Michigan Department of Education Special Meeting for March 10, 2015 – Liepa Interview


>>GETTING BETTER ACQUAINTED WITH THE SEMIFINALISTS FOR STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION– FOR THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, SORRY. WE’RE HAPPILY JOINED BY RANDY LIEPA. RANDY IS THE SUPERINTENDENT OF LIVONIA SCHOOLS, DISTINGUISHED EDUCATOR, HAS A TERRIFIC RECORD OF EDUCATION ACHIEVEMENT, AND MUCH THANKS FROM US FOR OFFERING HIMSELF AS A CANDIDATE FOR STATE SUPERINTENDENT. RANDY, YOU PROBABLY KNOW MOST OF THE BOARD MEMBERS– EILEEN WEISER, KATHY STRAUSS, PRESIDENT EMERITUS OF THE BOARD, LUPE RAMOS-MONTIGNY FROM GRAND RAPIDS, PAMELA SMITH PUGH, WHO’S OUR NEWEST ELECTED MEMBER, CASANDRA ULBRICH AND MICHELLE FECTEAU. RICHARD ZEILE, BOARD MEMBER, IS NOT PHYSICALLY WITH US, ALTHOUGH MARILYN AND HE ARE CONSPIRING TO MAKE SURE HE WATCHES THE VIDEO TAPES CLOSELY. AND KAREN McPHEE, THE GOVERNOR’S EDUCATION ADVISOR, AS THE GOVERNOR IS A BOARD MEMBER EX-OFFICIO, IS ALSO TUNING IN– HI, KAREN– AND IS GOING TO BE WITH US AS WE FACE SOME TOUGH DELIBERATIONS, GIVEN THE QUALITY OF THE CANDIDATES THAT HAVE PUT THEMSELVES FORWARD. SO AGAIN, RANDY, THANK YOU FOR PUTTING YOURSELF FORWARD. AS YOU KNOW, WE’RE GOING TO SPEND AN HOUR AND A HALF OR SO HAVING YOU FIRST ANSWER A COUPLE QUESTIONS THAT WE POSED TO ALL CANDIDATES IN ADVANCE, TO HELP US GET STARTED, AND THEN WE HAVE 20 QUESTIONS THAT WE’RE GOING TO ASK IN TURNS– THE SAME QUESTIONS WE’RE ASKING ALL THE CANDIDATES, AND PROVIDE TIME FOR YOU TO QUIZ US AS WELL AS OFFER ANY OTHER COMMENTS YOU WANT AS YOU OFFER YOUR SERVICES AND ABILITY TO HELP US IMPROVE ACHIEVEMENT IN MICHIGAN. SO THANK YOU, RANDY, FOR BEING WITH US. AND AS YOU KNOW, THE FIRST TWO QUESTIONS WERE FOR ALL THE CANDIDATES: TELL US, SPECIFICALLY, MAJOR THINGS WE NEED TO DO TO IMPROVE STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN MICHIGAN AND MAKE IT AN EDUCATIONAL LEADER IN THE NATION, DESCRIBE WHAT YOU’LL DO TO ENSURE THE SUPERINTENDENT AND THE BOARD OF EDUCATION ARE EFFECTIVE IN MAKING EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS. SO I INVITE YOU TO ADDRESS THOSE IN ANY WAY YOU SEE FIT, AND THEN WE’LL TALK MORE ABOUT IMPORTANT EDUCATION ISSUES.>>GREAT. AND IF IT’S OKAY, I’VE GOT A HANDOUT THAT I’D LIKE TO PASS AROUND SO THAT YOU’LL HAVE SOME NOTES WITH REGARDS TO SOME OF THE KEY ITEMS THAT I’LL COVER. AND LET ME JUST FIRST SAY WHAT AN HONOR IT IS TO BE SITTING HERE. I’M SO EXCITED NOT ONLY FOR MYSELF, BUT WITH THE GROUP OF CANDIDATES THAT YOU’VE CHOSEN. AND I HOPE YOU ALL KNOW THE AMOUNT OF CREDIBILITY THAT YOU HAVE BASED ON THE CANDIDATES THAT HAVE COME FORWARD. I THINK WE’VE GOT A GREAT GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS THAT CAN HELP LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS MOVE FORWARD. AND A LOT OF MY COMMENTS THAT YOU’RE GOING TO HEAR TODAY REALLY FOCUS ON WHAT’S GOING ON AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, WHICH IS WHERE MY PASSION IS AT AND WHAT I’VE DONE FOR 28 YEARS HAS BEEN WORKING DIRECTLY IN LOCAL SCHOOLS HELPING KIDS. AND SO WHAT I’D LIKE TO DO IS START FIRST WITH THE QUESTION IN REGARDS TO WHAT THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION AND THE SUPERINTENDENT CAN DO WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE SURE WE’RE EFFECTIVE IN MOVING PROGRESS FORWARD IN MICHIGAN. I THINK THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PLACE TO START, BECAUSE, REALLY, AT THE END OF THE DAY, IF WE HAVE A GOOD FOUNDATION WITH HOW WE WORK AND DO WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO US, THAT’S GOING TO IMPACT ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT, BOTH IN REGARDS TO THE MAJOR INITIATIVES WE WANT TO WORK ON HERE IN MICHIGAN, AND, I’M SURE, A LOT OF THE OTHER TOPICS THAT WE’LL DISCUSS TODAY. SO TO ME, IT ALL STARTS RIGHT THERE. OUR ABILITY TO WORK TOGETHER AND TO GOVERN IS GOING TO BE VERY TELLING, BECAUSE IT RELATES TO OUR ABILITY TO MOVE OUR AGENDA FORWARD, SO THAT’S REALLY FIRST AND FOREMOST. I THINK HAVING A GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BOARD, THE SUPERINTENDENT’S OFFICE, KNOWING THAT WE’RE WORKING TOGETHER, WE’RE ON THE SAME PAGE, AND WE’RE MOVING FORWARD UNITED WILL MEAN A LOT TO THE PEOPLE IN THE FIELD DOING THIS WORK. THEY’RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO SEE THAT AND KNOW THAT, “OKAY, THE TOP’S MOVING IN THE SAME DIRECTION, AND WE NEED TO FOLLOW.” AND SO THAT’S A BIG COMPONENT OF THAT, AND WE DO THAT BY SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR OURSELVES, WORKING TOGETHER AND BUILDING A TEAM. I THINK THAT’S REALLY, IN MY TIME IN PUBLIC EDUCATION, HAS BEEN MY STRENGTH, IS WORKING WITH PEOPLE, GETTING PEOPLE TO WORK TOGETHER AS A TEAM, AND GETTING PEOPLE TO MOVE ALONG. IT’S GREAT TO BE A TEAM, BUT IF YOU’RE NOT GETTING ANYTHING ACCOMPLISHED, THEN YOU’RE NOT REALLY MAKING ANY PROGRESS. SO THAT’S– I THINK THAT ONE OF MY STRENGTHS AND THE REASON THAT I’M HERE IN FRONT OF YOU TODAY– BECAUSE, AS YOU KNOW, WITH MY BACKGROUND, I’VE TAKEN A PRETTY UNTRADITIONAL TRACK TO COME THROUGH, BOTH BEING A SUPERINTENDENT AND COMING BEFORE YOU. SO THAT’S REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT, AND I THINK IF WE HAVE EXPECTATIONS FOR EACH OTHER, WE KNOW HOW WE’RE GOING TO WORK TOGETHER, WE’RE COMMUNICATING WELL WITH EACH OTHER, THEN WE’RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO SEND A VERY CLEAR MESSAGE MOVING FORWARD OF HOW WE WANT TO SEE WORK GET DONE THROUGH THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. NEXT, WHAT I’D HIGHLIGHT IS IN ORDER FOR US TO HAVE A GOOD GAMEPLAN ON SOME OF THESE OBJECTIVES WE WANT TO ACCOMPLISH, WE NEED TO CREATE WHAT I’LL CALL A SHARED VISION. AND SO WE HAVE TO CREATE THIS PICTURE OF WHERE WE WANT TO GO AS A STATE, AND WE NEED TO IDENTIFY WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO US. AND WHEN I TALK ABOUT THAT, I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THE WORD “SHARED,” BECAUSE THE MORE PEOPLE WE HAVE BUYING INTO WHAT WE BELIEVE IS IMPORTANT, THE MORE IDEAS THAT WE HAVE AS PART OF THAT PROCESS, THE MORE POWER WE’RE GOING TO HAVE IN MOVING FORWARD. AND SO WHEN I TALK ABOUT A SHARED VISION, IT’S JUST NOT MY IDEAS OR THE IDEAS OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION AND THE STAFF OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. IT’S REALLY ABOUT THE IDEAS OF ALL STAKEHOLDERS. WHAT ARE MICHIGAN CITIZENS SAYING, WHAT ARE THE PEOPLE ON THE GROUND TALKING ABOUT AS IT RELATES TO EDUCATION HERE IN MICHIGAN, WHAT’S OUR LEGISLATIVE BRANCH TALKING ABOUT, SINCE WE KNOW THEY PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN THIS, AND SO WORKING TOGETHER, I THINK THERE ARE A VARIETY OF THINGS WE CAN COME TO AN AGREEMENT ON AND HAVE IT BE PART OF A COMMON VISION THAT REALLY CAN GET US ALL MARSHALLED AND WORKING TOGETHER TO MOVE FORWARD. SO THAT’S A BIG PIECE FOR ME AS IT RELATES TO HOW WE CAN BE EFFECTIVE AND GET OUR WORK DONE. