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Failing charter operators keep expanding in Michigan  

A new Education Trust-Midwest (ETM) analysis of charter schools scheduled to open in Michigan this fall shows chronically low-performing operators are continuing to expand rapidly in the state, regardless of what’s best for students. The data demonstrate Michigan needs to seriously consider holding charter authorizers more accountable for school quality. ...

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Advocates outraged over $21 billion cut to food stamps program

Congressional leaders and anti-hunger advocates expressed outrage over a U.S. House committee’s passage of a bill that includes a $21 billion slash in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program. The bill, formally known as the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, passed out of committee by a vote of 36-10 on May 15. A day be ...

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Frederick Douglass statue cleared for U.S. Capitol Visitor Center site

After a long battle, the District of Columbia will finally have representation among the statuary on Capitol Hill. The House voted May 21 to authorize the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center for the unveiling of the District’s statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, a former resident, on June 19. The House vote was the final step in the process because the resolution was already passed ...

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Oh, the humanities! Kev, go ahead, sell the van Goghs

A week ago, many of you thought Detroit needed an emergency manager. You said, on Twitter and at dinner, that it was “about time someone fixed Detroit.” You haven’t noticed the school closings nor have you bothered to read anything about the failing state district Educational Achievement Authority, other than last year’s full-page advertisements. You can’t wait to shop at the new Meijer on what used to be p ...

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Citizen groups dismayed at being barred from African Union summit

As the African Union prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), AU officials have for the first time refused access to citizen groups, civil society organizations and foreign diplomats, among others, to their high-level summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “This has not come from the commission; this has come from the member states themselves,” said AU Chair Nkosazana Dlam ...

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Reducing violence in our neighborhoods

For the past four years, Forbes magazine has ranked Detroit as the most violent city in the nation. Some may argue this is because we are a city with very little financial capital. Others may blame the abundance of guns on the street. Although there is truth in both of these statements, I believe, as my colleague Henry McClendon likes to say, “The problem is not that we have a violence problem in Detroit. I ...

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EMEAC co-director awarded University of Michigan Visiting Social Activist Fellowship

East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) co-director Diana Copeland is the recipient of the University of Michigan’s Visiting Social Activist Fellowship. Awarded each year by the University of Michigan’s Center for the Education of Women (CEW), the fellowship work focuses on building the capacity and effectiveness of social activists working on issues important to women. ...

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How does it feel?

Last week Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr suggested the art at the Detroit Institute of Arts could be sold in bankruptcy. At that point, the region and state began to realize they are not immune to Detroit’s financial problems. For years, Detroit has been the dumping ground, figuratively and otherwise, for Michigan. It’s where suburbanites go to buy drugs or dump trash. It is where burned out houses remain beca ...

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