Seven Reasons why Betsy DeVos is a Horrific Choice for Secretary of Education

1. Betsy DeVos has never worked in a public school, has never attended a public school, and has never sent her kids to a public school according to an excellent article by Newsweek entitled Betsy DeVos is Coming for Your Public Schools.  People have often used the analogy that just because you have rode in a plane doesn’t mean you know how to fly one, and just because you have sat in a classroom doesn’t mean you know how to facilitate one.  The DeVos nomination takes this one step further since she has never even spent meaningful time in a public school classroom, or to continue the analogy, she has never even boarded a plane!

2. Betsy DeVos has no understanding of what its like to be a poor kid.  Why is that important?  Despite popular rhetoric, it is only the poor kids in the U.S. who are scoring low when compared to other similar countries.  In fact, U.S. Schools with poverty rates below 20% are some of the best in the world.  Unfortunately, teachers cannot solve poverty.  Understanding the daily battle of being poor is helpful though when educating poor kids, which is a staggering 21% of all U.S. kids.  Most public school teachers come from modest means and have a good idea of what it is like to have financial barriers.  Meanwhile, Betsy Devos was born to billionaire parents and her husband Dick DeVos was also born to parents worth billions.  Its safe to say she has no idea what middle class kids need to succeed, let alone what poor kids need.

3. Betsy DeVos is the brains and money behind her own special interest group called the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP).  Betsy was the first Chairman of the GLEP which funds conservative political campaigns and creates propaganda that support her anti-public school positions.  She has personally donated at least $330,000 to GLEP, and the entire DeVos clan has donated nearly 1.7 million since GELP’s inception in 2001!

4. Betsy DeVos is dishonest about her stance on the common Common Core.  The Great Lakes Education Project, under he leadership on the 3 member board of directors, vigorously supported the common core in 2013.  Betsy now says she is against common core and tries to distance herself from the organizations she acknowledges supported it. In fact, her website does not even list her involvement with GLEP, despite it being probably her most successful political venture.

5. Betsy DeVos’ number one goal is to get educational vouchers implemented so that students can take their money to for-profit charters and private schools.  Vouchers would decimate public schools because savvy marketing campaigns would entice students to leave public schools leaving only students who have special needs, behavioral issues, or lack of support from home.  Not only would that create a more challenging learning environment for public school kids, lower scores in these schools would allow voucher supports additional cannon fodder in their anti-public school campaigns.  When it comes to vouchers, Michigan voters overwhelmingly defeated an initiative to implement them in 2000, and they also failed to elect Betsy’s husband Dick as Governor in 2006.  Betsy doesn’t respect the will of Michigan voters, and has decided instead to buy the results she wants.

6. Betsy Devos’ supports under regulated for-profit charter schools that have wasted boat loads of tax dollars while further destabilizing the entire school system in Detroit.  We might be able to overlook those issues if it weren’t for the fact that 80% of Michigan charter schools score below the public school average on state tests.  All indicators tell us we should be reducing the number of for-profit charters not doubling down on a failed concept.

7. Betsy DeVos does not have the support of most teachers.  Teachers are the ones who are in the trenches working diligently to help all children learn.  Meanwhile, conservative politicians and special interests groups like GLEP, both often funded by Betsy DeVos, hurdle propaganda grenades into our classrooms.  They fail to understand that teacher’s working environments and students learning environments are inherently linked.  You cannot raise up students while simultaneously beating down teachers, though they have tried.  While Betsy DeVos hasn’t helped improve education in Michigan, it has landed her a nice position of influence in Washington.

Posted in Charter Schools, DeVos Family, Great Lakes Education Project | Leave a comment

Michigan Band Releases Pro-Teacher Economic & Social Justice Song

The Muteflutes are a Michigan Indie Folk Rock band out of the Grand Rapids area.  In 2014, this blog recognized them for writing one of the 5 best contemporary economic justice songs.  More significantly, the Muteflutes won a 2015 Jammie Award for Michigan’s Best Contemporary Folk Album.  It wasn’t until I simultaneously discovered the Muteflutes and the vibrant Michigan folk scene a number of years ago that I realized that music can be consistently entertaining and enlightening.

