MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST
Volume V, No. 13
April 1, 2003
http://www.educationreport.org/pubs/med/

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Contents of this issue:
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* Nearly 400 Michigan schools may face federal sanctions for
failure
* D.C. board of education president outrages establishment with
commentary approving vouchers
* Milwaukee school board member says union is targeting voucher
advocates for defeat
* Abandonment of bilingual education is working in California
* Security expert says schools could become terrorist target
* Granholm gives thumbs up to Bush education plan
* Notice: free seminar for economics teachers

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NEARLY 400 MICHIGAN SCHOOLS MAY FACE FEDERAL SANCTIONS FOR
FAILURE
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LANSING, Mich. – Nearly 400 elementary and middle schools across
Michigan will learn within days that they may face sanctions for
failing to meet minimum standards under the federal No Child Left
Behind Act.

Letters were being sent Friday to about 2,500 elementary and
middle schools in Michigan telling them whether they have
achieved "adequate yearly progress" as defined by President
Bush's "No Child Left Behind" Act. The districts have 10 days to
respond to the state before the results are released to the
public.

Parents of children at schools that miss the mark have the option
of sending their children to better schools in the same district,
which would be required to provide transportation. Other
sanctions include mandatory tutoring or mentoring of students in
poorly performing schools. If a school falls short for more than
two years, more severe sanctions could include restructuring the
district or state takeover.
________
SOURCES:
Detroit Free Press, "Failure likely in 400 schools,"
March 28, 2003
http://www.freep.com/news/education/nchild28_20030328.htm

The Detroit News, "No: System fails to education students
adequately," Aug. 26, 2001
http://www.detnews.com/2001/editorial/0108/27/a11-278250.htm


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D.C. BOARD OF EDUCATION PRESIDENT OUTRAGES ESTABLISHMENT WITH
COMMENTARY APPROVING VOUCHERS
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – D.C. Board of Education President Peggy Cooper
Cafritz has drawn the wrath of the district's governing
establishment by publishing an opinion favoring a school voucher
system for D.C. schools along the lines favored by the Bush
administration.

"We should join the U.S. Department of Education in forging a
system that includes vouchers, charter schools and public schools
– one that would afford children in the District the best
possible education," Cafritz wrote in a commentary that appeared
in the Washington Post on Saturday, March 29.

A firestorm of protest ensued, characterized by D.C. Delegate
Eleanor Holmes Norton's statement calling the Cafritz's proposal
"unprincipled." But the Post, coming to Cafritz' defense in an
April 1 editorial, cited "... the D.C. public schools' ongoing
systemic failures, parents' demands for better schools and
teachers, and the absence of sufficient viable alternatives," as
justification for Cafritz' proposal.

"With a federally funded voucher program," the paper continued,
"District public and charter schools could end up with more
District money per pupil, because the funds that followed
students to private schools would come from the Department of
Education, not D.C. taxpayers."
________
SOURCES:
Washington Post, "Making the Most of Vouchers," March 29, 2003
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A44924-2003Mar28

Washington Post, "Mrs. Cafritz on vouchers," April 1, 2003
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A63443-2003Mar31

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "With Clear Eyes, Sincere
Hearts and Open Minds," July 27, 2002,
http://www.mackinac.org/4447

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Why Tax Credits Are Better
Than Vouchers," Jan. 7, 2003
http://www.mackinac.org/4950

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "The Impact of Limited School
Choice on Public School Districts," July 2000
http://www.mackinac.org/2962


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MILWAUKEE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER SAYS UNION IS TARGETING VOUCHER
ADVOCATES FOR DEFEAT
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. – A champion of Milwaukee's school voucher
program says the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association (MTEA)
is spending $2 million to knock him and four others off the
school board and wrest control of the nine-member body. John
Gardner, union organizer-turned school reformer, says the goal is
to destroy Milwaukee's successful 12-year school choice voucher
program.

Gardner, the board's only citywide at-large member, said he's
raised just $45,000 for his nonpartisan campaign for a third
four-year term. His MTEA-backed opponent has raised $160,000 from
unions and union members to spend on TV ads and a get-out-the-
vote drive.

Gardner and four other Milwaukee school board members up for re-
election next month comprise a pro-reform group, with a one-vote
majority. Gardner was an organizer in the 1970s for Cesar
Chavez's United Farm Workers Union in California and is a self-
described "radical left-winger," despised by union bosses for his
pro-school choice advocacy.

Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who first
proposed empowering parents with vouchers to choose their
children's schools, has donated $3,000 to Mr. Gardner's campaign.
________
SOURCES: The Washington Times, "Voucher pioneer faces flush foes
in board election, March 23, 2003
http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030323-873887.htm

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "The Michigan Education
Association Tries to Take the "Free" Out of "Free Speech,"
May 21, 2002
http://www.mackinac.org/4359

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "School Choice in Michigan: A
Primer for Freedom in Education," July 16, 1999
http://www.mackinac.org/2027


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ABANDONMENT OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION IS WORKING IN CALIFORNIA
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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Five years after voters approved English-
only classrooms across California, the popular ballot measure
seems to be working. The number of students who speak English
well despite having learned a different language at home tripled
last year.

Thirty-two percent of California students learning English – more
than 862,000 – were able to speak it "proficiently" as measured
by the California English Language Development test in the fall
of 2002.

The rate was just 11 percent in fall 2001. About 1.8 million
students took the test for the first time that year.

The exam measures students' ability to speak, read and write in
English, ranking pupils from beginning to advanced. Those who
score "early advanced" or "advanced" are considered proficient,
O'Connell said.
_________
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle, "English-only students do better
on state test," March 26, 2003
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/03/26/MN197410.DTL


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SECURITY EXPERT SAYS SCHOOLS COULD BECOME TERRORIST TARGET
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DETROIT, Mich. – An expert in school security told Michigan
educators last week there are indications that schools could
become targets for terrorism, and urged them to come up with
emergency plans for their schools.

Ken Trump, president of the Cleveland-based National School
Safety and Security Services, told nearly 100 educators and law
enforcement officials at an Oakland Schools workshop in Waterford
that schools and school buses have been targets of attacks
overseas, and that there is growing evidence that schools could
be a target in the United States. Trump played a videotape that
purportedly showed Al Qaeda operatives preparing for what
appeared to be a school attack.

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Education announced that
$30 million will be provided to school districts to help them
improve and strengthen emergency response and crisis management
plans.
_________
SOURCES: Detroit Free Press, "Schools should have plan for
terrorism, expert says," March 26, 2003
http://www.freep.com/news/education/nskul26_20030326.htm

Detroit News, "Be prepared, schools told," March 26, 2003
Also: http://www.detnews.com/2003/schools/0303/26/a06-119640.htm

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Private Protection: A Growing
Industry Could Enhance School Safety," Nov. 16, 1998
http://www.mackinac.org/802


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GRANHOLM GIVES THUMBS UP TO BUSH EDUCATION PLAN
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LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Jennifer Granholm says she will call on
social services workers, churches and others to help educators
fix troubled schools identified under President Bush's No Child
Left Behind Act. Granholm told the state Board of Education
Thursday that the 14-month-old federal law has problems, but the
goal is worthy.

"Let's embrace it, let's move on it," she said. "Let us go
forward at 90 miles an hour and say we are not going to leave any
child behind."

State officials say that in mid-April they will release a list of
a few hundred middle and elementary schools identified as failing
to improve under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Schools
are being notified in letters that went out Friday.

Granholm said she plans to be tough on the schools, but help
them. "You have to have high expectations, and you have to have
accountability. You have to make sure you have partnerships in
making them succeed. Failure is not an option," she said.
_______
SOURCES:
Mlive.com, "Granholm gung-ho on Bush education plan,"
March 28, 2003
http://www.mlive.com/news/statewide/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/base/news-1/1048849837140490.xml

Michigan Education Report, "No Child Left Behind law demands
'adequate yearly progress' and offers school choice options for
parents," Fall 2002
http://www.mackinac.org/pubs/mer/4846

Michigan Education Report, "Black Alliance for Educational
Options: Promoting school choice and empowering parents through
No Child Left Behind," Fall 2002
http://www.mackinac.org/pubs/mer/4853


---------------------------------------------
NOTICE: FREE SEMINAR FOR ECONOMICS TEACHERS
---------------------------------------------
The Foundation for Teaching Economics is sponsoring a free summer
seminar for teaching economics, "Economics for Leaders," July 13-
20, 2003, on the campus of Hillsdale College. The seminar is
open to any teacher who teaches economics; it is especially
suited for teachers of social studies, civics, and history.

Instruction in the application of economic principles will be
provided by a mentor teacher and two distinguished university
professors, including Dr. Gary Wolfram, Munson Prof. of Political
Economy at Hillsdale College, and member of the Mackinac Center
for Public Policy's Board of Scholars.

The program is based on the National Voluntary Standards in
Economic Education.

Free room and board is provided on the campus of Hillsdale
College. Two semester credit hours will be awarded by the
University of California-Davis for a fee of $85.00. Three SB-
CEUs are available free of charge to Michigan public school
teachers.

For more information and to register, visit the Web site of the
Foundation for Teaching Economics at www.fte.org, or call (800)383-4335.


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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 Neil Block at
[mailto:med@educationreport.org]

To subscribe, go to:
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