Yesterday I posted a diary about my kid doing something cool in response to a discussion about the Michigan Republican Party trying to destroy our public school system.
I was going to update that diary with this story, but decided to make it a separate diary rather than end the other one on a depressing note. However, I do need to call attention to one of the ugliest bills that the GOP-controlled legislature tried to ram through last December (unsuccessfully at the time) being rammed through (successfully this time, in a slightly modified version) earlier this week.
I don't have the time or energy to write up another full rundown on the EAA (the so-called "Educational Achievement Authority" bill, which creates/expands a completely unregulated, nonaccountable statewide "school district" that takes over poorly-performing actual districts and effectively puts the final nail in their coffin), and the bill already passed the state House, so here's the gist of it as written by Democratic State Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton a few days ago:
Today, the House crammed through legislation that will turn our lowest performing schools into third world prison systems. I voted against against HB4369 (the Governor takeover of our schools):
Students themselves have spoken loud and clear that:
They were promised better schools, and tha has not been delivered, and in fact the situation for them is much worse.
They characterize their school now as a prison.
Students with special education needs are not getting the services under federal law that they are entitled to receive.
Students are not in a safe environment.
Students are not having their academic needs met by the software package known as Buzz. Quite frankly, it should be called FLOP, because it is a flop. I've had the opportunity to witness Buzz at the high school level, and it is childish, not age appropriate, it is demeaning and these are not my words, these are the students' words.
Many students don't want to use Buzz, simply because they want to learn from a teacher.
They want enriching class discussion.
They want books--they want to feel the pages of books--and they miss that.
They used to have these things and now they don't.
They struggle on a daily basis with schedules that don't respond to their basic needs.
Students recounted these and more stories of being put in classes that they had already taken in prior years and when asked to correct it, they're put back into the same class.
Kids talked about not being able to take summer internships that they had already secured because of being in school.
They talked about family problems resulting from them being on one schedule and siblings being on another schedule.
And we heard stories about students that felt trapped, and a lot of broken promises.
And THESE are the reasons why I voted no today....I hope the Senate can stop this very bad piece of legislation.