It’s been said that the world is run by those who show up. As educators, we know it’s not that simple. We all understand the value that attendance, work ethic and respect have in our educational and work world. As educators, we know that our grading practices should measure student’s knowledge in the content we teach. As much as we appreciate a student’s attendance, work ethic and respect for others, including these topics into a student’s academic grade skews what our students know and can demonstrate with the content taught. Our grades measure aptitude.
A Detroit News article exposing the existence of a secret education reform project, self-styled "skunkworks," created significant political blow back for Governor Snyder, especially when documents from the group revealed the involvement of Oxford Foundation point man Richard McLellen and the existence of a voucher-like education scheme the group was developing.
This week both the House and Senate voted out their respective recommendations for the School Aid budget. Both budgets continue the troubling trend of reducing funding to K-12 education or tying strings to school funding to force districts to jump through legislative hoops.
The House Education Committee began its third week of debate on Michigan Merit Curriculum changes by hearing testimony from Michigan Chamber of Commerce CEO Rich Studley. The executive for one of the state's largest and most influential business advocacy groups told the committee that the merit curriculum is working and that, in its current form, the legislation would water down both math and foreign language requirements.
On Friday, April 19 the Detroit News released a story exposing the existence of a secret education workgroup, which included top advisors from the Governors office. Once exposed, the group claimed to be working on finding ways to drive more technology innovation into education, though elements of the group's work suspiciously resembled creating a voucher-like school funding system.