New Report Highlights Public Support for Secondary Principal Priorities

Bob Kefgen's picture

The Center for Michigan (CFM), a non-partisan non-profit public policy think tank, released a new report this week entitled "The Public's Agenda for Public Education." The report, which has been a year in the making, uses feedback from 250 community meetings and two large-sample statewide polls to identify which education reforms the public most supports. The result is a four-point agenda that hits on many of the same priorities that Michigan's secondary principals have identified. Enough similarity, in fact, that MASSP issued a media statement in response to the report highlighting that alignment.

The CFM report champions the work being done currently by the Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness as a crucial element to meeting the demands of Michigan's citizens. It also finds that while increasing school choice and expanding online learning still have some support among voters, they were at the very bottom of the priority list. CFM concludes that this points to a disconnection between lawmakers in Lansing who are focused on these issues and their voters back home who are not.

CFM labels this agenda the "Michigan Citizen's' 4-Point Agenda to Improve Student Learning" and the report provides striking evidence of overwhelming public support for:

Stronger Support for Educators - Developing a stronger support system for current educators got, by far, the largest percentage of support from community meeting participants (88 percent) and poll respondents (76 percent), specifically:

  • More intense mentoring for new teachers and administrators,
  • More and better professional development,
  • Informative evaluations to identify areas for improvement, and
  • Development of more master teachers.

Improving Teacher Preparation - Seventy-nine percent of community meeting participants and 80 percent of those polled said Michigan needed better prepared teachers and the report called for:

  • Raising the bar for entry into education degree programs,
  • Requiring deeper mastery of the subjects teachers teach, and
  • Instituting tougher standards for teacher certification.

Intensifying early childhood education - The third most popular reform calls for expanded access to publically funded pre-school and other programs in order to increase at-risk students' reading and math proficiency.

Hold Educators More Accountable for Student Success - The fourth most popular reform on the list, 68 percent of meeting participants and 69 percent of those polled called for holding educators more accountable. The report said Michigan should have:

  • Stronger evaluation processes,
  • Rewards for top performing educators and should remove poor performers, and
  • New compensation and promotion systems.

The full report is available for download by clicking here.