This year the Muteflutes released their third album Hideway Love.  Among the 11 impressive tracks is a gem they just released called “System.”  “System” touches on both economic justice and social justice themes.  The song starts out with the lyrics “Someday all the teachers will be paid fairly for what they do, and all the farmers millionaires, it’s the food that sees us through.  And those that manage hedge funds and promote the corporate greed, will be wishing they were teaching at a school just down the street.”  Then the song launches into a chorus made up primarily of the words “This just won’t do.”

The second verse sets out for social justice with the lyrics “As unarmed children walk the streets get shot down by grown up men, and those who vowed to protect us have the blood upon their hands, and the politicians argue over bills they’ll never pass, but no amount of grief or rage will bring the children back. ”  Audio clips from the news accounts of the Trayvon Martin killing are woven into the song to remind us these lyrics aren’t works of fiction.

With state and national politics being what they are, we are unlikely to see leadership for social or economic justice from the top.  However, “System” reminds us that you and I are also the “system” and by changing ourselves and our communities “we can change our system.”  In other words, if we start showing more support for teachers, farmers, and other workers, we can move towards greater economic justice.  If we can push for changes to our justice system, beginning with community policing, we can obtain a greater level of social justice.  “System” reminds us that all this is possible and also entertains us along the way.

Note: You can buy “System” for as little as a buck, or better yet, buy the complete Hideway Love album for as little as $5.


Posted in Economic Justice, Entertainment, Schools, Social Justice | Leave a comment

The MHSAA is a Good Example of the Danger in Public Private Partnerships

A public private partnership (PPP) can be defined as “a long-term contract between a private party and a government entity, for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility, and remuneration (pay) is linked to performance.”  A common example of a PPP is the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  These types of PPPs exist in many states, and in a previous post I highlighted how the Michigan company Blue Ware moved to Florida and with the help of the Florida Economic Development Corporation “swindle(d) tax payers out of millions of dollars.”  The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), which most of us would agree is a PPP, is also failing miserably to serve many of the state organizations, in this case Michigan high schools, for whose benefit it exists.  Here are five examples of how the MHSAA has failed along with a call for action.


First of all, the MHSAA has put the financial gain of its employees over those of student athletes and their families.  The MHSAA receives its revenue mostly from post-season tournaments where they charge everyone, even small children, 5 to 10 dollars to attend.  They also make money by selling the rights to sports broadcasts, through sporting goods contracts that essentially force teams to buy certain manufacturer’s equipment, requiring playoff t-shirts to be printed by MHSAA’s vendor, etc.  According to MHSAA financial reports from 2015, the MHSAA made over 9.6 million dollars in revenue.  MHSAA’s executive director Jack Roberts, who has been on the job for over 30 years, was compensated $271,978 for his services.  To put that in perspective, no governor in the country makes even $200,000 a year, and Michigan’s Governor only makes $159,300 a year!  The MHSAA has at least five other employees who make more than $150,000 a year. Meanwhile, the MHSAA has capped the value of an award or gift for a student athlete at $25 since at least 2005!  For comparison, many states allow for gifts of at least $50, and some allow for gifts of $100 or more.

A second problem with PPPs and the MHSAA is that by State law they are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.  In fact, the MHSAA fought a successful legal battle against the parents of a high school skier in order to keep their inner workings secret.  That case went all the way to the state Supreme Court.  This lack of transparency does not allow citizens to make sure the MHSAA is acting legally or ethically.

