Emergency Manager disbands public school system in Muskegon Heights, saying that the district will be “all charter” next year

As you’ll recall, a few weeks ago, I mentioned here that the Philadelphia School District had been disbanded. Well, it looks as though Michigan may have just one-upped them, eliminating public education altogether, at least in one district… A reader of this site, who was, until recently, a teacher in the Detroit public school system, just alerted me to the fact that Don Weatherspoon, the appointed Emergency Manager overseeing the Muskegon Heights School District, has announced that all public school employees are being terminated, and that, next year, the district will be “all charter”… The following clip comes from the Michigan Education Association.

There will be school in Muskegon Heights this fall, but it will look very different.

Late last Friday afternoon, Don Weatherspoon, Muskegon Heights’s appointed Emergency Manager (EM), announced his plan to turn the school district into the first charter school district in Michigan. He is taking bids from private companies and is expected to award the job on June 6.

Earlier in the week, teachers were notified they were being laid off and could reapply for their jobs. Now, however, they’ve been told they are terminated and their jobs sold off to the lowest bidder.

“Our teachers had no advance knowledge of the Emergency Manager’s plan to convert the school district into a charter school system. We have been left out of the planning process. The staff, students and community are paying the price for the district’s financial mismanagement that they had nothing to do with creating,” said Muskegon Heights EA President Joy Robinson…

According to MLive, there’s a public meeting scheduled for tomorrow night.

While it remains to be seen whether or not the people of Muskegon Heights will approve of this radical move away from public education as we know it, it should be noted that, according to articles written in March of this year, the people of Muskegon Height’s were “begging” for an Emergency Manager to be appointed to take over their struggling school district.

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47 Comments

  1. Thom Elliott
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Gee EOS, you said a great pile of bullshit you couldn’t possibly know in a huge bulloxy strawman that made me want to vomit. I want to know how you came to know that bullshit about democratic discussion of arithmetic sums, or how public education somehow celebrates and encourages abortion. Sorry if I sound unkind, your slander is fucking outrageous, and reading it makes me cringe with angst. I am not a fan of our school system, I view it along with nearly everything else in our deranged society as a failure, but that failure is due to decades of corruption and nihilism, not the bullshit you make up to suit your fascist agenda.

  2. EOS
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Yeah Thom,

    Ask Patty how Math is taught today – with calculators and discussion groups. And the children whose parents are concerned enough to monitor their kids education watch Khan videos online to learn what is no longer taught in schools.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7379221n

  3. Dan
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    kjc,

    What does the Constitution have to do with my personal financial aspirations? I was talking about my dream of retiring at a reasonable age, with enough money invested where I can travel and maybe see the things I didnt have time or money to when I was working, and not have to worry about counting pennies. Those are some of my goals. Thats why I choose to invest part of my income in tax deferred retirement accounts, the ones that I feel will pay off the best in the long run.

    I never insinuated it was an entitlement or a right. But for me to achieve those goals, I need to invest wisely. And at my current age, I can afford to invest in risky more volatile funds. If they lose 10% this year, I’m ok with that, because in the long run, they pay off.

    But back to the EFM in schools. Again, I’m not saying this is ideal or that it should be anyone’s goal. But when a district refuses to acknowledge the economical realities of the world (such as MH has admitted to), someone needs to step in and save the school district. Isn’t it much better for the kids to be in schools that can provide more services, because they aren’t burdened by crushing debt brought on by mismanagement?

  4. Tommy
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Yes, EOS alternative ways of learning and teaching do exist. You might want to see the more detailed piece on the Khan academy that was done on 60 Minutes a few months back – it was very good. Seems to work well with the well to do suburbanites and districts who a) have computers, b) have high speed internet connections, c) are in districts that have an educated populace, d) have kids who come to school not having to be worried about eating a meal, getting shot or raped, and maybe having heat for their homes, e) are willing to have their staff get trained on these new methods, standards, etc.

    Nothing is as easy as you seem to make it out to be.

  5. Dan
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Patti,

    You sure Cheney was winking at you, are looking through the sights of his shotgun? ;)

  6. mark k
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Thom why are you so angry all the time, dam Dude take a walk in the fucking park, find a woman or do some drugs. But lighten up.

  7. Posted May 31, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    So I am one of 3 people in Michigan who work with teachers at charter schools and do extensive research on this silver bullet called the charter school movement. And let me say, as much as I wish it was the answer- that it would solve all the problems of accountability, corruption, failing test scores, dropout rates, communities crumbling that we have seen for years in traditional public schools (oh course not the ones in richer, more affluent predominately white communities)—- it honestly doesn’t.

    Before I go on, I openly offer my time to whoever wants to learn about how this all works in the next few weeks. It is really interesting, pretty sad, and extremely frustrating, but REALLY necessary to understand because charter schools will replace traditional public schools almost completely in the next 5-10 years.

    Yes there are some charter schools that are doing well– doing cool alternative things (a small percentage) and making the ‘grade’ (a larger percentage, but still very small)– but the vast majority are performing as poorly or worse than their traditional public school counterparts.
    Charter schools have major accountability issues re: the quality of education that is being provided & fiscal responsibility. If you think the checks and balances are broken in public schools, it is worse by far in charter schools. For example- Educational Management Organizations (EMOs) (for-profit companies/a few non-profit ones that the charter school board hires contractually to run the school) take 15-25% of the per pupil allowance (tax payer $$) as a management fee (this is not the money they use to run the school or pay teachers or anything logistical- it is profit) then are given the rest to ‘run’ the school which is defined eventually in one or two sentences in the contract between the board and the EMO that says that the EMO basically can do whatever they want with the money and the board has little or no say. In most cases the board doesn’t even function as the accountability mechanism it is supposed to be. The majority of boards are stacked by EMOs and their authorizers who also make 4% of the per pupil allowance for authorizing the school.
    Annual Teacher Turnover is between 40% and 70%… yes annually.

    Teacher salary is usually around 25k and 40k (teachers with 4-12 years of experience, most with master’s)

    Charter CEOs are usually making 6 figures. This doesn’t even count the un-godly amount of double-dipping that happens (remember that 10-25% management fee? usually admin are both owners of the EMO and admin of the school. fun, right? Oh and also they often own the building that the school is using- which means that they pay themselves for the use of the building– that is a lot of money)

    Charter schools could work, but it is a crazy free-for- all right now that doesn’t address any of the issues that we are upset with in re: to public schools… sad face :(

    And that is only the tip of the ice berg. I could go on for days with pros and cons… but it is mostly cons that are worse than the cons we have seen in traditional public schools.

    Let’s have an ypsi charter school governance workshop. It will be fun.

  8. EOS
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    The Khan method works well with untrained mothers who take their children to public libraries for free Internet access. This isn’t a new method, but a return to the traditional content based teaching that once was the norm. It is that easy.

  9. Dan
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    EOS,

    If you do indeed homeschool any kids you might have, what do you do to incorporate them into a normal society.

    I’ve known 4 or 5 home schooled kids in my life. Not one of them was fit to live on their own and lead a normal life. It was almost like they were autistic.

  10. Lynne
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Dan is correct about health care costs hurting the public sector. But he’s ignoring that such costs are hurting the private sector too. This has nothing to do with unions. The real problem there is that in our system, health care is tied to employment when it really should not be. The only solution is a single payer socialized system similar to what other countries have.

  11. John Galt
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I agree. We should get rid of public schools, and, instead, direct parents to take their children to their local libraries (the ones that haven’t already been closed), where they can watch Khan Academy videos.

  12. Dan
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Lynne,

    I totally agree about health care cost being ridiculous (and think we should have a single payer), but that wasn’t really my main complaint. As I mentioned somewhere way up above, I pay roughly $400/month for health care, and I’m in my late 20s with no kids, and my wife and i maybe go to the doctor’s 3 times each a year. My employer pays well over twice of what I pay towards my premium.

    We certainly need to do something about that.

    My main complaint about the unions was that they force unrealistic pensions, wages, and yes, health care coverage on companies, schools, cities, etc. These entities simple cant afford to pay the union demands. You’re watching schools and cities crumble and fall into EFM control because unions wont back off and put employees on a market based system. That’s all I’m saying.

  13. Lynne
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Dan, No one forces management to accept the union demands. Seriously. And trust me, labor relations was often a big topic at the dinner table in the household where I grew up. You could say that my father is an expert in public sector labor relations. I think you are vilifying unions way more than they deserve, frankly. It isn’t unions that have caused the current problems. It is management and a state system that doesn’t take into account the fact that poor districts need more resources than rich ones. And I say this as someone who always heard things from the management side of the negotiations.

