Education, Politics

Something’s Rotten In The State of Michissippi: Skunk Groups

As much as I’d love to drive traffic with posts about the GR floods and natural selection, the raison d’être for this blog is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, especially the miscreants with education reform profiteering on their minds.

Enter Michissippi Governor Rick Snyder, a.k.a. One Tough Nerd, and his merry band of aides who’ve met in secret – calling themselves a “skunk group,” no less – to discuss how more public school dollars can be spent on unproven online schools known as “value schools.”

Value schools! It’s the Walmart of education! What could possibly go wrong?

Other records distributed to group members indicate they want to explore using fewer teachers and more instruction through long-distance video conferencing. Each “value school” student would receive a “Michigan Education Card” to pay for their “tuition” — similar to the electronic benefits transfer used to distribute food stamps and cash assistance for the poor.

Folks, this is a voucher program meant to profit from taxpayer dollars, pure and simple. And have I mentioned it being formed in secret? That’s no problem, according to Governor Nerd:

“That’s what I would view a group like that — just working together to say they want to come up with new ideas and throw them out there. That’s how you come up with new ideas. Most of them don’t go anywhere, but you don’t want to discourage people from trying and being creative.”

Four state government employees, including the state’s chief information and technology officers, were directed to use private email accounts to correspond on the project, according to records obtained by The Detroit News.

There’s the rub. Government employees using private email accounts so any correspondance couldn’t be checked via a FOIA request. Nice move, Gov. Nerd. Fear not, Michissippians, for Gov. Nerd tells us the “skunk group” isn’t an “official project.”

The Nerd also told us Right to Work wasn’t on his radar, until it was on his desk for his signature. But please, Gov. Nerd, continue to comfort us with your soothing nasal tones:

“I don’t view it as a controversy necessarily,” the Republican governor told reporters. “As a practical matter it’s not an official project that I have going.”

Need more reassurance? How about this?

Snyder also said: “I haven’t been part of this process at all.”

Said One Tough Nerd, channelling his inner Pontius Pilate, washing his hands.

Skunk doesn’t come out that easy, Governor.




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