A third problem with the MHSAA is their treatment of students with disabilities.  The most widely reported example, even ESPN covered it, is the case of Eric Dompierre.  Dompierre was a student with Down Syndrome who attended Ispheming High School in 2012.  Dompierre’s father petitioned the MHSAA to extend the age limit rule for an extra year so his son, and other students with similar disabilities, could play sports at the age of 19. After all, students with disabilities can attend high schools in Michigan until they are 26. Jack Roberts was on record as saying “schools didn’t want the change.”  MHSAA Associate Director Tom Rashid said “I spoke with about 500 to 600 athletic directors, we discussed this widely throughout the state, and that was the general consensus. We did an opinion poll where we found 60% of the schools did not favor a change to the rule.”  However, when an official vote was put to the membership a whopping 94% agreed that the MHSAA executive board should be able to waive the age rule in cases like Dompierre’s.  Yet the MHSAA continues to show their ineptitude in this area as they had to be sued in 2015 by the parents of a deaf wrestler to allow his interpreter to have access to the full area around the wrestling mat.

A fourth example of the MHSAA’s incompetence can be seen in cases where the punishment of student athletes doesn’t fit the crime.  For example, Grandville High School’s state ranked wrestling team wrestled one too many matches last winter.  Instead of punishing the coach, the team was banned from the post season tournament and eight wrestlers were not allowed to compete in the individual finals!  The Freedom of Information Act lawsuit mentioned earlier actually came about because of a similar ruling banning a high school skier over too many contests.  In both cases, the penalty was too punitive.  I wonder how harshly Jack Roberts was punished when the MHSAA, under his leadership, unsuccessfully fought a lawsuit for seven years over switching of the volleyball seasons from the winter to the fall.  The MHSAA had to pay 4.5 million dollars in attorney fees to their opposition.  Due to a lack of transparency, we will probably never know the total cost of the lawsuit or how much of that cost has been passed on to us ticket buyers.

Finally, for years the MHSAA has failed to act on data that shows private schools win a disproportionate number of state championships.  Private schools only represent 14% of all schools according to the MHSAA.  However, Since 2000, private schools have won 41% of the titles in volleyball, 55% of the titles in hockey, and 41% of the titles in football.  Many states have responded to such data by changing their playoff system to a separate system, or by instituting an enrollment multiplier, the latest being Ohio.  For more data, and to sign a petition specific to this matter, check out

How do we change an organization that does not want its internal workings subject to open records, who would rather fight lawsuits to keep students off the playing fields rather than do what’s right on their behalf, or who hasn’t had a change in top level leadership in over 30 years?  It seems doubtful that appealing directly to the MHSAA will help much.  Therefore, I suggest each of you write a letter to your state representative, senator, or local newspaper.  Also, speak to your athletic director, high school principal, and superintendent and ask them to put pressure on the MHSAA.  After all, the MHSAA will only make changes for the greater good if their hand is forced.  Let’s get to forcing.

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Five Purchases Every Michigan Progressive Should Make

While we vote but a few times a year, we make purchases every day that impact our economy, politics, and environment.  Here are five products that I have purchased. I hope you will consider purchasing these products, or other like them, so that we can live in a more sustainable Michigan.

1. A Michigan Made Vehicle– One thing that is pretty apparent is that Michigan’s economic recovery has a lot more to do with the recovery of the automobile industry than any policy that the Governor Snyder has implemented. Since our economy is tied so strongly to the automobile industry, and since the automobile industry offers jobs with living wages, thanks in large part to unions, every progressive should own a Michigan made vehicle.  I find it hard to understand why so many progressives drive imports.  If you drive an electric or a hybrid, I might give you a pass until GM releases the Bolt later this year.  Otherwise, stop going to the farmer’s market in your Subaru!  Instead, go down to your locally owned car dealership, not DeVos owned Fox Motors, and buy a car that is engineered and assembled in Michigan, then go to the farmer’s market!MP-25

