Education, Politics

Broadly Speaking, Why Eli Broad Should Concern You

I’ve mentioned the Broad Foundation in recent posts, but haven’t addressed just who’s behind it. Introducing Eli Broad. Let introduce you to Mr. Broad and the rest of the education profiteers “reformers.” Broad’s key reform strategy is to shut down as many “failing” schools as possible:

The difference with school closures is that there is no relief for the majority of communities where schools will be closed if just a few schools are taken off the closure list. This school closure method has been used in New York, Chicago, and Detroit, where large numbers of community schools have already been closed. The closings are done in phases to transform large numbers of public schools into a private system run by charter management companies over a period of years.

Again, this is the strategy behind the EAA, and it’s going to impact all of Michigan unless we do something about it. Call your state senator. Tell him or her to vote no on expanding the EAA.

Education, Media, Politics

Broad Support for Cheating?

While she wasn’t trained by the Broad Foundation, Beverly Hall, former Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, certainly had her share of support from them. She seemed to be doing well, so well that she was named Superintendent of the Year in 2009 and honored by Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Hall received $500,000 in performance bonuses for turning around the district.

One problem: the turn around never happened. Thirty-five educators, including Hall, have been indicted on multiple charges stemming from widespread cheating.

This is what happens when high-stakes tests are all that matters to schools, and all that matters to politicians and “reformers” when it comes to evaluating teachers. Diane Ravitch reports that for Broad, “test scores = performance” and:

The Broad philosophy, as best it can be deciphered from afar, is management by targets. Goal-setting. It is a business plan, not an educational vision for children. As Eli Broad once said, “I know nothing about curriculum and teaching, but I know management.”

Remember, Michigan’s only EAA is run by a cadre of Broad Foundation “graduates” who believe this claptrap. This is the kind of education philosophy championed by MI Rep. Lisa Lyons and The Grand Rapids Press.

Sadly, Atlanta isn’t alone when it comes to cheating. According to a new study by, 37 states and the District of Columbia (hello, Michelle Rhee) are involved in widespread test score corruption. These districts champion test scores as the be-all and end-all to measure student success. So does the EAA.

And if the MI GOP has its way, it’s coming soon to a “failing” district near you. Expect the cheating to follow.

Education, Media, Politics

Surprise! MLive Loves EAA! (And I Fight Back)

The mouthpiece of The Mackinac Center Editorial Board of MLive posted a lovely little valentine to MI State Rep. Lisa Lyons and the Educational Achievement Authority today. As usual, a number of smart-minded folks took MLive to task for not considering such factors as “HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST?” and “Why did the Broad Foundation pony up $10 MILLION to assist a cash-hungry EAA in Detroit?”

I was one of those folks. I also took shots at the educational qualifications of Education Secretary Arne Duncan:

Screen shot 2013-03-29 at 11.47.40 PM

Here’s the reply I received from “Community Engagement Specialist” (what was once known as an editor) Dave Murray:

Screen shot 2013-03-29 at 11.47.49 PM

I’m “invested in the status quo”? That’s news to me (and anyone who knows me or follows this blog). My reply, a screen-grab of which I saved because I expect it to be removed by the Community Engagement Specialist:

Screen shot 2013-03-29 at 11.47.16 PM

There’s a reason I don’t subscribe to this newspaper anymore.

Education, Politics

Why your local public school teacher has a love/hate relationship with teaching

How do I love teaching? Let me count the ways. . .

The interaction, the give and take, the laughter, the conversations with our future. . .

The look of pride and accomplishment on the face of a student who’s struggled all year and finally “gets it” . . .

The dedication and professionalism of my colleagues. . .

The hope that, through my work, my students will create positive change in this world. . .

But why do I hate it? Because Bill Gates thinks he can toss millions of bucks into Memphis and force an inferior education model on a city that desperately needs the opposite. . .

Because Chicago Bully Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to close 61 schools, most in the poorest areas of his city, yet won’t figure out a way to give all Chicago kids the same kind of education his kids (and Arne Duncan’s) get in their pricey private schools. . .

Because Indiana (and reigning filibuster champ Rand Paul) thinks that vouchers are the answer to all the problems in public education, even though they’ll allow for discrimination. . .

Because Michelle Rhee is making millions on her brief failure of a career as an educator and administrator, selling snake oil to rubes with the backing of hedge fund managers who see huge profits. . .

Because Michissippi GOPs – ironically, led by a former student –  want to expand the Educational Achievement Authority, an unproven takeover of “bad” schools, with no local oversight. . . and because our schools in Lansing are planning to cut physical education, art, and music classes in their elementary schools. . .

Because tomorrow, I have to spend an entire day preparing to implement the Common Core State Standards, an untested, unproven curriculum. . . one that will lead to standardized tests to determine my worth as a teacher, even though there’s no connection between high test scores and what students really learn. . .

I love teaching. It’s the rest I can do without.