MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST
Volume IV, No. 28
July 16, 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/med/

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Contents of this issue:
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* Detroit school officials investigate principal salary padding
* Newspaper: Revise teacher certification
* Legislator, Washington Times call for school vouchers in D.C.
* "Efficiency study" of Detroit schools operating inefficiently

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DETROIT SCHOOL OFFICIALS INVESTIGATE PRINCIPAL SALARY PADDING
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DETROIT, Mich. - Top Detroit school officials are investigating
whether principals are supplementing their salaries with outside
grant money, and say they'll quash that practice immediately.

The latest crackdown comes after The Detroit News revealed on
Friday that the city's public school principals were paid a total
of $2.9 million more than their contract salaries in 2001, even
though district officials say they shouldn't have received some
of the extra money.

The overpayments include funds for after-school workshops, summer
school and teaching training, but do not include grant money paid
directly to schools. From now on, principals will not get a slice
of that money, schools chief of staff Lavonne Sheffield told The
Detroit News.

The principals' new 12-month contracts, which took effect July 1,
eliminate all additional pay for principals but include a total
wage increase of 5 percent.
Nearly all of Detroit's 259 principals earn more than $90,000 in
base salary and 153 earned more than $100,000 in 2001.
________
SOURCES:
Detroit News, "District limits principals' pay," July 15, 2002
http://www.detnews.com/2002/schools/0207/15/c01-537614.htm

Detroit News, "Principals got $2.9 million in extra pay," July
12, 2002
http://www.detnews.com/2002/schools/0207/12/schools-535987.htm

Detroit Free Press, "Principals' pay passed $100,000," July 12,
2002
http://www.freep.com/news/education/paid12_20020712.htm


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NEWSPAPER: REVISE TEACHER CERTIFICATION
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DETROIT, Mich. - In response to the recently released federal
report on teacher certification, The Detroit News is calling for
revisions to Michigan's teacher certification programs.

In a July 16 editorial, the News says pedagogy (knowledge of
teaching methods) has crowded out knowledge of subject matter on
the list of what qualifies a candidate for certification as a
teacher. The paper claims that the current system also makes
qualified experts in their fields unqualified (or "uncertified")
to teach in schools, simply because they lack pedagogy training
of dubious value.

The result: Only 38 percent of U.S. public school teachers have
academic degrees in their subject areas, awarded outside of a
school of education.

The News states that the current certification requirements limit
the supply of qualified teachers while doing little for student
achievement. The paper calls for state lawmakers to consider
loosening the education industry's "stranglehold" on
certification requirements.
________
SOURCES:
Detroit News, "Revise teacher certification," July 16, 2002
http://www.detnews.com/2002/editorial/0207/16/a06-537903.htm

Viewpoint on Public Issues, "Must Teachers Be Certified to Be
Qualified?," February 1, 1999
http://www.mackinac.org/article.asp?ID=1651

Michigan Education Report, "Subject matter courses should drive a
teacher's schooling," Spring 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/mer/article.aspx?ID=4375


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LEGISLATOR, WASHINGTON TIMES CALL FOR SCHOOL VOUCHERS IN D.C.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - A recent Washington Times editorial calls for
school vouchers for students in the District of Columbia.
U.S. House Majority Leader Richard Armey, R-Texas, introduced
voucher legislation for students in D.C. on June 27, the same day
the Supreme Court ruled that the voucher program in Cleveland is
constitutional.

If Congress passes the new legislation and President Bush signs
it into law, vouchers worth up to $5,000 would become available
to low-income students to help them attend the private or
parochial school of their choice. At least 8,300 scholarships
would become available over a period of five years.

"The Supreme Court has spoken on education choice," Armey said,
in announcing his bill. "Now it's time for Congress to do its
part on behalf of low-income parents that simply want a better
education for their children. Needy children in the District and
across the country have waited long enough."
________
SOURCES:
Washington Times, "Vouchers for D.C.," July 14, 2002
http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20020714-99688627.htm

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Supreme Court Upholds School
Choice Program," June 27, 2002
http://www.mackinac.org/4438

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "The Case for Choice in
Schooling," January 2001
http://www.mackinac.org/article.asp?ID=3236


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"EFFICIENCY STUDY" OF DETROIT SCHOOLS OPERATING INEFFICIENTLY
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DETROIT, Mich. - A consulting firm hired to make Detroit Public
Schools operate more efficiently is 6 months past its deadline
for completing its work and is costing 24 percent more than
originally planned, according to a Detroit News investigation.

The News discovered that school officials have paid Berkshire
Advisors Inc., a Texas-based consulting group, nearly $1.4
million as of April 4, even though the company's contract, signed
in July 2000, had Berkshire earning $954,540 for work to be
completed by Feb 9, 2001.

Schools Chief Executive Kenneth Burnley hired Berkshire in July
2000 - his first month on the job - to conduct a top-to-bottom
efficiency review of nearly all school district departments and
make recommendations for streamlining them.
________
SOURCES:
Detroit News, "Efficiency study costs $1.4 million," July 10,
2002
http://www.detnews.com/2002/schools/0207/11/c01-533525.htm


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MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education
Report (http://www.educationreport.org), a quarterly newspaper
with a circulation of 130,000 published by the Mackinac Center
for Public Policy (http://www.mackinac.org), a private,
nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.
Contact Managing Editor Elizabeth H. Moser at
[mailto:med@educationreport.org]
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