2. A $15 an hour burger– Right wingers answer for not wanting a living wage for fast food workers is typically (a) they think they will have to pay $10 for a Big Mac, or (b) they compare the living wage of a burger flipper to some other unfortunate person who is underpaid in a more essential industry.  To dispel this non-sense simply go to one of Moo Cluck Moo’s two locations in suburban Detroit.  Moo Cluck Moo pays their workers at least $15 an hour.  A Moo Burger sells for $3,79, twenty cents cheaper than a Big Mac. And get this, their burger has no hormones, no preservatives, and no antibiotics.  They taste great too!Moo

3. Michigan Made Music– There is an abundance of Michigan made music to enjoy if you take the time to move beyond what the local radio stations are playing.  For instance, the Earthwork Collective is a group of musicians that have “created a new model as a collective of independent artists using music as a tool to raise awareness, to mentor youth, to build community and celebrate local culture, (and) to uplift individuals in times of need. While Joshua Davis is the most famous artist in the collective after appearing on NBC’s The Voice, their lineup is deep and talented.  Check out Seth Bernard, whose family farm hosts the amazing Earthworks Harvest Gathering Music Festival each fall.  He intermixes thought provoking lyrics with some pretty rich electric guitar riffs.  Listen to his song Reconciliation to get a feel for Bernard’s talent.  You can purchase his brand new album Eggtones for Peace on the Earthwork Music website.MP-3

4. A Michigan Craft Beer– Not only is Michigan’s craft beer industry well regarded, many of the breweries are champions of clean water initiatives and sustainability.  One of the best examples is Brewery Vivant, located in Grand Rapids.  Each year they release a sustainability report.  They have a goal of making 75% of their purchases from Michigan, and the report indicates that they are currently at 58.5%.  A few other notable items in their report are their goals for charity, employee volunteer hours, and their goals for renewable energy.  We should make it law that any business getting a tax break or state contract should have to create a sustainability report and make it public.

5. A Detroit Rebirth Product– In Michigan we have to make things. At Shinola they make things.  Shinola brought back watchmaking not only to the U.S., but to Detroit.  Shinola has come under some criticism because the price of their watches are over $800 a pop, which is why I bought a wallet instead of a watch.  They have also come under fire because parts for their watches are Switzerland and several other countries. Remember, many of our car parts are also made in other countries unfortunately.  We cannot let perfection be the enemy of the good.   The bottom line is Shinola has invested in Detroit and its people, and now we should invest in Shinola and in any other company that has taken a gamble on Detroit’s comeback.


Note: If you liked this top 5 list, you might also like my list Five Great Contemporary Economic Justice songs.

Posted in Economy | Leave a comment

Michigan Superdelegates Should Switch to Sanders or Risk Losing Voter’s Support

Picture courtesy of the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Picture courtesy of the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Despite all the polls and prognostications indicating otherwise, Senator Bernie Sanders
defeated Secretary Hillary Clinton
on Tuesday night in Michigan’s Presidential Primary.  Yet, Clinton will get more delegates from Michigan because thirteen of Michigan’s twenty superdelegates committed to Clinton before the voters of Michigan cast a single vote.  Superdelegates that already committed to Clinton include Congressman Dan Kildee and Sandy Levin and Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.

Michigan superdelegates would be wise to back Sanders now for three pretty simple reasons.  For one, nothing makes voters believe their votes don’t matter more than having the winning candidate basically lose.  While Sanders will get a few more pledged delegates than Clinton thanks to actual voters, Clinton’s superdelegates will essentially give her a win in Michigan. Turning off voters in March might cost Democrats in November.

Second, Senator Sanders is winning battle ground states like Michigan and Minnesota, States that Democrats need to win in November to win the election.  Secretary Clinton is winning a lot of southern states like Mississippi and Texas which will not be won by Democrats in November.  In essence, it makes a lot more sense to back the candidate with the motivated voters in the states you can actually win in the general election. Plus, Sanders polls better against Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee.

