Education, Politics

Painting with a Broad Brush: How to Avoid Becoming a Failing District

Michigan’s Educational Achievement Authority is run by John Covington, a “graduate” of the Broad Foundation’s unaccredited superintendent academy. Before he and his EAA colleagues got their hands on Detroit’s schools, they managed to dismantle Kansas City’s public schools. Things aren’t going to well for the EAA these days, so the Broad Foundation ponied up $10 MILLION to keep it running.

Michigan Republicans want to expand the EAA statewide. Do you think the Broad Foundation will keep the cash coming once the EAA fails in other “failing” districts? (Not Grand Rapids, of course, because they’ve been kept out of the expansion due to the efforts of Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons.)

It’s pretty easy to see if your district is infected by what the Seattle Education blog calls the “Broad Virus”. The signs include:

Schools in your district are suddenly closed.

Even top-performing schools, alternative and schools for the gifted, are inexplicably and suddenly targeted for closure or mergers.

Repetition of the phrases “the achievement gap” and “closing the achievement gap” in district documents and public statements.

Repeated use of the terms “excellence” and “best practices” and “data-driven decisions.” (Coupled with a noted absence of any of the above.)

The production of “data” that is false or cherry-picked, and then used to justify reforms.

Power is centralized.

Decision-making is top down.

Local autonomy of schools is taken away.

That sounds so familiar. The virus is spreading. The only way to stop it is to help save public education. Do your part and become a member of The Network for Public Education today.


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