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UPDATED: How is former EAA chief John Covington still being considered to run schools? Two words: Broad Foundation

This post has been updated below.

Former Education Achievement Authority Chancellor John Covington has left a trail of scandal and disarray in both Kansas City and Detroit after abruptly quitting leadership positions in both cities. Yet, over the past week, we’ve learned that he’s in the final four being considered to head up the Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Once Nashville officials learned about his sordid past, things began to fall apart with the local teachers union asking for a refund of at least some of the money spent with the search firm Hazard Young Attea & Associates. “I really thought that when the board of education entered into a contract with the search firm, they were hiring a search firm that would do appropriate vetting, or at least, call up all of the references to find out what they knew about the individual,” said Erik Huth, president-elect of the Metropolitan Nashville Education Association.…

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Last month, Michigan Republican Senator Patrick Colbeck had an op-ed pulled and then republished at <i>The Detroit News</i> with modifications after he was busted <a href="http://www.eclectablog.com/2015/05/gop-state-sen-colbeck-revises-detroit-news-anti-obamacare-op-ed-after-getting-busted-for-lying.html" target="_blank">lying about various aspects of the Affordable Care Act</a>. 

Colbeck is now at it again. He recently published an op-ed in the <i>Canton Observer</i> attempting to convince readers that everything is fine with education funding, Republicans have actually INCREASED it, and that the problems that Plymouth-Canton Community Schools (P-CCS) are having are their own goddam fault.

However, shortly after it was published, the <i>Canton Observer</i> posted this <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheCantonObserver/posts/998808876809459" target="_blank">on their Facebook page:</a>

Michigan Republican Sen. Colbeck has op-ed pulled for inaccuracies. Again. (UPDATED x2)

Last month, Michigan Republican Senator Patrick Colbeck had an op-ed pulled and then republished at The Detroit News with modifications after he was busted lying about various aspects of the Affordable Care Act. Colbeck is now at it again. He recently published an op-ed in the Canton Observer attempting to convince readers that everything is fine with education funding, Republicans have actually INCREASED it, and that the problems that Plymouth-Canton Community Schools (P-CCS) are having are their own goddam fault. However, shortly after it was published, the Canton Observer posted this on their Facebook page:
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SHOCKER! Corporate front group Mackinac Center wants to turn all Detroit Public Schools over to charters

SHOCKER! Corporate front group Mackinac Center wants to turn all Detroit Public Schools over to charters

Oh, look. The corporate front group Mackinac Center wants to convert all Detroit Public Schools (DPS) to charter schools. This, they tell us would be “the best safeguard” and would “allow many independent charter school operators to try varying models for converted DPS schools.”

In other words, they once again want to experiment with Detroit school children.

In Highland Park, the emergency manager’s operating plan for the district included turning over educational responsibilities to a charter school, while using existing property tax revenue to pay down accumulated debt.

Muskegon Heights put a similar arrangement in place: Again, the district converted its schools into charter schools, and revenues from the district’s 18-mill nonhomestead property tax were dedicated to paying off Muskegon Heights’ debt.

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Michigan GOP finds U.S. Constitution not "Constitutionony" enough

Michigan GOP finds U.S. Constitution not “Constitutionony” enough

The GOP propaganda campaign to divide and conquer the electorate and control Michigan education moves ever onward in the state Senate with the passage of SB 209, a bill to amend the existing school code to include specific teaching emphasis on what the GOP designates as the “core principles” of the U. S. Constitution, the First, Second and Tenth Amendments. These just happen to be the party’s favorite recruiting Amendments of the GOP.

