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Governor Snyder's Educational Shock Troops Standing Ready to Move In -- Alert HQ in Ada, MI.

Governor Snyder surely must have a hidden army of educators some place if he is willing to dismantle current public education structures during a lame-duck session.

Governor Snyder has alienated almost every experienced teacher, academic, and educational administrator (not to mention countless families) in his "relentlessly positive" attempt to privatize public education in Michigan; but the good news is that he has managed to secretly train and motivate a vast educational army hidden somewhere (sources think it may be near the farms surrounding Ada, Michigan where Lisa Lyons has established a base) that he can quickly deploy as soon as HB6004 passes during a lame duck legislative session.

It might be this week!

You see HB6004 fully establishes the Educational Achievement Authority (EAA)as part of our way of life, fundamentally changing public education in Michigan.

Governor Snyder's hidden army (and, I paraphrase here, from the House Analysis sheet) will "amongst other things"

provide innovative, flexible, transparent, safe, efficient, effective public educational services throughout the state to design quality public elementary and secondary programs, to improve learning environments and student achievement for all students, including but not limited to educationally disadvantaged , to expand flexibility and adaptability for student learning models and styles; to stimulate innovative public school methods; to create new professional opportunities for teachers within a public school structure; choices for parents; to encourage technology on line learning; public and private partnerships; to renovate, repurpose school buildings; to acquire and develop sites, including athletic and recreational facilities; to expand the number and types of public entities permitted to operate public schools; and to provide new forms of school governance.

The mission is straightforward, if a bit redundant and layered for those concerned with the size of government or local control: the state, Snyder argues, can do all this for Michigan schools only if Michigan schools get out of the way and stops trying to do this while the Governor's (hidden, but apparently ready to move) army steps on top of currently existing schools.

Follow?

For those that want to feel the academic might of these shock troops you can review the EAA skirmishing forces as they work on 15 schools that used to be part of the Detroit Public Schools.

This elite unit is putting all its resources in to the classroom -- "for the kids", of course. This lightweight, fast moving assault force is, however, in need of a few chiefs to supplement its motivated Indians.

The EAA is hiring a

1) Deputy Chancellor

2) Chief Officer of Human Capital

3) Chief Officer of Accountability (my favorite -- as we can never have enough accountability)

4) Chief Officer of Business Affairs

5) Chief of Staff

6) Executive Director of Communication

AND, OF COURSE, WHAT EVERY SECOND GRADER NEEDS THE MOST THESE DAYS

7) General Counsel

So Birmingham, BHSD, Troy, GP parents hold on just a little longer -- rescue forces are on the way! Longstanding problems in Detroit schools have been solved this fall and resources can be redeployed to help you now. We don't know what kind of vehicles this educational army will be moving in....traditional teacher cars (Honda Civics, Escorts, etc. are so 20th Century). I would look for the Hummers.

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Kat1324 December 03, 2012 at 03:49 PM
If the Governor really wants to improve educational outcomes for students in Michigan, he would attack the real problem of POVERTY. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, "More than half of all the children in Detroit (and Cleveland) live in poverty. Detroit, with 53.6 percent of its youngest citizens living in poverty, leads the nation..." That is a frightening, disgraceful statistic. As a parent of two, I can tell you that the schools that my children attend have a rigorous curriculum. School is hard. I shudder to think how my children would be doing in school if they had to worry about where their next meal was coming from. Kids in affluent areas don't have to worry about their basic needs. Many even benefit from expensive tutors. Do the kids in Detroit have access to extra help if they need it? Creating a parallel statewide school district which is run by bureaucrats and for-profit companies is not the answer. We already have a fleet of well-educated teachers and administrators to do the job. I wish the teacher-bashing would end and the blame for poor educational outcomes would be put where it should be. Governor Snyder need to concentrate on what the people who elected him thought he was going to do. Create jobs, Mr. Snyder, and end poverty.
R Gibson December 03, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Kat1324 Great post, thanks. Recently, GM partnered with Habitat for Humanity to work in the Morningside neighborhood in Detroit. There is a brand new elementary school. It is really impressive. Frankly, nothing in our district compares. Anyway, one of the biggest fears these kids have is getting mugged or jumped on the way to school. And the worst is getting pulled into one of the vacant buildings and raped. The week before we were there, that very scenario occurred, 2 blocks north. I don’t know the final figures, but we boarded up homes for two days. It was very rewarding. But more importantly, maybe those kids, who have to walk a block or 2 to school can do it with a little more relief and less stress. I think this whole thing is just a grab by the republicans to once and for all destroy the MEA. Don’t get me wrong, the MEA dug this pit of despair for teachers. They have known for years that the retirement benefits were unsustainable, that the whole system is sprinkled with bad and underperforming teachers. But they chose to do nothing about it. And not only have the kids suffered for a long time, but now those teachers who are really worth something are being more and more demoralized as the assault on them from almost every direction continues.
Joe Judge December 03, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Kat 1324- regarding poverty, there are some interesting PISA test results (Program for International Student Assessment- essentially how we compare our educational outcomes to other countries) when you factor out schools with high poverty rates. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programme_for_International_Student_Assessment#United_States). For example, if you only include schools where less than 10% of the students are poor, the U.S. ranks #1 against all 34 OECD Countries. When you include only schools with less than 25% of poor students, we rank #3. That's a fairly compelling argument that poverty is a HUGE factor for under-performing schools. Also a very important factor, I would think, would be the level of parental involvement. I'm sure these statistics are assailable and other compelling statistics will tell a different story (you know what they say about statistics), but there's enough here to at least get you thinking about some of the important factors at play in some failing schools. Not nearly enough time is spent discussing this issue.
W. F. Moigis December 13, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I believe that poverty is a factor in underachieving schools - but not necessarily the most important one. There have been all too many "studies" that point their economic finger at this factor as being the main cause. This univariate analysis is flawed and self-destructive. Illegitimacy, over-emphasis on sports by our society, instant gratification, a lack of discipline, our race away from substantive core academic subjects, embracing the latest academic (and architectural) fads -such emphasizing "how to skills" instead of an in-depth body of knowledge, hoping that building academic "palaces" will solve poor academic performance, etc., etc. I happen to consider more substantive than poverty. Sooner or later, the people (or their representatives) will react to the shortcomings of the established system and offer a new way. In our (Michigan's) case, maybe not the best solution to our problems but at least there is a genesis of a solution.
Neal Charness December 13, 2012 at 09:13 PM
I agree that poverty alone is not necessarily the primary cause of poorly performing schools--it would need to be substantiated before that sort of statement should be accepted. I would submit we should do the same with Mr. Moigis lists of reasons which also lack substantiation. That was a bit of an issue in some of his posts during his campaign for the school board seat. Can we substantiate these so we can evaluate where our efforts need to go? That would really be helpful.

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