Let me begin by saying that I am sorry. I am sorry that what you are about to read may not make you feel warm and fuzzy. I am sorry that what I have to say may not be inspirational or motivational. I am sorry that I--along with many other administrators, teachers, and students--am in this position. I am sorry that this is my reality.
The Michigan Department of Education has opened a formal public comment period to take input before it issues an RFP for the state's next assessment system. From now until August 5 MDE will be gathering feedback from educators and the public. It is important that Principals make their voices heard during this process.
Before they left for summer break, the legislature passed and the Governor signed SB 817, which, more or less, took Michigan temporarily back in time to the law that was in place for the 2012-13 school year. However, the legislature could pass new educator evaluation legislation (HB 5223-24) as soon as this September that would move Michigan several steps forward down the path to a research-based evaluation system. So how should a building principal plan for next year when there are two very different laws that could be in place?
As of June 20, new rules on teacher certification and renewal went into effect. These changes impact the requirements for renewing teaching certificates and for progressing from a Provisional Certification to a Professional Certification. Especially because the changes impact the use of District Provided Professional Development (DPPD) for renewing certification, it is important to make sure you understand what has changed as you plan ahead for next year.
No one questions that excellent instruction is the key to student learning. The essential question to ask is: What skills will enable school leaders to improve the quality of teaching and learning for all students?
We believe that evaluation goes hand in hand with deepening the expertise of teachers to engage students in high-quality learning while simultaneously increasing the expertise of school leaders to guide and support teachers in this improvement process.