Ballard's picture

Punishment – MDE Style

MASSP is in the doghouse with the Department of Education. Two reasons: Trying to shift the money spent on the 9th grade social studies exam to EXPLORE, and our public statement about the proposed MI-SAS accreditation program.

When polled, 97% of our membership doesn’t see value in the 9th grade social studies exam. Our governor in her state-of-the-state speech called on us to find ways to reduce wasted state costs without hurting its citizens. So we proposed legislation to shift this money to something 60% of schools do value. We feel it is a matter of equality.

Ballard's picture

We’re all frustrated!

I’ve written before of how I enjoy driving to visit with members within their own local area. I do about twenty of these trips a year. It's great travel time through Michigan and a chance to visit with some really nice people and make new friends. I’ve been making these trips for a number of years. Today was the first time I dreaded one of these drives.

Ballard's picture

The Loss of a Friend

I remember the first time I ever met Dr. Emeral Crosby. I was new in my position as a high school principal and attending the MASSP convention in Grand Rapids. There was this principal from Detroit that was going to speak during the NCA session on the new report entitled “A Nation At Risk.” I learned that Dr. Crosby had been selected by President Regan to be on the committee that drafted the report. I sat in the back row so I could sneak out, and instead got sucked in.

Dr. Crosby was an amazing presenter. Man, could he get you fired up! And, he knew his stuff!

Ballard's picture

EXPLORE for all

I’ve just returned from a joint meeting with the two leading Senators of the Senate Appropriation Committee. There I asked on behalf of the association legislation to fund the EXPLORE test for every school in the state.

They were extremely receptive to our request. In fact, they wanted to go much further than what we requested. In light of the pending funding reductions, they asked that I ask our members for suggestions to reduce our state assessment costs so as not take money from school operations. I agreed to seek member input. You’ll be seeing a request via our MASSP Communication system.

Here’s our formal request in regard to EXPLORE.

Ballard's picture

Eliminate 11th and 12th Grades

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction recently hosted a meeting that he calls, “Moving from the Model T.” He wants to take the delivery of education for Michigan’s children to a new place. He, or we, don’t know what that place is but it’s not where we are now. This started from a group of schools in Southeast Michigan putting on a full court press to have the state fund an adequacy study for the current system. According to the Superintendent, that would be a waste of time and resources because the way we’re delivering education now isn’t working.

So, we have met a few times to listen to different ideas. The most recent was from Dr. Mark Tucker from the National Center on Education and the Economy.