Finally, many of the superdelegates may find themselves in hot water in their next election should they screw Michigan voters.  It’s doubtful our Senators would get hurt badly, Senators are almost untouchable.  However, people like Democratic Chair Brandon Dillon and Oakland County Commissioner Nancy Quarles could be vulnerable in their present positions.  It would be unfortunate if the superdelgates caused a civil war inside the Michigan Democratic party.  We know how that has played out for the Republicans nationally.

Michigan voters have spoken.  We do not need our votes overturned by a patriarchal establishment vote of superdelegates.  If you voted for Sanders, it might be time now to make a call or send an email to anyone of the Michigan’s superdelegates that are listed below.  If they don’t respect our votes, remember that the next time you see them asking for your support or your money.

Michigan superdelegates: Jill Arper, Dennis Archer, John Conyers, Steven Cook, Brandon Dillon, Debbie Dingell, Mary Fleming, Barry Goodman, Norwood Jewell, Dan Kildee, Brenda Lawrence, Sandy Levin, Daryl Newman, Gary Peters, Nancy Quarles, Virgie Rollins, and Debbie Stabenow

Posted in 2016 Election | 1 Comment

Snyder’s Email Reveals Andy Dillon Made “Ultimate Decision” on Flint Water Switch

A short time ago Governor Snyder released his emails related to the Flint water crisis. It appears that he did a keyword search for Flint and released all of his emails related to the City.  As you can imagine, that lead to a bunch of tantalizing information.  For instance, Lt. Governor Bryan Calley emailed Governor Snyder stating they should change Michigan’s election law to prevent City Councilman Eric Mays from being the only person on the ballot for the Mayor of Flint.  Calley noted “too much progress has been made in Flint to let it go to this guy.”  Snyder passed an election law and Mays did not become Mayor.  But for the moment, lets refocus on the Flint Water Crisis

Governor Snyder’s Chief of Staff Dennis Muchmore emailed Snyder on September 25th of this year stating “the issue of Flint’s water and its quality continues to be a challenging topic.”  A few lines later Muchmore states “I can’t figure out why the state is responsible except that Dillon did make the ultimate decision so we’re not able to avoid the subject.” “Dillon” is Andy Dillion, Snyder’s appointee as State Treasurer.  Dillon resigned amidst many controversies in October of 2013.


While some people have come to the defense of Snyder stating that the City Council voted for this switch, we know that is not true.  We know because Flint’s City Council President Joshua Freeman told us so, and we also know based on the investigation of Michigan Radio Network’s Lindsey Smith.  This was a complete failure of the executive branch. Governor Snyder’s appointment of Andy Dillon, Governor Snyder’s Emergency Managers in Detroit and Flint, who both had a hand in the switch, the former by jacking the rates and the latter by approving the move, all share in the blame.  In fact, the Detroit Free Press pointed the finger at Dillon and Flint’s Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz in November.  The difference now is that we have the Governor’s own Chief of Staff clarifying the matter for us.  And for those wondering about the Governor’s response to Muchmore’s email, it is pretty much like his response to the entire Flint water crisis, silence.

Governor Snyder, the recklessness of your administration is either taught or allowed. Either way, you are ultimately responsible for the Flint Water Crisis.  I hope you’ve learnd that people aren’t numbers.  Lead in the water is not just data.  It’s too bad that it took the poisoning of our children for you and some of your supporters to realize that running government like a business doesn’t work! Someday this state will recover, Flint’s children may not be as fortunate.

Note: Click on the last link to see how one of our State Representatives ran a business and knowingly endangered a city’s water supply


Posted in Richard Snyder, Water | 1 Comment

Movie Review: Michael Moore’s “Where to Invade Next”

Traverse City, Michigan, December 22- Don’t let the title of Michael Moore’s new documentary “Where to Invade Next” fool you. This is not the anti-war movie you might be expecting.  Instead, Moore takes you on a invasion of foreign countries in search of good ideas that he can claim for the United States.  Moore declares himself the General of this invasion because, as he puts it, the U.S. Military “needs a time out.”

