Mon Apr 29, 2013, 06:21 AM
HiPointDem (20,729 posts)
Rick Snyder's secret group to circumvent constitution, implement cheap privatized voucher schools
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder had hoped to tout the benefits of building bridges between businesses and the state's education system at the Governor’s Education Summit in East Lansing on Monday, but that proved no easy task. His remarks at the annual event were clouded by recent revelations of a voucher-like education reform strategy hatched by a secretive work group led by his Chief Information Officer David Behen.
As the Detroit News first reported Friday, the project, known as "skunk works," looked into designing low-cost "value schools" that would utilize information technology to drive down the cost of statewide education spending per pupil to $5,000 -- $2,000 less than the state's current minimum funding level.
School vouchers are not legal in Michigan. State voters defeated a measure in 2000 that would have allowed school vouchers by amending Michigan's constitution.
Snyder told the Detroit Free Press he never gave orders to his staff to start the project and wasn't familiar with its details. He later defended the group, saying they were working together to come up with new ideas. Under the plan, tuition would reportedly be paid for with a "Michigan Education Card," and extra money could be used by students for activities like online courses or music lessons. The group, which has been meeting since December, includes charter school backers, personnel from information technology companies and several members of Snyder's staff, who used private emails to communicate, according to records acquired by the newspaper. According to the News, the group had also spoken with Bay Mills Community College about establishing a technology-centered charter school.
The group includes employees from the software and tech companies Vectorform in Royal Oak, InfoReady in Ann Arbor and Billhighway in Troy. Also involved is Tim Cook of the Huizenga Group, a Grand Rapids firm that owns and operates West Michigan manufacturing companies, according to the News.
huizenga group = mobbed up wayne huizenga
waste management, blockbuster
Calling itself "skunk works," the group has been meeting in the shadows since mid-December, with state employees using private, non-state email accounts to maintain secrecy. Their goal? Create ultra-cheap "value schools" that make up for inadequate funding by using long-distance video conferencing, instead of qualified, professional teachers working with students. Funding for these value schools would be doled out to students via debit cards, which they would use to purchase tuition and services — not unlike how food stamps are issued.
There's so much here to be frightened and infuriated about, citizens can pick their issue:
=Blatant secret meetings involving Snyder's top aides and corporate special interests.
=Replacing teachers with teleconferencing.
=Education reform plans without the involvement of any educators.
=More efforts to turn a profit on our kids' education — this time for technology companies like the ones where Snyder made his millions.
=Another attempt at school vouchers, despite clear voter rejection of the concept.
Frankly, I'm angry about every single one of these things and more — and every parent in this state should be as well.
This is basically the ruling class's plan for the peons. these guys are just trying to push the timeline a bit.
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Rick Snyder's secret group to circumvent constitution, implement cheap privatized voucher schools (Original post)
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Response to Initech (Reply #11)
Tue Apr 30, 2013, 03:55 PM
HiPointDem (20,729 posts)
12. you can tell by the way they keep pushing the same crap, over and over, despite voters
voting it down, despite no evidence of improvement & plenty evidence of chaos.