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Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:32 PM

 

Michigan Emergency Manager Law used to Give School District to Private For-Profit Corporation

Former state legislator Mary Valentine has spoken out against the privatization of public education in Muskegon Heights, Michigan. The district had a budget deficit, so the governor installed an emergency manager who turned the children and schools over to a for-profit charter corporation...

Muskegon Heights School District, in Muskegon County, Michigan, is the first school district taken over by a for-profit company. The Emergency Manager in charge of the district, Don Weatherspoon admits what we all know. “It’s like building a plane while you’re flying it...” Muskegon Heights Public Schools faced such a huge budget deficit last spring, the state appointed emergency manager laid off the staff, teachers and all, and hired a charter school company to run the new school district he created. He says the financial situation was so bad he didn’t have a choice.

But former Democratic State Representative Mary Valentine doesn’t buy that.

“There’s no other alternatives because that’s the way our legislature has worked it,” Valentine said.

http://dianeravitch.net/2013/01/28/michigan-activist-joins-the-honor-roll/

The corporation that now "owns" this district operates internationally:

Mosaica Education

Mosaica Education, Inc. currently operates elementary, middle and high school programs in 9 states, the District of Columbia, India, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Mosaica Education was founded in 1997...Mosaica Education’s focus is on developing charter school programs that fuse the Paragon curriculum, state-of-the-art classroom technology and learning that is tailored to students’ individual successes. Mosaica Education is headquartered in New York, NY and employs more than 2,000 people.

Mosaica has received recent media attention for its mismanagement of Muskegon Heights district schools and it's school in Atlanta all of which are experiencing lower than average academics and higher than average disciplinary problems and staff dissatisfaction.

One distinction of Mosaica Education is the use of its proprietary Paragon curriculum instead of traditional social studies in nearly all of its schools.

Gene Eidelman co-founded Mosaica in 1997 and currently serves as President....Mosaica’s Turnaround Partners division works with school districts to improve under-performing schools, and Mercury Online Academy provides a public and private blended learning programs.

Gene and his wife Dr. Dawn Eidelman were awarded the 2009 James P. Boyle Entrepreneurial Leadership Award from the Education Industry Association for their unwavering commitment to innovation in education. Gene was selected as One of the Ten Outstanding People of the World by Junior Chamber International in 1999. Gene did his undergraduate work at the University of Southern California. He is a member of the board of the Georgia Charter School Association and the Coalition for Educational Choice.


http://mosaicaeducation.com/about-mosaica/executive-management-page/gene-eidelman/

Gene is also a Trustee of Aurora Academies, a UK-based group pushing charter schools there:

http://auroraacademies.org/board-member/gene-eidelman/

He's also been active in the for-profit corporate childcare centers biz..."At CDC, Gene was President of the Prodigy division, overseeing 69 corporate child care centers in 23 states."

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:04 PM

1. I am guessing this is in a poor neighborhood?

 

Just a guess obviously.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:41 PM

8. Yup.

Muskegon Heights is exactly that. Every time I think that my former home state couldn't fuck things up any worse, I read about things like this. I'm so glad I left there and moved out east.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:10 PM

2. "...and it's school in Atlanta all of which are experiencing lower than average academics"

Looks like the reporter is a Mosaica alum.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:23 PM

4. that part is from wikipedia, no 'reporter' involved.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:18 PM

3. I googled a little and it doesn't sound good

http://www2.citypaper.com/arts/story.asp?id=3623

Mosaica grew out of Prodigy Inc., a chain of corporate child-care centers founded by Dawn Eidelman, an English professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, and her husband, Gene Eidelman, a Russian-born real-estate developer. The couple expanded the chain to 16 centers in six states and boasted six of the nation's largest 10 corporations as clients (including General Motors, IBM, and Amoco) before selling to a larger child-care company in 1995. The sale provided seed money for Mosaica and brought the Eidelmans together with Connelly, an officer of the company that purchased Prodigy.


http://eastatlanta.patch.com/blog_posts/charter-founder-profits-students-struggle

This for-profit charter management company was founded in 1997 by Sandy Springs resident Gene Eidelman and has since expanded to a network of 90 schools, generating more than $125M in annual revenue. For several years, Inc. Magazine has ranked Mosaica as one of the fastest growing companies in urban America.