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE PACKET I GAVE YOU, THE VERY LAST PAGE THAT YOU SEE IS A SHARED VISION THAT WE CREATED IN THE LIVONIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND I’D JUST LIKE TO TALK A COUPLE MINUTES ABOUT WHAT WE DID THERE, BECAUSE IT WAS A VERY UNIQUE PROCESS. WE HAVE A DISTRICT SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT TEAM, JUST LIKE EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT ACROSS THE STATE. THEIR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO HAVE A SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN AND TO BE MOVING FORWARD ON THE PLAN. WHEN WE STARTED OUR WORK MANY YEARS AGO, WE KNEW WE HAD REPRESENTATION ON THAT DISTRICT SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT TEAM OF TEACHERS, SUPPORT STAFF, PARENTS, ET CETERA, BUT THEY DIDN’T REPRESENT THE FEELINGS OF EVERY SINGLE PERSON WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY, AND SO WHAT WE LITERALLY DID WAS WE WENT OUT AND OUR GROUP OF STAKEHOLDERS HAD MULTIPLE MEETINGS THROUGHOUT OUR COMMUNITY. WE TALKED TO OVER 2,500 PEOPLE, AND WE ASKED THEM FOUR BASIC QUESTIONS. WE ASKED THEM, “WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT, WHAT DO YOU ENVISION IT BEING?” WE ASKED THEM, “WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU IN YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION, WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?” WE ASKED THEM, “WHEN YOU ENVISION OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT 5 YEARS FROM NOW, IT WILL BE…” VERY OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS, AND WE ASKED THEM AT THE END, “FOR STUDENTS, WHAT OUTCOMES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?” WE RECEIVED OVER 16,000 COMMENTS THROUGH THIS PROCESS. WE THEMED THOSE COMMENTS, AND WHAT YOU SEE IN FRONT OF YOU IS THE WORK OF THAT SHARED VISION THAT WE CREATED. PART AND PARCEL OF THAT PROCESS WAS WE REALLY FELT THAT EVERYBODY HAD SOMETHING IN THAT VISION THAT MEANT SOMETHING TO THEM. AND SO EVERY SINGLE INITIATIVE THAT WE HAVE IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT, WHEN WE BUILD OUR BUDGETS OR DO STAFFING PLANNING, WHEN WE TAKE ON INITIATIVES AS IT RELATES TO STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT IT IS, WE MEASURE OURSELVES AS ONE OF OUR MEASURES AGAINST A SHARED VISION IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT. AND SO IF WE CAN CREATE THAT KIND OF SHARED VISION, GETTING A LOT OF STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED, I THINK THAT CAN BE VERY, VERY POWERFUL FOR US AS A GROUP, AND IT’S GOING TO MAKE OUR GROUP AND OUR WORK THAT MUCH MORE MEANINGFUL. AND AGAIN, ANSWERING THE QUESTION, “WHAT CAN WE DO AS A GROUP TO MAKE SURE THAT WE’RE MOVING THE EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS IN OUR STATE FORWARD?” IF WE HAVE THE SHARED VISION AND ARE WORKING WELL TOGETHER AS A UNIFIED FRONT AS THE BOARD AND THE SUPERINTENDENT’S OFFICE, WE’RE GOING TO BE THAT MUCH MORE POWERFUL WHEN WE’RE TRYING TO GET THAT WORK DONE. SO THAT’S THE FOUNDATION FOR ME, AND I’LL GO INTO IT, IF THAT’S OKAY, IN THE NEXT QUESTION, AS IT RELATES TO SOME OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK ARE VERY IMPORTANT HERE IN MICHIGAN TO MOVE THE NEEDLE AS IT RELATES TO EDUCATION PROGRESS. AND WHEN I MENTION THE THINGS I’M GOING TO MENTION, I WANT TO HIGHLIGHT AS I GO IN THAT THERE ARE GOING TO BE A LOT OF GOOD IDEAS. THERE’S NO ONE PERSON THAT HAS ALL THE IDEAS AS TO HOW TO MOVE MICHIGAN FORWARD, AND WE’RE IN A PRETTY GOOD POSITION. WE’VE GOT A LOT OF GOOD RESEARCH, A LOT OF GOOD THINGS GOING ON HERE IN MICHIGAN, AND WE HAVE A LOT OF GOOD MODELS ACROSS THE COUNTRY THAT CAN HELP US WHEN WE THINK ABOUT WHAT WE WANT TO DO AS FAR AS THE KEY PRIORITIES TO HELP US MOVE FORWARD. GOING BACK TO THE SHARED VISION, I THINK IF WE HAVE THAT FOUNDATION, I THINK SEVERAL OF THE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO US TO MAKE MICHIGAN MOVE FORWARD AND MAKE US A LEADING STATE HERE IN OUR COUNTRY WILL BE COMING OUT OF THAT WORK. AND AGAIN, THAT WILL BE SHARED WORK COMING FROM A LOT OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE, AND I THINK THOSE THEMES ARE GOING TO COME UP AND THEY’RE GOING TO BE VERY HELPFUL FOR US, NOT ONLY IN REGARDS TO IDENTIFYING WHAT WE NEED TO DO, BUT HAVING BUY-IN TO MAKING SURE WE’RE MOVING FORWARD ON THE WORK. AND SO I’M GOING TO HIGHLIGHT SOME BROAD TOPICS, AND YOU’LL SEE THEM IN YOUR HANDOUT. TEACHER QUALITY IS PROBABLY THE ONE I’LL SPEND THE MOST TIME ON AND THE ONE I’LL TALK ABOUT THE MOST. BOTH SHORT-TERM THINGS AND LONG-TERM THINGS WE CAN DO. SETTING HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENTS AND STAFF, MAKING SURE WE HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR THEM, AND, IMPORTANTLY, SUPPORTING THEM IN GETTING THERE, AND I’LL EXPAND ON THAT. EARLY INTERVENTION FOR STRUGGLING LEARNERS, WHICH, AS WE KNOW, IS THE BASIS FOR OUR FUTURE SUCCESS. I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT STABILITY AND CONSISTENCY IN OUR STATE AS IT RELATES TO OUR POLICY AND FUNDING, IN REGARDS TO MAKING SURE WE’RE SUPPORTING THE PEOPLE DOING THE WORK DOWN IN THE FIELD. AND LAST, I’D HIGHLIGHT THAT WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO WORK VERY, VERY HARD ON ADDRESSING POVERTY. AND SO THOSE ARE THE BIG THINGS THAT I’D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT, AT LEAST IN MY MIND, THAT I THINK CAN MOVE US FROM WHERE WE’RE AT TO BEING A LEADING STATE IN OUR COUNTRY. I’M GOING TO START WITH TEACHER QUALITY. THE RESEARCH IS OVERWHELMING: IN REGARDS TO THE WORK THAT WE CAN DO AS EDUCATORS AND WHAT WE HAVE CONTROL OVER, TEACHER QUALITY IS THE ONE THING THAT WILL MAKE THE MOST DIFFERENCE AS IT RELATES TO WORKING WITH KIDS. I WOULD HIGHLIGHT THAT WHEN THE CENTER FOR MICHIGAN WENT ACROSS THE STATE A COUPLE YEARS AGO, ASKING CITIZENS OF MICHIGAN, “WHAT DO YOU THINK WE OUGHT TO FOCUS ON IN EDUCATION?” THEY TOLD US, “TEACHERS.” THEY SAID, “SUPPORTING TEACHERS AND MAKING SURE WE HAVE QUALITY TEACHERS IN FRONT OF KIDS.” THAT’S WHAT THEY TOLD US. A TON OF RESEARCH OUT THERE THAT WILL SUPPORT THAT IN MANY WAYS, THE WORK OF THE MIDWEST EDUCATION TRUST AND MANY OTHERS HAVE OUTLINED THAT IF WE’RE GOING TO FOCUS ON SOMETHING, WE NEED TO FOCUS ON TEACHER QUALITY AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO IMPROVE TEACHER QUALITY IN ORDER TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. AND WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THAT, MANY OF THE THINGS THAT I’LL TALK ABOUT AS WE GO THROUGH THAT WILL BE HOW WE CAN SUPPORT THE PEOPLE OUT IN THE FIELD DOING THE WORK TO MOVE THEM TO NEW LEVELS. AND SO THERE’S A LOT OF RESEARCH THAT RELATES TO HOW WE CAN SUPPORT TEACHERS. A LOT OF THE EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH ACTUALLY SUPPORTS RESEARCH DONE BY THE GALLUP INSTITUTE. THE GALLUP ORGANIZATION HAS, FOR YEARS, DONE RESEARCH IN REGARDS TO ENGAGED, QUALITY, PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYEES AND WHAT THAT WORK LOOKS LIKE. AND IT’S INTERESTING: WE WERE LOOKING AT THIS IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT MANY YEARS AGO, AND IT’S JUST SO LOGICAL IN REGARDS TO THIS TYPE OF WORK AND HOW THIS CAN MOVE PEOPLE FORWARD, AND IT JUST MAKES SO MUCH SENSE THAT, YOU KNOW, IT’S A CLEAR PLACE FOR US TO FOCUS. AND IT TIES INTO THE EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH. AND SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE WORK OF GALLUP, I MEAN, THEY BASICALLY LOOK AT THESE TYPES OF EMPLOYEES THAT ARE VERY PRODUCTIVE AND THEY FIND OUT THE NUMBER ONE– THEY WANT TO KNOW WHAT THEIR EXPECTATIONS ARE, THEY WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S EXPECTED OF THEM. THEY WANT TO KNOW IF THEY’LL HAVE THE RESOURCES TO DO THE JOB. THEY WANT TO KNOW IF SOMEONE’S GOING TO RECOGNIZE THEM FOR THEIR WORK. THEY WANT TO TALK TO SOMEONE– WITHIN 6 MONTHS, THEY WANT TO TALK TO SOMEONE AS IT RELATES TO THEIR PROGRESS AND THEIR PERFORMANCE. THEY WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE ORGANIZATION’S MISSION AND VISION IS. THEY WANT TO KNOW THAT THEIR OPINION COUNTS. THOSE ARE SOME PRETTY BASIC THINGS AS IT RELATES TO WHAT WE CAN DO TO LIFT EMPLOYEES DOING THE WORK WITH KIDS EVERY DAY. AND IT TIES RIGHT INTO THE EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH. SO IF YOU’RE LOOKING AT SCHMOKER AND FULLAN AND THE GURUS THAT WE KNOW TODAY, THEY TALK ABOUT THE SAME THINGS. THEY TALK ABOUT SETTING CLEAR EXPECTATIONS FOR STAFF, WHICH TIES INTO THAT FIRST ITEM. THEY TALK ABOUT HAVING A CLEAR, COHERENT CURRICULUM, AND THAT TIES RIGHT INTO “WILL I HAVE THE RESOURCES I NEED TO DO MY JOB?” THEY TALK ABOUT REGULAR PERFORMANCE EVALUATION AND MONITORING, WHICH TIES RIGHT INTO THE, YOU KNOW, “WILL SOMEONE TALK TO ME EVERY 6 MONTHS ABOUT HOW I’M PROGRESSING IN MY WORK?” THEY TALK ABOUT TEACHERS HAVING AN OPINION AND A VOICE AS IT RELATES TO THE WORK, AND THAT’S TIED EXACTLY INTO WHAT GALLUP SAYS AFTER TESTING MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF EMPLOYEES OVER ALL SECTORS IN REGARDS TO WHAT MAKES PEOPLE EFFECTIVE. AND SO I THINK IF WE CAN DO THAT, WE DEFINITELY CAN BE MOVING OUR TEACHERS FORWARD, WHICH WILL BE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT THING THAT WE CAN DO TO MOVE OUR STUDENTS FORWARD. AND SO FOCUSING ON TEACHER TRAINING IS A CRITICAL COMPONENT. I DON’T KNOW IF YOU’RE AWARE OF THE GALILEO INSTITUTE DOWN IN THE TRI-COUNTY AREA. IT’S A SPECIALIZED TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM. I’VE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE THE CHAIRMAN OF THE ORGANIZATION ON TWO DIFFERENT OCCASIONS, NOW, CHOSEN BY MY PEERS TO REPRESENT THE WORK OF THE GALILEO INSTITUTE. IT’S AN INTENSIVE, 2-YEAR PROGRAM FOR TEACHERS TO BOTH EXPAND THEMSELVES AS LEADERS, BUT LEADERS AS TEACHERS. AND I HAVE TO TELL YOU, IF YOU TALK TO ANY TEACHER THAT’S EVER GONE THROUGH THIS PROGRAM, IT’S BEEN A– THEY’D CALL IT A LIFE-CHANGING PROGRAM. IT’S THAT KIND OF WORK THAT WE NEED TO DO WITH TEACHERS. WE NEED TO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR COLLABORATION, OPPORTUNITY FOR THEM TO TALK TO THEIR COLLEAGUES ABOUT THEIR WORK AND WHAT THEY’RE SEEING WITH THEIR KIDS, WHAT THEY’RE DOING TO MODIFY AND ADJUST WHAT’S GOING ON IN THEIR CLASSROOMS. WE’VE GOT A LOT OF MODELS RIGHT NOW AS IT RELATES TO PROVIDING THAT WORK, AND SO THAT’S GOOD. YOU’LL SEE DIFFERENT SCHOOL DISTRICTS DOING IT IN DIFFERENT WAYS. SOME SCHOOL DISTRICTS MAY HAVE A EARLY RELEASE. SOME TEACHERS FIND A COMMON PLAYING TIME WITHIN THE DAY BY GRADE LEVEL. A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS THAT SCHOOLS DO TO PROVIDE THAT SUPPORT, BUT I THINK WE NEED TO TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER. ONE OF THE THINGS WE LEARNED IN LIVONIA WAS WHEN WE PROVIDED THIS TIME AND SUPPORT IN SCHOOLS, IN FINDING TIME TO COLLABORATE WITH EACH OTHER, WHAT WE WERE FINDING IS THAT WHEN THEY WERE GETTING TOGETHER, THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. AND SO THEY WERE GETTING TOGETHER AND WEREN’T NEARLY AS PRODUCTIVE AS THEY COULD HAVE BEEN BECAUSE WE DIDN’T PROVIDE THE TRAINING AND THE LEADERSHIP TO MAKE SURE THEY WERE PRODUCTIVE WITH THAT TIME AND KNEW WHAT TO LOOK AT, YOU KNOW, WHAT KIND OF DATA TO LOOK AT AND WHAT TO TALK ABOUT AND FOCUS ON. AND THERE’S A LOT OF SUPPORT OUT THERE THAT WE CAN GIVE TEACHERS TO EVEN HAVE THOSE CONVERSATIONS, SO A LOT OF THOSE THINGS, AS WE TALK ABOUT WHAT WE CAN DO TO STEP IT UP WITH TEACHER QUALITY AND PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR THEM HAS TO REALLY HAVE TO DO WITH GOING THE NEXT MILE. EVALUATION, AS IT RELATES TO HAVING THAT REGULAR AND CONSISTENT FEEDBACK IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. AND WE’VE GOT A GREAT MODEL. THE GROUP THAT PUT TOGETHER, LED BY DEBORAH BALL AT MICHIGAN, PUT TOGETHER THE EVALUATION WORK AND DID AN EXCELLENT JOB AT IDENTIFYING DIFFERENT MODELS AND DIFFERENT WAYS WE CAN PROVIDE GOOD INFORMATION FOR OUR PRINCIPALS, WORKING WITH TEACHERS AND EVALUATING THEM AND PROVIDING THEM WITH FEEDBACK. SO WE’VE GOT A GREAT MODEL THERE, BUT AGAIN, I’D ASK THAT WE TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER, BECAUSE IT’S ONE THING TO HAVE A GREAT TEACHER EVALUATION TOOL. IT’S ANOTHER TO ACTUALLY PROVIDE GOOD FEEDBACK BECAUSE YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU WALK INTO THE CLASSROOM, WHAT GOOD INSTRUCTION LOOKS LIKE. AND SO WHAT WE’VE DONE IN LIVONIA, JUST AS AN EXAMPLE, IS WE’VE SPENT A LOT OF TIME– AND IT CAME OUT OF A REQUEST OF THE PRINCIPALS. THEY SAID, “WE NEED HELP WITH THIS. WE’VE GOT A GOOD TOOL HERE, BUT WE NEED HELP.” AND SO WE SET UP A SERIES OF IN-SERVICES FOR OUR PRINCIPALS TO HAVE THEM IDENTIFY AND WORK ON HOW TO DO A GOOD TEACHER EVALUATION, HOW TO GOOD OBSERVATIONS, HOW OFTEN TO GET INTO CLASSROOMS, HOW TO CREATE TIME TO GET INTO CLASSROOMS, WHAT TO BE LOOKING FOR, HOW TO TALK TO TEACHERS ABOUT IMPROVING THEIR CRAFT. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP IN THE PROCESS BECAUSE THE BEST EVALUATION TOOL DOESN’T MEAN A WHOLE LOT IF YOU DON’T HAVE PEOPLE THAT KNOW HOW TO USE IT. SO I WOULD TAKE THAT A STEP FURTHER AS IT RELATES TO WHAT WE CAN DO TO REALLY IMPROVE OUR TEACHING CRAFT IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND COMMUNITIES.>>THERE– I’M SORRY TO INTERRUPT, BUT ARE THERE A COUPLE OTHER POINTS YOU WANT TO MAKE ABOUT IMPROVING EDUCATION?>>YES, YES.>>WE NEED TO KEEP PLENTY OF TIME FOR QUESTIONS AND MORE GIVE AND TAKE, IF YOU’RE–>>YES, NO, I APPRECIATE THAT, AND I’LL HIT THE NEXT ITEMS QUICKLY, AND KNOW THAT TEACHER QUALITY IS THE ONE I WANTED TO HIT THE MOST CLOSELY AND SPEND THE MOST TIME ON. I WOULD ALSO HIGHLIGHT CREATING HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENTS AND STAFF. IT’S VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. I THINK WE’RE IN A GOOD PLACE WITH OUR MICHIGAN STANDARDS RIGHT NOW IN REGARDS TO BEING ABLE TO DO THAT. AGAIN, I THINK IN REGARDS TO HOW WE CAN SUPPORT THAT, I WOULD JUST PROVIDE AN EXAMPLE THAT WAS IMPORTANT TO US AS WE WORKED ON THIS. WE ASK OUR SCHOOLS TO MAKE A PRESENTATION TO THE SCHOOL BOARD ON A REGULAR BASIS IN REGARDS TO THEIR BUILDING SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT. SO THEY HAVE TO SIT IN FRONT OF THE BOARD AND TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY’RE DOING, WHAT ACHIEVEMENT DATA THEY’RE LOOKING AT, WHAT STRATEGIES THEY HAVE IN PLACE, ET CETERA, WHAT’S GOING ON IN THEIR SCHOOL. AND WE JUST HAD ONE OF THESE PRESENTATIONS A COUPLE