Idea of Michigan schools letter grades dies

Michigan Superintendent Brian Whiston is backing off a controversial plan to begin assigning letter grades to schools as part of the state’s method of holding schools accountable.

The move is in response to public input, said Bill DiSessa, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Education, which Whiston oversees.

The department had planned to switch to what’s called an A-F grading system. Schools would have received letter grades largely based on how students perform on state exams — 29% on how proficient students are according to the exams, and 34% on how much improvement they show on the exams. The rest would have been based on other factors, such as school quality.

READ MORE HERE: Idea of letter grades for Michigan schools dies

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Trump’s Defense Secretary Cites Climate Change as National Security Challenge – ProPublica

James Mattis’ unpublished testimony before a Senate panel recognizes a threat others in the administration reject or minimize.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has asserted that climate change is real, and a threat to American interests abroad and the Pentagon’s assets everywhere, a position that appears at odds with the views of the president who appointed him and many in the administration in which he serves.

In unpublished written testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee after his confirmation hearing in January, Mattis said it was incumbent on the U.S. military to consider how changes like open-water routes in the thawing Arctic and drought in global trouble spots can pose challenges for troops and defense planners. He also stressed this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if.

“Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today,” Mattis said in written answers to questions posed after the public hearing by Democratic members of the committee. “It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning.”

Mattis has long espoused the position that the armed forces, for a host of reasons, need to cut dependence on fossil fuels and explore renewable energy where it makes sense. He had also, as commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command in 2010, signed off on the Joint Operating Environment, which lists climate change as one of the security threats the military expected to confront over the next 25 years.

But Mattis’ written statements to the Senate committee are the first direct signal of his determination to recognize climate change as a member of the Trump administration charged with leading the country’s armed forces.

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE: Trump’s Defense Secretary Cites Climate Change as National Security Challenge – ProPublica

CURMUDGUCATION

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

Source: CURMUDGUCATION

Littles– More Than a Score (A Film You Should See)

Of all the issues swirling around education, this is the one that keeps me up nights.

What about the littles?

There are plenty of terrible things happening in the world of education, but nothing is more heartbreaking than the transformation of kindergarten into first grade, the sudden “need” for four year olds to start learning letters and numbers and colors because now these children “need” to get ready for kindergarten. The sitting. The studying. The homework. The standardized testing for small children who should be playing and socializing and learning about the wonder and joy of being in the world. It all seems designed to crush the most vulnerable spirits we are entrusted with.

Marie Amoruso has been a teacher, an author and adjunct professor at Teachers College Columbia University, and Manhattanville College. She runs a consulting agency, and she has created a short film about this very subject. Yes, “More Than a Test Score” is not exactly a groundbreaking title, and yes, her delivery is at times a little over-fraught and yes, she kind of muddies Common Core in with other issues. But when she turns her camera on the classrooms of young children, she cuts right to the heart of what is so deeply wrong with the test-centered school movement. In seventeen minutes, with the help of several interview subjects, she addresses what children need and what they aren’t getting, and she takes us right into the classrooms to see the effects.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/203722082

Teachers know what to do– the issue, as she lays it out, is getting the freedom to let them do it. In the absence of that, students learn to hate school.

I’m not sure how we can save the public school system if this is the way it starts. And my concerns are not just professional, but also personal– I have twin sons on the way in just a few months, which means that my wife and I have about four or five years to figure out whether or not the local pubic school can be trusted to treat our children well.

Let’s Clean Up Michigan! –   By Bill Cobbs, Democrat for Governor 

I’m not a politician.

Politicians tell people what they want to hear. Politicians find ways to take credit for minimal progress.

I am a citizen running for Governor. I feel it is okay that I’m just a citizen. Perhaps we need a Governor committed to working in the people’s interest.

That would be me.

I have worked hard, and I know what it means to serve my country. I remember when Michigan was called a Water Winter Wonderland. Today, it’s called Pure Michigan, and Congress told our Governor to his face on national television that there was nothing further from the truth.I hope that you will excuse my frankness, and desire to state what I see, just as I see it, rather than talk to you through a million dollar Media Specialist. Please excuse my occasional typo.

My press person hasn’t resigned after participating in a disaster. I admit, I haven’t had any shake-ups of my spokesmen, at all.

My grammar is fine, I just have very big fingers and my phone is small. I am so upset about the status quo in my state, I have committed the sin of pushing POST before I proofread. We have a lot of work to do to clean up this state.

Currently, we have a state unemployment rate of approximately 4.5 percent. The state population is slightly under 9.9 million.

Yet, experts tell me that in some neighborhoods, the unemployment rate is closer to 40%. We have massive infrastructure issues across the state. Roads, bridges, water, you name it. Putting our government in the hands of one man has been a disaster.

That man being a billionaire, Dick DeVos, the heir to Amway.I like Amway, and I’ve known many people who’ve started an Amway distributorship. However, I don’t like the way that Dick DeVos has wielded his power over other citizens in our State.

Those in Lansing, who are working for DeVos, say they are waiting for Washington to pass a national infrastructure bill. They will tell you that we can’t afford to fix our problems until then.

So they kick the can down the road and give themselves a pat on the back.

Flint, Michigan is the first example of that disaster, but it will not be the last.As the next Governor of Michigan, I will enter office with a statewide approach to refreshing every component of our infrastructure. We will finance it through long-term municipal bonds.

This infrastructure program will accomplish building a 21st-century model and allow us to dramatically decrease our statewide unemployment numbers.Tackling our infrastructure issues will be long term.

We have allowed so much decay over the decades. What would a wife say if a husband took the garbage out just once? What would happen if you only changed your oil once? In the same way, maintenance of our infrastructure must be routine and ongoing.

