Tag: Teachers

TONIGHT: Rally to support teachers fired for speaking out about Detroit for-profit charter school

TONIGHT: Rally to support teachers fired for speaking out about Detroit for-profit charter school

In January of this year, eight teachers at the Universal Academy – a for-profit charter school in Detroit – were fired without being given a reason. However, as is well-documented in a Metro Times article titled, “Begging for answers: Eight teachers were just fired from a Detroit charter school without cause or notice”, six of the teachers had spoken at a school board meeting about problems they saw at the school. It seemed very clear to them that this is why they were being fired:

“I am struggling to understand how this incredibly bright, hard-working student who fully deserves a diploma from Universal Academy can be removed so suddenly from her education,” [teacher Asil] Yassine wrote in a Nov.…

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In the face of unified opposition to the Michigan House Republican’s “plan” for Detroit schools, there is a better way

In the face of unified opposition to the Michigan House Republican’s “plan” for Detroit schools, there is a better way

Yesterday, Tony wrote about the racist impacts of Michigan House Republicans’ so-called plan to resolve the devastation caused by years of disinvestment in the Detroit Public Schools (DPS). I thought it would be worth a deeper look to reveal just how odious the plan is.

There are several elements that show that House Republicans have no intention of making DPS and the students in the system whole. First of all, there is insufficient funding for their “plan” to even work. Here’s what the Editorial Board at the Detroit Free Press had to say about it:

When is $500 million worth nothing?…

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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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Michigan Republicans push laws to punish Detroit teachers who revealed shocking conditions in their schools

Michigan Republicans push laws to punish Detroit teachers who revealed shocking conditions in their schools

Four state Senators, Phil Pavlov, Joe Hune, David Robertson, and Goeff Hansen have had quite enough of uppity Detroit teachers who have staged “sick-outs” to draw attention to the deplorable – unconscionable, really – conditions in their schools. Images and stories of dead vermin, mushrooms growing out of the wall, disintegrating floors, walls, and ceilings, and clear evidence of black mold in the schools attended by Detroit children have shocked the state and drawn national attention to the disinvestment in DPS under a series of Emergency Managers over the past seven years.

Here’s are some of the photos:

Mushrooms in a classroom.…

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The future of public sector unions, and perhaps organized labor, lies firmly in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court

The future of public sector unions, and perhaps organized labor, lies firmly in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court

2015 was by many accounts a good year for our Liberal agenda as it related to decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court. The affirmation of the Affordable Care Act and the victory of marriage equality for all were important and historical steps in reality and it was, I should add, a reflection of what many of us, no matter your political will, agreed were the right decisions to make. But, as many of us are fully aware, just because a majority agrees with a point of view does not guarantee a victory in the courts.

Today the United State Supreme Court will begin to hear oral arguments on a landmark case that originated in Detroit which could overturn a decision that has been upheld for 39 years.…

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Washtenaw County Education Assn continues pledge not to take EMU student teachers until relationship with EAA is ended

Washtenaw County Education Assn continues pledge not to take EMU student teachers until relationship with EAA is ended

By April of 2014, at least eight Washtenaw County-area schools had pledged not to accept student teachers from Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education program until EMU ended its interlocal agreement with Gov. Rick Snyder’s failed experiment on Detroit school kids – the Education Achievement Authority – and disengaged from the EAA entirely.

Yesterday, the Washtenaw County Education Association renewed their pledge. Below is their position statement which reiterates that they look forward to the day when EMU students can once again teach the children in their classrooms but that their relationship with the EAA is so counter to good education practices that they cannot in good faith do so until the relationship is ended.…

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Teacher for hire! Best offer!! Get the app!!!

Teacher for hire! Best offer!! Get the app!!!

The teaching profession is steadily being transformed into a “gig job” on the model of Uber, Lyft and AirBnB wherein customers are paired with independent providers via Smart Phone apps. The model grew out of human desperation during the bleakest days of the Great Recession. As teacher shortages roll out across the nation we can count on Republican legislatures to follow the “shock doctrine” and use the disturbing teacher shortage situation to implement their ideological agendas. In this case it’s the ongoing destruction of classic American public schools and placing K-12 education in the largely untested hands of those for whom schools are just another institution to be run on a business model, especially the for-profit model.…

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Debunking the Mackinac Center’s phony teachers union “pension spiking” scandal

Debunking the Mackinac Center’s phony teachers union “pension spiking” scandal

I recently wrote about Michigan teacher Mary Davenport, a woman who had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in support from her union, the Michigan Education Association (MEA), only to turn around and claim they “weren’t there when she needed them.” She was duped into being the poster child for the campaign by the corporate front group Mackinac Center to encourage teachers to leave their union.

In the letter Davenport signed that was sent to thousands of Michigan teachers using their taxpayer-funded work email addresses, Davenport railed against what Mackinac Center calls “pension spiking” by MEA president Steve Cook whose pension will be based on his MEA salary.…

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UPDATED x3: Mackinac Center dupes a world-class hypocrite into being the face of effort to convince teachers to leave their union

UPDATED x3: Mackinac Center dupes a world-class hypocrite into being the face of effort to convince teachers to leave their union

Each summer, the corporatist front group Mackinac Center for Public Policy funds a massive effort to convince teachers that they are better off without their union and that they should leave it. While complaining that unions are somehow getting rich off taxpayer dollars, the Mackinac Center uses the public schools email system to disseminate their anti-union propaganda at taxpayer expense. Last year they sent emails to teachers in no fewer than 54 school districts in Michigan, laughably claiming the effort wasn’t political.

The effort also includes a massive mailing of letters and cards to the homes of teachers and this year is no different.…

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Ann Arbor teachers file Unfair Labor Practice suit against school administration

Ann Arbor teachers file Unfair Labor Practice suit against school administration

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been traveling in China for work for the past two weeks. I’m now back in Michigan and have finally recovered from my jet lag and the 12-hour time difference. I appreciate your patience during my absence. Regular posting will now resume : )

Back in 2011, shortly after Republicans took control of our state government, one of the first things they did was to enact a series of laws designed to diminish the ability of teachers to bargain collectively for fair wages, benefits, and working conditions. The new laws created local boards that would govern teacher discipline, teacher evaluations, teacher tenure and strengthened a prohibition on strikes to further harm unions that encourage them.…

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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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