WEEKS AGO, AND I WAS SO ENCOURAGED WITH THE WAY THE BOARD OF ED ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE, BECAUSE THE STAFF SHARED WITH US THAT LOOKING AT BASIC READING SKILLS FOR KIDS IN THEIR SCHOOL, THE KIDS WERE GETTING THE BASIC CONCEPTS. A VERY HIGH PERCENTAGE OF KIDS WERE MEETING THE PROFICIENCY TARGETS FOR BASIC CONCEPTS, BUT WHEN IT CAME TO THOSE CRITICAL THINKING AND HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILLS THAT WE WANT OUT OF KIDS THAT WE KNOW WILL MAKE THEM SUCCESSFUL IN THE LONG HAUL– WHICH IS NEW FOR US, THAT’S NEW FOR US– WE FOUND THAT A LOT OF OUR KIDS ARE NOT MEETING THOSE TARGETS. AND THEY LAID THAT OUT THERE AND TALKED ABOUT WHAT THEY WANTED TO DO TO MAKE SURE THOSE KIDS ARE MEETING THOSE TARGETS, BECAUSE AS THE PRINCIPAL IN THE SCHOOL SAID– IT’S A K-4 SCHOOL– HE SAID, “I KNOW IF MY 4th GRADERS WALK OUT MEETING THE PROFICIENCY TARGETS THAT WE SET IN THE MICHIGAN CURRICULUM, THEY’RE GOING TO BE FINE. I WILL NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THEM.” WHAT A POWERFUL STATEMENT. AND OUR BOARD OF EDUCATION CAME UP AFTERWARDS AND SAID, “YOU KNOW, IT WASN’T THAT GREAT.” AND IT COULD’VE BEEN EASY FOR THEM TO SAY, “GOSH, DID YOU SEE HOW POORLY THEY’RE DOING ON THOSE NEW STANDARDS? OH MY GOD. AREN’T WE WORRIED, AREN’T WE SCARED? WHAT’S GOING ON? ARE WE DOING SOMETHING WRONG?” THAT WAS NOT THE RESPONSE FROM OUR BOARD OF EDUCATION. THE RESPONSE WAS, “THEY’RE LOOKING AT THE RIGHT STUFF. WE’RE SO EXCITED ABOUT WHAT THEY’RE DOING. OUR KIDS ARE GOING TO GET A BETTER EDUCATION BECAUSE OF THIS.” AND I WOULD HOPE THAT THAT COULD BE THE KIND OF SUPPORT THAT WE COULD PROVIDE HERE AT THE STATE LEVEL WHEN WE TALK ABOUT WORKING WITH TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS IN MOVING THESE NEW STANDARDS FORWARD. SO HIGH STANDARDS ARE BIG. SUPPORTING EARLY INTERVENTION FOR STRUGGLING LEARNERS, AND WE’LL TALK ABOUT THAT MORE, I’M SURE, WITH DIFFERENT QUESTIONS THAT WILL BE COMING UP, BUT WE KNOW THAT WE’RE RACING AGAINST THE CLOCK AS IT RELATES TO MAKING SURE THAT KIDS IN THE 3rd GRADE MEET PROFICIENCY TARGETS. WE KNOW THAT THAT’S A KEY POINT AS IT RELATES TO US, AND WE NEED TO DO A LOT OF EARLY PREVENTION TO HELP STRUGGLING LEARNERS. STABILITY AND CONSISTENCY, AGAIN, I’M SURE WE’LL TOUCH ON SCHOOL FUNDING AND FINANCE, BUT PROVIDING CONSISTENCY AND STABILITY FOR THE PEOPLE DOING THE WORK IN SCHOOLS IS PARAMOUNT IN REGARDS TO MAKING SURE THEY’RE FOCUSING ON THE TEACHER QUALITY AND HIGH EXPECTATIONS ISSUES THAT I TALKED ABOUT. AND SO WE HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO DO THAT HERE IN MICHIGAN. WE KNOW THAT IT’S BEEN A STRUGGLE. I’M CERTAINLY ENCOURAGED WITH THE ADEQUACY STUDY THAT’S ON THE AGENDA TO SUPPOSEDLY BE DONE. I CERTAINLY BELIEVE THAT I’M SOMEONE WHO COULD HELP WITH THAT, WITH MY BACKGROUND AND MY KNOWLEDGE OF SCHOOL FUNDING FOR THE LAST 28 YEARS, BUT I’M EXCITED ABOUT THAT, BECAUSE I THINK THAT’S GOING TO PROVIDE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO FOCUS ON NOT JUST DOLLARS AND CENTS, BUT WHAT DO WE NEED TO PROVIDE KIDS TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE MEETING THESE STANDARDS, AND THEN WE BUILD THE BUDGET FROM THERE. AND SO MY ONLY SUGGESTION IS THAT WE WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE ON THAT. WE CERTAINLY DON’T WANT TO BE IN A POSITION WHERE THIS TURNS INTO A LAWSUIT AND WE’RE WAITING 10 YEARS FOR A RESOLUTION DOWN THE ROAD. AND SO WORKING TOGETHER WITH THE KEY PLAYERS ON THIS IS A WAY I THINK WE CAN MOVE THAT FORWARD. AND AGAIN, LAST, ADDRESSING POVERTY, WHICH– THE THEME IN ALL OF THESE ITEMS IS QUALITY INSTRUCTION, QUALITY INSTRUCTION, QUALITY INSTRUCTION. AND SO MANY OF THE ITEMS WE NEED TO OR CAN LOOK AT TO CONTINUE TO WORK ON OR WORK ON IN A NEW WAY HAS TO DO WITH PROVIDING QUALITY TEACHERS AND CLASSROOMS. AND SO WITH THAT, I’LL CUT MY COMMENTS SHORT.>>SURE. WE’VE GOT ABOUT 20 QUESTIONS TO ASK. THEY WILL ALLOW YOU TO ELABORATE ON SOME OF THE POINTS YOU DIDN’T GET TO SPEND TIME ON THAT YOU MAY HAVE WANTED. AND ALSO, WE DON’T NEED TO REPEAT. I MEAN, IF THERE’S THINGS THAT YOU’VE TALKED ABOUT THAT THE QUESTION IS GERMANE TO, WE’LL TRY TO NOTE TOGETHER THAT YOU’VE PROVIDED US SOME SOLID PERSPECTIVE ON THAT, AS WELL. AND SO 2 OR 3 MINUTES PER QUESTION, BUT WE’LL ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME TO MAKE SURE WE COVER ALL THE GROUND YOU WANT TO COVER, AND APPRECIATE YOUR BEING HERE. SO, CASANDRA.>>CAN YOU DESCRIBE AND OFFER SOME EXAMPLES OF YOUR SUCCESSFUL EXPERIENCE IN IMPROVING EDUCATION AND LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR STUDENTS?>>SO I WOULD GO BACK TO, AGAIN, STARTING WITH HAVING A COMMON AND SHARED VISION WITHIN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT, WHICH IS REALLY THE BASIS FOR EVERYTHING WE’VE WANTED TO DO. AND IF YOU LOOK AT SOME OF THE GOALS WE’VE HAD AS IT RELATES TO THAT SHARED VISION THAT WE HAD, THEY TIE DIRECTLY INTO IMPROVING INSTRUCTION. SO ONE OF THE BIG THINGS WE’VE BEEN WORKING ON IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT IS MEETING THE NEEDS OF STRUGGLING LEARNERS, AND SO IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT, WE’VE CREATED A COMMITTEE CALLED THE OPERATION: STUDENT SUCCESS COMMITTEE, AND THEY HAVE DONE INTENSIVE WORK IN REGARDS TO RESEARCH AND BEST PRACTICE AS IT RELATES TO PROVIDING THAT CORE QUALITY INSTRUCTION, AND THE MESSAGE IS SIMPLE: WE NEED TO, AT THE BASE, HAVE CORE, QUALITY, GOOD INSTRUCTION FOR EVERY SINGLE CLASSROOM IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT. AND SO THE MOTTO WE USE IS “EVERY CHILD, EVERY CLASSROOM, EVERY SCHOOL, EVERY DAY.” AND THE WORK THAT THEY’VE BEEN DOING IS PROVIDING SKILLS AND IDEAS FOR TEACHERS TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT’S WHAT THEIR FOCUS IS ON. WE TRAINED EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS, OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, IN THESE PRACTICES, TO MAKE SURE THAT, AT THE START, WE’RE PROVIDING CORE QUALITY INSTRUCTION IN THE CLASSROOM. SEPARATE FROM THAT, WE’RE WORKING ON TIERED INTERVENTION, AND SO FOR THE STUDENTS GETTING THIS QUALITY INSTRUCTION, IF THEY’RE STILL STRUGGLING, WE’RE DOING REGULAR– WHAT WE CALL UNIVERSAL SCREENERS TO MONITOR OUR STUDENTS’ PROGRESS. AND IF THEY’RE NOT MAKING PROGRESS, THEN WE’RE GOING TO TAKE A STEP BACK AND IT’S ALL HANDS ON DECK. AND SO WHETHER YOU’RE A SOCIAL WORKER OR A RESOURCE ROOM TEACHER, WHETHER YOU’RE THE CLASSROOM TEACHER– IN OUR CASE, WE’RE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE A ELEMENTARY SUPPORT TEACHER IN EVERY ONE OF OUR SCHOOLS TO SUPPORT THIS KIND OF WORK. ALL HANDS ARE ON DECK TO MAKE SURE WE’RE LOOKING AT EVERY KID AND MAKING SURE THAT THEY’RE MEETING THOSE BENCHMARKS. SO THAT’S ONE BIG THING THAT WE’VE DONE IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS. I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT WHAT WE’VE DONE IN THE HIGH SCHOOL THAT RELATES TO REDUCING OUR ACHIEVEMENT GAP BETWEEN OUR DIFFERENT SUB-GROUPS. WE’VE MADE SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN THE LAST 4 YEARS AS IT RELATES TO OUR BLACK STUDENTS, STUDENTS FROM DISADVANTAGED HOMES, AND SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS. WE’VE SEEN A MULTI– I MEAN, PERCENTAGES IN THE 10, 20, 30% GROWTH IN THOSE AREAS, AND THAT’S SEPARATE FROM A MUCH SMALLER INCREASE THAT WE’RE SEEING OVERALL WITH ALL OUR STUDENTS. AND SO THAT’S BEEN EXCITING FOR US TO WATCH, AND IT’S REALLY A FOCUS ON–>>RANDY, WE’VE GOT TO KEEP MOVING ON SOME OF THESE. MICHELLE?