Bob Kefgen's blog
At their Tuesday meeting the State Board of Education (SBE) heard a presentation on proposed new Michigan state science standards that MDE has been working to develop over the past several months.
The biggest education headline of the week came from the Michigan Department of Education, which released details about the spring 2015 state assessment. The Legislature came back from their election recess for all of two days this past week before once again leaving town for their annual hunting/Thanksgiving recess.
The Senate Appropriations Committee used the only two days of November legislative session to take up a pair of school finance issues. The committee passed a bill to cap the School Bond Loan Fund, a move that could severely limit the ability of districts to borrow money, and part of a package of bills that aims to create an early warning system for financially distressed school districts, but which casts too wide of a net and would mire a large number of school districts in new red tape and reporting requirements.
On Thursday, the Michigan Department of Education released long awaited details on the spring 2015 student assessment. According to the information released by the MDE, the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress or M-STEP is a combination of Smarter Balanced Assessment test items and some state developed items in grades 3-8. For 11th graders, the test will also include ACT+Writing and WorkKeys.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock (and if you're a Democrat, that might not sound like a bad idea after Tuesday's election) you already know that, with a few notable exceptions, Republican candidates swept most races across the state. But what exactly does that look like for the make-up of the legislature for next year? What about the State Board and other races that didn't grab the front page, above-the-fold headlines? And how do these results impact the political climate in Lansing going into 2015?