State Theatre

Moore starts his invasion in Italy interviewing workers and managers at a clothing manufacturer and at the well known motorcycle company Ducati.  What stands out in this scene isn’t just that the Italian workers are exceedingly happy, but that the management of these companies are motivated to have a happy, and therefore, healthy workforce. In Italy he plants the American flag declaring that he is taking their mandatory vacation time and two hour lunches back to the U.S.

Moore then travels to France to have lunch with some elementary students. The students talk with Moore while drinking glasses of water and passing around real plates of food, family style.  The menu, which gets regular community input, includes a cheese and a dessert round!  Moore declares that from France, he is taking quality school lunches back to the U.S. These explorations continue on for the majority of the two hour run time.  In each new location, a new idea is claimed by Moore for the United States.  Each time, the viewer is left wishing that bringing these ideas back to the U.S. was as easy as brining back Saddam Husein’s personal artifacts.

At many points in the film Moore provides his interviewees an opportunity to give the U.S. populace some advice.  Almost always their message is to live out the values upon which our country was founded.  At the end of the movie Moore and a close friend stand in Berlin reminiscing the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Moore tells us if the wall that symbolized communism all over the world could be torn down in such short time, we could tear down these political walls that are preventing us from being as happy as the people he encountered in so many countries around the world.


Moore answers questions at the movie’s release in Traverse City, Michigan.

Listen up.  It’s time to put away your lightsabers and go see a movie that could actually make a difference in this galaxy.  If you need to laugh, if you need to be inspired, if you need hope, you will find it in “Where to Invade Next.”  If the movie  does inspire you, like it did me, I hope you will take Michael Moore’s advice and “do more than just like things on Facebook.”  Moore has claimed the ideas we need to advance our way of life, it’s up to us to make it happen using whatever means are necessary.  “Where to Invade Next” is being released today in New York and L.A.  It will be released everywhere else in February.

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Mackinac Center’s Education Director’s Charter School had One Student Pass the MSTEP

If you follow this blog, you know that I’ve been keeping my eye on the charter school known as Taylor Preparatory Academy.  The Treasurer of their Board of Directors was Audrey Spalding, who was also the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Education Director.  Spalding was the treasurer from the school’s inception in 2013 until August when she stepped down from the Board and the Mackinac Center in order to relocate out of state. With all the anti-public school rhetoric that the Mackinac Center put out under her leadership, one would assume that her own charter school would be a shining example of their alternative to traditional public schools. The data tells a different story.

This week the state released the results of Michigan’s new standardized test known as the M-Step.  The M-Step was taken last spring.  The test is a disaster, but that is for another story. The story here is that Taylor Preparatory Academy only had one student, 7% of the test takers, pass the M-Step 11th grade math portion.  Meanwhile, the state average was 28%.  The Taylor Prep students performed well below the state average in all four areas of the test.
Taylor Prep




Spalding’s work at the Mackinac Center made the state’s public school children worse off. She vilified public school teachers while advocating for the expansion of for-profit charter schools. Everyone, including the Mackinac Center, knows that the biggest risk factor for poor performance in school is poverty.  Yet, Spalding and the Mackinac Center advocated for policies that pay teachers and support staff less, who usually live in the community, in order to send profits outside those communities. Besides, charter schools perform no better than traditional public schools.

Even though Spalding has moved on, the Mackinac Center will continue to churn out propaganda under their new Education Director Ben DeGrow.  Like Spalding, DeGrow has no formal training in education.  He will have plenty of cash to spend on misinformation thanks to secret contributions from people with ties with charter schools as well as the Dow Foundation.

