This Week & Next (Oct 2, 2015)

House Education Committee Passes Teacher Evaluation Bill
Yesterday, the House Education Committee passed SB 103 (Pavlov) the teacher/administrator evaluation bill, on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 14-2.  Chairman Price presented an H-8 substitute version of the bill which included many changes requested by members of the Committee. SB 103 will create the framework for evaluating teachers and school administrators, using student growth as measured by the state assessments for up to 20% of the final evaluation. Congratulations to Rep. Price and the House Education Committee, and SB 103 will now go to the House floor.

K-3 Reading Bill on the House Floor
HB 4822 (Price), the K-3 Reading bill, is now on the House floor where negotiations continue in seeking enough votes for passage.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of the traditional school lobby is working overtime to spread misinformation in order to defeat this common sense legislation. As you know, HB 4822 will improve early literacy by focusing on annual screening; parental notification and participation; targeted strategies for struggling readers; and intensive intervention for students reading dramatically behind grade level. Check out GLEP’s “Got Literacy” landing page to learn more and download the current version HB 4822, and click here to contact your legislator via email and ask them to support HB 4822.

GLEP Endorses Jan Peabody and Mary Whiteford in Special Elections
On Tuesday, GLEP announced their endorsement of Jan Peabody (R-Lapeer) and Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Township) in the special elections to fill vacant seats in the House of Representatives. Peabody is running for the Republican nomination in the 82nd House District (Lapeer County) which was vacated when former Representative Todd Courser resigned on September 11; and Whiteford is running for the Republican nomination in the 80th House District (Allegan County), which was vacated when former Representative Cindy Gamrat was expelled on Friday, September 11. The special primary elections will be held on November 3, 2015 and the general elections will be held on March 8, 2016. Click here to read GLEP’s press release.

Duncan Out; King In at USED
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced his resignation yesterday, and President Obama named John King, Jr. as the new Education Secretary.  King is a strong charter school proponent, having founded Boston’s Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, which became the highest-performing urban public school in Massachusetts. From 2005 to 2009, he was managing director of the network Uncommon Schools, which runs charters in New York and Boston. In 2011, King became New York state education commissioner. You can read more about King here.

SPN Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids
Over one thousand public policy advocates gathering in Grand Rapids this past week for the 23rd Annual Meeting of the State Policy Network (SPN). SPN members include conservative think tanks and policy shops from across the country, including the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, The Goldwater Institute, the Thomas Fordham Institute and the Reason Foundation.  Congrats to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy for hosting this year’s event. Notable speakers included Rick Hess, American Enterprise Institute and Betsy DeVos, AFC Chair and GLEP Board Member (pictured below).

VoteSpotter App is a Great Resource
Want to know how your State Senator or Representative voted on education bills? Want to know how they voted on education reform issues or bills impacting school choice and charter school bills? Then you need VoteSpotter, a FREE Mobile App designed to help keep your legislators accountable. Not only will this app help you find out how they voted, but it also helps you to connect instantly with their office so that your voice can be heard. All this is done right on your smartphone with a few clicks. VoteSpotter is a powerful tool that will help you not only stay connected in Lansing and Washington, but also allows you to share their votes on social media to keep your family and friends aware of what is happening. Take a minute to check out the website and download VoteSpotter at the app store on your phone.

Education News Clips

Next Week

Monday, October 5

Tuesday, October 6

  • House Appropriations Subcommittee

Wednesday, October 7

  • Count Day
  • Senate Education Committee

Thursday, October 8

  • Fundraiser for Rep. Lee Chatfield
  • House Education Committee

Friday, October 9

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