This Week & Next (August 7, 2015)

GLEP on Making Michigan a Top Ten State
GLEP’s Gary Naeyaert has been invited to make a presentation to Superintendent Brian Whiston and the State Board of Education next Tuesday, August 11 on how to make Michigan a “Top Ten State” for education performance. A number of education stakeholder groups have been invited to present on August 11 and September 8. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to share our recommendations, and we’ll include a copy of our presentation in next week’s newsletter. 

Funding study to be awarded soon
Responses to the state’s RFP to conduct and education funding study will be opened later this afternoon, and then we’ll know which firm is going to be selected to perform this important project for the state. You can read Ingrid Jacques’ editorial column here, in which she makes the case that Michigan is among the highest spending states in the country when it comes to K-12 education, and that there is a lack of scientific evidence that increased spending leads to improved academic performance. GLEP is referenced in the editorial.

First-in-the-Nation Chaldean Charter to Open in Southeast Michigan
The nation’s first Chaldean-themed charter public school, Keys Grace Academy Charter School, will open on September 8 in Madison Heights, according to a recent article in the Detroit News. Authorized by the Madison District Public Schools, this K-12 school will focus on preserving the Iraqi-Christian heritage through education. Over 300 students have already enrolled in the school, which top out at 800 students when fully operational.

Free Press on Education Reform – Again
In a recent editorial column by Nancy Kaffer of the Detroit Free Press, she points out some of the past and current efforts at reforming education, specifically in the City of Detroit. We agree with the following comment from the editorial: “It’s hard to argue that reform wasn’t, and isn’t, necessary. A high school diploma that leaves its recipient unprepared for career or college isn’t worth much, and an educational system that works for middle-class white kids and fails everyone else isn’t public education, not by any reasonable definition of the words.”

Need Inspiration? Meet Howard Fuller
For Marquette professor Howard Fuller, education reform isn’t about test scores, it’s about liberation and freedom. But Fuller argues that the ed reform movement has three requirements for success: Low-income families need school choices, the schools they choose among must be high quality, and the reform movement must be led by the people it’s trying to liberate.  Watching this Howard in this AEI event video will be the best 15 minutes you’ll spend all week.

A Teachers’ View
In Edweek, various members of the Association of American Educators have been guest blogging this past week. Check out this post from Jomayra I. Torres, the lead 5th grade teacher at BelovED Community Charter School in New Jersey and the New Jersey Charter School Association’s 2014 Teacher of the Year. Ms. Torres concludes her post by saying “YES, I am a teacher in a charter school, and I believe that a one-size-fits-all model does nothing but impede success. I am a teacher in a charter school, and I know that school choice works.”
Ed Reform Classes Online
Are you new to ed reform and want to get caught up on the national scene? The Foundation for Excellence in Education has made available EdPolicy Leaders Online, a series of self-paced online courses, including: Securing Our Nation’s Future: The Urgent Need for Education Reform; Data Privacy? Get Schooled; and Communications Boot Camp: Winning the Ed Reform Conversation. Feel free to share this information with folks that might be interested, and let us know what you think of the classes.

Capitol Update
The Michigan legislature was not in session this week.  The Senate is scheduled to return next week (August 11-13) and the House is scheduled to return on August 18-20.

Education News Clips

Do you support what GLEP is doing to improve education in Michigan? Please consider making a donation to help us continue our efforts, and all contributions are very much appreciated!!


Gary G. Naeyaert
Executive Director