Contents of this issue:
- MSU investigates school consolidation study
- Granholm plan shifts surplus to community colleges
- Half of districts complying with data law
- Performance pay approved in Mount Clemens
- Nearly 19,000 apply for 71 teaching jobs
- Teach for America sends four to new Detroit charter
INVESTIGATEES SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION STUDY
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University is investigating concerns raised by
the Mackinac Center for Public Policy that some material in a study of school
consolidation may have been plagiarized, the Detroit Free Press reported.
addition to the question of potentially copied material, the Mackinac Center
also said that the methodology used by MSU's Education Policy Center in
concluding that the state could save $612 million annually by consolidating
school districts is "seriously flawed," Michael Van Beek, the center's director
of education policy, told AnnArbor.com.
university says that it stands by the economic conclusions reached in the
study, as does the Grand Rapids Press and seven affiliated Booth Newspapers,
which commissioned the work and reported the findings, according to the Free
Mackinac Center, which also publishes Michigan Education Digest, raised the
issue after spotting material in the study that matched text from other studies
and reports, but was not attributed to those sources, the Free Press reported.
has since posted a revised online version of the study, with more attribution,
at its website, according to the Free Press.
Mackinac Center's own 2007 study on school consolidation concluded that while
some districts operate more efficiently than others, forcing small districts to
merge would have little impact on overall education spending in Michigan.
Free Press, "MSU probing plagiarism allegations," Aug. 22, 2010
"Mackinac Center says school consolidation study by MSU professor may contain
some plagiarized material," Aug. 18, 2010
Center for Public Policy, "School District Consolidation, Size and Spending: An
Evaluation," May 22, 2007
Center for Public Policy, "MSU Consolidation Study Seriously Flawed," Aug. 19,
Center for Public Policy, "The (False) Hope of School District Consolidation,"
Oct. 29, 2009
PLAN SHIFTS SURPLUS TO COMMUNITY COLLEGES
LANSING, Mich. — Surplus money in the 2011 school
aid fund would go to community colleges as part of a larger proposal by Gov.
Jennifer Granholm to fill holes in the state budget, according to The
Granholm also proposed a $50 million competition to
reward public school districts that consolidate or share services such as
transportation and food service, according to AP.
A Michigan Education Association spokesman called
the plan a "shell game," according to the Detroit Free Press. The MEA has
called for tax reform to generate money for schools, the Free Press reported.
In a report published at Mlive.com, AP said that
Granholm would use $200 million of an anticipated school aid fund surplus to
support community colleges. Earlier media reports said the total school aid
fund surplus is expected to be about $348 million.
There is about $302 million in overspending in the 2010
fiscal year budget, followed by a predicted $484 million in overspending in the
budget year beginning Oct. 1, AP reported.
The Associated Press, "Granholm details new plan
with no tax increases to balance Michigan budgets," Aug. 19, 2010
Detroit Free Press, "Hurdles loom for governor's
budget," Aug. 19, 2010
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "School Funding
Michigan Education Digest, "School aid fund has
unexpected surplus," May 20, 2010
HALF OF DISTRICTS POSTING FINANCIAL DATA
COUNTY, Mich. — About half of Michigan's public school districts have complied
with a new law requiring them to post financial data online, while about 31
percent have not, a state official told The Flint Journal. An additional 18
percent are in partial compliance.
31 was the deadline for school districts to post online such things as total
spending, personnel expenditures, lobbying expenses and salaries of any
employee earning six figures or more, The Journal reported.
Rader, assistant director of the Michigan Department of Education state aid and
school finance office, told The Journal that the state is contacting districts
that haven't yet posted the numbers, but that no specific consequences are in
place for non-compliers.
don't have a problem with that being out there, because it's public
information," Dana Taylor, director of business affairs and technology in Grand
Blanc Schools, told The Journal. Taylor's salary of $111,475, plus $19,385 in
retirement benefits, was posted at that district's site.
officials said people should review the number in the bigger context of what
programs the district offers, geographic size, and other factors that affect
spending, The Journal said. Others said
that they believe posting the information would help build trust among the
Flint Journal, "New state requirement makes schools post financial data
online," Aug. 22, 2010
Center for Public Policy, "Michigan School Databases"
PAY IN MOUNT CLEMENS
CLEMENS, Mich. — Mount Clemens Community School District teachers have ratified
a four-year contract that ties future pay hikes to job performance, according
to The Macomb Daily.
agreement also establishes higher health insurance co-pays for teachers union
members, which is expected to save the district about $500,000 over two years,
The Daily reported.
will receive a 0.5 percent raise in December, while additional 0.5 percent
raises in the next two years will depend on positive reviews, according to The
this may be the way of the future in education," Superintendent Charles
Muncatchy told The Daily. The district will use an evaluation method designed
by Charlotte Danielson, an economist and teaching consultant from New Jersey,
the report said.
Daily, "Teacher pay to be tied to performance," Aug. 20, 2010
Center for Public Policy, "Merit Pay," June 30, 2008
19,000 APPLY FOR 71 TEACHER JOBS
CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Chippewa
Valley Schools received nearly 19,000 applications for 71 teaching jobs it
recently posted, The Macomb Daily reported.
The openings were for entry-level
teachers at a beginning salary of about $35,000, Michael Reeber, assistant
superintendent of human resources, told The Daily.
The district used a computer program to
highlight candidates for further consideration, focusing on those who had a
previous connection with Chippewa Valley Schools, according to The Daily. Most
of the jobs have already been filled.
"The number was really an eye-opener
for us, and sadly, a sign of the times in our state," Diane Blain, district
spokeswoman, told The Daily. Most of the applicants were Michigan residents.
The Macomb Daily, "Chippewa Valley
sorts through nearly 19,000 applications for 71 teaching jobs," Aug. 17, 2010
Michigan Education Report, "Teacher
certification tests don't tell us enough about quality," March 2, 2010
FOR AMERICA' SENDS FOUR TO NEW DETROIT CHARTER
DETROIT — The new YMCA Detroit Leadership Academy will open in September with a staff
that includes four "Teach for America" educators, according to a report in the
is the second charter public school opened by the YMCA. The first, Detroit
Service Learning Academy, opened in 1997 and was spun off from the YMCA in 2004,
the Chronicle reported.
new K-5 school primarily will serve the Brightmoor community, and organizers
plan to expand over time to create YMCA elementary, middle and high schools,
the report said.
is a huge boost in the arm for our teaching program," Principal Shawn Hill told
the Chronicle regarding the Teach for America educators.
for America is expected to send 100 recent college graduates to Detroit Public
Schools this fall, according to The Michigan Daily.
Chronicle, "YMCA opens second charter school," Aug. 18, 2010
Michigan Daily, "Teach for America returns to Detroit, draws criticism from
local teachers," May 9, 2010
Education Digest, "Poll: Charter school support growing," April 23, 2010
MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education Report (https://www.educationreport.org), an online newspaper published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (https://www.mackinac.org), a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.