Becoming a Top 10 State in 10 Years

MASB Leadership Presents Ideas to State Board and Superintendent

Stacy Bogard

By Stacy Bogard, CAE, MASB Assistant Director of Communications, PR & Marketing

DashBoard, Sept. 9, 2015

MASB Executive Director Don Wotruba and President Cindy Gansen presented ideas to the State Board of Education and State Superintendent on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, for developing Michigan into a top 10 performing state in education over the next 10 years.

In its allotted 10 minutes, MASB’s suggestions were focused on ensuring the viability of the traits of effective school boards, including specific training and certification for school board members and candidate recruitment.

“These are two key areas of MASB’s Strategic Plan,” Wotruba noted. “School boards that operate and govern effectively lead the way for successful schools, staff and students.”

Currently, 46 percent of board members have never taken a training course, 35 percent have taken at least one class and only 19 percent have completed the Level One certification. Based on an EPIC/MRA poll in February 2014, 74 percent of likely voters are in favor of training for school board members. In regards to candidate recruitment, more than 10 percent of open school board seats were without a candidate following the August 2014 filing deadline. Ninety-seven board members have been appointed since the November election.

"Locally elected school governance is an often overlooked component to student achievement success, but research shows that a highly effective board impacts student achievement," Wotruba said. "Our goal as an education community should be ensuring that our boards are as effective as possible and that we give them the tools to be so.”

The top 10 initiative is one of new State Superintendent Brian Whiston’s priorities. Wotruba and Gansen presented among more than 20 other education stakeholders as input is being sought from a large number of sources, including the general public. MASB members can submit their individual ideas either online at or by sending an email to by Nov. 1, 2015.

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