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Brian Whiston named Michigan’s next superintendent

Brian Whiston, superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools since 2008, was selected as Michigan’s next superintendent of public instruction by the state Board of Education last week. The current state superintendent, Mike Flanagan, will retire at the end of June.
“We hope that Brian Whiston will provide the courageous leadership and vision that will help transform Michigan into a top ten education state,” said Amber Arellano, executive director of the Education Trust-Midwest, in a statement released after the appointment.

“We look forward to working with Mr. Whiston to ensure that all students have the tools and chance to achieve their full potential,” Arellano said. “For far too long, Michigan accepted the status quo in education, and our students have paid the price of ineffective policies. Through research-based solutions, we have the opportunity to improve education and ensure that our students, families, and communities have the opportunities that they need and deserve.”


Washtenaw ISD keeps charter standards high

Washtenaw Intermediate School District, one of the charter authorizers singled out for kudos in our recent report “Accountability for All,” provides a very useful model for other authorizers in Michigan.

WISD, which earned an “A” grade in our report, authorizes only one charter, Honey Creek Community School in Ann Arbor, where 96 percent of the students are proficient in reading. Why do they authorize only one school? Not because they don’t receive countless proposals.

“Washtenaw ISD was able to set really high standards for any school that we would consider authorizing,” according to Naomi Norman, executive director of achievement initiatives at Washtenaw ISD. “We wouldn’t even consider authorizing a school unless it met a really high bar.”

Another secret to Washtenaw ISD’s success? They use data to drive decision-making. When Honey Creek was up for contract renewal in 2013, the ISD took a comprehensive look at the school’s achievement data. “As an authorizer, we have to make sure evaluation happens and make adjustments based on that evaluation,” said Norman. “We take that work very seriously.”

Read more about Washtenaw ISD in our “Accountability for All” report.


 Multimedia Spot

honey creek


From the Capital

COMMITTEE MEETINGS:
HOUSE SCHOOL AID APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 24 at 10:30am – Capitol Building, Room 426
Agenda: Decisions on School Aid Budget for FY 2015-16: House Bill 4089 (Pscholka)

SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
Tuesday, March 24 at Noon – Farnum Building, Room 110
Agenda: Senate Bill 169 (Proos) and SB 170 (Pavlov) regarding a high school diploma endorsement in STEM.

SENATE SCHOOL AID APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 25 at 8:30am – 3rd Floor, Capitol Building, Senate Appropriations Committee Room
Agenda: FY 2015-16 Department of Education and K-12 School Aid Budgets

HOUSE EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 25 at 10:30am – Capitol Building, Room 426
Agenda: Decisions on Department of Education Budget: House Bill 4097 (Pscholka)

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
Thursday, March 26 at 9:00am – House Office Building, Room 521
Agenda: Presentations regarding 3rd grade reading proficiency by the Foundation for Excellence in Education and The Education Trust-Midwest.


 

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