Ultra far right wing conservatives Todd Courser and Gary Glenn took steps this week that show beyond a shadow of a doubt that their views on education have more to do with people in the 18th Century than they do with any modern views on education today. In a Facebook post this week that he has since deleted, Courser describes our state’s education system as being run by “top down soviet style central planners” and says that the schools should be a “ministry of the church” to ensure that students can “read the scriptures” and not to prepare them for careers as adults.…
Michigan Republicans: Teachers don’t need to be certified & education is to teach children to read the Scriptures
“Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget and I will tell you what you value.” – Joe Biden
Michigan Republicans put forth their proposed education budget yesterday and, as you would expect, it shows just how little the value education in our state. After slashing education funding for years, they are back this year with a paltry 1.6% increase. Even Gov. Snyder’s budget almost hit 2%. And it’s not just the tiny increase that is the biggest slap in the face to those who value the education of our children and see it as an investment in our state’s future.…
Once again proving that reading comprehension isn’t a requirement for being a legislator…
Lapeer state legislator Todd Courser, a self-described “Constitutional, Conservative Republican”, is an ardent defender of “the freedom of parent’s choice in education for their children”. This is code language for homeschooling children, something Courser and his wife have done with their own kids. There are myriad reasons for parents to homeschool their kids and it’s a noble endeavor that requires an enormous commitment of time and resources to do it right.
Recently, Senate Bill 169 and Senate Bill 170 were introduced to allow high school graduates, including those who are homeschooled, to receive a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) endorsement on their diploma.…
Mich Gov. Snyder balances budget on backs of students (again) and takes control of failing schools (again)
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder continued his assault on education this week with two remarkable moves that betray his claims to have education at the top of his priority list.
First, he signed legislation that fills a huge budget hole, created in part by ongoing multi-billion dollar tax cuts for businesses by diverting $167 million from the School Aid Fund. This comes on the heals of fake increases in per-pupil funding that are actually cuts.
But the most outrageous move was to remove control of the State School Reform and Redesign Office, which oversees the Education Achievement Authority, from the Department of Education and putting it under the oversight of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget.…
UPDATED x2: Leader of Brighton group has concerned parent arrested at an “open house” for their proposed tea party charter school
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.…
Michigan GOP moves to fill budget crater from corporate tax breaks by robbing a quarter billion dollars from schools
To hear Michigan Republicans tell the story, they are all about the importance of education in Michigan. Get them in front of a microphone, camera, or a reporter and they will tell you it’s one of their highest priorities. Their hypocrisy on this issue is in clear display this week as they passed to bills, H.B. 4110 and H.B. 4112, which take over a quarter billion dollars out of the state School Aid Fund.
UPDATED: Dow Foundation gives $1 million grant to anti-public schools corporatist front group to “fund education policy research”
The anti-union, anti-teacher corporatist group Mackinac Center for Public Policy has a long history of promoting the demise of teachers unions and public schools. They prefer a world where children are taught by non-unionized teachers in charter schools that profit from our tax dollars. Which is why it’s bizarre to the point of being Orwellian that they have granted $1 million by the Dow Foundation to “fund education policy research”. Chad Phillips at the Michigan Populist Blog has the story:
I apologize for the lack of new posts this past week. My family is dealing with an ongoing medical crisis with my father and I have not had time to write. Regular posting will resume when the crisis is resolved.
Last week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder unveiled his new budget. According to his spin on the budget, per-pupil funding will be increased by $75 per student. At the time, Democratic Representative Brandon Dillon noted that this so-called “increase” would be more than offset by cuts to schools in other areas:
Amidst all the challenges facing education today, teachers want you to know that they still #LoveTeaching
Pushing back against some of the narratives about job dissatisfaction and teachers quitting the profession, educators around the country are sharing their love of teaching through a social media campaign known as #LoveTeaching and you’re invited to join in with them.
Teaching is a noble profession and arguably the one that gives rise to all others. A great teacher can change the life of a student and great teaching has the most in-school impact on student learning. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy or fun to teach, but it means that teachers are dedicating their work to the success of others; moreover, our kids.…
I have written before about an effort by a group led by Pasquale Battaglia to get Brighton Area Schools (BAS) to charter his “American Classical Academies” school. This group used to call them “American Christian Academies” before changing the name, and only the name, to avoid being seen for what they are: a tea party influenced school steeped in religion, pretending to be something else in order to rake in state tax dollars.
Last year, BAS sold their Lindbom Elementary School building to Battaglia’s group for $1.45 million. So far, nobody has been able to determine where the money came from.…
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