Michigan Students Need Strong Leadership
Michigan’s public education system is in a fragile place. Today our students are trailing the country in many important learning indicators, such as third grade reading. The next state superintendent of education should play a critical role in turning that around.
In an interview with WDET this week, ETM’s Executive Director Amber Arellano shared thoughts and analysis on what Michigan students need in a new state superintendent.
Meanwhile, the State Board of Education will conduct public interviews for the position beginning today at 9:30am. A live stream is available at www.mistreamnet.org. Interviews will continue tomorrow, beginning at 9:30am.
The six semi-finalists being interviewed are:
- Randy Davis, superintendent of Marshall Public Schools
- Alan Ingram, deputy commissioner of Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
- Randy Liepa, superintendent of Livonia Public Schools
- Vickie Markavitch, superintendent of Oakland Schools (Oakland ISD)
- Scott Menzel, superintendent of Washtenaw ISD
- Brian Whiston, superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools
Charter School Reform: It’s About Student Learning
As public debate intensifies about how to best reform Michigan’s troubled charter school sector, retiring State Superintendent Mike Flanagan called for a moratorium on the opening of new charter schools last week. Flanagan argues such a moratorium is needed as a way to stabilize enrollment for non-charter public schools, stating that “[t]here’s enough [charter schools] now to give appropriate choice to parents.”
In many communities across our state, parents have many educational choices – but unfortunately, few great or even good ones. Choice without quality is no choice at all.
Strong leadership to improve Michigan’s troubled charter sector is long overdue, but education reforms – both for charter schools and traditional public schools – must squarely focus on what matters most: improving student learning. Charter school authorizers should be held accountable for their decisions and consistently low-performing charter operators should not be allowed to expand. An across-the-board moratorium, however, would also prevent Michigan’s strongest charter authorizers from providing additional, high-quality choice to our communities.
We welcome a thoughtful and robust debate about how to improve our charter public schools, as discussed in our recent report, “Accountability for All,” as well as Michigan’s traditional public schools.
What needs to be at the center of that debate: what’s best for students.
From the Capital
SCHEDULED COMMITTEE HEARINGS:
HOUSE SCHOOL AID APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 10 at 10:30am – Capitol Building, Room 426
Agenda: Consolidation of School Districts and Intermediate School Districts
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
Tuesday, March 10 at Noon – Farnum Building, Room 110
Agenda: SENATE BILL 139 (Colbeck) Education; other; certain fund-raising activities during school hours; allow.
SENATE SCHOOL AID APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 11 at 8:30am – 3rd Floor, Capitol Building, Senate Appropriations Committee Room
Agenda: Discussion on Adult Education
HOUSE EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 11 at 10:30am – Capitol Building, Room 426
Agenda: Library of Michigan and public libraries’ programs and services
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
Thursday, March 12 at 9:00am – House Office Building, Room 521
Agenda: Michigan Department of Education regarding Michigan’s ESEA flexibility wavier renewal request
Upgrading Our Tests
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