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Yesterday I posted a diary about my kid doing something cool in response to a discussion about the Michigan Republican Party trying to destroy our public school system.

I was going to update that diary with this story, but decided to make it a separate diary rather than end the other one on a depressing note. However, I do need to call attention to one of the ugliest bills that the GOP-controlled legislature tried to ram through last December (unsuccessfully at the time) being rammed through (successfully this time, in a slightly modified version) earlier this week.

I don't have the time or energy to write up another full rundown on the EAA (the so-called "Educational Achievement Authority" bill, which creates/expands a completely unregulated, nonaccountable statewide "school district" that takes over poorly-performing actual districts and effectively puts the final nail in their coffin), and the bill already passed the state House, so here's the gist of it as written by Democratic State Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton a few days ago:

Today, the House crammed through legislation that will turn our lowest performing schools into third world prison systems. I voted against against HB4369 (the Governor takeover of our schools):

Students themselves have spoken loud and clear that:

They were promised better schools, and tha has not been delivered, and in fact the situation for them is much worse.

They characterize their school now as a prison.

Students with special education needs are not getting the services under federal law that they are entitled to receive.

Students are not in a safe environment.

Students are not having their academic needs met by the software package known as Buzz. Quite frankly, it should be called FLOP, because it is a flop. I've had the opportunity to witness Buzz at the high school level, and it is childish, not age appropriate, it is demeaning and these are not my words, these are the students' words.

Many students don't want to use Buzz, simply because they want to learn from a teacher.
They want enriching class discussion.

They want books--they want to feel the pages of books--and they miss that.

They used to have these things and now they don't.

They struggle on a daily basis with schedules that don't respond to their basic needs.

Students recounted these and more stories of being put in classes that they had already taken in prior years and when asked to correct it, they're put back into the same class.
Kids talked about not being able to take summer internships that they had already secured because of being in school.

They talked about family problems resulting from them being on one schedule and siblings being on another schedule.

And we heard stories about students that felt trapped, and a lot of broken promises.

And THESE are the reasons why I voted no today....I hope the Senate can stop this very bad piece of legislation.

Originally posted to Brainwrap on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 09:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by Motor City Kossacks and Michigan, My Michigan.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Michigan Republican legislators (12+ / 0-)

    using kids as fodder for the greed machine:

    http://www.google.com/...

    sh

  •  Every time I read one of these diaries (7+ / 0-)

    I remind myself that we're dealing with a mentality that sorely, to the cost of everything else, needs to win. Overall, it's not.

    Lately, for the terrible harm they're doing, if you look at the big picture, Republicans are underwater. Their way of life is dying. They've lost on marriage equality, humiliatingly. They've lost the last two presidential elections in a row, humiliatingly. Those alien, scary brown-skinned people are taking over, demographically. Those women, no matter what restrictions you slap onto them, they don't know their place anymore. They just sound more uppity and more entitled all the time. Damn it.

    So, I hear of something awful Republican holdouts have just done, and I think of media reports of the owner of a large apartment building on the Pacific coast here in the Bay Area. Wouldn't you know it, the waves of the Pacific have started eroding the cliff this building sits on. The building has been condemned. But that doesn't stop the owner. He's frantically sandbagging. He's personally paying for reinforcements to the cliff...

    Easy for me to say, it's not my apartment building. I feel for the guy. But I sometimes wonder if you don't just have to let a bygone be a bygone.

    The analogy directly applies.

    Chin up.

    Thanks for the diary.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 09:45:53 AM PDT

    •  But they NEEEEED to abolish teachers. First get (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy

      rid of the unions then get rid of the people, and there's sooo much more money to buy garbage like Buzz.

      Obviously they have not read the news articles in NYT and elsewhere very recently which demonstrate that save for a small segment of students, those students who do online study don't do as well, especially those who were not doing really well anyway. All replacing teachers with BUZZ does is supply more money to favored R suppliers and simultaneously guarantee that students will be stuck and held back to use them, now a systematized assembly line of involuntary users. Perhaps this is what Race to the Top is meant to fight, although that appeared before this did, where MICH will get less Federal money if the kids perform less 'well.'

  •  Inspiring (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brainwrap, marina, Lujane, Alma

    revulsion and depression every week.

    Seems like MI and WI are trying to compete with UT and MS. I sure hope something can be done about it.

    Mindfulness is the first necessity of sanity and survival and the first casualty of Consumer Culture.

    by Words In Action on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:37:14 AM PDT

  •  The name of that bill seems so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    much like the slogans from 1984... at least what I think of the name and the effects on public education.

    WAR IS PEACE
    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

    Detrimental effects on public education are educational achievements.

    okay that's a stretch... i think my 7th and 8th grade literature teachers want to come out of retirement and beat me over the head.

    Public education sucks.
    OK let's make a bill that "will make it better."
    Public education still sucks. It's not working. The kids are still stoopid and not passing what they should on deez testz.
    Ok, it's just a waste of money now. Make everyone attend private and charter schools.

    cuz bizness and bible make everythin' better. everyting u need to know is in teh bible and the guys that amkes tons of moneh are always rite.

    OK now my former teachers are really going to come out of retirement.

    Riiiight. Because having a population that can't think advances greedy interests... cuz then they can't say "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE."

    Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

    by Future Gazer on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 01:20:58 PM PDT

  •  Any pointers to this Buzz software? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    Google keeps on pointing me to Buzz Lightyear, but I know the Michigan Rethug education slogan is "To mediocrity and beyond".  

    confused

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