This Week & Next (Sept 5, 2014)

Betsy DeVos Pushes Choice on National TV
Last night, Betsy DeVos, GLEP board member and chair of the American Federation for Children, appeared on STOSSEL to discuss educational choice and the back to school season on the Fox Business Network. Betsy debated Brian Jones, a GreeBDV.Stosseln Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York, on education reform in our country and the importance of educational choice. They also discuss how innovation in classrooms and in the education system can directly benefit students and help them succeed.  The key issue discussed is the need to revolutionize our nation’s antiquated top-down education system by empowering parents with educational choice. Click here to watch the interview.

Free Press and GLEP Slam Schauer Ad With False Statements ABout Education Funding
This week GLEP and the Detroit Free Press took the the Democratic Governors Association and the Schauer for Governor campaign to task for their latest campaign ad that includes misleading infoFreep_Fundingrmation about school funding. It was another opportunity for us to point folks GLEP’s website, which provides “to the penny” state and local financial data for over 800+ school districts for FY 2012, 2013 and 2014. This site proves that funding, on a per student basis, has gone up by hundreds of dollars per student since Governor Snyder took office.  Click here to read the news release, and here to read the Detroit Free Press story.

MEA “Opt Out” Window Ruled Illegal; Districts Ignore “Right to Work Law”
In a landmark decisions for freedom, Administrative Law Judge Julia C. Stern has ruled that under Michigan’s Right-To-Work law, public employees can resign from a union at any time of the year. On that basis, Judge Stern said the state’s largest teacher union, the Michigan Education Association, has been violating the law by enforcing its so-called ‘August window.’ This is going to be HUGE. Click here for the AP story.  Hat’s off to the Mackinac Center for pushing this lawsuit. In related news, the Mackinac Center has published a new report indicating that dozens of school districts are violating the state’s “right to work” law. Definitely worth a read.

MDE puts out RFP for New Student Assessment
As required by the current School Aid Budget bill, the state issued its Request for Proposal (RFP) for a future statewide assessment to eventually replace the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP).  The Department of Education (MDE) was required to issue the RFP by Sept. 1. Bids are due Oct. 10 and oral hearings will begin in January 2015. The contract is slated to start in March 2015 and the new tests are expected to debut in the spring of 2016. The contractor is responsible for developing tests for grades 3-10 for English and math, grades 4 and 7 for science, and grades 5 and 8 for social studies, according to the RFP. Click here to download the RFP.

Fighting Over Vouchers in Wisconsin
While Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign for re-election includes a pledge to expand the state’s school voucher program, Democrat Mary Burke is pushing to eliminate the statewide program and deny educational choices for families. This high-profile debate is taking place against the backdrop of increased public support for school choice in the Badger state, where voters in swing districts support expanded choice options by a 2:1 margin.

UPDATE: Still No Superintendents Have Signed the “School Accountability Pledge”
MAPSA’s “School Accountability Pledge” is still available for signing by any traditional public school superintendent willing to operate under same accountability, transparency and oversight laws as Michigan’s charter public schools. We keep waiting for just one superintendent to sign it, and when they do we’ll let you know right away!

Education Reform News Clips

GLEP in the News

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Gary G. Naeyaert
Executive Director