Gov. Snyder’s Failed Friday News Dump & Schuette’s Salacious Red Herring Story — Oh, The Games They Play

As the effluence of Gov. Snyder’s carefully timed bolus of damning emails was discharged in bulk on the media last Friday, the political fallout went from bad to worse for him and his closest aides.

Digging for a story, speed-reading reporters easily connected the dots — those same dots the governor’s office claimed not to have seen.

Yet, while the details of the governor’s prior knowledge of the poisoning of Flint’s water floated to the surface, spreading like a river of sludge through online reporting — other mischief was afoot.

Attorney General Bill Schuette, who at first was hesitant to investigate the Flint water scandal, and finally, last month acquiesced under public pressure to attempt to learn who might possibly be culpable, also had a craftily timed scheme of his own at the end of the work week.

To read the rest of this blog post go here: Gov. Snyder’s Failed Friday News Dump & Schuette’s Salacious Red Herring Story — Oh, The Games They Play

DSCN0444By Amy Kerr Hardin

From the CURMUDGUCATION blog: What Do They Know?


What Do They Know?

Anthony Cody has a great piece at his blog, Living in Dialogue (which should be on your must-read list) that puts the push for Competency based Education in the context of the reformster movement. In particular, this–

There are two unwritten assumptions that are constant from the beginning of NCLB and carry through to this new version. Teachers are not trusted to make judgments about what students learn, how they learn it, or how learning is assessed. Assessment is defined as the external monitoring of the work inside the classroom. The second assumption is that data and technology must be instrumental in whatever process is devised. The main innovation here is the more thorough and intrusive penetration of the classroom via computers capable of monitoring learning.

One question that naturally follows– why, exactly, are teachers not to be trusted?

Reformsters tend to fall into two camps.

From the OpenSecrets Blog: Nonprofits dominate airwaves in Senate races, with no donor disclosure

When Democrats consider their odds for regaining the Senate this November, one of the first states that comes to mind is Pennsylvania, where first-term Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, is locked in a rematch with former Democratic Sen. Joe Sestak, who lost to Toomey in 2010.

But for a race with such high stakes, it seems, at first glance, to have drawn little interest from outside groups, which have reported spending only about $500,000 to sway the state’s voters so far, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Nearly all of that spending has come from one source:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a 501(c)(6) trade association that doesn’t have to disclose its donors. Kicking its effort off in early July last year, the Chamber said it wanted to show its support for Toomey “before the presidential sweepstakes really takes off in August.”

Click here to read the full article.

Source: Nonprofits dominate airwaves in Senate races, with no donor disclosure | OpenSecrets Blog

20 Tuition-Free Colleges – Affordable Schools

Do tuition-free colleges actually exist? Yes. The words “free” and “college tuition” are normally not found in the same sentence, however, students looking for a college or even an Ivy League education with the option of either free tuition or other financial assistance can start their journey reviewing this informative article for some of the […]

Source: 20 Tuition-Free Colleges – Affordable Schools

From Sojourners: It’s Embarrassing to Be an Evangelical This Election

By Jim Wallis 02-25-2016

When introduced to speak on the road during our America’s Original Sin book tour as an “evangelical” Christian, the large, racially diverse, and intergenerational audiences who have been smiling with great enthusiasm look very perplexed and ask, “What?”

“Let me explain,” I find myself saying in the face of the fact that Donald Trump has now captured the votes of more “evangelicals” in the Republican primaries than any other candidate.

First, I point out that when the media says “evangelicals” they really mean “white evangelicals” and virtually never measure the opinions and voting practices of black, brown, or even young evangelicals.

In fact, they don’t even ask religious identity questions of Democratic primary voters where many of the black, brown, and young evangelicals may be voting. It is older white evangelicals who are mostly voting in the Republican primaries and now are increasingly supporting Donald Trump.

“What?” is indeed the right question.

See more at: reports: Company warned Michigan of Flint water health risks 11 months ago; Snyder claims he thought the water problems were limited to color and odor

This has to be the most lame excuse for not looking into lead, cancer and other serious diseases borne by or related to the Flint River water usage:
His spokesman now claims the governor thought the problem was limited to
a. the water’s color, and
b. the water’s odor
— so that’s what his focus was on. It was only later that he now claims he found out there were other more serious issues.
Is our governor that dumb? Or does he just think we are?



Company warned Michigan of Flint water health risks 11 months ago

on February 25, 2016

Two appointees of Gov. Rick Snyder met with a private company to consider a new water disinfection system for Flint nearly a year ago and were warned of the potential for health and infrastructure problems tied to a cancer-causing byproduct of heavy chlorination.

Read the full story here: Company warned Michigan of Flint water health risks 11 months ago |

In Cleveland, they built it, and riders came

ROI… return on investment… lordy what a ridiculous phrase to use (see below and follow the link to the article) when it comes to public services that serve “the public good” – the investment in helping people get to work or places of business or doctors visits or public schools and colleges or tourists and visitors is borne out by the fact people can accomplish all of that and more without have to own or rent a private vehicle because they are beyond their means or such ownership is otherwise simply impractical. Sometimes – no, very nearly always – there is no profit in providing public services because it is simply what living and working in society is all about as part and parcel of our collective responsibility for one another.

The lessons of Cleveland’s HealthLine bus rapid transit are many, including the need for wide community support for the project to succeed.

The BRT line that was constructed beginning in 2005 opened three years later, at a total cost of $200 million, about half provided by the federal government. Today, Calabrese said, it boasts the highest return on investment for any public transit project in the country – $114 for every dollar spent. 

The key seemed to be to give riders not only a shiny new bus line, but significantly improved service along the way.

Read the full article here: Bridge • The Center for MichiganIn Cleveland, they built it, and riders came

Michigan needs more construction & skilled trades workers; apprenticeship programs available

Just Google the phrase “construction worker shortage Michigan” –

After decades of  the “college for all” mantra, too many K-12 public schools have divested themselves of their vocational and traditional “shop” classes. Intermediate school district “tech centers” have picked up SOME of the slack, but interest in skilled trades has waned as more and more school counselors and parents have pushed, pulled and prodded students into the mindset that the jobs of tomorrow will require a post-secondary, if not 4-year degree.

Well beyond the fact that such claims are exaggerated to say the least, the job openings of TODAY, while demanding SOME post-secondary training or certification (less than a 4-year degree), are waiting for applicants who just are not there to be interviewed.

But the Michigan Laborer’s District Council has some advice for not only high school students, but under-employed young people interested in combining brains & brawn so to speak. Jobs and apprenticeships for jobs await!

By Geno Alessandrini Sr., business manager of the Michigan Laborers’ District Council, an affiliation of 13,000 construction workers who are members of the Laborers’ International Union of North America.


The Michigan Laborers’ Training & Apprenticeship Program gives construction contractors and workers access to a training program that is one of the best in the industry. The skills learned make union construction laborers the safest and most productive in the industry. Our union and signatory contractors are committed to not only ensuring our workers are highly skilled, but that every worker returns home safe to their family after a day of work.The facts matter: we need more skilled trade workers across the entire construction industry, workers that are well-trained, understand the critical importance of a safe worksite and earn a family supporting wage.


To read the full op-ed go here: Alessandrini: We need more construction workers