As a former middle school principal and teacher, I certainly understand the dynamic of 7th and 8th grade students…and they are fun (for some of us). I loved their energy and enthusiasm as they approached any topic that interested them. The challenge for middle level administrators and teachers is often channeling their energy in positive and productive ways.
The Michigan Department of Education Division of Accountability Services (DAS) is pleased to offer registration for the 2015 DAS Fall Conferences for Assessment and Accountability. The conference will include a day of presentations from DAS staff covering essential topics such as 2015 Accountability updates; Online Reporting; 2016 Assessments; Preparing for the SAT; and much more.
The conferences will be held on four different dates at four locations throughout the state:
August 20, 2015: Lansing Center, Lansing, MI
August 25, 2015: Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville, MI
Principals will want to be aware of two announcements that appeared in MDE's Spotlight on Assessment and Accountability newsletter this week. Verification of Answer Documents and Verification of Not Tested for the Spring 2015 M-STEP and MI-Access assessments are due July 29, 2015 by 5pm. Also, ACT and WorkKeys Student Data Files are now available through the MDE Secure Site.
See the following two articles for full details:
Verification of Answer Documents and Not Tested Due by 5:00 PM, July 20, 2015
This past year I was thinking about all of the work that principals and teachers do with our students who struggle to learn. The state's focus on accountability measures that target those students who perform in the "bottom 30%" really forced more intervention efforts around Michigan. Through this process, I saw many educators, myself included, looking for ways to close the gap and help intervene with our struggling learners. As I always say, there is no substitute for quality instruction. Research confirms this.
The House was in town this week long enough to decide that they don't have the votes to pass the Senate's road funding proposal, so it seems likely that the debate will drag on through the summer. The House took up SB 358—a bill to remove the cap on teacher certification testing fees—but did not vote on the legislation. Test fees have to cover the cost of development, administration, and scoring, so MDE is having difficulty updating or improving the teacher certification test because the test fees are so low.