Tag Archives | Schools

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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How will 1-to-1 computing classrooms impact Michigan schools?

Across the nation, many classrooms, schools, and districts are going 1:1. Though a 1:1 program might look different from place to place, they all have at least one thing in common: every student gets their own computing device. In some cases, students receive a laptop computer while others get tablets. Regardless of the device issued to students, 1:1 programs are a substantial undertaking and require thoughtful consideration before moving forward into them, the foremost of which is whether the technology is intended to support or supplant great instruction.

In Michigan, a long-time push from Governor Snyder toward more online education (supported by a report from the pro-business Mackinac Center on online learning) along with the statewide move to expand online assessment associated with the Common Core State Standards, Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant (TRIG) money, and the inclusion of digital learning in the revised School Improvement Framework, has inspired many schools across the state to look to 1:1 computing environments for their students.…

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INTERVIEW: Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton on exposing violations of federal law by the Education Achievement Authority & how it’s failing our kids

“Why have to work through all of the messiness of this thing called ‘democracy’?”

I have written extensively about Michigan’s “Education Achievement Authority”. It as formed in September of 2012 as an interlocal agreement with Eastern Michigan University as a school district comprised of Michigan’s most failing schools. Originally it had 15 of Detroit’s worst schools. New legislation, House Bill 4369, introduced in the spring of this year by Republican Lisa Lyons, chair of the House Education Committee, would codify the EAA into state statute and it would contain the lowest-performing 5% of schools statewide. Based on grant applications filed by Dr.

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Mich. GOP education plan is clear: destroy public schools. Dems’ plan involves community/state input & teamwork

The Republicans’ goal is to “try to find a way to educate students on the cheap”

Photo credit: Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog

Michigan Republicans have made their education “reform” plan quite clear: slash funding to traditional public schools, privatize schools to for-profit corporations, and knee-cap teachers to prevent them from collectively bargain for decent wages and benefits. This plan is being played out in vividly across the state, resulting in schools going bankrupt and, in some cases, actually closing their doors, leaving students and parents with no public schools in their community.

Michigan Democrats have been fighting the good fight to save our public schools system but, facing majorities in both houses of the legislature, their impact has been negligible.…

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The demonization of teachers & the destruction of our public school system is a public scandal & embarrassment

This MUST stop

The story of 22-year Cody Bailey being installed as president of a for-profit charter school in Michigan (posts are HERE and HERE) has rekindled my outrage about the demonization of teachers and the systematic kneecapping and dismantling of our public school system here in Michigan. Operating under the guise of “education reform”, corporatists like Cody Bailey, the Mackinac Center, and the DeVos family are engaging in an unsubtle effort to convert our nation’s schools into profit centers for corporate “education” businesses. Their approach has three primary components.

Click through for much, much more.

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Bound Together gives Pontiac students confidence and hope

Good people are fighting every day for Michigan’s students. This organization is among them.

Just when you begin to despair over the seemingly endless battles public education is facing in Michigan, you find a reason to feel optimistic.

In Pontiac, one of the Michigan school districts that’s struggling the most, an organization called Bound Together is providing an environment where children in grades 1 through 6 can come to learn, to express themselves and to gain confidence that can lead to a better future.

Established in 1994, Bound Together is an independent after-school program that offers tutoring in math, reading and reading comprehension three days a week, followed by a nutritious meal.…

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Some Michigan schools flourish while others lock their doors for lack of money – an end run to privatization

Follow your tax money (right into the pockets of for-profit school shareholders)

Yesterday, the same day that we learned that the Snyder administration had bowed to the suitable outrage and national media attention they had received over the closing of the Buena Vista school district due to lack of money and had released funds, we also learned that two Michigan high schools are closing as well. These to high schools, Albion and Inkster, won’t reopen in the fall because their school districts cannot afford to do so. In Albion, “officials hope to reach a deal with nearby Marshall for students to attend high school there”. In Inkster, the high school will be run by a charter.

And yet, in school districts across the state, we see new buildings and renovations going on. Flat-screen televisions in the hallways, brand new campuses, state-of-the-art sports facilities. How is this possible? How is it that students in one district can go to school in a cutting-edge, shiny new facility while students in other districts see their schools shuttered for lack of funding? It can be explained by how we fund our schools and the shiny new buildings and hallway televisions don’t always tell the full story.

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Day 4: Buena Vista schools still closed due to lack of funds. Why hasn’t Governor Snyder acted?

Just not raining hard enough in Buena Vista Township, I guess…

This is front page of the Buena Vista School District website this morning. While it says that school will be closed on Thursday, apparently nobody has been to work yet today, either, because the school is still closed today. This is the fourth day the school has been closed because it has no money to pay teachers and staff.

This is truly outrageous. Where is Governor Snyder in all of this? Why is he waiting and allowing this to go on?

It’s gotten so bad the Congressman Dan Kildee has weighed in (and not subtly):

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Michigan Republicans celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week by voting to strip more school funding

Make yourself heard

As I reported yesterday, the Michigan House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure voted to eliminate the sales tax on aviation fuel. This bill is in addition to House Bill 4539 which if passed, will eliminate the sales tax on gasoline sales in our state. My piece said that this would take $770.1 million out of the School Aid Fund (SAF). However, that amount is only for the repeal of the gasoline tax. According to a statement by State Rep. Brandon Dillon, yesterday’s repeal of the aviation fuel tax will remove another $55 million . That means if both bills are passed, $825.1 million more will be taken from our kids’ schools. This represents over two-thirds of the $1.2 billion Governor Snyder has asked for for road repair.

Click through for more including details on how you can make your voice heard on this issue.

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Buena Vista, Michigan school district closes doors, has no money despite teachers willing to work for free

Yet somehow they’ll blame the teachers…

The Michigan township of Buena Vista, in the news recently for its racist Township Clerk, is back in the news today with the announcement that the school district has closed its doors over a month before the end of the school year. Why? Turns out the school district had taken $580,000 in state funding for a program for incarcerated youths that it no longer runs. With an outstanding bill of $400,000, the state cut off its funding and it now has no money.

The district’s 27 teachers had agreed to work without pay for a week while the district sorted out its mess but, this morning, the schools were closed.

Details after the jump.

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