This Week & Next (Oct 24, 2014)

Supt Flanagan admits Michigan is 10 years behind leading states on quality education
In a surprisingly candid interview with Bridge magazine, a publication of the Center for Michigan, Superintendent Mike Flanagan says he may have exceeded his welcome as state superintendent, claims the state is 10 years behind other states in terms of providing a quality education, and he took some swipes at the legislature. Interesting reading, for sure.

School Choice = Parental Choice
Check out this fantastic piece on the of school choice and parental empowerment in the Michigan Chronical from Ann Duplessis, a former Democratic state senator from Louisiana who is currently the president of the Louisiana Federation for Children. Good stuff!!

More Democratic bills but less transparency
Yet again this week, House Democrats announced the potential, future introduction of additional bills intended to crack down on rogue charter schools. Given that the legislature will not actually be in session until after the November election, it would be reasonable to assume that they are far more interested in publicity over policy. Unfortunately, and in what is an ironic twist given their alleged goal of increasing transparency, these members have not yet made the actual bills available to be read, nor would they provide copies of their press release to all education stakeholders who attended their press conference. But it’s all about transparency, or so they say. 

Authorizers Continue to Negotiate with Flanagan
The state’s charter school authorizers continue to meet and share information with Superintendent Flanagan to discuss the potential suspension of some authorizers to grant new charter contracts. According to an article in the Detroit Free Press, the authorizers are taking the steps to address the non-academic issues raised by Flanagan, while this MLivearticle discusses the continued lack of consensus on how to address authorizer responsibility as it comes to the academic performance of their portfolio of charter schools.

Dr. Z Elected to NASBE Board of Directors
Congratulations to Dr. Richard Zeile (“Dr. Z”), Treasurer of the State Board of Education, for being elected to the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE).  He will represent the Central District (which includes Michigan, Ohio and other states) for a 2-year term.

UPDATE: Still No Superintendents Have Signed the “School Accountability Pledge”
MAPSA’s “School Accountability Pledge” is still available for signing by any traditional public school superintendent willing to operate under same accountability, transparency and oversight laws as Michigan’s charter public schools. We keep waiting for just one superintendent to sign it, and when they do we’ll let you know right away!

Education Reform News Clips

Next Week

Monday, October 27

Tuesday, October 28

Wednesday, October 29

Thursday, October 30

  • Governor Engler Center for Charter Schools at CMU; Annual Conference

Friday, October 31

  • Happy Halloween!!

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Gary G. Naeyaert
Executive Director