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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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Debunking some common progressive liberal excuses for not voting YES ON PROPOSAL 1

Part 2 of a series. Part 1 is HERE and Part 3 is HERE.

Before I get into this piece, I want to clarify a couple of things. First of all, in the conversation on Proposal 1 in Michigan, at least on the progressive side, we are starting from the position that Republicans are hideous leaders that created gigantic hole in our budget by slashing taxes for corporations. And they are now compelled to fill that hole by cutting essential programs and services – including education – or by forcing Michiganders to raise taxes on themselves. That is self-evident and, if we as citizens are doing our jobs – something we too often fail to do – they will be ridden out of Lansing on a rail in the next election.…

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Proposal 1: The issue that has turned too many Michigan progressives into tea partiers

Part 1 in a series. Part 2 is HERE and Part 3 is HERE.

There are few topics that unite tea partiers with progressive liberals but Michigan’s Prop 1 has not only united these two disparate groups, it has, for all intents and purposes, turned many progressives into tea partiers in their own right. What I mean by this is that they have allowed their hatred for our Republican governor and his colleagues in the legislature to cloud their judgment on Proposal 1, turning them against it when the truly progressive position is to support it.

When I am discussing this with my progressive friends, the ones who are against Proposal 1 say they will never support something Rick Snyder supports.…

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FOIA’ed letter shows Brighton tea party school still seeks charter so they can “train up American Citizen Patriots”

With Brighton Area Schools deciding not to consider chartering a new charter school in their district, the group trying to open a tea party-led school in Brighton has had to turn their attention to other places. Pasquale Battaglia, the brainchild behind the project and self-described “landlord” sent a letter to Dr. Craig Douglas, the Director of the School/University Partnership Office at Saginaw Valley State University a couple of months ago, seeking a meeting. This letter, obtained through a FOIA request by Brighton resident Judy Daubenmier, shows that Battaglia is both steeped in tea party rhetoric and ideology and tragically bad at grammar and spelling.…

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Brighton tea party charter school group still shopping for an authorizer, Hillsdale College now actively involved

After Brighton Area Schools declined to charter their school the organizers of the proposed charter school in Brighton called the Livingston Classical Academy, formerly the Lindbom Classical Academy – which is part of the American Classical Academy group, formerly the American Christian Academy – have not given up. According to two recent articles, the group continues to shop around for a charter authorizer to authorize their alternative to what founder Pasquale Battaglia calls “government-run schools”.

In the first article in the Livingston County Press & Argus, LCA “development team leader” Dick Streetman put a happy face on the fact that they probably won’t be opening their school this fall:

“We still plan on pushing to find a charter regardless if we open this fall,” said Dick Streetman, LCA development team leader.…
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UPDATED x2: Leader of Brighton group has concerned parent arrested at an “open house” for their proposed tea party charter school

NOTE: This story has been updated twice below and in HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Over the past few months, I have written about the efforts of a group formerly known as the American Christian Academies to form a tea party charter school in Brighton, Michigan that would use tax dollars to run as a public school. The name of the group was later changed to American Classical Academies and its leader Pasquale Battaglia has been leading the charge to get Brighton Public Schools to charter their conservative ideology-driven school.

One of the main opponents of this effort is Glenn Ikens, a Brighton parent who lives near the proposed Lindbom Classical Academy.…

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Brighton Area Schools declines to vote on chartering tea party school, potentially avoids costly election

Last night, the Brighton Area Schools (BAS) board declined to take a vote on chartering the tea party “classical academy” being pushed by Pasquale Battaglia and a coalition of homeschooling parents. You can read more on the history of this politically extreme group HERE.

After months of heated public discussion, the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education refused to even consider the motion of sponsoring a charter school at the vacant Lindbom Elementary School.

The action, approved on a 6-1 vote Monday, caused board member John Conely to walk out of the meeting. Conely was the lone dissenting vote.

“I believe it should have come to a board vote,” Conely said in the hallway.

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GOP Senator wants to end the tyranny of handwashing by restaurant workers

We’ve all seen the signs in restrooms of restaurants we go to that say “Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work”. Why do you see these? Because it’s the law. The Food and Drug Administration requires it. That’s a good thing, right? Because, as the FDA’s regulations say, “Proper handwashing reduces the spread of fecal-oral pathogens from the hands of a food employee to foods”. In other words, as the soap pictured here says, maybe they touched their genitals.

Eeew.

But, according to U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, that’s just the unnecessary tyranny of a government bloated with regulations. Let’s roll tape:

I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as they post a sign that says we don’t require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restroom.…
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Corporatists benefit most from fight over increasing Michigan’s sales tax for road repair

Let’s you and him fight…

Thanks to the division within the Michigan Republican Party, the state legislature which is dominated by Republicans was unable to find a way to fund our roads. Their internal disputes led them to toss the decision to voters who will decide if we should the state sales tax by one-percent to pay for road repairs, help low income and working poor people, and to ensure our schools don’t take a financial hit.

That internal rancor has now manifested itself in the formation of at least two conservative/tea party groups who will fight the tax increase and a promise by a third – the Koch brothers front group Americans for Prosperity – to join their fight.…

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Brighton Area Schools board votes down chartering of tea party charter school

At their meeting on Monday night, the board of Brighton Area Schools held a consensus vote on chartering a tea party charter school being proposed by the “American Classical Academy Coalition (ACAC)” (formerly the “American Christian Academy”.) The vote was 6-to-1 against chartering the “Lindbom Classical Academy” and a formal up-or-down vote has been put on the agenda for their next meeting.

The chances that the Brighton Area Schools will charter a new school that will be housed in the vacant Lindbom Elementary School are now very slim, with a consensus by the board of education that it has no interest in sponsoring a charter school.…
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