This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Bob Kefgen's picture

The Michigan Legislature returned this week from their summer recess and, while all was quiet in the Senate, the House Education Reform Committee already has a hearing under its belt. On Thursday, the House Education Reform Committee met jointly with the House K-12 budget subcommittee to hear a presentation from MDE on Michigan's ESSA state plan that has been submitted to the US Department of Education for review. While committee members asked questions on everything from assessment to reporting requirements, the topic that garnered the most attention was MDE's choice to move forward with a transparency dashboard for school accountability rather than a letter grade system. The choice, which was driven by input from the State Board of Education, received negative feedback from a vocal contingent of legislators—including committee chair Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw Twp.)—who support a letter grade based school accountability system. Rep. Kelly made it clear in his comments at the end of the committee meeting that he will be attempting to force the issue as part of a supplemental budget bill slated to move through the legislature this month, though whether such a measure can garner the votes necessary to pass or whether it could have any impact on districts for before next school year, is unclear.