>>OH, OKAY. WELL, THIS MIGHT ALLOW YOU TO CONTINUE. [ LAUGHTER ]>>HOW HAS YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE OTHERWISE PREPARED YOU FOR THIS POSITION?>>ACTUALLY, I THINK WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHY I’M SITTING HERE TODAY AND WHY I WAS NAMED SUPERINTENDENT 12 YEARS AGO AND YOU LOOK AT MY BACKGROUND, IT’S REALLY BEEN BASED ON MY ABILITY TO GET PEOPLE TO WORK TOGETHER IN TEAMS, GET PEOPLE TO HAVE A COMMON MISSION, GET PEOPLE TO TRUST EACH OTHER, AND MOST OF ALL, I’VE GOT AN ABILITY TO BREAK DOWN PRETTY COMPLEX ISSUES AND CREATE PATHS TO MOVE FORWARD. AND THAT’S NOT EASY IN EDUCATION. YOU GUYS ALL KNOW WE LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THINGS. WE LIKE TO TALK, AND WE LIKE TO TALK, AND WE LIKE TO TALK, BUT AT SOME POINT IN TIME, IT’S IMPORTANT FOR US TO IDENTIFY WHAT’S IMPORTANT FOR US AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO MOVE FORWARD. AND WHEN I LOOK AT BEING NAMED ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT IN WAYNE-WESTLAND– I WAS NOT A TEACHER, AND IT’S VERY UNUSUAL TO HAVE AN ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT WHO WAS NOT A TEACHER BACK IN THOSE DAYS, AND IT WAS BECAUSE OF THESE RELATIONSHIPS THAT I HAD BUILT THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT WITH TEACHERS AND ET CETERA AND THAT ABILITY TO SOLVE PROBLEMS AND BRING FORWARD THE GOOD WORK. IT WAS CARRIED THROUGH TO MY TIME IN LIVONIA, WORKING IN A VARIETY OF THINGS THAT WEREN’T ALWAYS FINANCE RELATED, AND BY THE TIME THEY MADE ME SUPERINTENDENT, IT WAS BECAUSE I HAD BEEN ABLE TO WORK IN ALL DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. IN FACT, I WAS IN CHARGE OF INSTRUCTION FOR A PERIOD OF YEARS, BECAUSE THEY KNEW I COULD WORK WITH THE INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF AND GET THEM FOCUSED AND SAY, “OKAY, WELL, HERE’S WHERE WE’RE GOING TO GO. LET’S GET A PLAN,” AND THEN WE PUT THE PLAN IN PLACE AND WE MONITOR IT, SO I’VE HAD JUST A VARIETY OF OPPORTUNITIES TO DO THAT. AND REALLY, JUST IN THE LAST 12 YEARS AS SUPERINTENDENT, IT’S GROWN ABOVE AND BEYOND MY WORK IN LIVONIA. I GAVE ONE EXAMPLE OF THE GALILEO TEACHER INSTITUTE THAT I’VE BEEN ASKED TO CHAIR TWICE. I’M THE– I WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE WAYNE COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS GROUP. I’M GOING TO BE THE CHAIRMAN OF THE TRI-COUNTY ALLIANCE OF SUPERINTENDENTS. I’M THE REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL OF WAYNE, OAKLAND, AND MACOMB COUNTY AT MASA LEGISLATIVE MEETINGS. AND SO I’VE BEEN A VOICE FOR EDUCATION IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT VENUES, AND YOU KNOW, I’VE DONE “OFF THE RECORD” A COUPLE OF TIMES. I’VE BEEN ON NOLAN FINLEY’S SHOW A COUPLE OF TIMES. BECKMANN’S SHOW, I GET CALLED REGULARLY WHEN THERE’S AN EDUCATION ISSUE– THEY DO CALL ME, AND MY PEERS DO ASK ME TO RESPOND ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US AS SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FIELD. SO I THINK ALL OF THOSE EXPERIENCES HAVE LED ME UP TO BEING IN A POSITION WHERE, YOU KNOW, I KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON IN MICHIGAN, I KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON IN MY FELLOW SCHOOL DISTRICTS, AND I KNOW WHAT I CAN DO TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER AND MOVE PEOPLE FORWARD.>>YOU MAY HAVE JUST SPOKEN AS MUCH AS YOU WANT TO NEED TO TO THIS QUESTION, WHICH IS ANY OTHER EXAMPLES OF SUCCESS IN ORGANIZING AND MOVING DISPARATE STAKEHOLDERS, OUTSIDE INTERESTS, AND YOUR OWN STAFF AROUND A SHARED VISION OF EDUCATION.>>SEPARATE FROM THE SHARED VISION THAT WE CREATED IN LIVONIA THAT YOU HAVE A COPY OF, ABSOLUTELY. WHETHER IT’S BEEN THE TRI-COUNTY ALLIANCE OF SUPERINTENDENTS, AGAIN, THE WAYNE COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS UP AT MASA, I THINK I’VE HELPED BE A VOICE NOT ONLY TO PROVIDE IDEAS AND SOLUTIONS BUT TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER TO SAY, “OKAY, WELL, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS? WE NEED TO COME UP WITH A SOLUTION AND PUT A PLAN IN PLACE.” AND I’M REGULARLY THE ONE AT THESE MEETINGS TO TALK ABOUT, OKAY, WELL, IF THIS IS WHAT WE WANT TO ACCOMPLISH, WHAT DO WE DO? RIGHT NOW, WE’RE TALKING A LOT ABOUT THE BALLOT PROPOSAL IN MAY. WE THINK WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO INFORM PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT THIS MEANS. AND SO I SAT DOWN, TALKED TO MY COLLEAGUES AND SAID, “YOU KNOW, WE NEED TO CREATE A SPREADSHEET. WE NEED TO PUT EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT DOWN, AND WE NEED TO FIND OUT WHAT WE’RE ALL DOING AS IT RELATES TO GETTING OUT THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE IN REGARDS TO WHAT PROP 1 MEANS FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR MICHIGAN.” THAT WAY, PEOPLE CAN FILL IN ON THE GOOGLE DOC WHAT THEY’VE DONE, AND WE CAN CALL OUR COLLEAGUES AND SAY, “HEY, I SEE YOU HAVEN’T TALKED TO YOUR STAFF ABOUT THIS, YET. DO THEY UNDERSTAND PROPOSAL 1? DO THEY KNOW WHAT IT’S ABOUT?” THAT WOULD BE ONE EXAMPLE OF THINGS I’VE TRIED TO SPEARHEAD OVER THE YEARS WITH OUR DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS TO MOVE US FORWARD.>>THANK YOU, RANDY. EILEEN, I THINK YOU HAVE THE NEXT QUESTION.>>HI. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TASKS OF THE SUPERINTENDENT IS DEVELOPING WITH THE STATE BOARD POLICIES AND A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR IMPROVING EDUCATION AND THEN ADVANCING IT EFFECTIVELY WITH THE PUBLIC, LEGISLATURE, GOVERNOR, AND EDUCATIONAL INTEREST GROUPS. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE AND APPROACH IN DOING THAT WORK? AND I KNOW YOU’VE ALREADY TALKED ABOUT THAT A BIT. AND HOW WOULD YOU RESOLVE DIFFERENCES IN VISION, DIRECTION, AND EXPECTATIONS HELD BY ALL OF THOSE LEADERS?>>WELL, I THINK THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT, ESPECIALLY IN THE LAST– I’M GOING TO SAY, IN MY OPINION, IN THE LAST 6 TO 9 MONTHS, THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT DIFFERENT STAKEHOLDERS ARE COMING FORWARD WITH THAT WE CAN WORK TOGETHER ON. AND SO FROM A BIG PICTURE STANDPOINT, FOR ME, IT’S FINDING THOSE THINGS THAT WE HAVE IN COMMON. AND IF WE BELIEVE THAT THAT’S WHAT’S GOING TO MOVE MICHIGAN FORWARD, THAT’S WHAT WE OUGHT TO BE SPENDING OUR ENERGY AND TIME ON. AND IT’S EXCITING TO HEAR THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATORS TALKING ABOUT EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, PRESCHOOL, LITERACY, THE NEED TO HAVE OUR KIDS PROFICIENT AT 3rd GRADE LEVEL, AND COLLEGE AND CAREER EDUCATION, WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT’S A PASSION OF ME AND MY COLLEAGUES. AND SO IT’S FINDING THOSE COMMONALITIES AND WORKING TOGETHER AND LISTENING AND BEING GOOD LISTENERS, AND LISTENING TO PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT THEY THINK CAN MOVE EDUCATION FORWARD, AND, BOY, I THINK WE CAN GET PEOPLE ON BOARD SUPPORTING TEACHERS AND THE WORK OF CREATING QUALITY TEACHERS. SO IT’S THOSE TYPES OF THINGS THAT I THINK WE CAN FIND COMMONALITY WITH, AND THAT’S WHAT I TRY TO DO IN MY WORK LEADING UP TO WHERE I AM TODAY, AND I THINK I’VE BEEN SUCCESSFUL AT IT, IN ORDER TO MOVE PROJECTS FORWARD.