Monday, August 24, 2009

Mackinac Center's "Capitol Confidential"

It's hard to choose which story to share so we'll try to give a bit on most of them.

1-Seems everyone tries to make political hay by singing the "no more trash from Canada" song. This is the first time I have heard that the agreement with Canada is temporary, expiring in 2010, while the Canadians were building facilities to take care of the type of waste sent here. By the same token, we send more hazardous waste to Canada than they send here and it falls into the category for which we do not have the facilities to handle. Also, the volume of trash has steadily been declining. Basically Michigan has enough land connected to present facilities to last us for at least fifty more years. So let's back off this sacred cow--it's really just a lot of bull.

2-No Worker Left Behind. This is a long story, but briefly let's just say that there have been attempts to spend money we don't have (so we use stimulus funds) to train people for fields anticipated to result in "robust growth" which is apparently an art, not a science, and very few jobs have been provided or matched to applicants. I think it's usually called a boondoggle.

3-Detroit's "First Class Schools" means that the system must have at least 100,000 students enrolled. Now that the student population is less than that it should open the opportunity for charter schools. The Teacher's Federation doesn't want any competition, of course, so there is pending legislation to let them have First Class status until July of 2010. Remember Mr. Thompson who was willing to donate $200 million for 15 new schools and guarantee a 90% graduation rate? He was stymied by the teacher's union. Now they want a little more time to plan their strategy to keep the graduation rate low and the dropout rate even lower.

4-Bills are pending that will make your jaw drop such as--

Mandate an education course on "the importance of recycling" as part of Drivers' Ed.

Mandate public school African-American history teaching in ALL grades.

Require state to pay off Detroit schools deficit when it was under state-imposed reform.

Reward gas stations with subsidies if they increase ethanol sales.

Authorize state money for school solar and wind systems.

However, give credit where credit is due:

Gives one a glimmer of hope, doesn't it?
God bless..............

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