Tag Archives: institution

Overhaul Detroit Schools without Giving Health Insurance to Dead People

It’s Friday. What better time to kick an institution that’s down, and deservedly so? If anyone is taking nominees for an American school district to tear down and start over the education system from scratch, I vote for the Detroit Public Schools. Anyone with me? The district’s well-documented failures and financial deficits are exacerbated by the latest findings of far-reaching corruption. The Detroit Free Press reports today about what was found in a pair of audits of Detroit Public Schools (H/T Intercepts): Among the findings: 160 outdated BlackBerrys, 11 motorcycles, 97 two-way phones and 50 handheld radios sat unused. One audit also showed that 411 people — including some who are dead — were receiving health insurance even though they weren’t eligible. Ending those benefits will save the district an immediate $2.1 million, [emergency financial manager Robert] Bobb said. Health insurance for dead people? To cover future embalming needs? Protection money from grave robbers? If we take away their benefits, will they be added to the rolls of Americans without health insurance? Unbelievable stuff. Do you see what I mean?

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Amandla Charter Closure Exceptional, Sign of the Institution's Strength

The Denver Post‘s Jeremy Meyer reports that Denver Public Schools is closing the troubled Amandla Charter Academy — a contract school re-applying to become a charter school. Given the known facts (a checkered past, ongoing financial problems, poor academic results, and lack of a “coherent education program”), it looks like a tough but very good decision by the school board. Public charter schools are an important option in the school choice menu, the institution should be strengthened, and their leaders and managers should be empowered for success. But we have to recognize one of the inherent strengths of charters is that they can be closed down effectively if they fail. That being said, Edspresso is correct to emphasize that decision makers must be “serious about understanding and reviewing original data before making conclusions” about charter school closures. For every Amandla that (as far as I can tell) deserves to be shut down, there is a Cesar Chavez, West Denver Prep, Ridgeview Classical, and many other Colorado charter schools that are doing great work providing families successful alternatives to the traditional public education model.

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Tony Woodlief Reminds Us That There Is No "Typical" Homeschool Family

One option more and more parents take for their kids is homeschooling. Thousands of Colorado kids are being educated at home by their parents. Despite a great diversity in the families that undertake home education and the different kinds of programs used, there’s still a tendency among some to have stereotyped conceptions of what a “typical” homeschool family looks like. People who want to pigeonhole homeschoolers into a box really ought to read this Pajamas Media column by Kansas parent and writer Tony Woodlief. A key excerpt: Given preconceptions about this practice, I should note that we are not anti-government wingnuts living on a compound. We like literature, and nice wines, and Celeste would stab me in the heart with a spoon if I gave her one of those head bonnets the Amish women wear. We are not, in other words, stereotypical home-schooling parents. But neither are most actual home-schooling parents. Even though Ma and Pa Ingalls sent their children off to the little schoolhouse in Walnut Grove, we’ve decided to start our own. In the eyes of Kansas authorities that’s exactly what we’ve done; regulations require us to establish a school and name it. Ours is the Woodlief Homestead […]

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