David Rutledge: You can’t change policy without changing policy makers

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Today we have State Rep & Democratic Floor Leader David Rutledge with us! Great conversation, if I do say so myself! Join us as we discuss: Taking over the Floor Leader position for the House Dems David’s background prior to being elected to the State House The school dissolution legislation & how it morphed from […]

Posthumus Lyons is Michigan’s Least Ethical Legislator

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Republican Representative Lisa Posthumus Lyons, who calls herself a “proud product of public education,” chairs the education committee for the State House.  She made headlines most recently with her quip “pigs get fat, and hogs get slaughtered” in reference to teachers who are to lose their jobs when their school districts get dissolved by the state. Previous to […]

Amy Kerr Hardin – GOP is deliberately lying about education funding

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Today we have Amy back with us to discuss education funding. As you know, the Republicans have been patting themselves on the back for “increasing” education funding. It’s not actually an increase though, as Amy explains. Hey, there’s a reason “conservative” starts with “con.” Guest: Amy Kerr Hardin of Democracy Tree Shownotes: MICHIGAN EDUCATION FUNDING […]

ALEC v Kids: The GOP’s stealthy & shady attack on our schools

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Today we join Progress Michigan, Common Cause Michigan, and Michigan Citizen Action, for a conference on their new report, ALEC v Kids. We discuss: What is ALEC and why does it matter? What does ALEC support? Who are the Michigan members of ALEC? How does ALEC impact education in Michigan? What do we need to […]

Broken bureaucracy is bad for education, Gov. Snyder

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If you happen to be on Governor Snyder’s email list you know he has been talking up his education policy recently. His most recent promotional item is the claim that state education spending has increased each year of his term. While it is true that “state” spending has increased each year total spending on education […]

Teacher of the Year: The merit pay disconnect

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The Michigan legislature is considering merit pay for public teachers and conservatives are attempting to convince voters that this free market idea is essential to improving educational outcomes. Unfortunately these articles tend to be heavy on opinion and light on data showing that merit pay actually improves educational outcomes. The most recent examples of the […]

Amy Kerr Hardin on the manufactured fiscal crises in schools

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Today we talk to Amy Kerr Hardin of Democracy Tree. This is our first conversation and I enjoyed it. I hope you find it interesting. You should check out Amy’s blog for some of the very best political blogging you’ll find in Michigan. Here are Amy’s show notes. Her notes are longer than my summary […]

Snyder’s merit pay idea fails the test

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Adding to an already impressive list of legislative “solutions” that don’t actually solve any problems, Rick Snyder and the Michigan legislature have decided to consider “merit pay” for public educators. Like many of their previous legislative priorities – corporate tax cuts, charter schools , right to work – Republicans seem more interested in placating their […]

Test Score Based Pay Should be Piloted in Prison by Posthumus-Lyons’ Husband

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House Bill 4625 would tie public school teacher pay to students’ stardardized test scores. In opposition, some people have advocated tying legislator pay to specific outcomes including lower unemployment and fully funded schools. I would hate to subject all legislators to the shortsightedness of a few, but would like to see the sponsors of House […]

House Republicans Move Forward Anti-Teacher Legislation Despite Objections From Almost Every Educational Group in the State

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The House Education Committee passed a bill today (HB4625) that would institute merit pay for new teachers or for those wanting to opt into the merit pay system.  The bill would become law when the Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness, whose members are all appointed by Republicans, put out their final teacher evaluation tool.  That group has been meeting for 18 months […]

Adam Zemke – I challenge anyone to argue in favor of PA297

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Today we talk to State Rep Adam Zemke about his bill HB 4742. HB 4742 would repeal PA297 of 2011, which is the bill that bans benefits for the domestic partners of public sector employees. We discuss: The economic impact of PA297 when it takes effect on June 30 How PA297 impacts the employees at […]

“Democrat” Runs for Lansing City Council

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Ted O’Dell, a former MEA employee, is sending out fundraising letters in his run for Lansing City Council. With that kind of background, you’d think he’d have plenty of lefty support. He’ll get none from me. After Ted left the MEA, he worked to get a Lansing casino approved, and then landed with DFER. Like […]