Tag Archive for Education

The Final Grift: A ‘Lame Duck’ Anecdote of Republican Cowardice

Lame duck session is one of the most fascinating and illuminating times within our government. It is a period when all pretenses of our democracy are jettisoned and a mad cash grab takes place as term-limited legislators secure employment and other benefits in smoke-filled backrooms with lobbyists. It rips off the facade and exposes government for the cruel, soulless machine that it truly is.

Few watched the late-night session that went past 3AM last week when the worst bills were being rammed down our throats. I tuned in to watch the after-hours con job the next day on the Michigan Legislature website as I was sleeping at the time. The fact that the proceedings took place in the dead of night begs the following questions: What are the optics of using the midnight hour to push the lousiest bills forward? What does someone who is less politically inclined think of Republicans after the media reports on these shenanigans? And is it any wonder why we took it on the chin during last month’s mid-term elections?

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Money Well Spent

Michigan students at the bottom of the educational assessment list.

V.I. Lenin: Our National Dream Realized!
USSR Education Poster, 1950

Michigan schools are demonstrating unbelievable performance levels.

perhaps not in the way one might like, however.  From the Freep:

“A new analysis of results of a national educational test shows Michigan students have continually made the least improvement nationally of scores since 2003.  

..

That analysis comes less than six months after the release of the Michigan’s Talent Crisis report by Education Trust-Midwest that found Michigan’s students are falling far behind their peers across the nation. The ETM report found that Michigan is in the bottom 10 states for key subjects and grades, including early literacy. “

Surprising?

Oh wait, they probably need more money.  Everyone knows that the amount of money spent per child is closely linked to student performance. More from the article:

” Jacob, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, said there is no single explanation of the Michigan rankings.

“I believe that there are a number of factors responsible for Michigan’s weak performance: a lack of adequate state and local funding for schools, the highly decentralized nature of governance that makes it difficult for the state Department of Education to develop coordinated reforms, the lack of regulation and accountability in the charter sector, and the economic and political instability that have plagued Detroit and other urban areas in the state,” he said. “

Whoop, there it is.

With a bonus.  Bigger control from centralized government, ignore the failing ‘regular’ schools, and put the hammer on the charter schools..

Comrade.

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Michigan Board Of Education Picks

A change is needed at the Michigan Board of Ed, and it couldn't be soon enough.

choose-your-own-bathroomThe current Michigan State Board of Education has strayed from its mission.

It seems so long ago but it was only at the end of August that it approved its socially manipulative recommendations for bathroom use in our public schools. It thus confused the role of government in our children’s education, and is ensuring psychological deformation in our publicly educated youth going forward.

This doesn’t have to be this way.  Perhaps the public and parents can educate themselves, and elect a Board of Education that has education as it’s core mission?

The following candidates meet this need, and we recommend their selection next Tuesday.

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Prop 1…Detroit’s ‘River’ of Opportunity

Prop 1 is for roads???...Hardly...

Detroit is deadDetroit’s ‘Core’ a ‘Common’ problem…

Being a ‘newbie’ senior citizen, I’ll have to rely on the ‘old school’ math, but…let’s at least try to sum this up, shall we???

We don’t have to go back too far, let’s just start with the Guv’s 2012 budget, and it’s expansion since then… http://ballotpedia.org/Michigan_state_budget_%282011-2012%29#Deal_negotiated

$47 billion for 2012, and now asking $53 billion…and an estimated $2 billion more each year in tax increases proposed in Prop 1…Just where is all this money going???…Let’s follow some (most) of it…I have…

Starting with the Detroit bankruptcy bailout, $195 million, our State tax money…We’ll try (try, that is) to keep a running total…Stay with me here, the ‘River” gets murky in some spots…http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/detroit-bankruptcy/2014/11/08/detroit-bankruptcy-timeline/18680129/…Speaking of rivers, let’s cross this one… http://blogs.windsorstar.com/news/snyder-canadian-leaders-urge-washington-to-fund-dric-customs-plaza. The $550 million Canada has promised for the bridge construction is a loan, to be repaid from tolls, but that’s another story entirely…So Detroit has $195 million in State money to get itself out of Court…

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Kurdys On Common Core In Traverse City

There is more of a problem with common core than bizarre math.

Melanie Kurdys is probably the foremost expert on the common core curriculum in Michigan.  She has logged hundreds of hours speaking on the topic and making folks aware of the ruination of our educational system.

In this video Melanie speaks to the Traverse Bay 912 group at one of it’s weekly meetings.

Enjoy.

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Franchise Envy

The power of government can be instructive AND abusive.

When an operation hosted in publicly owned property is as successful as what might be considered only in ‘wildest dreams,’ it is then eyed with a lust that is found only within the failure of bureaucracy.

baseball1I’ve seen it first hand.  In Grand Traverse County in 2010, a highly successful  baseball program run by veterans was quite literally confiscated, and taken over by the landlords.  An empire building, bureaucratic strategist, coupled with a misunderstood management glitch in the popular 62 year old program opened the door to it being taken over by the county.

The PRIVATE program which began more than a half century earlier by veterans building ball fields was summarily sequestered because the landlord didn’t like the way ‘management’ of the program was operating.  The county board was convinced to back a parks decision to take the program away from the vets, and the participation dropped by 30%.

In the end, a newly elected county board (including myself) in the beginning of 2011 convinced enough of the old to give it back.  In the end as well however, we should note that it was a government entity (the parks department) trying to justify its existence, (programming beyond rental of properties) show a profit (a stated argument during the takeover) and be a controlling authority.

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