This Week & Next (June 19, 2015)

Kevin Chavous and Shanelle Jackson on School Choice in Detroit
Kevin P. Chavous, AFC executive counsel, led a panel on the importance of education reform and choice at the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s Annual Conference in Detroit. The National Newspaper Publishers Association consists of African American newspapers from across the United States. NNPA papers have served an important purpose in the black community and are distributed to over 200 million subscribers nationwide.  The panel featured former State Rep. Shanelle Jackson (D-MI) and Jackie Hampton, the publisher of the Mississippi Link. The panel discussed the importance of educational choice and parental empowerment for K-12 students across the country. They also discussed how NNPA papers can help spread the school choice message to inform readers and bring about positive change in their communities. There also was a focus on how school choice programs and quality schools can better prepare our children to accomplish their academic goals and succeed throughout their lives.
Education Savings Accounts or Vouchers in Michigan’s Future?
Ingrid Jacques, editorial page writer for The Detroit News, wrote a great column this morning on how far behind the curve Michigan is on the issue of school choice. From her piece: “So while at least 20 states now have some kind of publicly-funded private school option for families, including some of this state’s closest neighbors, Michigan remains out of the loop. At a time when the state persistently lags the rest of the U.S. in its test scores—especially schools in Detroit—families should have as many choices as possible for ensuring their children get a good education.”  GLEP is identified in her column as leading the charge to expand school choice through establishing Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) for special needs students. More to come!!

The Importance of K-3 Reading
GLEP has been working with key legislators and stakeholder groups on trying to pass legislation to develop a K-3 reading program in the state to improve early literacy rates for all students. The Governor’s Legislative Workgroup on Early Literacy has finished their work and the FY ’16 School Aid budget includes nearly $30 million in targeted funding for K-3 reading.  If you’re new to this issue, this short informational video from the Foundation for Excellence in Education highlights the importance of developing a K-3 reading program. Check it out, and please feel free to share this video with your friends.
Outgoing State Superintendent on “Off The Record”
Mike Flanagan, the retiring State Superintendent of Public Instruction, is the guest on this week’s edition of “Off the Record” on public television stations across the state, and click here to access the broadcast and click here for the “overtime” segment only available online. During the show, Flanagan discusses the state’s failure to educate poor children, his support for the legislature paying DPS debt, his opposition to giving the Governor a role with the SBE/MDE, why his lack of support for vouchers, why he opposed lifting the cap on charter and cyber schools and why he supports a moratorium on charters until enrollment in DPS is stabilized.  Wow!! We’re really sorry to see you go, Mike!
Teacher Evaluation Bill Still in House Education Committee
The House Education Committee took another 2 hours of testimony yesterday, without taking a vote, on SB 103(Pavlov), the teacher and administrator evaluation bill. Key provisions of the bill include creating a framework for teacher and administrator evaluation, based in part on student growth and assessment data; local control for a district to choose the evaluation tool that best meets their local needs; and protecting the landmark teacher tenure reforms passed by the legislature in 2011. Yesterday was the last day of session for June, and the House is only scheduled to be in session for 6 days in July and August. GLEP continues to support SB 103 and is working with House members to facilitate passage before September. With the start of the 2015-16 school year, current law on teacher evaluations will go into effect, causing logistical difficulties for districts.


Education News Clips

Next Week

Monday, June 22

Tuesday, June 23

Wednesday, June 24

Thursday, June 25

  • Retirement Reception for Supt. Mike Flanagan; Lansing
  • Money in Politics event hosted by the Mackinac Center; Lansing

Friday, June 26

  • Publish “This Week & Next” e-newsletter

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