MDE Memos: AP Fee Reduction Grant, Counselor PD Requirements and Educator Resources

Chelsey Martinez's picture

Building leaders will want to be aware of four memos put out recently by MDE. The first is information about the AP test fee reduction grant. The next memo is about a new resource to support teacher engagement and participation with the teacher evaluation process. The third is in regard to the new School Counselor PD requirements. The final memo outlines resources aimed at helping stakeholders to better understand the state guidelines for selecting the proper state assessment.

All four memos are reproduced in their entirety below. You can also find the original memos here. Given the length of the memos, here is a quick table of contents:

MDE MEMO #153-18: Information about the Advanced Placement (AP) Test Fee Reduction Grant for 2018-2019 School Year

For more than 15 years the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has supported assessments for low-income students. This support will continue for the AP exam, IB exam, and CLEP.

The following process will be in place for the 2018-2019 school year.

The Michigan legislature has appropriated $1,000,000 that will allow students that qualify to pay a reduced fee for specific exams. New this year, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests will be supported under this legislation.

Below are the full details for the AP test fee program for the 2018-2019 school year.

AP Test Fee Program

  • The State of Michigan’s contribution to low-income students will be $48 per exam. This will be billed directly to the MDE.
  • The College Board contribution to low-income students will be $32 per exam.
  • The high school will forego the school rebate of $9 per exam from the College Board.
  • AP exam fee reduction directions can be found at
  • This combination of local, school, and College Board subsidies results in:
    • A $5 per exam fee for low-income students.
    • Local school invoices from the College Board will reflect the $5.00 per exam charge and any other relating fees.

More information on how to access AP, IB, and CLEP tests for your low-income students will be coming in a subsequent memo. Please watch for future communications with more details.

Questions may be directed to Jeff McNeal at or 517-241-6958 or Robert Bendall at or 517-241-2651.

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MDE MEMO #154-18: Professional Learning Resource: Educator Evaluation Modules

The Office of Educator Excellence (OEE) has developed a professional learning resource to support teacher engagement and participation with the teacher evaluation process. This resource supports the Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) Top 10 in 10 strategic plan by helping to develop, support, and sustain a high-quality, prepared, and collaborative education workforce.

The MDE-OEE is excited to announce that the first in a series of free, online, on-demand modules is live and accessible to Michigan educators. The modules are accessible via the Professional Learning Portal of MDE partner, Michigan Virtual. The MDE offers these modules to help districts with teacher mentoring, induction programming, and developing teacher leaders’ understanding of the important role of teachers in their own evaluation process.

Module objectives include:

  • Defining the primary purpose of educator evaluation
  • Interpreting legislative requirements and how they apply to current professional assignment
  • Understanding the benefits of including student growth data in teacher evaluation
  • Writing a Student Learning Objective (SLO) using the MDE SLO template

Additional modules are in development, focusing on the following objectives:

  • Empowering teachers to take ownership of their evaluation by equipping them with the knowledge and practices to become the driving force behind their own professional growth
  • Leveraging specific strategies and opportunities to engage in evaluation cycles:
    • Self-reflection and goal-setting
    • Identifying professional learning needs and opportunities
    • Processing and implementing feedback
    • Gathering evidence of effective practice
    • Preparing for evaluation conferences

Participants are eligible to receive State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) for successful completion of modules.

For more information and to register, please visit:

If you have questions regarding the modules, please contact Joe Priest at

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MDE MEMO #155-18: School Counselor Professional Development Programs

Recently amended MCL 380.1233 (7-9) mandates 50 of the required 150 education-related professional learning hours required to renew a school counselor credential to have a specific focus:

  • 25 clock hours focused on college preparation and selection; and
  • 25 clock hours focused on career consultation, including 5 hours in the exploration of military career options.

These 50 hours may only be obtained using State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) programs approved for this purpose. Entities that typically offer this content as college credit, or District Provided Professional Development (DPPD), including externships, will need to submit an application to become an approved SCECH provider. SCECH programs do not need to address all the noted standards. Instead, a sponsor may elect to focus SCECH programs on as many or few standards as desired. School Counselors may utilize any combination of DPPD, college credit, or SCECHs to fulfill the remaining 100 hours of the 150-hour education-related professional learning requirement.

Michigan schools can support this process by disseminating information, encouraging SCECH program development, and supporting school counselors in obtaining the necessary professional development using the SCECH process. Additional information on SCECHs can be found in the SCECH Overview guidance document.

SCECHs approved for the purpose of meeting the 50 specific hours will be included under the category of School Counseling under the subsection of Professional Learning Programs within the MDE SCECH catalog. Please check the catalog regularly for offerings.

SCECH program standards can be found in the School Counselor Professional Development Standards. The standards were crafted in sync with the Michigan Department of Education‘s (MDE) Top 10 in 10 Goals & Strategies.

Questions pertaining to School Counselor Professional Development Programs or professional learning requirements can be directed to or

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MDE MEMO #156-18: New Assessment Selection Online Training and Interactive Tool

The Michigan Department of Education has made available two online resources aimed at helping school/district personnel, parents, and the public understand the state guidelines for selecting the proper state assessment for a student. These resources contribute to and support Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 Goals for Goal 3: Strategy 3.2: Coherent, state- and district-provided professional development jointly developed with educators.

The Assessment Selection Guidelines Training helps individuals understand the differences between the general state summative assessments and the state summative alternate assessment, MI-Access. This training program walks participants through each of the steps to determine which assessment a student should take, and applies the logic to six different practice scenarios, or case studies. The training may be done individually or as a group and has a downloadable/printable certificate option.

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) Interactive Decision-Making Tool is an optional interactive tool that teams can use when discussing the most appropriate assessment for an individual. This interactive tool asks each question from the assessment selection document Should My Student Take the Alternate Assessment?. Depending on the answer to the question, the tool progresses to additional questions or to a conclusion based on state guidelines.

These interactive online tools are available on the MI-Access web page ( and are available for immediate use. If you have question about either of these training resources, contact John Jaquith, Assessment Consultant for Students with Disabilities, at

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