Category: Teachers

Two Michigan for-profit charter schools being held accountable for breaking the law

Two Michigan for-profit charter schools being held accountable for breaking the law

Hallelujah

It’s no secret that the for-profit charter school industry is like the Wild West when it comes to being able to do just about anything they want. Michigan is one of the most permissive states in the country when it comes to oversight of charter schools and there are miscreants out there taking full advantage of that in order to maximize the flow of tax dollars directed into their bank accounts.

This week, however, a couple of them are finally being held accountable, a rare but important step.

First, there’s Detroit Community Schools, an Orwellian-named run by former criminals that was called out in a scathing floor speech by Democratic State Rep.

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Support Michigan teachers at #StopTheAppeals protest rallies across the state TOMORROW! (8/3/2016)

Support Michigan teachers at #StopTheAppeals protest rallies across the state TOMORROW! (8/3/2016)

From our fine friends at the Michigan Education Association (MEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT):

MEA and AFT Michigan members will gather together at 10 sites across the state tomorrow (Wednesday, August 3rd) to protest Gov. Rick Snyder’s frivolous appeal of a court ruling that school employees are owed 3% of their salary that the state illegally stole from their paychecks.

Snyder’s decision to appeal is just another example of the wrong priorities that Snyder and his allies have about public education.  School employees are fed up with Snyder’s constant disrespect and attacks on educators and public education.  It’s time to gather together and make our voices heard and to advocate for the public schools that Michigan students deserve.…

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When Gov. Snyder and AG Schuette feud, innocent people get hurt. Big surprise, this time it’s teachers.

When Gov. Snyder and AG Schuette feud, innocent people get hurt. Big surprise, this time it’s teachers.

Three weeks ago, I wrote about a major legal victory for teachers in Michigan. For the second time, an Appeals Court judge ruled that a law requiring teachers to give up 3% of their paycheck to fund their retirement account was unconstitutional. Despite this, of course, there was always the possibility that the Snyder administration would appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court and the $550 million of teachers’ money that is being held in escrow would continue to sit there, gathering dust.

Yesterday, Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that he would not be appealing the case to the Supreme Court on behalf of the state.…

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Will Gov. Snyder keep wasting taxpayer funds to screw teachers out of over a half-billion dollars? Sign the petition!

Will Gov. Snyder keep wasting taxpayer funds to screw teachers out of over a half-billion dollars? Sign the petition!

Late in the Granholm administration as Michigan’s economy was at its worst thanks to the Bush recession, the state legislature passed a law requiring teachers to give up 3% of their paycheck to fund their retirement account, something they had never had to do in the past. The America Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Michigan Education Association (MEA) sued the state on the basis that teachers were being asked to pay in advance for benefits they may never receive.

The teachers won round after round of court battles all the way up to the state Supreme Court in 2012 where the case languished on their docket for two years.…

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TONIGHT: Rally to support teachers fired for speaking out about Detroit for-profit charter school

TONIGHT: Rally to support teachers fired for speaking out about Detroit for-profit charter school

In January of this year, eight teachers at the Universal Academy – a for-profit charter school in Detroit – were fired without being given a reason. However, as is well-documented in a Metro Times article titled, “Begging for answers: Eight teachers were just fired from a Detroit charter school without cause or notice”, six of the teachers had spoken at a school board meeting about problems they saw at the school. It seemed very clear to them that this is why they were being fired:

“I am struggling to understand how this incredibly bright, hard-working student who fully deserves a diploma from Universal Academy can be removed so suddenly from her education,” [teacher Asil] Yassine wrote in a Nov.…

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In the face of unified opposition to the Michigan House Republican’s “plan” for Detroit schools, there is a better way

In the face of unified opposition to the Michigan House Republican’s “plan” for Detroit schools, there is a better way

Yesterday, Tony wrote about the racist impacts of Michigan House Republicans’ so-called plan to resolve the devastation caused by years of disinvestment in the Detroit Public Schools (DPS). I thought it would be worth a deeper look to reveal just how odious the plan is.

There are several elements that show that House Republicans have no intention of making DPS and the students in the system whole. First of all, there is insufficient funding for their “plan” to even work. Here’s what the Editorial Board at the Detroit Free Press had to say about it:

When is $500 million worth nothing?…

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GUEST POST: Education reformers’ “School Choice” is a false choice

GUEST POST: Education reformers’ “School Choice” is a false choice

The following essay was written by Mitchell Robinson and is cross-posted 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. Follow Mitchell on Twitter at @mrobmsu. His essay is reposted here with permission.

Enjoy.

A major plank of most education reform agendas is the issue of “school choice.” Reformers claim that school choice gives parents the power to move their children to “better schools,” and gives children a better chance of success. But what if unfettered, unregulated school choice didn’t improve academic achievement, and was really a scam designed to defund poor urban school districts and destabilize public education?…

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Michigan Republicans push laws to punish Detroit teachers who revealed shocking conditions in their schools

Michigan Republicans push laws to punish Detroit teachers who revealed shocking conditions in their schools

Four state Senators, Phil Pavlov, Joe Hune, David Robertson, and Goeff Hansen have had quite enough of uppity Detroit teachers who have staged “sick-outs” to draw attention to the deplorable – unconscionable, really – conditions in their schools. Images and stories of dead vermin, mushrooms growing out of the wall, disintegrating floors, walls, and ceilings, and clear evidence of black mold in the schools attended by Detroit children have shocked the state and drawn national attention to the disinvestment in DPS under a series of Emergency Managers over the past seven years.

Here’s are some of the photos:

Mushrooms in a classroom.…

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Washtenaw County Education Assn continues pledge not to take EMU student teachers until relationship with EAA is ended

Washtenaw County Education Assn continues pledge not to take EMU student teachers until relationship with EAA is ended

By April of 2014, at least eight Washtenaw County-area schools had pledged not to accept student teachers from Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education program until EMU ended its interlocal agreement with Gov. Rick Snyder’s failed experiment on Detroit school kids – the Education Achievement Authority – and disengaged from the EAA entirely.

Yesterday, the Washtenaw County Education Association renewed their pledge. Below is their position statement which reiterates that they look forward to the day when EMU students can once again teach the children in their classrooms but that their relationship with the EAA is so counter to good education practices that they cannot in good faith do so until the relationship is ended.…

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Teacher for hire! Best offer!! Get the app!!!

Teacher for hire! Best offer!! Get the app!!!

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.…

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CONFIRMED: Education Achievement Authority cheating teachers out of incentive pay

CONFIRMED: Education Achievement Authority cheating teachers out of incentive pay

Earlier this month, in an exclusive report here at Eclectablog, I reported that teachers in the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) were not receiving Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) payments as promised. The “District for Wayward Schools” had received millions of dollars in TIF grants from the federal government – $11.5 million over three years – to give teachers financial incentives for being good teachers. However, as I reported on June 9th, those funds were not being dispersed. In a email response to a teacher asking about it, EAA Associate Chancellor David Donaldson had this to say:

That is correct. 13-14 and 14-15 are totally unrelated.…
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