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Introducing the Edu$hysters of the week and they all hail from the great state of Michigan

The Edu$hyster ring in Michigan

rick snyder1

Utica Community Schools, as the second largest district in Michigan, has always been a leader in education.  Students have always had a high rate of success.  In comparison to districts across the nation, Utica has always been financially healthy.  Utica has been a wealth of potential for multiple facets of education, art and culture and many of those programs have been decimated to cater to the special interest of profiteers and politicians.

carol-klenow

School Board President Carol Klenow

Carol Klenow, who is the School Board President of Utica Community Schools, hired Christine Johns, a graduate of the unaccredited Broad School Academy, to serve as the Superintendent of Utica Community Schools. Klenow was also appointed by the Governor to be on the State Officers Compensation Commission which determines the compensation, benefits and expense accounts of the Governor’s Officers including all state officers and legislators. These officials and representatives are some of the highest paid in Michigan’s legislative history. Recently, Governor Rick Synder also certified Utica Community Schools Board President Klenow as an Emergency Financial Manager. This gives Klenow the power to close schools at will as was seen in Detroit under the rule of Broad graduate Bob Bobb when he served as Emergency Financial Manager of Detroit Public Schools and closed schools with a proposal to open 30 new charter schools.

Governor Rick Snyder

Governor Rick Snyder

Both the state legislature and the governor are pushing for an increase in online virtual learning academies. Records also indicate that Carol Klenow is the Program Administrator of a virtual learning academy that was rewarded a pilot by the Governor. While Klenow built her virtual learning academy, Utica Community Schools began a major curriculum overhaul and created classroom populations that are much larger than surrounding districts.

After Utica Community Schools began eliminating a number of classes from their curriculum, Klenow’s virtual academy indicated that they would offer many of the courses that had been cut from the curriculum.

Currently, Klenow’s Oakland County Learning Academy Consortium is offered in every Southeast Michigan County with the exception of Macomb County which includes Utica Community Schools. However, she stands to inherit a huge financial windfall if Governor Snyder’s Oxford Foundation legislation is implemented across Michigan.  The Oxford Foundation will allow for students from any school district across Michigan to attend Klenow’s virtual learning academy.  Under the proposed legislation, many of the nearly 30,000 students in Utica Community Schools can opt-out of Utica Schools and attend Klenow’s operation that caters to home-schooled children.  Along with Carol Klenow, the Calvert Educational Services Company will profit greatly by developing all the curriculum of Klenow’s Oakland County Virtual Learning Academy Consortium.

Superintendent Christine Johns

Superintendent Christine Johns

During her tenure as Superintendent, Johns has dismantled many successful district programs and terminated positions, only to rehire them to third-party companies such as the online learning company Dreambox and Discovery Education which offers digital textbooks and online teacher “assessment services”. All at a high price. With the continued destruction of educational opportunities in Utica, many students will seek alternatives.  Utica Community Schools, as the second largest district in Michigan, has always been a leader in education.  Students have always had a high rate of success.  In comparison to districts across the nation, Utica has always been financially healthy.  Utica has been a wealth of potential for multiple facets of education, art and culture and many of those programs have been decimated to cater to the special interest of profiteers and politicians.

The Broad trained superintendent was hired with the goal of destroying successful educational opportunities and replacing those with opportunities that will benefit private interests.  Christine Johns is one of the most highly compensated Superintendents across the state.  Carol Klenow, who hired Superintendent Johns, will directly profit by running the Oakland County Virtual Learning Academy Consortium.

Digital Promise Executive Director Adam Frankel

Digital Promise Executive Director Adam Frankel

Digital Promise/League of Innovative Schools will profit mightily from adding Utica to its consortium of districts making a bid for Race to the Top funding. Digital Promise was started by Obama’s former speechwriter, Adam Frankel, who has ties to the Obama administration and is well connected in DC. The director of Digital Promise, Sara Schapiro, was until recently a consultant for Pearson.

So much money, so little time.