Unfortunately, students attending schools managed by Mosaica have not seen their educational trajectories rise with the management company’s revenue. Instead, Mosaica’s students around the country consistently underperform their peers.

Mirroring the organization’s national record, Mosiaca’s local charter school, Atlanta Preparatory Academy (APA), is one of Georgia’s worst performing schools on annual exams, with students in all grades scoring in the bottom 20% statewide.


http://www.grandhaventribune.com/article/education/255821

The school board in the Muskegon-area district asked for an emergency manager a year ago in the face of a chronic deficit and declining enrollment. At the time, the district had 1,400 students, down by a third in five years. It also had a deficit of about $9.4 million.

The state emergency financial manager laid off all the previous employees, and Mosaica Education Inc. hired 80 teachers for the fall semester. Since then, 20 of the teachers have quit. . . .

Mosaica Regional Vice President Alena Zachery-Ross said some teachers quit because no discipline policy was in place, while others left for jobs with better pay and benefits at traditional public schools. She said the high school principal quit before classes started.


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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:42 PM

5. Oh wow, what a surprise



This was the whole point. An excuse to give already rich people a chance to capitalize on the backs of poor/working/middle class people. I'm sure they'll get lots of my taxes. Great. (more )

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Response to gollygee (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:55 PM

6. Indeed. The point of the EM law is to allow dictators to break contracts & sell public assets.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:33 PM

7. A generation will be denied a basic education so some fly by night con men cane make some money.

It is the New American Way. Just like the pensioners who were stripped of their savings so the banksters could get rich. Using the state to service needs of corporations is Mussolini's definition of fascism. And he ought to know.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:45 PM

9. Kids for sale!

Last edited Tue Jan 29, 2013, 08:07 AM - Edit history (1)

Kids for sale! Kids for sale here!

Just make a few campaign contributions and our children can be yours to exploit! Let the secret bidding begin.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:33 PM

10. For Profit means for profit as in making money.

 

If a district is already strapped then they are going to cut out services in order for it to turn a profit.
Not being regulated by any entity,they can teach what they want,hire and fire who they want regardless of background checks or qualifications.
They will be held to no standards other than the rational forces of self-interest.

Are You kids ready for some McSchooling?

Oatmeal(Gruel)for breakfast
Mandatory morning prayer,Qur'an Burning and loyalty oath.
Creation Science.
American Histrionics.
White Culture Appreciation.
Fun with Manufacturing.
Lunch is Pizza,Peas and Skim Milk.
Mandatory Kitchen and Cafeteria Cleaning,Job Preparedness Hour.
Physical Training,Shuffle Board,Square Dancing,Horse Shoes,Mumbledy-Peg,Floor Hockey.
Custodial Training Fun Time.
Afternoon Affirmation and Bible Study/Ethics.
Fun With Fundraising.
School Bus Maintenance.
School Dismissed.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:50 PM

11. Trust me, those of us who teach in Michigan are watching.

They're expanding the online high school boundaries, are going ahead with that emergency dictator law even though the voters said no, and they're doing everything they can to privatize more schools and pocket the money. The ones really suffering are the kids, of course, but corporations don't care about them.

It's all disgusting. We're getting more and more tied by Lansing as they set all of us up to fail so they can have their cronies come in and rob the taxpayers blind.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:57 PM

12. This is a red alert. They will turn this system upon the rest of the country unless they are STOPPED

 

NOW.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 07:39 AM

13. They want to privatize schools, not just to make $, they want young Republicons!

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