This Week & Next (Nov 6, 2015)

Whiteford & Howell Win in Special House Elections
Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Township), endorsed and supported by the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP), was successful in Tuesday’s speciWhitefordal primary election to fill a vacancy in the 80th State House district.  Whiteford came out on top of 8 Republican candidates to earn the nomination in the Allegan County seat. The special primary election was necessary due to the expulsion of former Representative Cindy Gamrat on September 11.


Also, Gary Howell won the special primary election in the 82nd District, a seat vacant due to the resignation of former Representative Todd Courser. GLEP endorsed Jan Peabody, who came in 2nd among 11 Republican candidates in this Lapeer County seat. The general election for both of these safe Republican seats will be held on March 8, 2016.


Governor Signs Teacher Evaluation Bill
Yesterday, GLEP joined a host of education stakeholder groups for the official signing ceremony for SB 103 (Pavlov), the teacher evaluation bill. Governor Snyder signed the bill into law, which creates the framework for a teacher/administrator evaluations in the state, based in part on student growth on state assessments. GLEP was proud to support this effort.

Senate Passes Bill Expanding Teacher Flexibility
Kudos to the State Senate for passing yesterday, on a vote of 27-11, SB 491 (Pavlov), a bill to allow for additional non-certified teachers in key subject areas. Adding to the subjects included in existing law (computer science, foreign language, mathematics, biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, robotics) are writing, journalism, health sciences or any discipline included in the list of critical shortage areas identified by the MDE. Because this type of flexibility will help put our best and brightest teachers in our classrooms, GLEP supports the bill as it moves to the House of Representatives.

Lots of Detroit Talk
Anticipation continues to grow over the pending introduction of bills to implement Governor Snyder’s proposals for reforming public education in Detroit, with Sen. Goeff Hansen (R-Hart) apparently taking the lead. GLEP is working to ensure that any reforms passed will preserve school choice, keep parents in charge of their children’s education, and increase accountability over poor performing schools.  For just a sampling of the chatter, click on any of the following stories:

Are states being honest with students and parents?
Are 70% of Michigan’s 3rd graders reading proficiently? Or 50%? Or 27%? The answer is YES!  You see, expectations for student success vary greatly from test-to-test and state-to-state, leaving parents, students and teachers in the dark about how well students are prepared for the challenges of the next grade, and more importantly their f
uture.  A new website ( has been established to help you learn more about what proficiency is, why it’s important and what is happening in each state. Click here to access specific information about how we’re reporting proficiency in Michigan.

Watch EIE Keynote Remarks
We’ve had multiple requests to make the full-length videos from the 2015 National Summit on Education Reform available. And we have good news: #EIE15 videos are now onlineand ready to watch. If you missed the live event in Denver last month – or if you want to share your #EIE15 experience with friends and co-workers – check out the videos for the following keynote and general sessions:

  • Dr. Condoleezza Rice
  • Dr. Sugata Mitra
  • Dr. Arthur Brooks
  • Campbell Brown
  • Adam Braun

MPSERS, Failing Schools and ESA’s on tap next week in the Legislature

MSPERS, or the Michigan Public Employees Retirement System, will be the topic of conversation in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid during a hearing on Tuesday. As you might be aware, the state is facing an unfunded accrued liability for MPSERS that exceeds $45 billion. That’s a lot of green. Meanwhile, the Senate Education Committee will continue their hearings to examine the issue of academically failing schools in the state on Thursday, and the House Education Committee will join with the House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid to hold a hearing on Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) on Thursday.

Education News Clips

Next Week

Monday, November 9

Tuesday, November 10

  • House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid re: MPSERS
  • Senate Education Committee

Wednesday, November 11

  • Senate Education Committee re: Failing Schools

Thursday, November 12

  • House Education Committee & School Aid Subcommittee re: ESA’s

Friday, November 13

  • MDE Accountability Workgroup meeting

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


Gary G. Naeyaert
Executive Director