Tag Archives | Education

The one reform education in Michigan needs (and it has NOTHING to do with money)

As Gary notes below, this post will be his last at Eclectablog. It’s been a joy to have him writing for the site and sharing his wisdom and insight into the world of an educator who is on the cutting edge of science-based education models and who understands both the benefits and perils of the use of technology in the classroom. We wish Gary, his wife, and their new baby all the best and invite him to come back to share his knowledge with us any time.

- Chris

Note: This month marks the close of my tenure with Eclectablog. I have thoroughly appreciated, enjoyed, and learned from the opportunity to write with this talented and caring team over this past year.

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POLL: Rick Snyder may want you to think he’s supporting education but most people don’t believe it

Republican Governor Rick Snyder is spending an enormous amount of effort trying to convince Michigan residents that he has increased school funding. In reality, it’s true. The state of Michigan is spending a bit more now than when Snyder took office. But that’s only because he includes temporary federal funding as part of the Stimulus spending legislation sent to states to cushion the blow of the Bush Recession as the starting point, funding no longer available. Overall, schools are funded at a lower rate than in the past.

Funny thing: Michiganders know it.

An new Inside Michigan Politics/Lambert, Edwards & Associates/Denno Research poll shows that over half of Michiganders believe that Governor Snyder has decreased spending on schools.…

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BREAKING: House may vote on EAA expansion legislation soon, State Board of Ed President says, “Not the time” (UPDATED x2)

It appears that the state House may vote on HB 4369, legislation that would expand the State school reform/redesign (SSRR) school district (which includes the EAA), today or in the very near future, perhaps even yet today. Word I have been getting is that the bill has changed since the Senate passed it.

In response to this movement, State Board of Education President John Austin and State Board of Education Secretary Dan Varner issued the following statement saying that now is not the time to pass this bill:

Not Time to Pass EAA Expansion Bill

While historically supporting the EAA and hoping to help it succeed, now is not the time to move legislation expanding its scope.

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Upcoming Michigan for Public Education meeting to host three pro-public ed speakers this Friday

In addition to the multiple other education-related events happening in Michigan this week (details on the others HERE), the group Michigan for Public Education is holding its quarterly speakers meeting this Friday, March 14. This event will host three outstanding speakers covering an array of topics related to protecting our public education system in Michigan:

  • David Arsen, Ph.D. from MSU will make a presentation on “School Choice or School Privatization? Finance and Choice in a High Performance State Education System”.
  • Jennifer Smith from Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) will make a presentation on the Stand Up For Public Education campaign that is designed to build a network of groups and individuals as advocates for public education.
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EAA Chancellor Covington “supports” Dept of Education ending exclusivity contract – but won’t let them out of it

On Wednesday of this past week, news broke that State Superintendent Mike Flanagan was ending a 15-year exclusivity contract with the Governor Rick Snyder’s failed experiment with Detroit children known as the Education Achievement Authority. The contract specified that the State School Reform/Redesign District (SSRRD) would only place “low performing” schools in the EAA. By ending that part of the contract, Flanagan has other options (like charter schools, privatizing schools, etc.)

Why the contract was written to give the EAA exclusive control over those “failing” schools is unknown but it was clearly a bad idea. So, it’s understandable why Flanagan wanted out of it.…

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Some things you need to know about the Education Achievement Authority as lawmakers consider their votes

As faculty and students at Eastern Michigan University gather at a rally today to urge their Board of Regents to sever their educational institution’s relationship with Governor Snyder’s failed Educational Achievement Authority experiment in Detroit, lawmakers in Lansing are whipping votes to pass legislation that will expand it statewide and codify it into law.

Yesterday’s bombshell news that State Superintendent Mike Flanagan is ending the state’s contract with the EAA that makes them the exclusive “home for misfit schools” under the Statewide School Reform District, it’s important to realize that this is not really much of a victory at all. For one thing, the end of the contract isn’t until February of 2015, one year from now.…

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Veteran EAA teacher: “This reminds me of the Tuskegee Experiment”

NOTE: My reporting on the Education Achievement Authority involves multiple posts. You can read all of my coverage of the EAA by clicking HERE.

One of the questions that I have asked during the course of my reporting on Governor Snyder’s Education Achievement Authority (EAA) is, “Why would you create something that seems designed to fail?” One answer is that they WANT it to fail so that charter schools run by for-profit corporations can come in and sweep up the pieces. A backdoor way to encourage the proliferation of for-profit charters.

Another answer is that this is an experiment, one being watched closely by corporatists across the country who want to see if you can educate students in struggling schools on the cheap and make a profit from it.…

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Tim Walberg gets his School Report Card: An “F” for attacks on Head Start & early education

Residents of Coldwater in Branch County braved the frigid temperatures last Friday to let voters of their town know a bit about their U.S. Congressman Tim Walberg. At a time when all eyes are on education, especially here in Michigan, these hearty souls wanted to draw attention to Walberg’s failed record of support for Head Start. The even took place just one week after Congressman Tim Walberg hypocritically campaigned at a local pre-school with Head Start students.

“Congressman Walberg should apologize to Michigan families for campaigning in a Head Start Program after voting against Head Start and questioning whether the program is successful,” said Betty Rissman.…

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An EAA teacher talks about teachers persevering for Detroit students despite a culture of fear & control

NOTE: My reporting on the Education Achievement Authority involves multiple posts. You can read all of my coverage of the EAA by clicking HERE.

In the course of my reporting on Governor Rick Snyder’s Education Achievement Authority (you can read all of the posts HERE), one thing has become abundantly clear: the EAA administration has intentionally created a culture of fear and control over teachers that discourages them from speaking out or taking collective action in any way. Beyond just preventing them from unionizing — none of the EAA teachers are represented by a union or enjoy collective bargaining rights for wages, benefits, and working conditions — it has served to prevent them from reporting some of the more egregious things happening in the EAA schools.…

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Three ways teachers are connecting with other teachers in Michigan and beyond

As technology has evolved to the level of mobile computing and web-based apps, the popularity of educational technology has soared. Demands for workshops on apps, interactive whiteboards, and mobile devices has never been greater; however, the classic model of professional development for teachers has not been able to keep up.

Sending teachers to a specific place at a specific time to learn in groups from a trainer, who did not necessarily have classroom teaching experience, is the traditional format of workshops for teachers. While these sessions can offer great information, and even some hands-on time with technology, the demand for more training cannot be met with these types of workshops alone.…

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