Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Thursday, February 28, 2013

[Update: He's at it again] Gov. Snyder's privatization mess in Muskegon Hts.

Update: Snyder has declared a financial "State of Emergency" in Detroit. Whenever he does this, it give him the power to overthrow the elected government and appoint  a czar from the corporate world to run the city. 

What's left of Muskegon Heights Public Schools. 
Remember last year when Michigan's wing-nut Gov. Rick Snyder used his fascist powers to privatize the town and schools of Muskegon Heights?  First he replaced the elected city government with a hand-picked business czar, Don Weatherspoon. Then, Czar Weatherspoon decided to turn the entire public school system over to a for-profit charter management company.

Seven month later --- What a mess!

First Weatherspoon ordered the district to stop providing educational services at the end of the last school year and laid off most of its staff. Then he sold off all the surplus assets of the public school system from lockers to the flag polls and even text books.

When that didn't raise enough money Gov. Snyder stepped in with a $3.5 million “emergency” loan to help the pay off private companies like MESSA health insurance, Priority Health health insurance and Chartwells Food Service. The loan under the state’s Emergency Municipal Loan Act is the second one the district received. In August 2012, the state loaned the district $7.6 million. The school district also will use the $335,000 annual fee it receives for authorizing the Mosaica-run charter school system to pay off its debts.

Then they reopened as Mosaica and tried to staff the privately-operated schools with non-certified teachers and any principal they could dig up and get to stay for more than a few weeks. Then they spent millions on security cameras in each and every classroom to watch the teachers.

Last but not least came Mosaica's test-crazed approach to teaching, relying mainly on Scantron testing.

MLive reporter Lynn Moore writes:
Muskegon Heights High School has a new principal -- the third and some could argue fourth -- since the school was turned into a charter school at the beginning of this school year...The Muskegon Heights High School, as well as the middle school and two elementary schools, is now operated by Mosaica, a charter school management company. 
That's 4 principals (or should I say, "heads of school") since September.

Mosaica operates more than 90 schools across the country and in India. They have left a trail of mismanagement and corruption scandals in their wake since they ran into trouble for mismanaging a school near New Orleans. The Louisiana dispute led to arbitration. In the end, Mosaica was forced to pay $350,000 in damages. Then there was this cheating scandal in D.C. and that mess with the management of King High School in Philly.

The company already operates six Michigan charter schools, five of which fall below the 20th percentile on the state's ranking of schools. One school is at the 26th percentile.

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