Senate Creates Subcommittee to Review MMC's picture

You may have heard that Senator Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), who is chair of the Senate Committee on Education, today announced that he has created a special subcommittee on Michigan Merit Curriculum to review the state’s graduation requirement laws. The subcommittee will be chaired by Senator Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy). The timeline for this special panel is as yet unclear.

We understand that the constant changes to education policy are like drinking from a firehose for secondary principals. And therefore, this announcement could cause even more stress. Rest assured that MASSP will be heavily engaged on this issue as it unfolds in the coming weeks. Here’s what we know so far:

  • The announcement comes 10 years after the original passage of the MMC and is being couched as a periodic review of the state’s high school curriculum.

  • The subcommittee chair stated in a press release that he has no set agenda and intends to approach the issue with an open mind.

  • For now, we see no reason not to take today’s announcement at face value. If nothing else, this subcommittee will provide Principals with an opportunity to remind legislators that – even with some changes – the MMC has been one of the few constants in education over the past decade and that – during that time – graduation rates have increased, drop out rates have decreased, and student performance statewide has consistently climbed.

  • Every session, legislators author well over a dozen bills to change the MMC. While the outcome of this type of subcommittee review is never certain, taking a comprehensive look at this issue rather than approaching each new bill in a silo could help stem the continual push to make changes and stabilize the political landscape.

As this issue develops and the subcommittee begins its work, MASSP will continue to keep members informed. Be sure to watch Weblines and Twitter for regular updates.