MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST
Volume IV, No. 29
July 23, 2002
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/med/


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Contents of this issue:
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* Detroit spends $1.5 million on PR campaign
* Poll: Blacks favor charter, private schools
* National teachers' union calls for moratorium on charter schools
* Military base public schools thrive


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DETROIT SPENDS $1.5 MILLION ON PR CAMPAIGN
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DETROIT, Mich. - In a budget-tightening year that saw 700 staff
members laid off and schools cutting expenses 10 percent, Detroit
school district officials have spent at least $1.5 million on
public relations consultants and marketing pitches.

More than one-third of the money went toward consulting fees to
four firms for work ranging from designing newsletters and the
annual report to organizing staff-appreciation luncheons,
enrollment fairs and promoting a school band' trip to the Rose
Bowl.

The strategy of the school system, with 160,000 students and a
$1.3 billion annual budget, is to publicize new programs and
recruit new students, which would bring in more per-pupil state
funding.
________
SOURCE:
Detroit News, "Detroit schools' PR: $1.5 million," July 23, 2002
http://www.detnews.com/2002/schools/0207/23/a01-543825.htm


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POLL: BLACKS FAVOR CHARTER, PRIVATE SCHOOLS
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - A majority of blacks - if given a choice -
would send their children to charter or private schools, a poll
released Thursday showed.

Sixty-three percent of blacks said they would prefer to remove
their children from a public school and enroll them in a charter
or private school. Forty-six percent supported the idea of
charter schools operated by local residents, the poll conducted
by the Black America's Political Action Committee (BAMPAC) last
month showed.

The poll, which surveyed 1,000 registered black voters between
June 20 and June 30, showed 56 percent of blacks gave a "C" grade
or lower when asked to evaluate the condition of public schools.

"African-Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated with the
public school system and its failure, in many cases, to provide a
quality education for their children," Alvin Williams, BAMPAC's
president told the Washington Times. "This poll illustrates that
school choice in all its forms is an idea that should be explored
as a viable alternative for parents to consider."
________
SOURCE:
Washington Times, "Poll finds most blacks favor charter, private
schools," July 19, 2002
http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20020719-27590656.htm


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NATIONAL TEACHERS' UNION CALLS FOR MORATORIUM ON CHARTER SCHOOLS
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PHOENIX, Ariz. - The same teachers' union that called for the
establishment of charter schools to help kids who couldn't
succeed in traditional classrooms is now backing a "moratorium"
on the national charter movement.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) said Wednesday that it
reached that decision after tracking 10 years of charter school
research in 37 states, and finding charter schools lax on
financial and academic accountability.

The AFT will press its call for a moratorium in state
legislatures around the country.

Supporters of charters say the reason the union has turned
against them is because in most states charter school teachers,
unlike those in district schools, are not required to join a
Teachers' union, or pay anything to the union.
________
SOURCES:
Arizona Republic, "Teachers union backs moratorium on charters,"
July 17, 2002
http://www.arizonarepublic.com/news/articles/0717charters17.html

EducationNews.org, "Union should learn from charters," July 2002
http://www.educationnews.org/rochester.htm

AFT.org, "AFT Study Reveals Charter Schools Not Meeting
Expectations," July 17, 2002
http://www.aft.org/press/2002/071702.html


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MILITARY BASE PUBLIC SCHOOLS THRIVE
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - One of the lesser-known components of
America's educational landscape is the system of 69 schools in
seven states, Guam and Puerto Rico that serve children with
parents in the military. These schools, located on military
bases and run by the Pentagon, achieve superior academic results
and rate high in parental satisfaction.

Students at these Department of Defense schools consistently
score above the national average on standardized tests. In fact,
the schools are considered so desirable that there are long
waiting lists to live in military quarters, a requirement for
attendance.

A Vanderbilt University study last fall concluded that if all
Department of Defense schools were lumped together as a state,
the system would rank first or second nationally. Yet, 40
percent of the schools' students are minorities, and half are
poor enough to qualify for the federal lunch program, both
characteristics of low-achieving urban school populations.
Despite the impressive performance, the Pentagon has ordered a
study to evaluate whether or not it would be cheaper to send the
children to public schools.
________
SOURCE:
Washington Post, "Quantico's Schools 'Celebrate' Children," July
17, 2002
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A15843-2002Jul16


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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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