These three Amendments are perhaps the least complex, the God and guns and states rights Amendments (That is, “making no laws respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms;” and “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively.”).…

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EXCLUSIVE: Education Achievement Authority (EAA) teachers hit back against unfair treatment and disrespect

EXCLUSIVE: Education Achievement Authority (EAA) teachers hit back against unfair treatment and disrespect

I have two items of interest regarding Gov. Snyder’s failed experiment on Detroit students known as the Education Achievement Authority. The first is (not exclusive) news about EAA teacher Tiffani Eaton who was fired from her job for breaking up a fight using a broom handle last year. Once details of the event came out, including video, the public hue and cry was deafening. Even her boss, Pershing High School principal Gregory King, said, “She should never have been fired.”

Eaton was later offered her position back, an offer she declined.

She is now suing the EAA:

The eight-count federal complaint filed Friday in Detroit says Eaton-Davis was a victim of gender discrimination.…
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Michigan Rep. reveals GOP agenda: "I believe in publicly-funded education, not necessarily publicly-delivered"

Michigan Rep. reveals GOP agenda: “I believe in publicly-funded education, not necessarily publicly-delivered”

It’s not often that Republican speak the truth about their overarching agenda. They more often cloak it in palatable language that makes it more appealing and disguises their heartlessness and their true goals. But every once in awhile one of their members gives us a glimpse of what their real agenda is. Mitt Romney did it when he made his “47 percent” and “binders full of women” remarks, for example.

That happened in Michigan this week when Republican House member Tim Kelly of Saginaw Township made this rather stunning comment:

I believe in publicly-funded education, not necessarily publicly-delivered.

The remark was made in the context of his outrageous proposal to simply eliminate the Detroit Public School system because, according to him, “They’ve had their opportunity and…they’ve squandered that opportunity.” That proposal, particularly coming from the chairman of the House Appropriations School Aid Subcommittee, is shocking enough.…

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Common Core foes are losing it, seeing monsters where no monsters exist

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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New Michigan legislation to punish the poor

New Michigan legislation to punish the poor

This week the Michigan Legislature passed House Bill 4041, what they call the Parental Responsibility Act. Gov. Snyder is probably eager to sign it because it has the word “responsibility” in it and impacts only the politically powerless. The Michigan Department of Human Services will be required to eliminate cash assistance to poor families if any child in the household under age 16 is repeatedly absent from school.

On the face of it this seems like a good “enforcement” idea because education is indeed the route out of poverty in the long term. But passing this bill is just more grandstanding by a do-pretty-much-nothing legislature that’s got no handle on solutions to the real and overarching problems confronting Michigan.…

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After agreeing to study determining the cost to educate a child in Michigan, GOP now poised to kill "this crazy study"

After agreeing to study determining the cost to educate a child in Michigan, GOP now poised to kill “this crazy study”

Education cost study? We doan need no stinkin’ education cost study!

As part of the package of legislation passed to put Proposal 1 on the ballot, Republicans agreed to fund a study of the costs to educate a child in Michigan. Democrats pushed for the study so that smart choices regarding the funding of schools can be made in the future. Republicans not only agreed to it, it was in fact a bill – H.B. 423 – introduced by a Republican and all of the cosponsors were Republican. Twenty-five House Republicans and eight Senate Republicans voted for it. It was signed into law by our Republican governor as Public Act 555 of 2014 and is now actually part of the Revised School Code.…

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Detroit Schools Emergency Manager announces plan to force teachers to reapply for jobs during Teacher Appreciation Week

Detroit Schools Emergency Manager announces plan to force teachers to reapply for jobs during Teacher Appreciation Week

Earlier this week, President Obama issued a proclamation regarding National Teacher Appreciation Week which runs from May 3rd through May 9th. In his proclamation, he wrote:

“On National Teacher Appreciation Day and during National Teacher Appreciation Week, we honor America’s outstanding teachers and the vital role they play in the lives of our children and the success of our country.

“In classrooms across America, talented and hardworking teachers are nurturing a new generation of thinkers, doers, and dreamers. They teach the subjects and skills that will fuel the next century of growth and innovation, as well as the virtues and values — like character, compassion, creativity, and resilience — that will prepare their students to take on the challenges of the future.

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