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January 18, 2010

The Race To The Bottom in Michigan Public Education

 “To Be or Not To Be”:

The Race to the Bottom

The Michigan Education Association (MEA) -- nee public school teachers’ union -- continues its track record of resisting change in the classroom and ignoring the fact that not only can’t Billy read, many Michigan teachers can’t read or write at the 12th grade level, lack basic computation skills, and ought to be working in a car wash or Wally Mart, rather than collecting an average salary of $ 54,739 a year, for about 9 months work.  (Michigan ranks about 4th in teacher salaries, nationally; but 23rd in high school graduation rates.)

The MEA is urging its local affiliates to publicly resist and criticize the State of Michigan’s application for “federal stimulus funds” under the Obama Administration’s “Race To The Top” competitive grants program.  The feds are giving major grants to a limited number of states willing to address public school improvements in a comprehensive way.

Street talk sez Michigan has as much chance of getting one of the $100 million-plus federal grants, in round-one, as the City of Detroit has of hosting the  2020 summer Olympics.

But we can’t blame the MEA for everything wrong with public education in Michigan.

After months of feverish activity and grantwriting, Governor Jennifer Granholm and her minions at the Department of Education are reportedly printing up covers for their “Race To the Top” grant application to the Feds.  They’re calling Michigan’s application “BE THE CHANGE.”

No wonder we be not getting the federal dollars.

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