Contents of this issue:
- Muskegon ISD school board supports emergency manager’s reforms
- Canada offers international school choice to Michigan students
- DPS union president says union won’t honor new contract
- Achievement gap grows for Michigan high school students
- National Education Association director criticizes Gov. Snyder
Muskegon ISD School Board Supports Emergency Manager’s Reforms
MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. – The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District is ready to implement the emergency manager’s reforms in Muskegon Heights, even if the state’s emergency manager law is struck down, according to MLive.
To address a $12 million debt, the district’s emergency manager has taken steps to have the district authorize public charter schools, but negotiations are still ongoing, MLive reported. In an informal discussion, board members agreed to continue the emergency manager’s work if challenges to the state’s emergency manager law are successful.
“We just want to make sure there is an educational setting for the kids of Muskegon Heights,” Muskegon ISD Superintendent Dave Sipka told MLive.
SOURCE: MLive, “Intermediate school district prepared to authorize Muskegon Heights charter schools,” July 3, 2012
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “School Takeover: Much Criticism, No Solutions,” June 22, 2012
Canada Offers International School Choice to Michigan Students
WINDSOR, Ontario – Canada is offering Michigan high school students the opportunity to attend five of its best schools in Windsor, according to the (Royal Oak) Daily Tribune. Michigan students can choose to live in Windsor, or commute daily.
The Daily Tribune reports that this program is considered private, and will not receive funding from the state.
SOURCE: The Daily Tribune, “Five Canadian schools offer to open enrollment to Michigan students,” July 4, 2012
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “The Edmonton Public Schools Story," Oct. 10, 2007
DPS Union President Says Union Won’t Honor New Contract
DETROIT – Detroit Public Schools has published its new teachers union contract, according to The Detroit News. The contract continues the 10 percent pay cut implemented last year, reduces maternity leave, and eliminates pay for unused sick days upon retirement.
The News also reports that DPS will no longer provide assault pay to teachers. Instead, if an employee is assaulted by a parent or student, the employee will receive benefits provided under the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Act.
Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson told The News that the new contract is a “tyrannical edict,” and that the union would not honor it.
SOURCE: The Detroit News, “DPS releases contract Roberts ordered for teachers’ union," July 7, 2012
FURTHER READING: Michigan Education Report, “Detroit teachers union threatens lawsuit over hiring practices," June 11, 2012
Achievement Gaps Grow For Michigan High School Students
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – An analysis of statewide Michigan Merit Exam scores found that the achievement gap between black and white students has grown during the past five years in all subjects except social studies, according to MLive.
MLive.com reports that the gap between low-income students and more affluent students has also grown during this time period, in every subject except reading.
Mike Flanagan, state superintendent of public instruction, called the achievement gaps among groups of students “shameful,” MLive reported.
SOURCE: MLive, “Educators say Michigan Merit Exams, ACT tests reveal ‘shameful’ achievement gaps,” July 1, 2012
FURTHER READING: Michigan Education Report, “Black charter school students top host district counterparts,” June 19, 2012
National Education Association Director Criticizes Gov. Snyder
WASHINGTON, D.C. – At the National Education Association’s annual meeting, the NEA executive director criticized the governors of Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin for failing to embrace organized labor, according to MLive.
The executive director noted that CEO pay far exceeds teacher pay, and said that Govs. Rick Snyder, John Kasich and Scott Walker will “make it easier for their corporate friends to make more money,” MLive reported.
SOURCE: MLive, “NEA leader: Teachers need to become ‘social justice patriots’,” July 5, 2012
FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “August in Michigan Is Teacher Freedom Month,’” Aug. 16, 2011
MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education Report, an online newspaper published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.