Bob Kefgen's blog

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This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

The MASSP Board of Directors voted this week to oppose Proposals 2 and 5, which will appear on the November ballot, because of potential negative consequences they could have on student achievement. Even though Rosh Hashanah on Tuesday made for a shortened session week, Senate still managed to pass into law a pair of bills that mandates that schools provide an opportunity to say the Pledge of Allegiance each school day.

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This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

The legislature is back and they wasted no time in diving right back into school issues. The House promptly passed a pair of bills to require that, beginning in the 2013-14 school year, districts "ensure that an opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States is offered each school day" and that a flag is appropriately displayed in each classroom for this purpose.

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This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

After months of wrangling, the House and Senate finally managed to pass a MPSERS reform compromise bill that locks in the MPSERS rate for districts at 24.46% moving forward and does not include a mandatory move to a defined contribution system for all new employees. Current employees who are affected by the changes will have until October 26 to choose whether to pay an increased rate or accept a lower multiplier for years of service earned after the bill takes effect December 1, 2012.

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This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

The primary election is over and both the winners and losers alike spent most of the week licking their wounds and recovering. In a sentence: the statewide trend was that moderate Republicans beat conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats beat moderate/conservative Democrats. This could represent some statewide shifts in political leanings back toward the left, but is probably more indicative of the recent Republican controlled gerrymander that consolidated the liberal vote into fewer districts and turned a host of swing districts into moderate Republican-leaning districts.

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This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Michigan’s primary election is this Tuesday, August 7, so make sure you GET OUT AND VOTE!!! Lawmakers were far too busy campaigning to have yet waded into the fray on the lists of Priority, Focus, and Reward Schools released by MDE. While some groups are using the new lists as an opportunity to focus on the success stories in the 280 Reward Schools, the headline grabbing list was the Focus Schools list which highlighted many high-performing buildings that have significant achievement gaps between their top and bottom 30% of students.