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    Publisher launches a partnership with Detroit Public Schools

    Ohanian Comment: There's no mention here that the Detroit chief academic and accountablity officer/auditor Barbara Byrd-Bennett, once worked for Harcourt School Publishers.

    Never mind. I provided some necessary background at the end of October 2009. In short, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Detroit's chief academic and accountability officer/auditor, used to work for Harcourt School Publishers.

    Do I repeat myself? I'm trying to make up for the total lack information in the Detroit Free Press.

    Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Detroit's chief academic and accountability officer/auditor, used to work for Harcourt School Publishers.

    And here's more.

    You can read her letter of engagement [pdf file] with the Detroit Public Schools where she is paid $776.70 per day. She is "an independent contractor and not an employee, agent, joint venturer, or partner of the District."

    If $775.70 a day proves to be insufficient, during the period of the contract, Byrd-Bennett's letter of agreement gives her the right to find additional work elsewhere--to supplement that $776.70 per day.

    That hiring period ended March 2, 2010, but Byrd-Bennett is still in Detroit, able to greet old friends from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

    NOTE: This Detroit Free Press "article" has no author. It is listed under a banner of Michigan Business. It certainly reads like it was produced by the PR people at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing. And they didn't even try very hard, not even bothering to solicit a single comment from anybody in Detroit.

    Shame on the Detroit Free Press for reprinting corporate puff piece handouts without context, history, explanation, or dispute.

    No Author

    THE CAUSE: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Publishing, the world's largest publisher of
    educational materials for pre-kindergarten
    through high school, held a one-day mass
    volunteer effort in the district Feb. 9 to launch a partnership with DPS.

    BACKGROUND: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is
    embarking on a multi-year partnership with DPS
    to provide Destination: Detroit, a districtwide
    program that is to reshape how DPS approaches
    curriculum, lesson planning and instruction.

    This is the first time Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    has provided such an integrated offering of
    resources, and the hope is to make DPS a
    national model for how K-12 districts will
    educate in the future.

    The company is embedding 10 full-time support
    staff in the district to manage the system.

    The company relocated its executive strategy
    conference, originally scheduled for Austin,
    Texas, to Detroit to show employees firsthand
    the needs of its DPS customer.

    The company booked more than 200 hotel
    rooms over the course of three days in Detroit.

    RESULTS: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt fanned
    200 executives across 23 DPS schools, providing
    approximately 1,500 volunteer hours in a single

    They provided professional development to
    teachers, reading and math tutoring to students,
    technology support, library organization and
    building maintenance, among other activities
    (including building two school Web sites and
    helping write grant proposals).

    According to the DPS, this is the first time a
    private company has provided this level of
    volunteer support in the district at one time.

    Additionally, the company awarded four $2,500
    college scholarships to DPS high school
    graduates, as well as donating more than 1,500
    books for use in DPS school libraries.

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt plans to make the
    day of service an annual event, and the 10-
    person local team is to provide volunteer work in the district every two months.

    ON GIVING: "Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is
    committed to working shoulder to shoulder with
    Detroit Public Schools to foster a true
    community of learning for the betterment of
    Detroit's children. Our Day of Service is a critical first step toward this larger goal that will set in motion improvements across DPS," said Barry O'Callaghan, CEO and chairman of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

    — no author
    Detroit Free Press


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