Link: Sign the Petition to Tell the Dow Foundation to Stop Funding the Mackinac Center

Posted in Mackinac Center | Leave a comment

Former DTE Lobbyist Now Powerful Person in Michigan K-12 Education

Six months ago Naif (Nick) Khouri was the Senior Vice President, and a registered lobbyist, for DTE Energy.  That’s good work if you can get it.  Khouri was able to cash in over $700,000 in DTE stocks in the past 18 months, and he still holds over a million dollars worth of their shares by my math.  It appears that he decided to trade making big money for holding political power.  This past April Khouri was appointed to the position of State Treasurer by Governor Snyder, without requested and constitutionally required approval of the Michigan Senate.  Thanks to a new law, Khouri is now one of the most powerful people in K-12 education.

Typically, the State Superintendent is second most powerful person in K-12 education after the Governor.  However, a series of new laws has stolen power from the Superintendent, and the State Board of Education, and handed it over to other non-elected officials.  In March, Snyder used an executive order, rather than the legislative process, to move control of the State School Reform District, and its 212 schools, from the Department of Education to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. That office is lead by David Behen, a man who has degrees in public administration, not public education.  In June, the Governor singed a series of “early warning” bills that puts 171 schools under the control of the Treasury, lead by Khouri, for having reserve funds, known as fund balance or fund equity, of 5% or less.  It also expanded the Tresurer’s power to include being able to recommend the district receive an Emergency Manager.


Naif “Nick” Khouri

Khouri, who holds degrees in economics, isn’t new to the education reform game.  Khouri was one of twelve people who served on Governor John Engler’s Education Task Force on Education Reform in 1993 when he was chief deputy treasurer.  The task force took all of six weeks to come up with their reforms.  Out of that task force, two main concepts were pushed out according to the book Handbook of Educational Policy by Gregory Cizek.  The first was charter schools.  Charter schools were to be “a driving force to improve educational quality” which we now know has not come to bear.  The task force also made many of the recommendations that would later be passed as Proposal A.  Proposal A shifted the tax burden of schools from primarily property taxes to primarily a six percent, instead of four percent, sales tax.  While mostly successful, one key problem with the law is that some students, mostly in down state affluent areas, still get as much as $2,000 more a year in funding than other students throughout the state.

With all the arguing that Michigan schools are broken, which I don’t agree with, and as more and more schools are without question financially broke, we have to wonder why Republicans still think they have the answer to “school reform.”  Governor Engler’s reforms haven’t beared much fruit.  While one could argue that somehow the Granholm administration is at fault, Republicans have held the Senate since Engler was in office. No significant education policy, or any policy for that matter, has occurred without their stamp of approval.  Moving educational decisions out of the hands of people who study education and putting it in the hands of public administrators and lobbyists isn’t likely to help.  But we know this about a power grab and not about what’s best for children.

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The Real Reason Why Snyder is not Running for President is Hilarious!

Governor Rick Snyder recently declared he is not running for president.  While he has said he is not running because wants to focus his attention on Michigan, there is probably another, more likely, reason.  That reason can be found in his polling numbers.  Snyder’s favorably rating was only 5 percent in an Arizona poll conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) earlier this month.  Eighty-four percent of respondents were unsure about him, likely because they do not even know who he is.  This is the funny part though.  As a control, PPP  inserted Detroit Free Press writer Paul Egan into the poll.  Egan’s favorability rating was six percent!  One percent higher than the governor of the so called “comeback state!”

A story in The Atlantic discusses how PPP came about selecting Egan as their control. They also discussed a similar poll that seems to paint the Republican Party as gender bias.  That poll used a female professor from Texas as a control.  Despite the likelihood of no one actually knowing who she is, she had a twenty percent unfavorable rating!

I hope PPP conducts more polls with control candidates.  I’d like to see how the Republicans would respond to a Rodrigo Gonzales, and how the Democrats would respond to a Winston Charles Wellsley III.  If they want to throw my name in the mix versus one Richard Dale Snyder, I’d be up for that too!

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