MI Senate to Focus on Education

Senate Republicans outlined their 2015 priorities last week and made it clear that improving Michigan schools will be a major focus this session.

According to Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R – West Olive), the Senate GOP will focus on establishing a statewide system of evaluation and support for educators and school administrators. Changes to the existing school accountability system, including a shift to letter grades for schools, instead of the currently-used color code system, is also a priority.

Developing policy to improve early literacy in Michigan will remain a priority.


What’s the Score? Congress Considers Testing

This year, Congress is planning to reauthorize major education legislation – the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. As leaders have started this work, it has become clear that the frequency of testing in schools is a major focus for lawmakers.

Supporters of high-quality, annual assessments, including The Education Trust, point out the importance of reliable information. From providing parents and teachers with timely information on student performance to measuring growth and holding schools and educators responsible, strong annual tests provide the information needed for parents, educators, school leaders and lawmakers to make informed decisions.

Despite the need for data-informed decision-making, some have voiced understandable frustrations over students spending too much time on testing. A conversation about the need to create a better balance is long overdue, and it should include a discussion of ways to reduce unhelpful, low-quality student assessments — rather than limiting access to honest, reliable information to all parents about our public schools.

All assessments should serve a needed purpose – such better informing quality teaching  – and we should eliminate duplicative, low-quality and unnecessary assessments.


From the Capitol

JOINT HOUSE EDUCATION AND APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING. The House Committee on Education, Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and Appropriations Subcommittee on Education will meet on Thursday, February 5 at 9:00 am.

The meeting will be held in Room 352 of the State Capitol Building and will include an overview of the School Aid budget and Michigan Department of Education budget.


Video: Gov. Kasich Pushes Back

Fox News Sunday: Governor Kasich (R – Ohio) pushed back hard against some who oppose rigorous educational standards. “…we want higher standards for our children and those standards are set and the curriculum is set by local school board….it is local school boards driving better education, higher standards…”

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