On Monday, January 19, #MASSPchat focused on the M-Step and the questions, concerns and challenges that Principals are facing as they prepare their buildings and their students for this spring's test. This week's edition of MDE's "Spotlight on Student Assessment and Accountability" offers answers to several of the questions that came up during #MASSPchat regarding the Classroom Activities and Performance Tasks portions of the test. We have also linked to several other M-Step resources that Principals may find helpful.
On Tuesday, Governor Snyder delivered the first State of the State address of his second term. His speech, which recapped the accomplishments of his first term and set the tone for continued reforms in his second, included several education specific proposals (including 2 MASSP legislative priorities!) that Principals will want to be aware of as we move into this year's budget process which will set the state's spending plan for 2015-16.
Here is an overview of the main education related points in the Governor's address and what they might mean in the coming year…
While many of us were busy monitoring road conditions and watching wind chill temperatures we were hit by a storm that the best meteorologist could not have predicted, and it is was a doozy! The winds of change are once again blowing in the State of Michigan and it has left many of us in education feeling numb. In a joint announcement from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) We were told that the SAT will replace the ACT as the college assessment in Michigan.
Officials from the state Department of Treasury and the House and Senate Fiscal Agencies met formally on Friday to come to consensus on the revenue numbers that the Governor and Legislature will use in building their budget recommendations for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The bottom line for schools is that, School Aid Fund revenue appears to be relatively flat and stable going into next year, though a large shortfall in general fund revenue could end up hitting schools, so be conservative.
The committee chairs and members for the House and Senate Education Committees and K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee have been named and there will be many new faces this year.
With so many new members in both the House and the Senate, it is difficult to say what the makeup of these committees is likely to mean for education policy and budgeting. As always, MASSP members should make an effort to reach out to their local elected officials and establish a positive relationship with him or her. You never know when you might need to use it.