The Governor, State Legislature and other state government executives profit from Carol Klenow determining their compensation. Private companies, such as  Calvert Educational Services, profit as more students with tax-payers’ dollars are enrolled in their company’s curriculum thanks to state legislators lifting the cap on cyber schools. Many individuals will profit while education methods, as offered by the Oakland County Virtual Learning Academy Consortium and Digital Promise remain untested and unproven, destroying many of the opportunities for students across Michigan.

Join us on Facebook, Parents Across Utica Community Schools,  to follow this story, for additional information and action alerts.

Parents Across Utica Community Schools is an affiliate of Parents Across America.

This article was written by a source who chooses to remain anonymous and edited by Dora Taylor.

9 comments on “Introducing the Edu$hysters of the week and they all hail from the great state of Michigan

  1. Jon Awbrey
    December 5, 2012

    Re: “Edu$hyters”

    I think you misspelled “Edu$hysters” —

    Then again, maybe not …

  2. Cathi's Meanderings
    December 5, 2012

    In Wyoming, an elected State School of Superintendent continues to place our schools in jeopardy through lack of management, personnel, financial skills. Well, intelligence. Our “wise” Legislature was predominantly behind her in elections. Now, since her ineptness is causing vast problems, more oversight comes from the same Legislature as well as intervention and oversight from the Governor and office. Wyoming spends one of the highest amounts of money per student in the country and continues to receive “diminishing returns”. Is this lack of structure, organization, etc. epidemic in states now with such federal intervention as well as grants, funding to states that requires adherence to federal mandates? Help us all…

    • seattleducation2011
      December 5, 2012

      Cathi,

      I would say that in general that is what’s happening.

      You have a few people at the Federal level with no connection to what is happening at the state and district level, demanding compliance to edicts with no understanding of where each district is in terms of education or finances. I mention finances because many of the edicts of Race to the Top are expensive. The cost is high in terms of required testing and evaluations, school turnarounds, longer days, merit pay, and the common core curriculum which will cost a fortune for districts with the required new books, lessons and tests.

      Education is not one size fits all but unfortunately our Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who has no background in education, does not understand this.

      At the state level you can have the same problem when politicians are determining how a child will be educated. There are many influences that surround a politician. Along with that, many of our state legislators are not familiar with public schools or education in general therefore making poor choices for all students in their state.

      The more that I see, the more I believe that the district needs to have ultimate control of their schools. Each district is unique and has its strengths and weaknesses. What we need to do is ensure that our school districts have enough funding to do what they know needs to be done for each child.

      Education needs to be in the hands of educators, parents and the students. They know best.

      Dora

  3. Kate
    December 5, 2012

    Reblogged this on kateschannel and commented:
    This share focuses on major revelations about the quality of education in Utica Community School districts. Both of my children attend elementary school in this district. For the most part, we have been mostly pleased with the teachers, curriculum and opportunities for enrichment. However, this post bring to light some disappointing news about the district’s priorities and how they could undermine academic futures for all UCS. I’m sure parents in other districts throughout the country are experiencing the same challenges in determining whether public school boards and administrators are advocating in the best interest of students. My apologies for not writing any original posts for so long. The upcoming holidays have inspired me to write for my children, which means less time for blogging. Take care!

  4. Kate
    December 5, 2012

    Thanks for sharing results from your investigations associated with public education in Michigan; and specifically, UCS. We are a UCS family. I have 2 elementary-age children. You can count on me to share this post; and I will definitely be following you. You may be interested to know that I write a blog as well. It touches on a range of topics including my experiences with helping my two get the most out of their education. http://kateschannel.wordpress.com

  5. Fred K. Haver
    December 3, 2012

    Schools were first made to socialize and culturalize the masses to make sure that they have the skills to survive in this country. Academics are a priority butt will fail to give us a students who are able to accept diversity and have the social skills to deal with others in the workplace. This going to get us into trouble in the future unless all willl work and stay at home. This is nothing about educating students but everything to do with company and those that run them big money. We need public education and not the republican agenda.

    • Anonymous
      June 4, 2013

      Really????????? the public school system prepares for the woIrkplace?????? I have never held a job where everyone I worked with was my age. Without business owners there are no jobs. I do not want my children to grow up as mindless, government controlled sheep.

      Sign me,
      a different perspective

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