Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Granholm, Levin & Stabenow (updated 10/11/05) + Bush Admin

The top three government posts in Michigan made some critical recommendations and votes this past week. qualityg would like to review three of them.

1. Water from Detroit

I’m starting with this one because I received a $310 water bill (2 months). People talk about gas bills rising this winter but much doesn’t get said about Detroit ripping off the suburbs in water rates for the past several years.

Detroit’s Water & Sewerage Department operating revenue in 2004 was $575 million. 60% percent of that money comes from the suburbs.

Here is what Governor Granholm had to say about the issue:

"I would expect and hope that whoever is in the chair after that (the election) would engage in outreach to the entire state and that it goes both ways -- that the state reaches out to the city of Detroit," she said.

"We are only as strong as our largest city. And we have all got a vested interest in ensuring that Detroit succeeds."

qualityg says… for years I have been hearing public policy makers say, “The state of Michigan is only as strong as the city of Detroit” - WRONG

Please understand that improvement in a part (Detroit), even the largest part taken separately from the whole (Michigan) will not result in improvement. As you can see the Governor and many others public policy makers have it backwards. I used to think they were afraid to say it correctly, but maybe they just don’t know about systems thinking (systems thinking). For far to long the state has put Detroit ahead of the “rest” of the state as a whole and the whole has gotten worse!

Remember growth is an increase in number; it does NOT correlate with development.

2. Judge Roberts Confirmation

Nothing makes me cringe more than listening to politicians cow-tow to the party line. Last week was one of the worst for one of Michigan’s Senators.

As you know I have written about Carl Levin before (not nicely) and Debbie Stabenow (nicely). This time I’m flip flopping and here is why:

Senator Levin is usually the big democratic horse that blocks anything that comes out of the government administration. It was no different during the nomination proceedings for Judge John Roberts. However, Senator Levin did something that is not done enough when one needs to make a critical decision, he sat down and talked to Judge Roberts. Senator Levin voted for Judge Roberts.

Junior Senator Debbie Stabenow did not. I watched some of the confirmation hearings with Senator Stabenow and read many of her disagreements. All I can say is ‘whoever was pulling your bi-partisan strings forgot to hold up and left you dangling like a castoff rag doll.

3. Governor Granholm calls for Smaller High Schools (smaller high schools)

Sorry Governor but you are making the same mistake you made in number one above. You are taking “certain” parts (Southeast Michigan) and trying to improve them in hope that the whole state educational problems will improve.

You also mentioned Lt Governor Cherry’s Commission on Higher Education (Cherry Report). I won’t comment on that report again but you are still looking at parts (high school) and not the whole (pre-K – 16). No one is addressing the large classroom sizes in the elementary schools where teachers cannot specifically help the most in need. Those we leave behind in learning will not catch up in high school.

What data or facts makes you think it will get any better in middle schools and APPLE Computers or the Skillman Foundation cannot fix the problem when children are in high school.

You are taking the short-term band-aid view and not the long-lasting prevention view. I wonder why?

UPDATE 10/05/05

Governor Granholm Says Survey Shows Need for Mandated High School Curriculum

The State Board of Education today held a special meeting to discuss the results of the survey and the Governor’s call for a mandated curriculum.

State Board of Education President Kathleen Straus said the survey was eye-opening. “I thought we were doing a lot better than this, and it’s going to startle a lot of other people when this information gets out to the public,” she said.

The rest of the announcement is at http://www.mich.gov/

updated 11/11/05

Detroit News Runs Weekly Series on Crisis in Michigan Schools
About this series
This series of editorials and commentaries is based on a survey of 1,126 Michigan residents age 18 to 30. The poll by EPIC-MRA of Lansing was commissioned by the Your Child coalition and is part of an ongoing effort to measure the culture of education in Michigan. Come back to The Detroit News editorial pages to read:
• Sunday: Michigan schools fail their customers
• Today: School counseling falls short
• Tuesday: Small schools produce better results
• Wednesday: Tear down barriers to college
• Thursday: Scrap the senior year

Read each article at: schools must improve

4. Surprise – What about the Bush Administration Policy in IRAQ?

I learned a long time ago that I learn best by making my own mistakes and not by trying to duplicate someone else who thinks they have all the answers.

In other words… I don’t care what the administration says, we are commanding our solutions in Iraq and not assisting them in implementing their own solutions, whether they are right or wrong. The transformation will go much faster if we let Iraq make its own mistakes. Continue to assist and stop demanding things be done in a certain way.

No comments: