Contents of this issue:
- Union: Federal money should end privatization
- Legislator questions automatic A's
- Retirements mean no DPS layoffs
- Principal sees potential in Facebook
- 10-year-old can't enroll in Windsor high school
FEDERAL MONEY SHOULD END PRIVATIZATION
INDIAN RIVER, Mich. — Inland Lakes
Schools is considering hiring a private firm to provide custodial services, but
a union representative says that new federal funding makes such a move
unnecessary, according to a report by WPBN-TV.
"It's strictly a financial situation
where we took bids and the top two companies could save us $80,000 to over
$100,000 a year in expenses," Superintendent Mary Jo Dismang told WPBN.
Michigan Education Association
representative Bob Kwiatkoski told WPBN that the district is "jumping the gun"
because per pupil funding from the state is $11 more per student this year than
last, and because a new state report shows that the district will receive an
additional $88,000 to $205,000 in federal funding this year.
A recent report by the House Fiscal
Agency estimates potential "edujobs" payments for all Michigan public school
Dismang said the privatization savings
could be used to hire a teacher and reduce class size, WPBN reported.
"I'm in the business of educating kids,
and that has to be my first priority, we're not in the business of finding full
time jobs for people," Dismang told the station.
WPBN-TV, "Privatize custodians? It
could happen in Inland Lake Schools," Aug. 24, 2010
Fiscal Agency Memorandum, "Federal Education Jobs Fund Act," Aug. 18, 2010
Mackinac Center for Public Policy,
"School Privatization Survey 2009," Dec. 7, 2009
QUESTIONS AUTOMATIC A's
LANSING, Mich. — Public schools in
Michigan were offered an automatic A on part of their annual state report card
this year, a one-time arrangement that may have spared some from being
unaccredited, according to a report in Michigan Capitol Confidential.
Schools were guaranteed an A if they
filled out the 40-page "Indicators of School Performance," a questionnaire
intended to measure school improvement. The report counted as one-third of
their overall Education Yes! report card grade, according to Michigan Capitol
Muskegon Heights High School, for
example, received failing grades in reading, math, science and social studies,
but received a grade of D overall because it completed the performance report,
Capitol Confidential reported.
State Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester
Hills, who serves on the House Education Committee, called the practice
"indefensible," Capitol Confidential reported.
Joseph Martineau, director of the
Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability for the Michigan Department
of Education, told Michigan Capitol Confidential that the automatic A was an
arrangement for only one year. Next year the lowest-performing 5 percent of
schools will be considered unaccredited, and the next lowest 15 percent will be
put on interim accreditation, he told Capitol Confidential.
Department of Education spokeswoman Jan
Ellis told Capitol Confidential that the process of filling out the report
"is a whole school improvement effort. ... It's a pretty complicated and
Muskegon Heights High School Assistant
Principal Keith Guy didn't respond to an e-mail seeking comment, according to
Michigan Capitol Confidential, "State Gives Failing Schools Perfect
Grades for Paperwork," Aug. 27, 2010
Michigan Education Report, "The shell
game of 'making AYP,'" March 18, 2009
MEAN NO DPS LAYOFFS
DETROIT — More than 1,000 teacher
retirements will make room for Detroit Public Schools to recall all teachers
from layoff and hire up to 300 more to fill staffing gaps, according to a WWJ
Detroit Federation of Teachers
President Keith Johnson said he was informed by Emergency Financial Manager
Robert Bobb that all layoff notices have been rescinded, WWJ reported.
"We actually might be hiring, and not
just in critical areas. I'm talking about Elementary, Home Room, English,
Social Studies and the like," Johnson told WWJ.
About 40 percent of DPS teachers
received layoff notices in April due to reduced enrollment and budget
overspending, WWJ reported.
WWJ Radio, "Detroit Schools Short on
Teachers," Aug. 26, 2010
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Are
Public Schools Underfunded? No," July 5, 2010
SEES POTENTIAL IN FACEBOOK
BAY CITY, Mich. — Principal John Hoving
is using Facebook as a way to promote Bay City All Saints Central School as
well as to head off possible cyber bullying, he told The Bay City Times.
Hoving created a Facebook profile this
summer specifically to communicate with middle and high school students and
parents and has asked them to "friend" him, he told The Times. He also created
a school "fan page."
The idea is to promote school events and
student achievement and to be aware of what students are posting at the popular
social media site, particularly any negative messages aimed at individual
students, he told The Times.
In one case this summer, Hoving sent a
private message to a student regarding what he said could be a "hurtful"
"After I did that, it stopped," he told
The Times. "This can stop those confrontations before they escalate."
Justin Patchin, co-director of an
online Cyberbullying Research Center, told The Times that educators must remain
professional in their communication with students online, but that they should
be willing to intervene if they spot inappropriate messages.
The Bay City Times, "Bay City All
Saints principal uses Facebook to monitor student behavior, promote school,"
Aug. 29, 2010
Michigan Capitol Confidential,
"Lawmaker's Facebook Fans Get Blow-by-Blow Stories of His Votes," May 24, 2010
CAN'T ENROLL IN WINDSOR HIGH SCHOOL
Ont. — A 10-year-old Windsor boy who completed part of his education in
Michigan is being denied entry to public high school in Windsor even though
he's completed the eighth-grade curriculum, The Windsor Star reported. School
officials said he's too young for high school and will have to repeat lower
grades, the report said.
Sbeiti attended The Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills in his early elementary
years, then returned to Windsor and attended a private school there, The Star
the Greater Essex County District School Board has said he is too young for
high school and his mother told The Star that she has not been able to find a
suitable private high school in the area.
Pyke, a superintendent of education with the Greater Essex District, told The
Star that a child of Sbeiti's age belongs in fifth or sixth grade.
belief is that we do not accelerate students," Pyke told The Star. She
said the district will develop an individual plan to offer Sbeiti an expanded
or more in-depth curriculum.
makes me feel bad," Sbeiti told The Star. "The city, I believe,
should encourage people to go higher and be smarter."
Windsor Star, "Windsor whiz kid, 10, kept out of high school," Aug. 20, 2010
Center for Public Policy, "The War Against Excellence," April 11, 2005
in the Aug. 16 edition of Michigan Education Digest should have said that the
Los Angeles Times was aided by a researcher from the RAND Corporation to
analyze student test scores as part of a teacher evaluation study. The
newspaper did not hire the RAND Corporation.
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.