New Education Achievement Authority leader’s former school district loses its accreditation

Last month, I wrote about the selection of John Covington to run a new group in Michigan called Education Achievement Authority (EAA) tasked with helping to work with failing schools. I also wrote that he faked a conflict with his former employer to get out of his contract and could make as much as $1.4 million in four years. Today, we learn that the school district he last ran, the Kansas City School District, has lost its accreditation.

A newly appointed chancellor charged with turning around Michigan and Detroit’s worst-performing schools was himself the head of a district that failed to meet education standards, officials said Tuesday.
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President Obama using new media like a boss!

This ad just came up on my iPhone Pandora app:

It was complete with the President’s voice exhorting me to call Congress to urge them to pass his jobs bill. “Learn about it, fight for it!”

That’s how you use social media/new media, kids. That’s how you win the future. FTW.

(P.S., it’s paid for by the Democratic National Committee. Just saw/heard it again.)…

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New book by Jennifer Granholm & Dan Mulhern — A review of “A Governor’s Story”

I have a new piece up at A2Politico, a review of former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s new book A Governor’s Story, co-authored with her husband and partner, Dan Mulhern. The book, released today, is an important contribution to the political discussions taking place in America today.

Here are a few excerpts from my review.

A Governor’s Story is a first-person account told in Granholm’s voice. However, as is made clear from the start, it is a collaborative effort between her and Mulhern. The book tells four different stories. First, it is a history lesson about the impact on Michigan of the Great Recession of this decade, a state with seven times more manufacturing jobs per capita than any other state.…
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MI GOP House Speaker endorses man who wanted no part of saving our domestic auto companies

Isn’t this spayshul? Republican Speaker of the Michigan House Jase Bolger is endorsing Mitt Romney to be the GOP presidential candidate. Remember Mitt and his last salvo in Michigan? He is the one who said THIS:

If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses.

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Obama administration wants Wall Street banks to help pay for auto company and other bailout losses

This should make progressives VERY happy. In fact, it ought to make the Congressional Progressive Caucus especially happy because the Obama administration is pushing to adopt a key component of their People’s Budget (pdf): forcing the banks that caused our country’s economic crisis to help pick up the pieces by paying for the losses incurred by taxpayers in helping save our domestic auto industry and other emergency measures. The mechanism is a “Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee“.

The Obama administration said Monday it wants to make the nation’s largest banks pay for the losses incurred in the $85 billion auto bailout and other bailout programs.
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BREAKING: President Obama won’t throw elderly and poor under the bus

My, my. Who woulda thunk it? After a summer of “Obama is throwing seniors and poor people under the BUS!!!” coming from the left, it turns out, HE ISN’T. According to the New York Times and others, President Obama is proposing cutting the deficit by $3.6 tillion over the next ten years and paying for at least half of it with a new, minimum tax on the über-wealthy.

President Obama on Monday will call for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, according to administration officials.…
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Zoning by consent decree – is Saugatuck Dunes the first domino?

I’m reprinting a guest column titled “Dunes Decision Troubling for All”, first published at The Bridge. In this piece, Alison Swan describes how Aubrey McClendon and his development company circumvented the normal legislative process and took his fight to develop the sensitive, rare and, of course, beautiful Saugatuck Dunes directly to the courts. Here, with his deep pockets and bloated back account, he could simply outspend the local municipality to eventually prevail.

The most disheartening thing about these types of fights is that the developer only has to win once but the local village, city or township must keep fighting developers endlessly and win every battle.…

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Michigan GOP ready to end employer-paid domestic partner benefits for public employees

Not that this is any surprise but Michigan Republicans are poised to make sure that schools, counties, cities and the state itself do not offer domestic partner benefits to their employees.

Michigan cities, counties, schools, universities and the state itself would be prohibited from offering domestic partner benefits to the live-in companions of their employees under legislation narrowly approved by the state House on Thursday.

The measure would bar the employers from including domestic partner benefits as a subject of collective bargaining after the expiration of current contracts.

The legislation is largely aimed at ending the practice of extending benefits to a public employee’s domestic partner.

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