Saturday, June 1, 2013

FOIA and the Education Achievement Authority

I've decided to join the great 2013 Blogathon, dreamed up by freelance journalist and WordCount blog owner Michelle Rafter. (WordCount answers lots of freelance writers' questions about blogging--it's quite a useful blog.) The blogathon is basically a group of bloggers who agree to post for 30 days straight. As you might notice, this is a lot more than I usually post, and we'll see if I make it! I was very much on the fence about it until I read a guest post on Michelle's blog by Joan Lambert Bailey. Joan has moved to Japan, and blogs about gardening, farming, farmers' markets and more, but once upon a time (when I knew her) she lived in Washtenaw County and worked at Avalon Housing. You can read her blog, Japan Farmers Markets, here. And this post is specific to the blogathon.

So here it is, Day 1! June 1! A Saturday. I almost never post on the weekend, so that is a change.

For today, I've got two related items.

1. Ed Vielmetti has a lot of good advice for people who want to FOIA documents (for example, public school documents) here. He has also been working on an e-book about FOIA, and you can find out about that at the same location

2. Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton FOIA'd a lot of information about the Education Achievement Authority, and she is making it available for your perusal. According to this Mlive article

The website, "Inside the EAA," collects documents requested via the Freedom of Information Act from the agency by Lipton following a House Education Committee hearing on House Bill 4369, legislation that would codify the EAA in state law and make it easier to expand to other parts of the state.
That bill is pending before the Senate Education Committee after passing the House in March. Lipton issued a statement Thursday saying additional documents requested by the ACLU and individuals will be posted soon.
"This is a real crowd sourcing opportunity. I would encourage those who have interest in the EAA to roll up their sleeves and dig in," Lipton said in the statement.
So check out the website, and if you find things you think others need to know, you can share them using their "contact" form and/or in the comments here.

Oh, and while we're talking about the EAA? Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood is urging the (federal) Department of Education to reconsider a $35 million grant to the EAA because they falsified their application. No, I'm serious. Read about it here


  1. Good luck in your quest! I promise to follow along diligently, and contribute when I can.

    - YpsiAnon

  2. Thank you for the link to Ed V. Much appreciated. I don't want to miss a thing: will check back daily. Go, Ruth!