigan charter schools received $1.7 million in tax dollars but never actually opened
This week, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released a scathing report on charter schools in 12 states which have received federal funding. The report, titled Charter School Black Hole shows that Michigan charter schools received $34,997,658 between 2010-2015 under the federal Charter School Program (CSP). 139 of the 297 charters (as of 2014, the number is up to 302 now) in Michigan were subsidized in part by federal tax dollars in the past five years, about half.
What CMD found is shocking:
The following guest post is by Mitchell Robinson and was first posted at his education-focused blog MitchellRobinson.net. He offered it up to me to share with the readers of Eclectablog and I immediately took him up on it having already read his beautiful prose. Robinson is associate professor and chair of music education at Michigan State University. He has held previous collegiate appointments at the University of Connecticut and Eastman School of Music and his essay centers around the importance of art and music in public schools. Its not just an academic discussion. In Lansing Public Schools, for example, they have eliminated the music and arts programs.…
From surplus to ballooning deficit: the legacy of government takeover & Emergency Managers in Detroit Public Schools
In 1999, the Detroit Public School system had a positive fund balance of $246,300,000 according to a ten-year summary in their 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (pages 91-92). That was the same year that the DPS was taken over by the State of Michigan under Republican John Engler. The school district was placed under the control of an Emergency Financial Manager in 2009 and has been under a state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager or, more recently, an Emergency Manager continously since then, ostensibly to fix the financial crisis blamed on the DPS school boards prior to 1999.
How has the state takeover and the imposition of un-democratic emergency management worked out?…
Indiana school district to hire former Michigan Emergency Manager who increased debt by nearly $90 million in 18 months
Look out, Indiana! It’s coming right for you!
After having been beta tested in Michigan, the Emergency Manager model of “saving” “failing” municipalities from their own corruption, malfeasance, and ineptitude – or as is more often the case, the implosion of their manufacturing base and disinvestment – is being rolled out in the states of Indiana and New Jersey. In Indiana, Gary Public Schools has just hired a new Emergency Manager (or “fiscal manager” in their parlance) to run the cash-strapped school district. Who is the new overseer? None other than Jack Martin, former Emergency Manager of Highland Park schools and, more recently Detroit Public Schools.…
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