Week one of lame duck is in the books and while MPSERS is certainly foremost in many people's minds, there are plenty of other issues at stake as the legislature wraps up its 2015-2016 session. An income tax proposal has surfaced that could end up costing schools hundreds of millions of dollars; seclusion/restraint legislation is still out there; zero tolerance reform is also a possibility. Lets walk down the list of what's happening so far this lame duck session.
Income Tax Shift
Last week, we walked through the pre-Lame Duck rumors about a possible MPSERS reform bill. This past Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out a three bill package that would close the MPSERS pension system for new hires and instead move them into a 401k-style system. Those bills are now awaiting a vote on the Senate floor, but no vote has yet materialized.
Differentiating is imperative for learner success and is critical if we wish to close the achievement gaps that exist within our schools. When differentiation is present educators have clarity over what we want students to be able to DO and KNOW (learning targets connected to standards) and HOW we will know they have learned it (assessment thought success criteria and performance tasks). Once this is clear we can then focus on differentiating the CONTENT, PROCESS, PRODUCT, and ENVIRONMENT.
More and more students are looking to take the SAT another time in addition to the state-provided administration. In response, many Michigan schools have signed up to serve as weekend test centers. However, even if your school hasn't signed up to be a weekend test center, students with certain accommodations may still be looking to test at your location.
The Topic: Staff Book Study
A book study is a great way to kick off a new initiative, help your building work through common challenges, or give you another tool to get your staff on the same page. It can also build leadership capacity, create a platform for important discussions about the work that we all share as educators, and help build a common set of language and references. This week, let's chat about staff book study best practices and the books we've had success with.