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This Week & Next (May 27, 2016)

What’s up with DPS THIS week?
DPS bailout/reform remained the #1 issue in the legislature and the news media this week, that’s for sure. there continues to be intense negotiations amongst key stakeholders behind the scenes on the pending DPS bailout legislation. Here are a few highlights from the past week:

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DPS “Cherry Picks” students in 20 schools

It’s a little known fact that 20 DPS schools require students wishing to enroll must score high enough on entrance exams, have a minimum GPA from their current school, include letters of recommendation or actually interview for the chance to attend. Each of the following schools are “selective” enrollment schools rather than “open” enrollment schools which accept all students who wish to enroll. Here are the DPS selective enrollment schools: Continue reading

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This Week & Next (May 13, 2016)

Judge Rhodes Confirms DPS Bills Will Limit School Choice
Judge Steven Rhodes, DPS Transition Manager, during the taping of WKAR’s “Off The Record” and confirmed in The Detroit News, today confirmed what GLEP has been saying for over a year, which is that the Detroit Education Commission and the DPS reform legislation is intended to prop up the new traditional district at the expense of parental Continue reading

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Judge Rhodes confirms DEC will suppress charters

DPS leader admits new district will not survive unless school choice is hindered

Lansing, MI –  A key figure in the debate over legislation to reform the Detroit Public Schools today confirmed the primary purpose of the Detroit Education Commission is to control and manage student enrollment in serving the interests of the new traditional school district over charter public schools. Continue reading

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This Week & Next (May 6, 2016)

House Passes DPS Reform Bills
In a late-night session Wednesday that stretched until 4:00 am on Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a package of bills to solve the financial and academic crisis in Detroit Public Schools. Passed on a near straight party votes, we applaud Speaker Kevin Cotter, Appropriations Chair Al Pscholka, Rep. Daniela Garcia and the House Republicans for supporting the package and shake our heads at how Detroit Democrats actually voted against the financial rescue of DPS.  The House bills address the key issues here, which include paying off 100% of DPS debt; providing transition funding to the “new” DPS; increasing accountability through immediate intervention in chronically failing traditional and charter public schools; and protecting taxpayers through a financial review commission. Continue reading

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This Week & Next (Apr 22, 2016)

DPS Reform Debate Heats Up
It’s getting chippier than a Red Wings playoff game as various stakeholders turn up the volume on the pros and cons of various legislative proposals to provide a $715 million bailout of DPS and to determine what will be left standing when the financial crisis is addressed. As you know, GLEP continues to advocate for parental choice to be maintained, for taxpayer dollars to be protected and for chronically-failing traditional and charter public schools to receive uniform intervention from the state. Continue reading

Cotter.Press

This Week & Next (Apr 15, 2016)

Speaker Cotter Agrees with GLEP on DPS & K-3 Reading
House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant) said yesterday he doesn’t envision the House approving the Detroit Education Commission as currently outlined in Senate DPS bills because he’s concerned there’s an incentive to treat charter schools unfairly in the process. Cotter said he is having conversations on a DPS plan, and while he understands the need for a body to decide the location of some schools, he opposes the Senate version. He said under the bills, DPS would be working to get out from state oversight, and the commission may have some incentive to close charter schools to get those students – and their foundation allowances – into the DPS system. “I get the concept as far as to have some central body or organization to be able to make decisions as to where schools are located and which schools are open, and I get that,” he told reporters after House session. “However my concern about the DEC as currently written is there is a – maybe unintended – but I think there is a bit of an incentive for charters to not be treated fairly in that decision-making process.” Continue reading

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Naeyaert & Henderson Debate DPS

Is it Time to Get Rid of Detroit Public Schools in Favor of All Charters?

As state lawmakers debate a $700 million bailout to avert the financial collapse of Detroit Public Schools – some Republicans say it’s time to just get rid of the state’s largest school district altogether. In a recent op-ed in the Detroit News, Republican state Representative Tim Kelly of Saginaw Township wrote:

We shouldn’t sentence another generation of Detroit students to certain failure while selfish adults figure out ways to game the system in a new, but still corrupt and failing, school district.”

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This Week & Next (Apr 8, 2016)

DEC becomes the focus of DPS Debate
A recent addition to the pending legislation overhauling Detroit Public Schools is rekindling a long controversy on whether the charter school model of education itself has succeeded in Detroit. The proposed Detroit Education Commission, as written into the bill package that cleared the Senate last month, could decide where and whether schools can locate or expand in Detroit and set the criteria for closing any schools that under perform. The House expects to take up the reform legislation after it returns from recess next week. But groups like the Michigan Association of Public School Academies and the Great Lakes Education Project that advocate for charters and school choice have already gone on an offensive against the commission in talks with legislators and the media, calling it a threat to choice and a panel beholden to Detroit’s mayor and the traditional school district for its own future. Click here to continue reading this Crain’s Detroit Business article.  Continue reading