>>THANKS.>>THANK YOU. KATHY?>>WELL, HELLO, RANDY. IT’S NICE TO SEE YOU.>>HOW ARE YOU?>>I’M GOOD. WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT AND FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSES OF PUBLIC EDUCATION?>>YEAH. I’M– FIRST OF ALL, THE WORK THAT WE DO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT GOVERNMENTAL FUNCTION THAT THERE IS. IF WE THINK ABOUT OUR FUTURE AND THE FUTURE OF OUR KIDS, WHAT OUR COUNTRY’S GOING TO BE DOWN THE ROAD, IT COMES BACK TO EDUCATION. THAT’S HOW I THINK AN ACCOUNTANT ENDS UP SITTING IN FRONT OF YOU TALKING ABOUT BEING STATE SUPERINTENDENT, BECAUSE I HAVE THAT PASSION AND BELIEVE THAT OUR WORK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK TO DO. AND REALLY, IT COMES DOWN TO MAKING SURE THAT WHEN OUR KIDS LEAVE, THAT THEY’RE READY FOR COLLEGE, FOR A JOB, AND TO BE GOOD CITIZENS IN OUR SOCIETY. THOSE ARE THE KEY ELEMENTS THAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR, AND WE’RE GETTING MORE SOPHISTICATED AS IT RELATES TO WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE FOR KIDS, AND SO, YOU KNOW, WE’RE FOCUSED RIGHT NOW ON– WE KNOW THAT THAT MEANS THEY HAVE TO BE CRITICAL THINKERS, COLLABORATORS, TECHNOLOGY USERS, RESEARCHERS, AND PROBLEM SOLVERS. THEY NEED TO BE ABLE TO BE GIVEN A PROBLEM AND SOLVE IT. AND SO I THINK WE’RE MUCH MORE SOPHISTICATED ABOUT WHAT COLLEGE AND CAREER READY LOOKS LIKE NOW, AND THAT’S GOING TO PUT US IN A POSITION TO BE ABLE TO CREATE OUR CURRICULUM, OUR WORK IN MOVING THAT FORWARD.>>THANK YOU.>>LUPE.>>HELLO. HOW ARE YOU?>>GOOD.>>PLEASE SPEAK TO THE ISSUES OF WHAT POLICIES, PRACTICES, OR ACTIONS ARE IMPORTANT TO PURSUE IN ORDER TO IMPROVE TEACHER AND EDUCATOR PREPARATION, QUALITY, SUPPORT, MORALE, AND EFFECTIVENESS.>>WELL, I THINK THAT’S HUGE. IT WAS ACTUALLY– THERE WAS ONE ITEM I DIDN’T GET TO AS I WAS TALKING ABOUT TEACHER QUALITY. I TALKED ABOUT THE THINGS WE WANT TO DO IN THE SHORT TERM, BUT DEFINITELY, IN THE LONG TERM, I THINK WE NEED TO HAVE A VERY SERIOUS CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO TO ELEVATE THE PROFESSION. AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT OTHER COUNTRIES DO AS IT RELATES TO THE TEACHING PROFESSION, WE KNOW THAT THEY WORK VERY HARD TO RECRUIT THE VERY BEST TALENT INTO THE PROFESSION. THEY HAVE HIGH STANDARDS AS IT RELATES TO BEING ABLE TO GET INTO TEACHING COLLEGES IN OTHER COUNTRIES. IT’S HARD TO GRADUATE FROM THESE TEACHING COLLEGES. AND SO THAT TYPE OF DISCUSSION AND WORK AS IT RELATES TO ELEVATING THE PROFESSION, I THINK, IS IMPORTANT. SO IT’S NOT ONLY THE TEACHER PREP PIECE OF THAT, BUT IT’S THAT CONVERSATION OF WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO TO ELEVATE THE PROFESSION, BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS, AND I DON’T THINK ANY OF YOU ARE SURPRISED THAT TEACHERS FEEL, TO SOME EXTENT, PRETTY BEAT UP RIGHT NOW IN REGARDS TO THEIR PERCEPTION OF HOW PEOPLE VALUE THEM. AND WE NEED TO LIFT THAT. WE NEED TO LIFT THAT, AND PART OF THAT IS TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE’RE DOING TO PREPARE TEACHERS AND WHAT WE’RE DOING TO VALUE TEACHERS ONCE THEY BECOME PROFESSIONALS.>>THANK YOU.>>PAM.>>HELLO.>>HELLO.>>WHAT IS THE ROLE OF ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION? AND WHAT ELSE HAS TO GO ALONG WITH ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS TO IMPROVE LEARNING?>>WELL, I THINK THEY HAVE A BIG ROLE. I THINK THAT WHEN YOU LOOK AT ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS, THERE’S DIFFERENT PIECES OF THAT PUZZLE. I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES ARE AT THE SCHOOL, AND THOSE ONGOING MEASURES THAT OCCUR ON A DAILY BASIS IN REGARDS TO MONITORING HOW KIDS ARE DOING. AND IT’S THOSE FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS AND THE WORK THAT TEACHERS ARE DOING TO MAKE SURE THEIR KIDS ARE MOVING FORWARD ON A WEEKLY BASIS, DAILY BASIS, MONTHLY BASIS ARE THE ONES THAT ARE MAKING THE MOST PROGRESS. BUT SEPARATE FROM THAT, WE NEED TO HAVE BIG PICTURE ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES. WE HAVE TO. WE CAN’T JUST SAY, “OH, YEAH, WELL, WE THINK THINGS ARE GOING WELL IN THE SCHOOLS, AND EVERYBODY’S DOING OKAY, AND WE HEARD THAT THEY’VE GOT GOOD FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS IN PLACE.” THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. WE HAVE TO HAVE OVERALL WAYS FOR US TO MEASURE HOW KIDS ARE DOING IN SCHOOL, ALSO. AND IF THAT’S HANDLED IN THE RIGHT WAY, TO WHERE WE’RE USING THAT INFORMATION TO IMPROVE WHAT’S GOING ON IN SCHOOLS AND WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CLASSROOMS, THEN THAT COULD BE POSITIVE. I THINK ONE IMPORTANT PIECE OF THAT IS THAT WHATEVER WE USE FOR ACCOUNTABILITY, WE NEED CONSISTENCY. STAFFS STRUGGLE WITH WHAT THEY FEEL BEING THE TARGET CHANGING ON A SOMEWHAT REGULAR BASIS. WE KNOW AND I UNDERSTAND THAT FEDERAL REGULATIONS OFTEN HAVE A LOT TO DO WITH THAT, AND WE’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR MEETING CERTAIN FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS. I HOPE WE COULD HAVE A ROLE WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS IT RELATES TO WHAT THOSE REQUIREMENTS ARE. BUT WE NEED CONSISTENT MEASUREMENTS AND STANDARDS SO PEOPLE KNOW– YOU KNOW, AGAIN, GETTING BACK TO THAT GALLUP POLL– WHAT’S EXPECTED OF ME, DO I KNOW WHAT’S EXPECTED OF ME. WE NEED TO TELL PEOPLE WHAT’S EXPECTED OF THEM AND HAVE CONSISTENT MEASURES OVER A PERIOD OF TIME. SO VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. THERE’S BIG PICTURE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO DO AND WE NEED TO LOOK AT, AND THERE’S CERTAINLY MORE IMPORTANT THINGS HAPPENING IN THE CLASSROOM EVERY DAY TO MAKE SURE KIDS ARE MOVING FORWARD.>>THANK YOU.>>EILEEN, I THINK YOU’RE–>>MICHIGAN, LIKE OTHER STATES, HAS SEEN SOME PRETTY INTERESTING POLICY DEBATES ABOUT THE NATURE AND UTILITY OF STATE LEARNING STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENTS, INCLUDING THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS IN MATH AND LANGUAGE ARTS, AND THE FACT THAT WE HAVE TO UPDATE OUR SCIENCE AND SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS COMING UP. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENTS IN IMPROVING STUDENT LEARNING? AND WHERE DO YOU RECOMMEND WE SHOULD GO IN OUR POLICIES REGARDING STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENTS?>>WELL, AGAIN, I THINK HIGH STANDARDS ARE KEY, AND I THINK THE MICHIGAN STANDARDS THAT HAVE BEEN CREATED PUT US IN A POSITION TO BE ABLE TO MOVE OUR KIDS THROUGH LEVELS. AND SO I THINK THAT’S VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. AGAIN, IT’S, IN MY MIND, HOW WE SUPPORT OUR STAFF TO GET TO THOSE HIGH STANDARDS– IT’S REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT. IT’S NOT ABOUT, YOU KNOW, YOU’RE NOT THERE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING, IT’S ABOUT WHAT ARE WE DOING TO LIFT YOU TO GET YOU THERE. BUT HAVING SAID THAT, THE STANDARDS THAT WE HAVE ARE GOOD STANDARDS, AND I THINK THEY DEFINITELY PUT US IN A POSITION TO MOVE OUR KIDS FORWARD. AGAIN, I’LL USE THE EXAMPLE OF A PRINCIPAL THAT I WAS TALKING TO WHO SAID, “IF OUR 4th GRADERS CAN MEET THESE PROFICIENCY STANDARDS, I WILL NOT WORRY ABOUT THEM. THEY’RE GOING TO BE FINE.” AND THAT’S A KEY PIECE. THE ASSESSMENT PIECE, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, I MENTIONED HOW IMPORTANT THE ASSESSMENT WORK THAT HAPPENS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL IS IN REGARDS TO STUDENT LEARNING. WE NEED TO HAVE ASSESSMENT STANDARDS– OR ASSESSMENTS HERE THAT HELP PROVIDE US FEEDBACK, TOO, ON A BIG PICTURE BASIS ON HOW KIDS ARE DOING AND HOW WE’RE DOING COMPARED TO OTHERS. IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT, WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME LOOKING AT OUR STANDARDIZED TEST, EVEN THOUGH IT’S ONE TEST ON ONE DAY, AND IT’S NOT GOING TO MEAN AS MUCH AS THE FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS THAT ARE GOING TO MOVE KIDS ALONG. IT GIVES US A PICTURE OF WHERE WE’RE AT COMPARED TO OUR NEIGHBORS, AND SO EVERY YEAR, I LOOK AT EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE TRI-COUNTY AREA, AND WE SET A TARGET FOR OURSELVES. WE SAY, YOU KNOW, “WE WANT TO BE IN THE TOP 25% OF ALL DISTRICTS IN METROPOLITAN DETROIT.” AND IT’S A STANDARD THAT WE’RE ALWAYS PRETTY MUCH RIGHT ON THE CUSP OF, SO IT’S A REAL GOOD STANDARD TO PUSH FOR. AND WE USE THE STATE ASSESSMENT TO DO THAT. WE ALSO USE– WE TAKE 18 SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT ARE SIMILAR, SOCIO-ECONOMICALLY, TO OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT, OR OUR NEIGHBORS, AND WE LOOK AT THEM AND TAKE ALL OF THEIR DATA AS IT RELATES TO SOCIO-ECONOMICS, POVERTY, HOUSING VALUES, HOME INCOME, ET CETERA. WE AVERAGE THAT OUT, AND WE WANT TO BE A BIT BELOW THE AVERAGE AS IT RELATES TO THE STANDARDS IN OUR COMMUNITY COMPARED TO OUR NEIGHBORS, BUT WE WANT TO BE ABOVE THE AVERAGE AND THE MEDIAN AS IT RELATES TO OUR TEST SCORES. AND SO WE USE THE STANDARDIZED ASSESSMENTS TO TAKE THAT SNAPSHOT OF WHERE WE’RE AT AND TO GIVE US FEEDBACK. ARE WE FALLING BEHIND? ARE WE MISSING THE BOAT? AND SO THOSE STANDARDIZED ASSESSMENTS ARE IMPORTANT FOR A LOT OF REASONS, BUT FOR LOCAL DISTRICTS AND FOR US AS A STATE TO MEASURE HOW WE’RE DOING. AND ALSO, THE NATIONAL TESTS THAT WE PROVIDE, SO WE CAN COMPARE OURSELVES TO OTHER STATES.>>THANKS, RANDY. CASANDRA.>>THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF SO-CALLED EDUCATION REFORM IDEAS ADVANCED IN RECENT YEARS. WHICH OF THESE DO YOU THINK ARE WORTHY OF EXPLORATION, AND WHICH WOULD YOU RECOMMEND AGAINST?>>TEACHER QUALITY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT. SO A CONSISTENT THEME HERE, FOR ME. FOLLOWING THE RESEARCH IN REGARDS TO SETTING CLEAR EXPECTATIONS. HAVING A GOOD, STRONG CURRICULUM. MEASURING HOW WE’RE DOING AGAINST THAT CURRICULUM AND LIFTING TEACHERS UP TO GET TO THAT POINT. AND SO I THINK THAT OUGHT TO BE THE FOCUS, AND I THINK THE RESEARCH SHOWS THAT THAT’S HOW WE CAN MOVE OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT– OUR STATE FORWARD IN THE MOST MEANINGFUL WAY. AND I THINK WE CAN LOOK TO OTHER STATES THAT HAVE DONE SIMILAR TYPES TO THINGS TO SEE IMPROVEMENT. AND SO WHILE I DON’T AGREE WITH EVERYTHING THAT I’VE SEEN SOME OF THESE OTHER STATES DO, SETTING THE HIGH STANDARDS AND PROVIDING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT TO MOVE THEM FORWARD ARE KEY COMPONENTS IN TENNESSEE, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS– THOSE ARE SOME STATES I CAN THINK OF RIGHT OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD. I LIKE THE REFORM EFFORT TO SUPPORT EARLY INTERVENTION, AND NOT TO BE– A BAD REFORM, IN MY EYES, WOULD BE TO RETAIN STUDENTS, AS WE TALKED ABOUT, IN 3rd GRADE. FROM PEOPLE IN THE FIELD WHO WERE LOOKING AT THAT, THEY WERE JUST ASTONISHED THAT THAT WAS BEING CONSIDERED. BUT THE PROCESS OF SUPPORTING KIDS TO MAKE SURE THAT WHEN– BY THE TIME THEY’RE IN 3rd GRADE, THEY’RE SUCCESSFUL, IS A BIG REFORM THAT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, AND WE’RE SEEING OTHER STATES ALSO PROVIDING THAT KIND OF SUPPORT IN REGARDS TO MOVING KIDS FORWARD. USING TESTING FOR HIGH STAKES, I THINK, IS A BAD MOVE. LIKE I SAID, I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT FOR US TO HAVE THAT AS A MEASUREMENT FOR OUR STATE, AND WE CAN USE IT FOR A VARIETY OF GOOD THINGS, BUT NOT FOR HIGH STAKES TO– SOMEHOW, WE’RE GOING TO PUNISH PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS THAT COULD’VE BEEN THAT CLASS, THAT GROUP. IT’S JUST– THERE’S JUST TOO MUCH FLUCTUATION IN REGARDS TO– AND I’M TALKING FROM A SCHOOL DISTRICT THAT’S PRETTY DARN BIG. I CAN ONLY THINK OF A SCHOOL DISTRICT WITH 1,000 KIDS, WHICH MEANS THEY’VE GOT 100 KIDS A GRADE LEVEL, AND WHAT THEY’RE TRYING TO DO AND THE CHANGES THEY WOULD SEE IN 3rd GRADERS EVERY YEAR. SO THOSE ARE THE REFORMS I THINK ARE IMPORTANT AND THE ONES I WOULD STAY AWAY FROM.>>THANK YOU, RANDY. I’VE GOT THE NEXT QUESTION. DESCRIBE THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY, GENERALLY, AND THE PLACE OF VIRTUAL, BLENDED, AND CYBER LEARNING IN EDUCATION. IN YOUR VIEW, HOW CAN TECHNOLOGY AND THESE TOOLS AND OPPORTUNITIES BE USED TO IMPROVE LEARNING AND EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES?>>IT IS ABSOLUTELY BEYOND EXCITING THE TYPES OF TOOLS THAT TEACHERS HAVE AT THEIR FINGERTIPS BECAUSE OF TECHNOLOGY. WE’RE IN THE PROCESS OF DOING A $195 MILLION BOND RENOVATION IN OUR COMMUNITY– ONE OF THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS I’M REALLY PROUD OF. AND ONE OF THE BIG SELLING POINTS, CERTAINLY, WAS THE INVESTMENT OUT OF THAT BOND ISSUE TO GO TOWARDS TECHNOLOGY. AND WE WATCH TEACHERS WHO ARE ABLE TO, AT A COUPLE TOUCHES ON A KEYPAD, BE CONVERSING WITH KIDS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, ACROSS THE WORLD, PULLING UP A LESSON PLAN AND THEY’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A VOLCANO DURING A SCIENCE LESSON. I MEAN, IT’S JUST SO EXCITING TO THINK WHERE WE ARE, AND IT’S ACTUALLY ALMOST OVERWHELMING BECAUSE, AGAIN, I’M A PERSON WHO– IF IT’S THIS BIG AND THIS COMPLEX, OKAY, HOW ARE WE GOING TO BREAK IT DOWN AND USE THIS TO MOVE US FORWARD? AND I THINK THAT’S PROBABLY OUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE, BECAUSE THE AMOUNT OF RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO US RIGHT NOW ARE JUST REMARKABLE AND ARE JUST GOING TO BE ABLE TO MOVE US FORWARD IN MANY WAYS.>>AND PART OF THE QUESTION WAS CAN YOU SPEAK TO THE ROLE OF VIRTUAL LEARNING AND CYBER SCHOOLS IN EDUCATION.