Bob Kefgen's blog

Bob Kefgen's picture

This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

The Michigan Legislature returned from their summer recess this week and, though they were only in town for a couple of days, the House Education Reform Committee held a hearing on Thursday morning on a variety of bills. For Principals, the biggest issue discussed was HB 5707, which would lower the percentage of a teacher's evaluation that has to be based on student growth from 40% back down to 25%. The bill just had testimony today, but there is a chance that it could move later this fall or during lame duck, so be prepared for how your district will react for a mid-year shift in the growth percentage and stay tuned…MASSP will keep you informed as this issue develops.

Bob Kefgen's picture

2018 M-STEP Scores Released

The Michigan Department of Education publicly released results of the spring 2018 M-STEP and SAT this week. MDE's press release included aggregate statewide results, but more detailed numbers are also available through the mischooldata.org, allowing for comparisons between individual schools, grades and districts. But if you just read the headlines, you are missing a lot of important context about what these scores really mean.

So what were the results? Well, looking at the simple year-to-year change in proficiency rates by grade (the statistic picked up in most headlines I've read) shows:

Bob Kefgen's picture

This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Tuesday was the only day of legislative session this week, but the House and Senate made it count as they churned through huge agendas and sent over 120 different bills to the Governor's desk before leaving for their summer recess and the campaign trail. The legislature made a few last tweaks to the K-12 budget (MASSP's budget breakdown has been updated to reflect the changes) that could have a significant impact on districts with large or growing numbers of shared time or tuition students.

Bob Kefgen's picture

Marshall Plan, Career Pathways Bills Headed to Gov

Both Governor Snyder’s Marshall Plan for Talent and a series of bills collectively referred to as the Career Pathways Alliance legislation made it across the finish line before summer break. A few other bills that weren’t officially part of either effort but were tangentially related were also able to ride the wave. The end result: a whole lot of new legislation dealing with topics ranging from school improvement plans to the MMC to teacher certification is headed to Governor Snyder for signature.

Here’s a breakdown of the various pieces of legislation. MASSP will continue to follow up on each of these bills as more detail becomes available about how each of these initiatives will be implemented and enforced by MDE.

Table of Contents

Bob Kefgen's picture

Final Agreement Reached on K-12 Budget (UPDATED 13 June 2018)

UPDATE (13 June 2018): During the process of rolling all the major education-related budget bills (K-12, higher education, and community colleges) into a single omnibus bill (HB 5579), the Legislature made a few last tweaks to boilerplate language in the School Aid Fund budget before passing it and sending it to the Governor's desk for signature. Two in particular are of note: a cap on how quickly a district can grow its shared time programs and a prohibition on collecting foundation allowances for out-of-state students who also pay tuition.