Tag Archives: reports

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today about what was found in a pair of audits of Detroit Public Schools (H/T Intercepts): Among the findings: 160 outdated BlackBerrys, 11 motorcycles, 97 two-way phones and 50 handheld radios sat unused.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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Status Quo in Congress Holds Back Teacher Incentive Fund Growth … Somewhat

Alyson Klein, one of the ladies who cover happenings related to education on Capitol Hill for Education Week, reports about an important committee vote yesterday: A bipartisan effort to boost funding for the Teacher Incentive Fund by an extra $100 million went down to defeat today during the full Senate Appropriations Committee’s markup of the bill funding the U.S. Department of Education in fiscal year 2010. The bill already includes $300 million for the TIF, a teacher performance-pay program that is currently funded at $97 million. The proposed increase in the failed amendment would have been paid for by taking $100 million out of the federal State Grants for Improving Teacher Quality program. TIF provides competitive grants to state agencies, school districts, and charter schools that develop quality performance pay programs for teachers and for principals. As my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow has outlined in his issue paper Denver’s ProComp and Teacher Compensation in Colorado (PDF) and elsewhere, local Colorado school districts have applied for and received a significant share of TIF grant money. Besides Denver, they include Eagle County, Harrison (El Paso County), and Fort Lupton. Our K-12 education compensation system badly needs a serious overhaul, and […]

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Joseph Lieberman Fights for D.C. Kids' Opportunity -vs.- NEA Lies

I’m back from the beach, and thankfully didn’t get sunburned too badly. A lot went on while I was gone. And though I sometimes have to pick and choose what to write about when I’m blogging almost every day, trying to catch up on a week’s worth of news is — well, it’s like trying to build a tall sand castle just a few feet from the water’s edge. You get the picture. What you really don’t want to miss though is a great op-ed written by U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman for yesterday’s Washington Post. The good senator from Connecticut notes that vouchers must remain part of the solution to help kids with educational needs in our nation’s capital: There are low-income children in the District [of Columbia] who can’t wait for their local schools to turn around. Without programs such as this one, their opportunity will be lost forever.

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Innovation Pioneers Manual & Montclair Win DPS Backing, Move to State Board

When I say “Top o’ the mornin” to you today, I really mean it. Good news! What is it, you say? Yesterday I hoped out loud that the Denver Public Schools board would make the right decision about the state’s first two “innovation school” proposals. Well, sometimes your hopes and dreams do come true. At least, so reports Rebecca Jones for Ed News Colorado: By a 4-3 vote, the board agreed to forward the proposals from Manual High School and Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment on to the state Board of Education, which will consider the requests on Thursday. If approved – and state officials have already indicated they feel the schools’ proposals are in order – Manual and Montclair will be given broad leeway to waive district policies and union contract provisions on everything from staffing to scheduling to teacher compensation. They will have many of the same freedoms as charter schools, but unlike charter schools, will still be directly accountable to the DPS board. On the fast track for the world of education, the waiver requests from Manual and Montclair are scheduled to go before the State Board of Education later this week. After (hopefully) receiving approval […]

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