Corporate tax avoidance has cost Michigan schools nearly $700 million in the past four years | Eclectablog

It’s well known that American corporations use off-shore tax havens to shield their profits from taxation. However, a recent report by U.S. Public Interest Group (USPIRG) gives us new details…

Source: Corporate tax avoidance has cost Michigan schools nearly $700 million in the past four years | Eclectablog


The slightly-cranky voice navigating the world of educational “reform” while trying to still pursue the mission of providing quality education.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

ICYMI: December 20

This week was a full assortment of rehearsals for a local performance of The Messiah, and this weekend is the first time my entire family has gathered in one place for a long time, so if I’ve seemed a little distant and busy, dear reader, that’s why. But I do have a whole stack of things for you to check out today while my family is opening presents and we’re singing the Messiah matinee.

The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids

The genre of “here’s how ugly and awful early childhood ed has become under the test-and-punish era of education” articles is crowded, but everybody needs to be reminded that this is happening and that it sucks. They need to be reminded repeatedly until we put an end to it. Here’s one more stark and painful example.

For Profit Charter Schools Are Fading and Failing

Jessica Huseman misses a few of the finer points (particularly the ways in which non-profits mirror for-profits), but on balance this is a good analysis of why the For Profit charter industry is turning out to be (surprise) a failed experiment.

Worst and Dumbest: The Sequel

Florida’s remarkably idiotic plan to give teachers a bonus for their high school SAT scores is back– and this time it wants to be permanent. A good study in how a bill that nobody thinks is smart can still end up becoming a law.

Stand for Children Louisiana Is an Evil and Malicious Corporate Front Group for Evil People and Organizations 

Crazy Crawfish tells us what he really thinks. Because while some reformsters are folks with a different perspective or different understandings of how schools can best serve students, some are just scruples-free rotters trying to get their hands on money and power.

Ethical ELA

I’m always amazed how, no matter how much I’ve read and explored, there are still chunks of the interwebs that I’ve never stumbled into. This is an entire website dedicated to discussing issues of how to ethically teach all the various aspects of language. Worth a look.

This week the Edublog Awards were unveiled and this post of mine about music won an award for being one of the most influential posts of the year. Like most of these sorts of awardy things, it’s a nice selection of sites and posts with which you may not be familiar. In particular I was struck by this post:

What Being Gay Has Taught Me About White Privilege 

You may or may not agree with everything that the blogger at Crawling out of the Classroom has to say, but her level of honesty and openness is impressive.

Creativity Is the Key to Happiness

If you’re not familiar with the concept of “flow,” this is a simple and accessible look at it and the idea that creativity is the key to a happy life.

BustED Pencils’ blog post: Trending News… Religion; Evolution?; Stopped! | 

Fired-Religous Struggle-In Social Studies U.S. History Class. Muslim Teacher Fired After Showing Malala Video  “…disregarding science in favor of a particular religious belief is unconstitutional,” writes Stephen D. Foster Jr.


11-Year-Old Student Sues His Florida Public School For Failing To Teach Evolution


Reading for enjoyment??? What an idea! Teacher: Why I stopped assigning homework… Read more »

Source: BustED Pencils Trending News: Religon; Evolution?; Stopped! | BustED Pencils

Does It Really Matter How We Define Mass Shootings? I Don’t Think So.

When it comes to mass shootings, or I should say what to do about mass shootings, the argument is usually between pro-gun folks versus GVP folks and the argument usually turns on whether or not these shootings occur in what are called ‘gun-free’ zones.  The pro-gun strategy for dealing with mass shootings is the usual pro-gun solution for all gun violence; namely, respond with more violence in the form of arming civilians and getting rid of ‘gun-free’ zones.  The GVP strategy is, well, there isn’t a single strategy because what’s the point of trying to figure out what to do about something that we seem unable to define?

Read the rest mikethegunguy’s post here: Does It Really Matter How We Define Mass Shootings? I Don’t Think So.

State Legislature leaves fate of 40,000 kids’ education in limbo

The Michigan Legislature has put politics before the fate of 40,000 Detroit children and is leaving Lansing without deciding an education plan for them.

Detroit’s children have heard the governor and other leaders talk about a better plan for their educational future but no one is doing anything about to make it better.