The benefit is that we will be able to create employment opportunities for Michiganders. Based on statistics from the US labor department, these jobs would pay a mean hourly wage of $17.50, which would provide a higher standard of living than that which exists in our largest city today.Another benefit is that we will help restore our state to the Water/Winter Wonderland we remember.

Our children should experience that kind of Michigan too. Right now Michigan is becoming a dump.

We worry about toxic spills and our recycling is half the national average. Our pop bottle law is a model program, but our landfills are now nearly full with everything that isn’t a bottle.

Rats are on the news in city after city: Wyandotte, Flint, Hamtramck, Fenton, Allen Park, and St. Claire Shores to name a few.The people who tell you that cleaning up our state is not feasible or affordable are the same people who are using our tax dollars to criminally defend themselves.

They are the people who created the circumstances we face: Floods on major highways every time it rains. Legionella in the pipes. Pipes spilling toxic waste into our rivers. Rivers used as drinking water. Drinking water poisoning children.

Raw sewage taking over Lake St. Claire.

Wildlife laying eggs in garbage.

Landfills which import more municipal waste, industrial waste and construction debris from Ohio and Canada, than from the county where they are located!Under Dick DeVos’ political rule of Lansing, our Governor was named the worst leader in the world by Forbes and the United Nations cited him with Human Rights violations.

It’s time to go in another direction.

As a citizen, I want better and I know many other citizens who want better.

As I meet people across the state, I am amazed how similar we are. They say our nation is divided, but from barbershops to coffee shops, Michiganders I meet share many concerns.

Citizens express their concern for our future, for our infrastructure, for the people of Flint, for our Great Lakes, and for our schools. I have heard stories of citizens’ triumph over adversity, speaking up in the face of retaliation by Emergency Managers, and teachers standing up for students who have no one else. I am encouraged and strengthened by you. We can take back our state.

If you’d like me to speak to your organization, feel free to send an email to my scheduler, Jeffrey Salisbury at JeffreyLSalisbury@gmail.com . No group is too large or too small. I hope to meet you soon.

We can do this together by Putting the People First.

Let’s clean up Michigan!

Bill Cobbs

 

http://www.billcobbs2018.com/volunteer

Source: Clean Up Michigan – Bill Cobbs for Governor in MI

Email: billcobbsppf@gmail.com

Phone: 248-331-3275

Donate
The people of Michigan have waited too long for the infrastructure, water and educational issues in our state to be solved. If you want a Governor whose priority is putting the people first, you can help out with a donation. Every donation goes a long ways to reaching out to voters just like you, so we can win. Bill does NOT accept donations from corporations. Bill Cobbs is truly PUTTING THE PEOPLE FIRST!

 

 

Detroit Three automakers busing UAW workers in to cheer at Trump’s visit to Ypsilanti, Michigan today | Eclectablog

All three Detroit autoworkers are busing UAW members in to Pr*sident Trump’s visit to Ypsilanti, Michigan later today and all but Ford are giving the workers food and are paying them for the privilege:

The Detroit Three are offering to bus workers from auto plants across southeast Michigan to President Donald Trump’s rally in Ypsilanti on Wednesday — a move that is drawing criticism from at least two union officials who say the president doesn’t really support American workers, and that they don’t want UAW members to become political props.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors told workers they will transport them to and from Trump’s rally, provide lunch and cover their pay for the day if they miss a shift at their plant. Ford will do the same, but will not cover their pay.

Here is a screenshot of the email Ford workers got from the FordPAC, a super PAC that supported Trump’s presidential candidacy, a candidacy that, apparently, has never actually ended: At least one union

Source: Detroit Three automakers busing UAW workers in to cheer at Trump’s visit to Ypsilanti, Michigan today | Eclectablog

The Complex Trauma Survivor Faces a Lifetime’s Worth of Bullying

7068190195_c0cda7cb7a_z.jpgBy Shahida Arabi, M.A., Author

“Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom. But the personality formed in the environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She approaches the task of early adulthood – establishing independence and intimacy –…

Source: The Complex Trauma Survivor Faces a Lifetime’s Worth of Bullying

The Corporatization of Rental Properties in Grand Rapids

The Corporatization of Rental Properties in Grand Rapids
by Jeff Smith (GRIID)
Over the past decade, Grand Rapids has seen a shift in the housing market as it relates to rental properties.

First, the cost to rent in Grand Rapids has gone up considerably and in many cases the cost has doubled in the post 10 years. Many tenants we have spoken to have said that they can no longer afford the monthly rental costs, which averages between $800 – $1,000 per month. We are not talking about most of the newer development projects across the city, where rental costs are even higher, we are talking about the cost of rent in neighborhoods that have been around for the past 75 – 100 years. A neighborhood organizer with West Grand Neighborhood, which is on the near westside, said at a Grand Rapids Homes for All event last July that she has seen rent double in the past five years for working class families that can no longer afford to live in that neighborhood.

The second major factor impacting rental properties in Grand Rapids is … https://griid.org/2017/03/15/the-corporatization-of-rental-properties-in-grand-rapids/

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Over the past decade, Grand Rapids has seen a shift in the housing market as it relates to rental properties.

First, the cost to rent in Grand Rapids has gone up considerably and in many cases the cost has doubled in the post 10 years. Many tenants we have spoken to have said that they can no longer afford the monthly rental costs, which averages between $800 – $1,000 per month. We are not talking about most of the newer development projects across the city, where rental costs are even higher, we are talking about the cost of rent in neighborhoods that have been around for the past 75 – 100 years. A neighborhood organizer with West Grand Neighborhood, which is on the near westside, said at a Grand Rapids Homes for All event last July that she has seen rent double in the past five years for working class…

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