Happy New Year. Did you miss anything over the holidays? Here’s a recap:

TEACHER EVALUATIONS NEAR THE TOP OF THE 2015 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA. Efforts to establish a statewide system of fair, research-based teacher evaluations and support will continue in the new legislative session.

GROUPS URGE CONGRESS TO ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY IN FEDERAL LAW REAUTHORIZATION. As Congress considers reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), or making changes to the acts, questions have been raised about the future of annual assessments. Key groups, including The Education Trust and the Council of Chief State School Officers are urging leaders to ensure accountability by maintaining annual assessments.

Related Articles:
Civil rights groups back standardized testing in No Child Left Behind rewrite, Washington Post.

White House Still Backs Annual Testing in Schools, New York Times.

STATE TO ADMINISTER SAT FOR COLLEGE ASSESSMENT EXAM. Since 2007, the state has administered a college assessment exam for free, to all public high school juniors, during the school day. Beginning next year, Michigan will be administering the College Board’s SAT, rather than ACT, Inc.’s ACT. Both exams are accepted by most colleges and universities.

Related Articles:
What Michigan’s switch to the SAT means for high school students,Bridge Magazine.

Michigan high school juniors to take SAT, not ACT, starting in 2016,Crain’s Detroit Business.

MICHIGAN SCORES A C- ON PUBLIC EDUCATION SCORECARD.Education Week’s Quality Counts report, District Disruption & Revival is out this week and Michigan has earned a C-. The report considers social, academic and fiscal measures.

PORT HURON-AREA EDUCATORS READY FOR CHALLENGES IN 2015. From addressing Michigan’s unacceptable achievement gap to the May 5 ballot proposal to support roads and schools through a cent-per-dollar tax increase, educators in Port Huron and across Michigan are preparing for 2015’s coming challenges.

SNYDER TO FOCUS ON TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN SECOND TERM. In remarks following his January 1 swearing in, Governor Snyder spoke about his second term focus. Priorities include improved school transparency and accountability.

STATE TO POSTPONE ACTION AGAINST CHARTER AUTHORIZERS AT RISK OF SUSPENSION. In August, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan identified 11 charter school authorizers as at risk of suspension for oversight issues. Citing Governor Snyder’s promise of education reform proposals at the start of 2015, Superintendent Flanagan has put action against authorizers on hold.

State-Provided College-Admission Tests

As of 2016, Michigan 11th Graders will be given the SAT, instead of the ACT, for free.