Tag Archives | Schools

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

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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Rick Snyder hasn’t taken $1 billion out of K-12 education, he’s taken BILLIONS out of K-12 education

I had a conversation with Ann Arbor-area state Representative Jeff Irwin recently and he brought up a point few people are discussing related to higher education. There’s been a lot of focus on how much money is in Gov. Snyder’s budget for education and Gov. Snyder wants everyone to believe that he has put MORE money into his education budget than his predecessor. There’s a tiny bit of room for debate if you completely ignore the impact of inflation and the fact that his increased spending has been largely to make sure teachers’ retirement pensions are stable.

But that’s not what Irwin was talking about.…

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Rick Snyder finally finds ANOTHER teacher who supports him: the Oakland County Republican Party Vice-Chair

Last month I posted a piece about a Rick Snyder finally finding a teacher who would support him in public. It turned out to be his neighbor at his million-dollar lake house and that post that has enjoyed over 27,000 views.

Well, Gov. Snyder has found a second teacher willing to do a commercial for him. This time it’s another retired teacher, Pam Williams. Who is Pam Williams? I’m glad you asked.

Pam Williams is the Vice-Chair for the Oakland County Republican Party, Precinct Delegate, and an Executive Board member of the 9th Congressional District. She’s a busy Republican, too:

In an essay begging the tea partiers not to splinter off from the GOP, she says Democrats are “trying to destroy our great county” by “incentivizing dependency, and advocating collective equality rather than individual merit”.…

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Rick Snyder finally finds a teacher who supports him: his neighbor at his vacation home

After claiming he was going to run a strictly positive campaign, Gov. Rick Snyder has a new negative attack ad out that features a retired teacher named Linda Thaler.

Turns out that she lives literally right next door to Snyder’s vacation home on Gun Lake in Middleville, Michigan.

The reality is that, despite Ms. Thayer’s contention otherwise, her neighbor and friend Rick Snyder HAS cut funding going to classrooms. Here’s the lowdown on the ad:

The Snyder ad references Public Act 236 of 2003. That particular bill passed 38-0 in the Michigan Senate and every Democrat in the House at the time voted against it.…

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BREAKING: EAA Board to interview two fired superintendents to lead the Education Achievement Authority

This post has been updated to add details regarding the reason Timothy Chargois was fired as superintendent of Beaumont ISD in Texas.

When John Covington was hired to head up the Education Achievement Authority – Governor Rick Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit kids – he left behind a failed school district in Kansas City. Some Kansas City school board members claimed that Covington, the district’s superintendent at the time, had faked a conflict with the board president in order to renege on his contract. Shortly after he left, Kansas City Public Schools lost their accreditation.

With Covington now gone, resigned in disgrace from the EAA after poor performance of students in the “District for Misfit Schools” and lavish overspending by school administrators, EAA administrators are looking for a new leader.…

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Muskegon Heights education advocates submit a “Citizens’ RFP” to reclaim their schools from for-profit corporations

Last month, the for-profit charter corporation Mosaica announced that it was breaking its contract, signed under an Emergency Manager, to run the entire Muskegon Heights school district. Why? Because they couldn’t make a profit off of running a school system in an economically depressed community.

I know. You’re shocked.

“To be brutally honest – they had to be brutally honest to themselves as well with us – in their model as a for profit company, their profit was not there,” [Emergency Manager Gregory] Weatherspoon said. […]

As of this week, the Emergency Manager has still not had a single group come forward in their Request for Proposal (RFP) to run the district.…

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Bad news for Rick Snyder: 69% of Michiganders think his administration is NOT spending enough on schools

Spin all you want, Governor. Voters KNOW.

Rick Snyder and the Michigan Republicans want you to believe that they have done more to help fund education than any ever before in our state. By comparing what they are spending to what the state spent when we were receiving funds from the Stimulus program that offset prior spending, they show you charts and graphs “proving” they have increased per-pupil spending. It’s a shell game that anyone who has any contact with a school district knows is simply untrue. School districts across the state are struggling every single day — just ask your local school board — and our residents know that.…

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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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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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