This Week & Next: Sept 4, 2015

GLEP and Sen. Knezek Give Away Backpacks at Detroit Achievement Academy
This afternoon, during the Detroit Achievement Academy’s Back-to-School Open House event, GLEP will be partnering with State Senator David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights), Minority Vice-Chair of the House Education Committee, to provide backpacks filled with school supplies for all 120 students attending DAA.  The Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) and State Senator David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights) today provided all 120 students at Detroit Achievement Academy a backpack filled with school supplies at the school’s ‘Back to School’ open house event. Detroit Achievement Academy rose to fame in 2014 with an appearance on the Ellen Show and subsequent support from musician Madonna. It’s no surprise they’ve received such attention as their school-wide average growth was in the 99th percentile nationally. The ‘back to school’ open house will also signify the opening of their new campus located at 7000 W Outer Dr in Detroit. Click here for GLEP’s press release.
GLEP Says Governor’s Proposal Will Suppress School Choice in Detroit
This week, some key Detroit media began reporting that Governor Snyder’s proposed reforms for education in Detroit are taking shape with proposed bill drafts, and GLEP was asked to weigh in in the Detroit Free Press article on August 31 and a Frank Beckman interview on WJR on September 1.  GLEP is concerned that the Governor’s proposal will move us from a “choice and competition” model of public education to a “command and control” model where parents are not entrusted with the key decisions about their children’s educational options. When considering this media attention, coupled with an emotional Facebook rant from Rep. Harvey Santana (D-Detroit), member of the House Education Committee, you can feel the blood pressure rising in Lansing. Stay Tuned!
DPS is Failing Yet Ranks Most Teachers “Highly Effective”
The American Enterprise Institute notes that while DPS is failing both academically and financially, the majority of their administrators and teachers are rated “Highly Effective” at their jobs. GLEP’s Gary Naeyaert said ““We find it difficult to believe there is only one bad apple in that entire bushel of DPS administrators, in a Michigan Capitol Confidential article. We believe this type of disconnect must be addressed, and that’s why we support adopting a simple A-F Letter Grading system for school accountability that will give parents meaningful information about academic proficiency and student growth. We understand Rep. Lisa Posthumus-Lyons (R-Alto) is preparing to introduce a new school accountability bill in the legislature.K-3 Reading bill on Tap for House Ed Comm on Sept 10
We understand the House Education Committee have a formal hearing on HB 4822 (Price), the K-3 Reading bill, during their meeting on Thursday, September 10 in Lansing. Rep. Price’s bill will improve early literacy by focusing on annual screening; parental notification and participation; targeted strategies and tutoring for struggling readers; and intensive intervention for those students reading dramatically behind grade level.  Check out GLEP’s “Got Literacy” landing pagewhere you can learn more and download HB 4822 (Price), the K-3 Reading bill.

MiWeek Features Supt. Whiston, Stephen Henderson & Nolan Finley
With the new school year starting next week, yesterday’s edition of Detroit Public TV’s MiWeek, hosted by Christy McDonald, focused on education in Michigan, including infrastructure, technology, teacher training, parent engagement and the future of the Detroit Public Schools. Guests included State Superintendent Brian Whiston; Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press; and Nolan Finley, Detroit News. You can also check out Christy’s extended interview with Supt. Whiston by clicking here.

Mackinac Center looking for Education Policy Rock Star
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is seeking a Director of Education Policy to help improve the quality of elementary and secondary education in Michigan. This full-time position involves researching, developing, and promoting reforms to education that put parents in charge, reduce bureaucracy; and expand educational choice, especially those in lower socioeconomic levels. Click here for more information or to apply for the position.

Education News Clips

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Gary G. Naeyaert
Executive Director