This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Bob Kefgen's picture

The House Judiciary Committee took it's second week of testimony on a quartet of bills that would make significant changes to Michigan truancy laws and this week the school community had its opportunity to make the case for amendments to the bills. MASSP has been working with MASA, MASB, and committee members to ensure that the bills do not impose unworkable policies on local districts and, based on how Tuesday's testimony was received, we believe we are making progress in getting our issues resolved. The legislative budget process continues to chug forward with both the House (on Tuesday) and Senate (on Wednesday) subcommittees holding hearings on a variety of topics, including presentations in both chambers from a number of vendors and providers who have had success in the past in getting the legislature to carve out pieces of the School Aid budget to fund their special programs. Finally, the House Education Reform Committee took its second week of testimony on HB 5598-5605, a package of legislation that would make significant changes to the requirements for teacher preparation programs. Among the ideas being proposed as part of the package are:

  • More practical skills embedded as part of undergraduate teaching classes (e.g. classroom management, using data to inform instruction, and teaching students from diverse backgrounds),
  • Requiring teacher preparation programs to offer more diverse student teaching experiences and preventing students from student teaching in a school they attended,
  • Requiring college and university faculty to engage in continuing education, particularly in those practical skills that would be required for new teachers, and
  • Requiring prospective teacher candidates to engage in at least 90 hours of pre-student teaching activities so they are exposed to the classroom prior to their 4th or 5th year of college.