Tea Party Leader Refers to “Ethnically Challenged” Charter School Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

Friday, February 1, 2013
Contact: Jessica Tramontana, jessica@progressmichigan.org, 517-974-6302

Conservatives celebrate approach of “School Choice Week” with tasteless comments

LANSING – On January 15 at a “Citizens Watchdog Training” sponsored by conservative advocacy group Americans For Prosperity, AFP’s state chairman Scott Hagerstrom outlined the group’s plan to continue to implement their education agenda in Michigan. Prominent Michigan conservative Norm Hughes was a featured speaker for a segment on “Saving Education,” and spoke about “ethnically challenged” charter school students.

“The wildly offensive tone of conservatives in Michigan underscores a radical agenda that views struggling urban areas as commodities and is out of touch with Michigan voters,” said Zack Pohl, Executive Director of Progress Michigan. “Cyber school corporations and pro-voucher interest groups have the wrong priorities for Michigan families.”

The sponsors of “School Choice Week” include groups with close ties to Lansing politicians like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the DeVos family’s Alliance for School Choice. It runs from January 27-February 2, just days after a comprehensive study from the non-partisan Center for Michigan found that “increasing school choice and expanding online learning, cornerstones of a Snyder-sponsored report on education reform, have the least public support among eight potential education reforms.”

“As those who stand to profit from Snyder’s education agenda line up behind him, it’s clear that Michiganders deserve answers from the Governor,” continued Pohl. “Are extremists like Scott Hagerstrom, Betsy DeVos and Norm Hughes calling the shots on education – or will Snyder listen to middle-class families?”

Earlier this week Gov. Snyder’s director of strategy Bill Rustem called expansion of the Education Achievement “the governor’s highest education priority.” In a January grant proposal, EAA chancellor John Covington admitted that EAA schools required a grant from the federal government that would triple existing state foundation grants in order to educate students at an adequate level.

###

BACKGROUND

Bridge Magazine: “Message Sent: Fix Schools, Send Us The Bill”

EAA grant application to the US Department of Education: ed.gov/programs/teacherincentive/apps2012/s374a120048.pdf 

List of partners in “School Choice Week”: schoolchoiceweek.com/partners

Audio of Norm Hughes can be heard here.

Audio of Scott Hagerstrom can be heard here.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. AUDIO: Speaker at Americans for Prosperity workshop refers to “ethnically challenged” charter school students | Eclectablog - February 2, 2013

    [...] Let’s roll tape, courtesy of Progress Michigan: [...]

  2. Michigan Tea Partier: Charter Schools Are for Kids From "Ethnically Challenged Families" | GreenEnergy4.us - February 5, 2013

    [...] on charters anywhere in the AFP literature. (Listen here to the audio of Hughes’ comment, grabbed by Progress Michigan, a liberal advocacy [...]

Leave a comment