The State Board of Education kicked off last week with a full-day special meeting to discuss the state's preliminary ESSA plan. The meeting was, at times, contentious as some of the more strident members pushed back against elements of the plan (a letter-grading system for schools in particular), MDE's timeline (which some argue is overly aggressive given the change in leadership at the federal level), and even tangential issues like Michigan's academic content standards (repealing the Common Core was a campaign issue for the two newly-elected members).
There is a consortium of Principals that meet quarterly at the Okemos Administration building. The agenda is driven by a simple list generated on a white board as the participants arrive. I always enjoy popping into their meetings and seeing what is on their minds. Tonight's chat topics are generated based on the list of things I've seen them discuss the last few meetings - they are items that are common hot topics for all Principals!
The budget process is far from over, but it seems to be starting on a positive note for Principals. In his budget proposal, which he rolled out this past Wednesday, Governor Snyder proposed spending an additional $325 million on K-12 schools. That includes a foundation increase, an additional $50/pupil for high schools, and $7 million for continued educator evaluation implementation and training.
We are the Association for Secondary School Principals so much of the conversation in our state surrounding literacy hasn't really been in our purview – this being said, literacy is certainly everyone's issue. Last year, I had the opportunity to hear Professor Nell Duke from the University of Michigan speak about what quality literacy instruction looks like and also the practices that should be abandoned. She reiterated these in this Edutopia article.