  14. Dan
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Lynne,

    Unions are just as culpable in the fraudulent political/economic machine as Koch et al. They have enormous power. And thats the problem with both of those sides. Too much political power in special interests.

    But I digress. Sure poor districts need more help, but without the unions and special interests having their hand in everything, it doesnt matter. Any money that DPS was getting was being funneled to golden handshake contracts. The story is the same everywhere. Like i said, get the money out of politics, from both sides of the aisle.

  15. Posted May 31, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Dan,
    I am still waiting for you to tell me what counter point you would have to hold our corrupt political economy accountable. You want to hold unions culpable for the collapse of our schools and other institutions. Unions, are by law required to be democratic. Unions, are the most regulated public entities in our country. Unlike government and private industry, corrupt union officials are regularly held accountable (get thrown out of office, thrown in jail, fined etc–corrupt unions get put under government receivership). If we had the same level of democracy and accountability in our society which exist within the union movement the banksters and their enablers which have drowned our country in corruption would have been held accountable. Unions regularly give back economic concessions, when the powers they are negotiating with open the books and demonstrate the economic necessity. It is only when the powers that be refuse to be honest about the financial situation involving the enterprise that the unions dig in and demand openness. You need to pay attention to the content of union negotiations to understand what drives the results. Frequently Business and government would rather “buy” off the workers rather than disclosing the true financial state of an enterprise to its workers (and thus the public). Transparency and openness are the true friends of liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness.
    The real problems with pensions, is the ability of the enterprise to negotiate and promise a pension, and then not fund it fully. I am sure you understand that if the enterprise fully funded pensions they promised, we would not be having this problem. But since it is possible to underfund pensions, eventually the piper must be paid (thus some of today’s problems).
    By the way, every other democratic industrial country provides all citizens with a much better social security old age system than ours. They do not face the same problems that Dan and I have, wanting to retire by the time we are 75.

  16. Dan
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    wobblie,

    what part of “And my solution to eliminate the corrupt political and financial system is simple. Get the money out of politics. Stop corporate donations to campaigns.” did you not understand?

    those monies also come from unions, ya know.

  17. Dan
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    and of course this is the problem. “The real problems with pensions, is the ability of the enterprise to negotiate and promise a pension, and then not fund it fully.”

    thats blatantly obvious. And even when they claim it is “fully funded” that is based on the current market. Again, the future of the pension depends on what the market is in 3, 5, 10 years etc. THATS the problem.

    that kind of shit doesnt happen with a 401(k) type vehicle. You’re payout is what you earned in investment, not what some idiot 20 years ago promised you.

    why am I the only one seeing the problem here?

  18. Lynne
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    I still don’t even know why you think unions are so powerful. Do you think that a math teacher with a masters degree in math who earns 80k year plus really nice benefits is overpaid? Do you even understand that the nature of the benefits isn’t important as what the total compensation package is? Pension (fully funded) or 401(k) should cost the same to the employer. If a union negotiates a better health care plan, they take a hit in wages.

    So ok. Think total compensation. When you add the salary and benefits up, let’s say that the teacher with the $80k salary is being compensated $150,000 a year. Seems like a lot right? But what is that teacher worth on the labor market? People with advanced degrees in things like math can make over $200,000 a year without even counting the benefits.

    Now you could make the argument that we don’t need people with qualifications teaching our children but I would disagree and so would a lot of people. People who vote for school boards. The people who negotiate with the teacher unions also have an incentive to keep teacher’s total compensation packages competitive.

  19. EOS
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I know hundreds of home-schooled kids and they are far better educated and more involved in the community than their public school peers. There are home school co-ops, where families who home-school work together to teach specialized subjects. One parent teaches science, another math, etc. The students have social activities and sports. Many home-schooled teens are involved in substantial volunteer work in their community and their churches, with far more daily interaction with adults than most children. Home-schooled kids spend less time on classwork, because they get individualized instruction, work at their own pace, and move on only after they have mastered the material. There isn’t the constant interruption for disciplining misbehavior nor the negative environment of drugs and violence found in many public schools. Parents purchase curricula to teach a wide variety of advanced subjects. Many of the home-schooled kids I know have read a significant number of classic literature volumes, study foreign languages, build computers and electronics/robotics, and develop high skill levels in many different areas such as art and dance. More and more science fairs and spelling bees are won each year by the small percentage of home-schooled students. As I have shared on this site before, on average, home-schooled kids test very high on standardized tests and have no difficulty gaining admission to college and succeeding in future academic pursuits. There is no teacher better able to engage and motivate a student than a parent who loves and cares for that child and has a personal interest in seeing them succeed.