We completed a grand bargain compromise to save a museum and help with city pensions: Where is the grand bargain for children? When will they get our attention and our support so they can give us better futures?

We are all Detroit, as sure as there is a Thanksgiving parade that draws fans across the state, as surely as boys in Petoskey wear Red Wings jerseys, as surely as half the state thrives because of the Detroit-born auto industry.

We are all Detroit, and we better remember to act like it — in times of crisis, but more importantly, when our children need us.


Source – read the full op-ed here: State Legislature leaves fate of 40,000 kids’ education in limbo

Contact Rochelle Riley: Follow her on Twitter @rochelleriley. Listen to her at 4 p.m. Sundays on “In the Mix with Marie and Rochelle” on WJR-AM (760).

Education leaders say bill limiting voter education could jeopardize future school millage elections 

LANSING — The final bill passed before the Legislature adjourned last week has municipal and school officials worried that educating the public about local ballot issues will become difficult, if not impossible.

What started out as a fairly innocuous campaign finance bill that initially got unanimous support in the Senate, was totally changed at the last minute in the House late Wednesday to include several more controversial provisions, including one that bans using public dollars or resources to educate the public about ballot proposals in the 60 days leading up to an election.

That provision was added without any public hearings or notice to the parties that will be most affected by the legislation.

“This language puts an undue burden on communities and their residents, blocking access to unbiased, objective communication on the local issues that matter most to the residents in every community in Michigan,” said Chris Hackbarth of the Michigan Municipal League in a blog post calling on members to urge Gov. Rick Snyder to veto the bill.

Read the rest of the story here — Newsletter: Lobbying surge helped end oil export ban, and more…

Crude export issue saw a surge of lobbying ahead of omnibus

The oil industry‘s victory in the battle to lift the crude export ban didn’t come out of thin air. Opponents of the prohibition — long some of the biggest forces in the Washington influence game — began lobbying on the issue in earnest in early 2013, with the effort building until they accomplished their long-sought goal when language was inserted into a must-pass spending bill that funds the government until October 2016.

The language lifting the ban found its way into the $1.1 trillion omnibus package this week through some congressional horse-trading: Environmentalist Democrats got half-a-decade of tax credits for solar and wind projects, while their industry-friendly counterparts like Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and most Republicans got an end to the prohibition on overseas crude sales.

Continue reading Newsletter: Lobbying surge helped end oil export ban, and more…

Another Take on New Mexico’s Ruling on the State’s Teacher Evaluation/VAM System | VAMboozled!

Another Take on New Mexico’s Ruling on the State’s Teacher Evaluation/VAM System

Posted: 18 Dec 2015 08:20 AM PST

John Thompson, a historian and teacher, wrote a post just published in Diane Ravitch’s blog (here) in which he took a closer look at the New Mexico court decision of which I was a part and which I covered a few weeks ago (here). This is the case in which state District Judge David K. Thomson, who presided over the five-day teacher-evaluation lawsuit in New Mexico, granted a preliminary injunction preventing consequences from being attached to the state’s teacher evaluation data.Historian/Teacher John Thompson adds another, and also independent take on this ruling, again here, also having read through Judge Thomson’s entire ruling. Here’s what he wrote:New Mexico District Judge David K. Thomson granted a preliminary injunction preventing consequences from being attached to the state’s teacher evaluation data. As Audrey Amrein-Beardsley explains, “can proceed with ‘developing’ and ‘improving’ its teacher evaluation system, but the state is not to make any consequential decisions about New Mexico’s teachers using the data the state collects until the state (and/or others external to the state) can evidence to the court during another trial (set for now, for April) that the system is reliable, valid, fair, uniform, and the like.”This is wonderful news. FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO FIND OUT WHY!

Continue reading Another Take on New Mexico’s Ruling on the State’s Teacher Evaluation/VAM System | VAMboozled!

Intoxicated (?) Governor of New Mexico’s role in hotel disturbance draws national attention 

When you have about 7 minutes, it’s most entertaining to hear (“Related Audio Clips”) New Mexico’s intoxicated governor trying to intimidate Santa Fe police. Criticized for confronting a clerk at the Eldorado Hotel and a police dispatcher after a holiday party, Martinez apologized, saying she wasn’t trying to abuse her power. 

Source: Governor’s role in hotel disturbance draws national attention – The Santa Fe New Mexican: Local News