Michigan Settles Recent Detroit Case, Establishes Right to Literacy as a Federal Precedent

Sunday, May 17, 2020, was the 66th anniversary of the landmark education civil rights case, Brown v. Board of Education. America’s continued failure to realize the promise of the Brown decision has been appalling. Although Brown and follow-up lawsuits ended de jure segregation (the intentional creation, by law, of segregated schools for black and white […]

Appeals Court Decision Guarantees Basic Literacy as a Federal Fundamental Right for Detroit’s Children

In a court decision last week in a case brought by students in Detroit, Gary B. v Whitmer, a three judge U.S. Court of Appeals panel recognized that a basic level of education is a federal right under the “due process” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The appeals court overturned a […]

DeVos Family Contributes Lavishly to Legislators Who Defeated Detroit Charter School Oversight

I grew up in Montana, where in Montana history class we learned that at one time Anaconda Copper owned the state legislature. While the patrons have changed over the decades, the political process hasn’t been cleaned up. Amazingly the extraction industry has been replaced by the education sector these days in a number of states. […]

Even from Its Deathbed, Michigan State-Takeover EAA Continues to Rob Detroit District

Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, has done everything he could to privatize and take over and bankrupt the state’s poorest school districts. Since 2012, Muskegon Heights and Highland Park were turned over to Mosaica and the Leona Group, private, for-profit charter management organizations. Both went broke and abandoned these projects. The state has also intervened in […]

Rapid Charter Expansion Is Primary Cause of Detroit Schools’ Fiscal Catastrophe

Here is how David Arnsen of Michigan State University and his colleagues frame one of the issues they investigate in a new study on the impact of rapid growth of charters on the fiscal conditions in school districts in the state of Michigan.  The study will be published this autumn in the Journal of Education […]

NY Times Publishes Major Expose of Detroit’s Charter School Catastrophe

Kate Zernike’s extraordinary expose in yesterday’s NY Times about K-12 education in Detroit, Michigan is a must-read.  The headline describes the reality today in Detroit: For Detroit’s Children, More School Choice but Not Better Schools.  This post will summarize Zernike’s critique, but you’ll need to read her piece to learn how Detroit’s school-choice realities are […]

Republican Detroit Plan Invests Too Little, Fails to Regulate Out-of-Control Charter Sector

To consider the Detroit Schools “rescue” plan passed by both houses of Michigan’s legislature last week and sent to Governor Rick Snyder for his signature, one can benefit from a review of some background: Michigan is among the 22 states in which the governor and both houses of the legislature are dominated by Republican majorities. […]

Latest in Detroit Schools Tragedy: Possible Resolution on Teacher Pay for Days Worked

My husband’s aunt, who would be 115 years old if she were alive today, did not believe in teachers unions.  As a young woman in West Virginia she taught for several years.  She boarded in someone’s home, occupied a second floor bedroom, and ate meals with the family.  As she got older, she came to […]

Legislature Debates Detroit Schools’ Bailout, Gov. Snyder’s Future Fades

Finally, Michigan’s governor Rick Snyder has agreed to testify before the U.S. House Oversight Committee tomorrow about his role and the role of his appointed Emergency Fiscal Manager Darnell Earley in the circumstances that left Flint with a lead poisoned water system.  Lenny Bernstein and Joby Warrick, reporters for the Washington Post quote the committee’s […]

Detroit Schools’ Pending Fiscal Collapse Endangers Over 45,000 Children

The public schools in Detroit, Michigan—a school district that serves over 45,000 students—may run out of money in April.  The mess is so complicated that it is hard to know even how to describe it.  How to address it would require strong leadership that appears to be lacking in Michigan these days. The state is […]