  20. Maria
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, that’s kind of an idealized picture of homeschooling. I bet those kids wouldn’t mind taking a twirl at going to school, riding a yellow school bus, passing notes in class, eating school lunches, being part of a school play, and well, you get the idea, although they probably can’t tell their parents that.

  21. missypsi
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Dear EOS,
    As a parent with children in the district, I think I can say that your description of public schools does not bear any resemblance to what happens in Ypsi schools. Do you have children in the public schools? Do you spend EVERY DAY there as I do? If not, you have no basis to make false claims about our schools and what happens there. I have seen many dedicated teachers, working in abysmal conditions (paying for everything from school supplies to snacks out of pocket), make a huge difference in our childrens’ lives. I deeply respect what they are doing and I think we should do as much as we can to support them, not UNDERMINE their efforts. Your fundamental lack of respect for working people who sacrifice much, and for this shared enterprise that we call public education, is shameful. I am not insulting you personally, just the narrowed vision of your ideology, which leads you to make claims about spaces, places, and people you clearly know nothing about.

  22. EOS
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    missypsi,

    I do not doubt that there are many hard-working, caring individuals in the Ypsi district and a few success stories among the students. But as you, yourself, stated in your post, they are working in abysmal conditions. And as the test scores show, whatever they are doing is not helping the majority learn the academic subjects. And this is in spite of low enrollment in the district and record levels of funding per student. I know what is being taught in the colleges of education, I’ve been in the classrooms, and I am a Michigan certified secondary teacher. I do know something and that is the current system is failing our children and needs drastic change.

  23. Posted June 1, 2012 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Dan, your solution seems to be unconstitutional. see Citizens United. What is your next solution?

  24. Greg Pratt
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    I second Adrienne’s suggestion (Ypsi Charter School governance workshop).

    ACNB: you make me proud to have been your co-worker!

    We have to be careful to ignore “foul balls.”

    This thread is one of the best I’ve read so far.

  25. Dan
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Lynne,

    “People with advanced degrees in things like math can make over $200,000 a year without even counting the benefits.”

    Where?

  26. Dan
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    wobblie,

    what was your solution again?

  27. Greg Pratt
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Dan, you are correct. “These monies come from unions too”

    Question: What is the power of union money relative to corporate money-power these days?

  28. Greg Pratt
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I’d like to echo Adrienne’s recommendation above again.

    Let me answer your question Dan (tip of hat to Fellow Worker, wobblie).

    “What is [a] solution?”

    I think the answer is not that some small group of smart privileged elites figure this out, but instead, that we take it upon ourselves to work together. Share ideas and, dare I say, design, build and implement our own public school system.

    We can start with the charter workshop Adrienne suggests and go from there.

    Let me make this into a fine point: the solution is not plan we come up with today or in the near future, but the ***process*** by which we come to the plan we will implement today or in the near future.

    What is the ***process*** I would advocate for?

    Why, participatory democratic planning of course!

  29. Dan
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Greg,

    Your solution sounds a lot like EOS group home schooling idea.

  30. Greg Pratt
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    And Dan sends one behind the plate and into the stands!

    Next batter.

  31. Greg Pratt
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWoFqbYBo6M

  32. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I want to know why EOS knows “hundreds of home schooled” children. What does ‘know’ in this context mean? What kind of underground fascist militia shit are you involved in that you know ‘hundreds’ of radical rightwing broods that are more qualified to teach then teachers? There are ‘hundreds’ of these fascist rightwing terror cells in this area? What are you and your hundreds of autistic gun worshipping holocost-denying apocalyptic cult members planning? Should I start planning for a Hutaree style race war anytime soon?

