Short Subjects

"Vouchers are dead. Vouchers are not for Michigan." According to a recent Detroit News editorial by George Weeks, Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus made this comment about vouchers at a recent Michigan Association of School Administrators gubernatorial candidate forum.

Former cops will investigate allegations of cheating on MEAP tests under a Department of Treasury plan announced in December. The plan would also employ child-abuse and other investigators to enforce MEAP standards. In 2001, the state accused a record 67 schools of cheating on the tests. Investigations showed that 21 of the schools employed "inappropriate practices" in MEAP testing; yet, the schools faced no penalties.

A report on Michigan schools conducted by Standard and Poor's , the Wall Street bond rating firm, was released in December. The report, entitled "Michigan: Statewide Insights," suggests that significant achievement gaps exist between Michigan school districts on standardized tests. The report concludes, however, that increased spending is not an effective way to boost public school performance. The report is available to view online at

Hazel Park father Bill Schraeder spent 30 days in jail in the fall of 2000 when his then-16-year-old daughter missed 523 days of school since kindergarten, according to a recent Detroit News story. Schraeder was one of the first parents in Michigan to be imprisoned because of a child's chronic truancy. Schraeder was charged under Hazel Park's educational-neglect misdemeanor ordinance. Twelve other parents also were charged, but pleaded guilty and avoided jail.

An Ann Arbor school bus driver was fired in January for her role in organizing a Dec. 20 "sick-out" that left students stranded at bus stops and parents scrambling to get children to school, according to the Ann Arbor News. The sick-out, in which 38 of about 100 drivers called in sick, prompted administrators to cancel nearly all of the day's bus routes. Driver Monica Wafford received a termination letter, citing 12 reasons for her firing, including initiating an illegal "work stoppage."