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State Superintendent Outlines Goals to Become a Top 10 Education State

Aaron Keel

By Aaron Keel, MASB Assistant Director of Government Relations

DashBoard, Feb. 17, 2016

Last Tuesday, State Superintendent Brian Whiston and the State Board of Education approved a report that outlines seven goals and 44 strategies to make Michigan a top 10 education state within the next 10 years.

The finalized report is the culmination of months’ worth of public hearings that began in July 2015 with input from educators, advocates, lawmakers, parents and various other stakeholders including MASB. In early September 2015, MASB Executive Director Don Wotruba and President Cindy Gansen presented their ideas to the State Board of Education and State Superintendent, focusing on the traits of effective school boards, training, certification and candidate recruitment. We are pleased to see many of their ideas incorporated in the final report, specifically highlighting the need to support strong local boards of education.

In no particular order, the overarching seven strategic goals as outlined in the report are:

Goal 1: Provide every child access to an aligned, high-quality P-20 system from early childhood to post-secondary attainment—through a multistakeholder collaboration with business and industry, labor and higher education—to maximize lifetime learning and success.

Goal 2: Implement, with strong district and building leadership, high-quality instruction in every classroom through a highly coherent, child-centered instructional model where students meet their self-determined academic and personal goals to their highest potential.

Goal 3: Develop, support and sustain a high-quality, prepared and collaborative education workforce.

Goal 4: Reduce the impact of high-risk factors, including poverty, and provide equitable resources to meet the needs of all students to ensure that they have access to quality educational opportunities.

Goal 5: Ensure that parents/guardians are engaged and supported partners in their child’s education.

Goal 6: Create a strong alignment and partnership with job providers, community colleges and higher education to assure a prepared and quality future workforce; and informed and responsible citizens.

Goal 7: Further develop an innovative and cohesive state education agency that supports an aligned, coherent education system at all levels (state, ISD, district and school).1

Additionally, within the full report are numerous strategies that align with MASB’s legislative priorities, including:

  • Universal preschool for all four-year-olds by 2020
  • Ensuring literacy for all students by third grade and beyond
  • Recognizing the need to invest in technology and infrastructure, as well as other classroom resources
  • Full implementation of Michigan’s new educator evaluation law
  • Expanded use of sinking funds for technology and pupil transportation purposes, as well as assessment at the regional level
  • Determining the actual cost of educating all children and addressing statewide facility and infrastructure needs
  • Modifying funding formulas to better align revenues and costs for districts

MASB is eager to continue working with the various partners and stakeholders who gave their input on how to make Michigan a top 10 state over the next 10 years; and we are committed in doing our part to achieve these goals.

1 Michigan Department of Education. Goals & Strategies: Top 10 in 10 Years. Feb. 8, 2016.

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