  33. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Frankly I haven’t met many quiverfull breeders of more white babies for the fatherland types (because I am not a racist gun nut equivalent to the Taliban), but I can’t imagine they know more about, say, physics, then a teacher who specialized in it? That these people are allowed to brainwash their children with racism, religious zelotry etc and deprive them of childhood socialization is beyond me. It should be called what it is; child abuse.

  34. Lynne
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    @Dan. Well, I figured that since I was using the top end of the salary scale in my teacher example (e.g. 80k), I might was well use the top end of the salary scale in my mathematician example and based it on the salaries of people I know who have advanced degrees in math who are also top end earners. But even if you compare average salaries, you’ll find they are comparable. Even if they weren’t, there is more to being a teacher than just skills in the subject being taught. I am still curious about why you think teachers are overpaid? Don’t forget to include non-compensatory wage differentials into your analysis. Private and Charter schools cherry pick their students and tend to offer teachers smaller classroom sizes so if you are about to compare public school vs private school teacher salaries, you should know that you aren’t comparing apples to apples. So why do you think teachers are overpaid?

  35. Lynne
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Re Homeschooling – FWIW, I have known some people who have chosen to home school their children and their kids are fine. But one thing to consider is that the single biggest predictor of a child’s academic success is the education level of his/her parents. The people I have known who have home schooled have been well educated upper middle class people. Most likely their children would have done fine no matter how they were schooled. Homeschooling is an option but because it requires a parent to stay home with the kids, it tends to be limited to those who can afford to do that.

  36. Dan
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I dont necessarily think teachers are overpaid. I think that unions shouldnt force salary and benefit packages onto school districts that end up with EFM’s because they cant sustain union demands. Or when schools have to hire less teachers (thus increasing class size) because the have to pay union demands.

  37. Dan
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    And I also find it hard to believe that any mathematician is pulling in 200k

    http://swz.salary.com/SalaryWizard/Mathematician-Salary-Details-Ann-Arbor-MI.aspx

    http://swz.salary.com/SalaryWizard/Assoc-Professor-Mathematics-Salary-Details.aspx

    meanwhile, teachers make this, working about 9 months of the year.

    http://swz.salary.com/SalaryWizard/high-school-teacher-Salary-Details.aspx

    (and please, go on about how teachers work in their spare time, as if professors or pretty much any other salaried professional doesnt)

  38. Burt Reynolds
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I come from a family of home schooled kids, i.e. all of my cousins. Probably 10-12 kids. My sister and I attended public school. I have no idea how our test scores compared to theirs, but I do know my sister and I are college educated and semi-successful. I think one of my cousins attended college. The rest all lived at home into their 20’s. My aunts and uncles were all educated. Home schooled kids are simply not as well adjusted as public school kids. Grades are great, but if you can’t function at a normal level in society, it makes little difference. I really don’t feel I am painting with a broad stroke when I make this statement either.

  39. Lynne
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Except that unions don’t force salary and benefit packets onto school districts. Do you think they show up for contract negotiations with guns or what? You are blaming unions for things that quite simply are not their fault.

  40. Dan
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    seriously Lynne? Seriously?

    Unions have no power, eh? Then why do they exist?

  41. Elvis costello
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Dan, they exist because of freedom. They exist because we have the right, or used to, to freely associate, to join together in common cause, to work as a group to better our lives and those of our families. I’m sure that in the free market utopia, we’d have all the jobs we need. Of course, the wages would be on par with China and Vietnam. What a fantastic country we would then live in…

  42. dirtgrain
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Many years ago, Engler and his accomplices made teacher strikes illegal. Tenure has been trashed by Snyder and friends. Laws have been passed to reduce the political influence of unions. What power do teacher unions in Michigan have today?

  43. Posted June 2, 2012 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Dan, what union forced GM to give these nice pensions to its salary workers?

    http://www.freep.com/article/20120602/BUSINESS01/206020425/Take-a-GM-pension-or-lump-sum-Do-the-math?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

    My solution to the problem is powerful popular democratic organizations that can confront the greedy plutocrats on some form equal basis. The only organizations that fit this bill are labor unions. And as their strength has declined so has our ability to hold the corrupt political financial system accountable declined. As you frequently point out, you are young and are willing to take risk. So you evidently have not experienced much in your own life about the duplicity and rapaciousness of the powers that be. Those of us who have been repeatedly lied to and manipulated have learned that solidarity with out fellow workers on the job and in our communities is the way in which we can demand accountability.

    by the way do you think the unions demand for pensions, say at GM, had anything to do with the sweet pensions the managers were giving themselves and the salaried workers?

