Tag: Schools

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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Michigan once again tops a list that embarrasses us all, but this commonplace happenstance seems to have numbed us

Michigan once again tops a list that embarrasses us all, but this commonplace happenstance seems to have numbed us

A recent report shows that Michigan higher education is a failure; a failure to the point that our state gets a letter grade of “F”. We are not alone, of course, but that doesn’t matter in the least. As a state, we have continued to fail the young people who have been told since they could comprehend anything related to education that a proper and successful life MANDATES a college education, and although that conversation has begun to change to a degree, we all know that many consider you a complete failure if you do not receive a college degree.

I have been a broadcaster and advocate for public education for the last 22 years in a profound way, both publicly and privately.…

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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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FOIA’ed letter shows Brighton tea party school still seeks charter so they can “train up American Citizen Patriots”

FOIA’ed letter shows Brighton tea party school still seeks charter so they can “train up American Citizen Patriots”

With Brighton Area Schools deciding not to consider chartering a new charter school in their district, the group trying to open a tea party-led school in Brighton has had to turn their attention to other places. Pasquale Battaglia, the brainchild behind the project and self-described “landlord” sent a letter to Dr. Craig Douglas, the Director of the School/University Partnership Office at Saginaw Valley State University a couple of months ago, seeking a meeting. This letter, obtained through a FOIA request by Brighton resident Judy Daubenmier, shows that Battaglia is both steeped in tea party rhetoric and ideology and tragically bad at grammar and spelling.…

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SHOCKER: Number of Michigan schools in deficit jumps 10% after billions a year in GOP cuts to education

SHOCKER: Number of Michigan schools in deficit jumps 10% after billions a year in GOP cuts to education

Now that the election is over, you don’t hear much about the massive cuts Republicans have made to public schools in Michigan. Without someone like Mark Schauer to constantly put it out into the mediasphere, it’s simply no longer being discussed. Well, except by bloggers like me whose “intellectual content” Gov. Snyder gives “a very low number” on a scale of one to ten.

But, the fact is, Gov. Snyder hasn’t just taken a billion dollars out of our schools each year, he has taken BILLIONS out of our K-12 classrooms each year.

Well, those chickens are coming home to roost.…

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Republican plan to fund road repairs will strip nearly $1 billion MORE from Michigan schools each year

Republican plan to fund road repairs will strip nearly $1 billion MORE from Michigan schools each year

Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger wants you to believe that he’s found a magical way to fund road repairs without raising your taxes! While it’s true that your gas taxes and sales taxes won’t increase, the entire scheme is based on taking nearly a billion dollars more from schools each year. Local municipalities will take a huge hit, too.

How much will schools lose? A report by the Michigan League for Public Policy puts the tally at $634.1 million for this year. That number rises to $888.7 million in 2022-23. The Michigan Association of School Boards calculates that the average loss to schools will be an astonishing $475 per pupil per year.…

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After slashing teacher benefits, firing staff, and outsourcing “nearly everything”, Flint schools face Emergency Management

After slashing teacher benefits, firing staff, and outsourcing “nearly everything”, Flint schools face Emergency Management

Welcome to Michigan under Republican rule

Flint schools have been in financial trouble since 2011 when it first went into debt. In 2012, they eliminated 460 teachers and staff positions. In May of this year, they laid off 91 more teachers and staff and slashed benefits of the remaining teachers as an alternative to a 19% pay cut. Later in the summer, another 12 teachers and 8 administrators were fired. In the meantime, they have “closed and sold off buildings, eliminated staff and outsourced nearly everything except instructional and administrative positions.”

The result? An increased deficit that now leaves Flint schools $21.9 million in the hole and facing an Emergency Manager.…

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Michigan school figures out how to tell a gun-toting bad guy from a gun-toting good guy: go into lockdown & call 911

Michigan school figures out how to tell a gun-toting bad guy from a gun-toting good guy: go into lockdown & call 911

Imagine this scenario: you’re taking your third-grader to school and you look over and there’s a guy in front of the school with a handgun strapped to his hip. What do you do? Is this a crazy guy who is going to start shooting the place up? Is it just a gun-loving lady making a point about her Second Amendment rights?

What if you’re a teacher or the principal of the school? Do you just let it go and hope everything turns out all right? After all, several hundred children are under your watch and their lives and safety are your responsibility for the next several hours.…

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