No need to experiment: Michigan can learn from leading states

Michigan can take a page from the playbook of other states when implementing a system for educator evaluation and support, according to Sarah Lenhoff, director of policy and research, andJason Mancini, director of government affairs at The Education Trust-Midwest.

Lenhoff and Mancini testified to the Michigan House education committee last week on the importance of Michigan adopting a data-driven, research-based statewide system of educator support and evaluation.

Clearly, Michigan desperately needs this new system, with the state at or near the bottom of for student learning and improvement.

“But it doesn’t have to be this way,” Lenhoff said. She pointed toTennessee as a state that could show us how to dramatically and quickly transform our schools – and Michigan students’ learning levels – with a better evaluation and support system.

ETM research has shown that Tennessee has been far outpacing Michigan – and the national average –since 2011 and is now the nation’s leading state for student improvement.

M-STEP testing wraps up

Last week, Michigan students concluded their first year of state assessments using M-STEP – the new state test that replaced the 44-year-old MEAP. This spring, about 3.9 million test sessions have been completed – with about 80 percent computer administered. The assessment takes less than one percent of classroom time for most grades.

Now, the Department of Education is seeking input on ways to improve the assessment for next year and is seeking input fromparents, students and administrators. Student and administrator surveys may be completed through June 12 and parent surveys through June 19.

The Department of Education has also announced that beginning next school year, students in grades 9 and 10 will take the PSAT as their state assessment. High school juniors will take the SAT as their college admissions exam beginning next year.

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From the Capital

STATE BUDGET INCLUDES KEY INVESTMENTS FOR STUDENTS. The budget adopted by the Michigan legislature last week includes funding for early literacy ($26.4 million) and educator evaluation and support ($14.8 million), both proven strategies for improving student performance.

“Michigan’s leaders understand we must do better for Michigan students,” according to Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest. “We thank Governor Snyder and legislative leaders, especially Representative Tim Kelly and Senator Geoff Hansen, chairs of the House and Senate school aid appropriations subcommittees, for their leadership throughout this process. Now the hard work of putting every dollar to good use for our students begins.”

Read the full statement here.

HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE CONSIDERS EDUCATOR EVALUATION AND SUPPORT BILL. On Thursday, the House Education Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 103 (Pavlov – R) regarding educator evaluations. The Education Trust-Midwest offered testimony on how to improve the legislation, to better support the development of effective educators. The committee is expected to continue hearing testimony on the bill later this week.

Senate Education Committee met this morning, Tuesday, June 9, at 8:30 am, in Room 110 of the Farnum Building in Lansing. The committee considered SB 279 (Knollenberg – R) and SB 280(Knollenberg – R), regarding pay and retirement costs for public school union officials, and SB 33 (Pavlov – R) regarding student data privacy.

Joint Meeting of the House Education Committee and House School Aid Appropriations Subcommittee, Wednesday, June 10 at 10:30 am, in room 352 of the Capitol Building. The committees will hear a presentation by incoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Whiston.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION meets on Tuesday, June 9 at 9:30am in the Ladislaus B. Dombrowski Board Room in the Hanna Building in Lansing. The agenda is available here. This will be the last Board of Education meeting for Mike Flanagan as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, as he retires from the post at the end of June.

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