Tag: Education

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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It’s time to stop pretending Michigan Republicans care about kids, “small government”, or “local control”

It’s time to stop pretending Michigan Republicans care about kids, “small government”, or “local control”

It’s time that we all stop pretending that Michigan Republicans care about students, the idea of smaller government, or that they believe that local control trumps state or federal government control. They SAY that these are bedrock beliefs of the Republican Party. These concepts are clearly spelled out in their platform. But we have all the evidence that we need to know that these are lies and that Michigan Republicans don’t give a damn about students and their education or about the keeping local governments in control of their destinies whenever possible.

Yesterday, we got examples of what are easily seen as Exhibits A and B in this argument.…

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Michigan House Republicans transcend racism and elevate their actions to dehumanize DPS schoolchildren

Michigan House Republicans transcend racism and elevate their actions to dehumanize DPS schoolchildren

I read with great interest Eclectablog founder and editor Chris Savage’s interview with American Federation of Teachers national president Randy Weingarten yesterday and it set in motion the vast array of anger am feeling about how the Michigan State House of Representatives have devolved into hate-filled racists who no longer attempt to hide their disdain for the Detroit Public Schools, the children that attend them and the state-appointed Emergency Managers who created the debt and decay that has ensued, not to mention the teachers, and that’s just for starters.

The Republican-controlled legislature have given in to the will of the lobbying group Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP).…

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I left the country for two weeks and the list of things that happened in Michigan is mind blowing

I left the country for two weeks and the list of things that happened in Michigan is mind blowing

The lack of blog posts over the past couple of weeks is due to the fact that I was in Canada for a week-long business trip two weeks ago that involved me working 8-10 hour shifts, grabbing a quick bite to eat on the fly, and then catching a few hours of sleep before heading back to the plant. I got home Friday night at around 9 p.m. and was back at the airport the next morning to fly to Ireland for a wedding/vacation.

Interestingly and unexpectedly, the day we arrived in Dublin was the 100-year anniversary of the “Easter Rising” that essentially created the nation of Ireland was we know it today.…

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The New Emergency Manager: Woman who got over $100K for school she never opened now imposing CEOs on struggling schools

The New Emergency Manager: Woman who got over $100K for school she never opened now imposing CEOs on struggling schools

I’ve been writing lately about the attempt by the Snyder administration to continue the undemocratic takeover of local schools facing financial difficulties without having to use an Emergency Manager. Thanks to the Flint water catastrophe where the residents’ drinking water was contaminated with lead thanks to decisions made by Emergency Managers, that phrase has become (pardon the pun) toxic. As I have written (HERE and HERE), the individual put in charge of taking over the school districts is now called a “CEO”. And the CEO has all sorts of power:

  • Assume the financial and academic authority over multiple schools;
  • Assume the role of the locally elected school board for those schools they have been assigned;
  • Control all funds attributable to pupils at the school without the consent of the locally elected board;
  • Permanently close a school without the consent of the locally elected board;
  • Sell closed school buildings without the consent of the locally elected board; and
  • Convert schools into charter schools without the consent of the locally elected board.
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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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For Michigan schools, CEO is the new Emergency Manager – Now with more POWER!

For Michigan schools, CEO is the new Emergency Manager – Now with more POWER!

The ultimate expression of running government like a business

Earlier this month, I reported about a new approach being taken by Gov. Rick Snyder when it comes to taking over schools with unelected overseers. Because the term “Emergency Manager” is now a national expletive, he has changed the title to school district “Chief Executive Officer (CEO)”. The first school district to be put under the control of an appointed CEO is East Detroit Public Schools:

It’s not clear under what authorization this is being done. However, given that the CEO “will have jurisdiction over all instructional and financial decisions”, it appears to be an Emergency Manager with a new name, one that avoids the now-toxic “Emergency Manager” moniker.…

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Running government like a business: Snyder admin. invents another way to take over schools: “School District CEO”

Running government like a business: Snyder admin. invents another way to take over schools: “School District CEO”

With Emergency Managers now a four-letter word in Michigan, the Snyder administration has come up with a new way to take over public schools without having to invoke the epithet. In their on-going effort to “run government like a business”, they have appointed a “School District Chief Executive Officer (CEO)” for East Detroit Public Schools:

A chief executive officer will soon be named to oversee academics in East Detroit Public Schools after years of chronically low student achievement, state officials said Tuesday. The CEO will have jurisdiction over all instructional and financial decisions of four of the district’s seven schools for the next three years along with the superintendent, according to the State School Reform Office.…

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GUEST POST: Future of Pontiac schools could hinge on outcome of millage vote THIS TUESDAY

GUEST POST: Future of Pontiac schools could hinge on outcome of millage vote THIS TUESDAY

The following guest post was written by Amy McKeever, a Pontiac School District teacher and the President of the Pontiac Education Association.

Enjoy.
While much attention has been focused on the horrendous condition of Detroit Public School buildings, the health and safety concerns are no less dire in the Pontiac School District, where the majority of buildings are over 50 years old.

On March 8, voters in the Pontiac School District can do something about it — they can vote “Yes” on the Building and Site Sinking Fund millage to provide funding for much needed building repairs, at a cost to the average Pontiac homeowner of less than 40 cents a day — less than forty cents a day to repair buckling floors, water damaged walls and leaking roofs — less than forty cents a day to fix malfunctioning boilers, control erratic classroom temperatures and repair ventilation systems. …

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Former Flint & Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Darnell Earley will receive over $80K in consulting fees

Former Flint & Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Darnell Earley will receive over $80K in consulting fees

It’s a good gig if you can get it

Darnell Earley, the disgraced former Emergency Manager for the city of Flint and, more recently, Detroit Public Schools (DPS), will receive $82,862.90 through mid-July to work as a consultant for the school district. Earley resigned his position last month because, according to his jaw dropping assessment, he had rectified the school district’s financial emergency. (I’m not kidding.)

By any objective standard, Darnell Earley has been part of the problems faced by Flint and Detroit schools, not part of the solution. There is a direct line between his exclusive focus on cost cutting and the poisoning of Flint’s drinking water with the powerful, odorless, tasteless, invisible neurotoxin lead.…

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Detroit schools get FIFTH Emergency Manager, another overseer with ZERO background in education

Detroit schools get FIFTH Emergency Manager, another overseer with ZERO background in education

On Monday of this week, Gov. Rick Snyder formally appointed bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes to be the fifth Emergency Manager for Detroit Public Schools (DPS). DPS got their first Emergency Manager (they were called Emergency Financial Managers back then) in 2009 when Robert Bobb was appointed by former governor Jennifer Granholm. The year before Bobb took over, DPS had a $139.7 million deficit. Today, with four Emergency Managers having come and gone, the district has a $515 million deficit and will be out of money in the next couple of months. In the 17 years in between, DPS has seen no improvement in the education outcomes of its students and the education infrastructure is in far worse shape now than ever before.…

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