Members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure are major contributors to PACs for the 2018 Election

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

According to some recent data from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, there are several members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure who have contributed significantly to various Political Action Committees for the 2018 Election cycle. 

The amount of money raised so far by the top 150 PACs in Michigan, is “the highest total posted by the top 150 PACs at this point in a two-year election cycle in at least a decade and could be the highest in state history, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network’s past tracking.” 

Members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure are some of the larger contributors to these PACs. For instance, the House Republican Campaign Committee, which has raised more money to its PAC than all other PACs til now received contributions from:

  • Nancy and John Kennedy, Autocam, $80,000
  • Peter and Joan Secchia, of the company Sibsco
  • J.C. Huizenga, Huizenga…

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Teacher Ken: Biden Says We Are Living Through a “Battle for the Soul of This Nation”

Teacher Ken: Biden Says We Are Living Through a “Battle for the Soul of This Nation”
by dianeravitch
Kenneth Bernstein, who blogs at The Daily Kos as Teacher Ken, calls attention to a perceptive statement by former Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden writes:

Diane Ravitch's blog

Kenneth Bernstein, who blogs at The Daily Kos as Teacher Ken, calls attention to a perceptive statement by former Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden writes:

“The giant forward steps we have taken in recent years on civil liberties and civil rights and human rights are being met by a ferocious pushback from the oldest and darkest forces in America. Are we really surprised they rose up? Are we really surprised they lashed back? Did we really think they would be extinguished with a whimper rather than a fight?”

One man has brought the forces of darkness out of the shadows.

What can we do?

“We have to do what our president has not. We have to uphold America’s values. We have to do what he will not. We have to defend our Constitution. We have to remember our kids are watching. We have to show the world America is still…

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Now That Guns Aren’t A Health Risk, What About Lead?

Mike The Gun Guy™

For the last twenty years, if not longer, the gun industry has steadfastly refused to consider the possibility that guns represent a public health problem. The fact that intentional gun deaths and injuries amount to more than 100,000 per year is of no concern because as we all know, it’s not the gun which creates the injury, it’s how some people use guns.

leadYou could also say the same thing about tobacco. It’s not the cigarette which causes cancer, it’s the person who decides to smoke. In other words, anyone who takes the ‘it’s the gun, not the person’ nonsense seriously probably believes that what Trump said last night about Afghanistan makes any sense.

Now that the argument over guns as a health risk is at least temporarily settled in favor of the guns, our friends in Fairfax have raised a new public health concern, namely, the crazy idea that…

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Did you know Facebook and Summit Charter Schools Have Teamed Up to Deliver Personalized Learning?

Seattle Education

Facebook Napalm Girl

It was a lucky shot, some say of Nick Ut’s famous Vietnam War photo The Terror of War, or Napalm Girl, as it is more commonly known. Less lucky, of course, was the little girl in the photo, Kim Phuc. She was running down the street, naked, after a napalm attack on her village. Her skin was melting off in strips. Her home was burning in the background. It was June 8, 1972. Ut was 21 years old. “When I pressed the button, I knew,” Ut says. “This picture will stop the war.” It has been 42 years since then. But that moment still consumes him.

In 1972, three years after the Tet Offensive, the Vietnam War had put President Nixon in a very tough spot during an election year.

For the first half of 1972, President Nixon made public overtures towards a formal peace agreement with North…

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Why Aren’t We Talking About This?

Save Maine Schools

When I was twenty-five, I interviewed at a charter school in Brooklyn.

Before I sat down to talk to the dean, I observed a kindergarten class that looked nothing like any kindergarten class I had ever seen: just shy of thirty children sitting in rows on a carpet, each with legs crossed and hands folded, all completely and utterly silent.

In my interview, the dean asked me what I noticed about the class.

“They were very well behaved,” I said.

“Yes, they were. But they sure don’t come in like that,” he answered.  With icy pride in his voice, he said: “It’s only because of the hard work of our staff that they act like that.”

I took the job – foolishly – and soon found out what this “hard work” meant: scholars, as we called them, were expected to be 100% compliant at all times. Every part of the…

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Do students get higher test scores when teachers receive performance pay? 

A new study suggests that paying teachers based on student test scores may hurt student performance in some subject areas. The issue: Historically, public school teacher salaries have been based largely on years of experience and level of education, with teachers holding master’s degrees earning more than those with bachelor’s degrees. Over the past decade, […]

Source: Do students get higher test scores when teachers receive performance pay? – Journalist’s Resource

What’s your chance of getting an opioid prescription? Depends where your doctor studied 

Doctors from top medical schools prescribe fewer addictive pain killers. That suggests, says a new paper, that education could help stem the opioid epidemic.

Source: What’s your chance of getting an opioid prescription? Depends where your doctor studied – Journalist’s Resource

Accurately Estimating the Cost of Subsidizing Public School Students Switching to Private Schools | National Education Policy Center

BOULDER, CO (August 24, 2017) – The Tax-Credit Scholarship Audit: Do Publicly Funded Private School Choice Programs Save Money?, authored by Martin F. Lueken and released by EdChoice, asserts that tax credit scholarship programs, that distribute scholarships to students via Scholarship Tuition Organizations (STOs), have saved state treasuries between $1.7 and $3.4 billion dollars since 1998.

Luis A. Huerta and Steven Koutsavlis of Teachers College-Columbia University reviewed the report

and found that, although Lueken argues that these programs are able to realize fiscal savings as a result of students leaving public schools and entering private schools (defined as “switchers”), the method Lueken uses to estimate the percentage of switcher students across these various programs is flawed. Huerta and Koutsavlis point out that since no STO programs require officials to track data on which students transfer out of public schooling into private, the report’s estimates of fiscal savings are based on conjecture and not on hard data.While Lueken claims that the percentage of students leaving public schools, coupled with the offset of variable per-student costs that districts no longer need to expend, have resulted in the sizable financial savings for state governments. Huerta and Koutsavlis note that these findings are much too speculative to provide useful guidance to policymakers. Huerta and Koutsavlis offer suggestions for more extensive student accounting procedures and more nuanced methodologies for accurately calculating variable student costs.

Find the review, by Luis Huerta and Steven Koutsavlis, at:
http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-tax-credits

Find The Tax-Credit Scholarship Audit: Do Publicly Funded Private School Choice Programs Save Money?, by Martin Lueken, published by EdChoice, at:
https://www.edchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Tax-Credit-Scholarship-Audit-by-Martin-F.-Lueken.pdf

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) Think Twice Think Tank Review Project (http://thinktankreview.org

) provides the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: http://www.greatlakescenter.org

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu

Source: Accurately Estimating the Cost of Subsidizing Public School Students Switching to Private Schools | National Education Policy Center