This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Bob Kefgen's picture

In its third week of hearings Senate Education Subcommittee on the Michigan Merit Curriculum took testimony from St. Clair High School principal and MASSP Region 5 Representative Ron Miller along with Northview High School principal and MASSP Past-President Mark Thomas and Berkley Schools superintendent Dennis McDavid (you can watch a video of their testimony here). All three educators emphasized common themes: that the MMC is a success story overall and that increased rigor has raised student achievement and help change community culture around going to college; that districts already have a great deal of flexibility in addressing student needs, including CTE; and that the state needs to stop continually moving the target for students and schools by changing the MMC law. After passing a bill to extend the life of Michigan’s OK2SAY program, the Senate Education Committee continued its now months-long discussions on options for a new state-level school accountability system…this time with testimony from the Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI)—which is the agency responsible for collecting, managing, and reporting education data in Michigan—and the SAS Institute, Inc.—a company that provides several states with value added modeling (VAM) and other tools for calculating and tracking student growth. Both the House and Senate passed their respective versions of the 2017-18 K-12 budget over to the other chamber, the last major step before the bills go to conference committee and the last chance for amendments…though no major changes were made in either chamber. Finally, though nothing surfaced this week, rumors continue to circulate about an impending attempt by the legislature to close the MPSERS system to new employees, but with no bills introduced, there are no details and no way to gauge whether the effort has a chance of success.