Feedback: Reader responses on 'incestuous' EAA travesty and gun control 


Thanks Curt for reporting on the incestuous travesty involving the EAA, Agilix and Buzz. I want to make two points:

1) Surely there is something bordering on criminal in the way Detroit children in the city's most struggling schools have been subjected to what I can only describe as educational abuse. There is plenty of blame to go around here: DPS "leadership," their cozy relationships with a for-profit company being paid with public funds, and the profoundly vacuous "academic content" represented by Buzz. The governor should be forced to enroll his own grandchildren in the EAA, and then maybe he would get a clue. I am a former engineer and applied mathematician, and I've worked on teams writing (and debugging) complex computer programs to monitor and predict oil production from large reservoirs. We have the technological know-how to create learning environments for all children, and I am sick to death that we have blithely sacrificed Detroit children's futures in the EAA.

2) I don't know which side of the equation is more damnable: Agilix, whose "curriculum" is such a disaster, or educational leaders, who look for these "impossible dream" panaceas. I have firsthand experience with Agilix in the guise of "Brainhoney." (Where do they get these names?!) This summer, my grandson took an online self-paced algebra course mandated by his high school. Lucky for us there is a college math prof among the grandparents, and he tutored. The "Brainhoney" materials were a complete mess: arithmetic errors in solutions, misuse of mathematical language in their PDF text, and completely out-to-lunch misconceptions of mathematical ideas. Different parts of the text were written by different folks, making it very uneven. The tutor, a college math prof who edits and reviews college math texts as part of his professional duties, simply could not believe the abysmal materials. He attempted to discuss these issues, but was asked to write memos to a help-desk — which appeared to be staffed by even more clueless folks. A real textbook developer and online course purveyor would pay to have their materials reviewed and edited by qualified people, and would have systematic debugging processes through which beta versions were tried by small groups of students and teachers, where there were no educational stakes at play!

This is all by way of arguing that folks like Agilix should continue to be the subject of investigative reporting, especially with the advent of online diplomas being touted by governors. —Dr. Karen L. Tonso, professor emeritus, Wayne State University College of Education

Sight adjustment

I enjoyed Michael Jackman's article, "Rick Ector, Legally Armed in Detroit." Mr. Ector made some good points. However, I disagree with his statement that "Gun control really is about race control and disarming black people."

Gun control is about gender and political party platforms. In regards to gender, women are in favor of gun control and men are not, they tend to embrace the Second Amendment's Right to Bear Arms. As for political parties, the Republicans favor a hands-off approach to guns, while the Democrats embrace gun control. With that said, it is ironic to note that the "draconian set of gun laws" passed in 1927 were the result of a Republican Legislature (32 Republican senators and 98 Republican state representatives).

The use of deadly force to protect private property, as was the case with Ossian Sweet, has always been a controversial issue throughout our legal system's history. Unfortunately for Dr. Sweet, there was a high price to pay for his right to protect his home and family (see the book Arc of Justice). —Marjorie K. Nanian, Adjunct Political Science Professor, Schoolcraft College

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