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Providing On-line Teacher Meeting Content

I’m on a train passing through southwest Michigan. Returning home from meeting with six other state directors of state principal associations in Chicago. We spend a lot of time discussing developing on-line content for our members to use two ways. First, for professional development that is targeted to building administrators. And, second, develop on-line content a principal can use during a faculty meeting.The Minnesota association, at the suggestion of the board of directors developed a few on-line professional development programs. However, after putting them on-line, few members used them. The Illinois Association bought some programs from vendors to put on their website. They’re there but not used much.

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What do you want?

On my desk sits a letter from the Chair of the House Education Committee. He’s asking, as an association in the education community, and a person with whom he has worked closely in the last session, what legislation do you seek this legislative term? I’m sure he sent the letter to every other education association who has ever donated to his election committee.

Well, like most other education associations, we want increases in funding for education. MASSP is one more raised hand in the crowd with that wish. In truth, we’re really fighting to protect the funding sources we have right now, i.e., stopping statewide efforts to lower property taxes.

What will distinguish MASSP from the crowded education lobby is our response to the letter. We have two requests.

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It's Fun

I just returned to the office from a meeting in Adrian, Michigan. I drove to Adrian early this morning on snow-covered roads to meet with twelve secondary principals from Lenawee County. Some would sputter about having to make such an early morning drive, or not having a large crowd. I love these meetings. I really look forward to the opportunity to visit with real people, our members. Oh, some want to take me on for legislative positions the association has taken, but for the most part there is a great deal of respect that goes between them and myself.

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Is the Principal in the Loop?

One of the things that seen last year is that some high school principals seemed to have not been put into the loop on graduation rate data clean-up.

One story story being told is about a high school principal in northern Michigan. They called MDE in July when they realized that their school would not make AYP because the graduation rate was 78%. They had never seen the names of the students that were on the "Missing Expected Record" list. These are kids whose last known enrollment was at their school. MDE sent the list to the high school principal, and they called MDE back stating that they and their staff at the school knew what had happened to several students. The point is that even the pupil accounting and school folks may fail to talk to each other.

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The Demise of the Michigan Promise Scholarship - Please Say No

A headline in today's (12/16/08) Detroit News caught a lot of principal's attention. On the budget cutting block is the Michigan Promise (MI Merit Award) Scholarship. Extremely disappointing, but not surprising. I remember setting in the hearing where the "Promise" was being developed. Someone asked how long can we afford to do this and the answer was 2015-2017. But, hopefully the economy will be strong again and we'll be okay.

Well, we're not okay. And, the future doesn't look good.