  44. Interrobang
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Dan, you do know that people with math degrees often don’t work as mathematicians, right? A lot of people with math degrees work in finance (they’re the ones who invented those funky derivatives that got us all in trouble), IT, or insurance (as actuaries), or in statistics-heavy professions. And yes, it’s very possible to pull down far more than what a mathematician or a teacher makes with an advanced degree in math if you’re working at a brokerage or crunching actuarial tables for Blue Cross, ferchrissakes. I work at an IT company that sells software and services to pay-tv providers, and three or four of my colleagues have math degrees; most of the rest have engineering degrees.

    Probably the most specialised math-major job that you wouldn’t think of as being math is as a professional sabermetrician, and those guys (all like 100 of them in North America) pull down huge paycheques (did you miss “Moneyball”?).

    You’re either dumb, an inflexible thinker, or you’re just disingenuous.

  45. Wanda Leverette
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Traditional public schools accepts everyone and teachers can motivate even the disinterested with some concern and Agape Love. Charter schools do not accept any and everyone in their schools, an application process is usually involved, which involved parents complete. If you don’t have parents involved, where will those children go to school? I believe the plan is to select who will make it into universities and the workforce and who will not. If you have “parents” who are not involved, and who don’t insist you go to school, you won’t. So where will you go as you age when you are unemployable?? Let’s build more jails so we have a place to house them. Charter schools feed into that mentality because most charter schools Select who attends, they put out those with behavior roblems and disenfranchise those with IEPs by not honoring the legal document by providing additional neccesary serices. This charter method will work for those who are “selected”, children with uninvolved parents, children with disabilities, children deemed unteachable will not be included. If that’s not the direction We the People choose to go in, we need to Stand Up and Say So! We as concerned citizens for education need to join forces and rise like the Phoenix, letting our current administration Know that our vote is tied to an education plan that works for all children in all communities regardless of money, positions or culture. We should want quality education for All. People like Clarence Thomas..or even Bill Clinton would never make it from being dirt poor to a seat on the Supreme Court or President if it wasn’t for public school education that’s available for All children, regardless of circumstance. With the current attitude, those positions should be for those from wealthy families with power. What’s painful to watch is professionals who have dedicated their working careers to a system that will not protect them from financial disaster. When you are laid off, you are eligible to collect unemployment benefits, when you are fired, you are not. The politicians in control are very aware of what they are doing when they make decisions such as what is occurring in Muskegon Hts. To teachers in other districts in Michigan and elsewhere; with the cuts in education and tax bases across the country, with less money made available and school districts falling into debt, No school district is exempt from the same fate. We need to take ACTION. Those in power whose goal is to destroy public education, then redesign it to suit their need to have a more defined class differentiation are moving towards Their goal, We the People Must collectively take action and state what We want our schools to look like, demand the type of changes in reform that actually benefits our children and our communities. We must organize , we must take our to D.C. and set our requirements on the table and stand until we are heard. This is more than about parents, it’s about teachers and the community joining together for a common cause.

  46. Jesse
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    The teacher turnover numbers at charters is ridiculous. If I’m not mistaken, it’s something like 25% a year. As you can imagine, this makes it incredibly difficult to establish continuity at a school, and to build a lasting culture. I feel sorry for the kids that are having to live through this right wing experiment.

  47. PF
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Do we know how this has played out? Do we know what kind of teacher turnover they’re seeing? I’ve read before that many charters see a 25% turnover per year. How can that be conducive to teaching children?

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  1. […] in favor of an “all charter” system. And, if you don’t think it can happen, just ask the folks of Muskegon Heights.Here, while we’re on the subject of what a “no” vote would mean in November, is […]

  2. […] do, let’s not keep putting unaccountable officials in positions where they can, for instance, demand that all public schools be closed in favor of for-profit charter schools (as has happened in Muskegon Heights), or sell public land to corporations for pennies on the […]

  3. […] where the Governor-appointed Emergency Manager determined that, in an effort to save money, they’d eliminate public education altogether, replacing it with an an all-charter system. As Democratic candidate for Governor Mark Schauer told […]

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