>>YEAH. WELL, THEY HAVE A ROLE, AND I THINK THERE IS CERTAIN ADVANTAGES THAT THEY CAN PROVIDE AND CERTAIN ALTERNATIVES THEY CAN PROVIDE. MY BIGGEST CAUTION IS THAT WHAT THE RESEARCH HAS SHOWN AND WHAT I’VE SEEN IN SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT HAVE WORKED ON IMPLEMENTING THIS IS IF THERE’S NOT THE PROPER SUPPORT, KIDS DON’T DO WELL. THEY HAVE TO HAVE THE PROPER SUPPORT TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE MOVING ALONG WITH THEIR STUDIES AND LESSONS, IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE GETTING OUT OF THE EXPERIENCE WHAT THEY CAN. SO IF THAT COMPONENT’S IN PLACE, THERE’S A LOT OF VALUE TO THAT. IT PROVIDES ALTERNATIVES FOR KIDS, AND WE HAVE KIDS THAT NEED ALTERNATIVES. WE HAVE KIDS WALKING INTO OUR HIGH SCHOOLS THAT ARE SO ANXIETY-RIDDEN THAT THEY CAN’T WALK DOWN HALLWAYS. THOSE KIDS NEED ALTERNATIVES, AND WE NEED TO MAKE SURE TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE WHATEVER OPTIONS WE CAN TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL LEARNING EXPERIENCE.>>THANK YOU, RANDY. MICHELLE.>>ALL RIGHT. WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE WITH– THIS IS MULTI-PART, SO I THOUGHT I’D WARN YOU. WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE WITH SPECIAL EDUCATION? WHAT DO YOU THINK THE DIRECTION AND AGENDA FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN NEEDS TO BE TO IMPROVE THE EDUCATIONAL AND EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES? AND HOW WOULD YOU WORK TO ENSURE SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS, PARENTS, AND STAKEHOLDERS ARE INCLUDED IN THE PROCESS OF IMPROVING SPECIAL EDUCATION? GOT ALL THAT?>>YEAH. AND I ACTUALLY THINK THE AREA OF SPECIAL EDUCATION IS A STRENGTH OF MINE. OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT PROVIDES NOT ONLY A VARIETY OF LOCAL PROGRAMS BUT ALSO A COUNTY-WIDE CENTER BASED PROGRAMS. WE HAVE A PROGRAM FOR COGNITIVELY IMPAIRED STUDENTS FROM PRESCHOOL ALL THE WAY UP TO 26. WE HAVE A VISUALLY IMPAIRED PROGRAM. WE HAVE A PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS WITH AUTISM. WE HAVE A SKILLS CENTER THAT ACTUALLY TAKES CHILDREN WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR EDUCATION THROUGH 26 BUT THEY HAVE NOT RECEIVED A DIPLOMA, SO THEY HAVE A PLACE TO GO TO GET LIFE SKILLS AND JOB SKILLS. AND SO WE HAVE A VARIETY OF PROGRAMS, AND I AM WELL-VERSED AND EXPERIENCED IN REGARDS TO ALL THE PROCESSES THAT ARE IN PLACE FOR FAMILIES, PARENTS. THE MICHIGAN STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PLAYS A BIG ROLE IN THAT, IN THAT YOU HAVE A DUE PROCESS IN PLACE TO MAKE SURE THAT PARENTS MAKE SURE THEIR KIDS ARE GETTING THEIR NEEDS MET. AND SO A LOT OF BACKGROUND IN EDUCATION AS IT RELATES TO SPECIAL EDUCATION AND AS IT RELATES TO HOW WE MOVE FORWARD. I THINK SOME OF THE THINGS WE’RE SEEING ARE VERY POSITIVE. I KNOW WHEN I WAS IN WAYNE-WESTLAND, WE HAVE BIG COUNTY PROGRAMS THERE, AND THE SPECIAL EDUCATION AND GENERAL EDUCATION THERE DIDN’T TALK TO EACH OTHER. YOU KNOW, THEY HAD COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CURRICULUMS AND IDEAS. AND THAT HAS CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY OVER TIME, AND THAT’S BEEN A REAL POSITIVE IN MY EYES AS IT RELATES TO WHAT WE’RE DOING FOR KIDS WITH DISABILITIES. WE’RE SEEING THE CURRICULUM BEING MUCH MORE UNIFORM AND WE’RE SEEING THE OUTCOMES AND OBJECTIVES BEING MUCH MORE TIED INTO WHAT’S EXPECTED OF ALL KIDS, AND CERTAINLY SEEING THE GENERAL EDUCATION STAFF AND SPECIAL EDUCATION STAFF WORKING AS ONE, BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL OUR KIDS, AND REALLY, THEY NEED TO BE CONSIDERED ALL THE SAME. THEY JUST HAVE A DIFFERENT LEVEL OF LEARNING NEED. AND SO I THINK THAT DIRECTION HAS BEEN A POSITIVE DIRECTION, BUT WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO PUSH THAT IF WE WANT TO MOVE FORWARD. WHEN WE LOOK AT PARENTS AND THEIR INVOLVEMENT, IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT, WE HAVE A PARENT ADVISORY COUNCIL THAT’S A GREAT PLACE FOR PARENTS TO COME AND SHARE THEIR CONCERNS OR WHAT THEY’D LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN. WE’RE VERY PROUD, IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT, IN THE LAST COUPLE YEARS, THAT OUT OF THOSE CONVERSATIONS WITH PARENTS AND ACTUALLY A COUPLE OF PARENTS COMING TO THE BOARD MEETINGS, TALKING ABOUT THE NEEDS OF THEIR CHILDREN WHO ARE GOING TO GO TO THE SKILL CENTER FOR THE PROGRAM I MENTIONED AFTER HIGH SCHOOL, BUT THEY HAVE HIGHER COGNITIVE ABILITIES THAN THE OTHER STUDENTS IN THE PROGRAM, AND THEY WANTED A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE. AND SO WE’RE ACTUALLY PARTNERING WITH SCHOOLCRAFT COLLEGE NOW, SO THEY CAN ACTUALLY GO TO COLLEGE AND EXPERIENCE A COLLEGE CLASS AND BE ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS AND RECEIVE THEIR LEARNING IN THAT ENVIRONMENT. THAT’S JUST ONE WAY WE CAN CONTINUE TO REACH OUT AND FIND NEW WAYS TO REACH OUT TO KIDS. LASTLY, I WOULD JUST SAY THAT NOT ONLY HAVE I HAD THOSE EXPERIENCES AS A PROFESSIONAL, BUT I’VE HAD THOSE EXPERIENCES AS A PARENT. I HAVE A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD. I’VE BEEN GOING TO IEP SINCE SHE WAS THREE, AND SO I KNOW FROM THE OTHER END WHAT THAT MEANS AND WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE. PUTTING MY CHILD ON A BUS WHEN SHE WAS THREE WAS A SCARY EXPERIENCE, I HAVE TO TELL YOU. BUT A HAPPY ENDING: SHE, HOPEFULLY, THIS YEAR WILL BE GRADUATING FROM MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY.>>AWESOME!>>AND ONLY BECAUSE OF THE SUPPORT THAT SHE RECEIVED FROM SOME REMARKABLE EDUCATORS THROUGH HER TIME.>>THANK YOU. KATHY?>>WELL, RANDY, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE ROLE OF SCHOOL CHOICE AND CHARTER SCHOOLS IN IMPROVING LEARNING AND EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES?>>YEAH. IT’S INTERESTING, BECAUSE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE PURPOSE OF CHARTER SCHOOLS WHEN THEY CAME INTO BEING– AND I HOPE I DON’T LOOK THAT OLD, BUT I WAS THERE WHEN IT ALL HAPPENED. I WAS THERE FOR PROPOSAL A. I’VE GOT A WHOLE STORY RELATING TO PROPOSAL A AND WHAT WE WERE DOING IN WESTLAND WHEN THAT HAPPENED, BUT I’VE WATCHED THE CHARTER SCHOOL MOVEMENT OVER TIME, AND THE CONCEPT OF PROVIDING INNOVATIVE OPPORTUNITIES FOR KIDS THAT MAYBE THEY WOULDN’T GET AT THEIR LOCAL SCHOOL IS ONE THAT I THINK EVERYBODY CAN SUPPORT. YOU KNOW, WE CAN SUPPORT THAT. THE STRUGGLE IS AND WHAT WE’VE SEEN IS THIS TUG BETWEEN CHARTER SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS. AND WHY IS THERE THAT TUG THERE? BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY, YOU KNOW, IT’S THE NAME ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE BUILDING. WHAT’S IMPORTANT IS WHAT’S HAPPENING INSIDE THE BUILDING. BUT THE TUG HAS TO DO WITH FINANCES, AND THE BOTTOM LINE IS THE WAY WE FUND SCHOOLS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, YOU’RE IN A POSITION WHERE IF YOU LOSE 10 STUDENTS, THAT COULD IMPACT 300 STUDENTS IN YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT. AND SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT SCHOOL FUNDING, YOU KNOW, IN MY DISTRICT, IF I LOSE ONE STUDENT IN EVERY BUILDING, THAT’S A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS THAT WE’VE LOST. AND SO I CAN’T CUT A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS EXPENSES BECAUSE I’VE LOST ONE KID IN ALL OUR SCHOOLS. WE HAVE 1,800 KIDS IN OUR HIGH SCHOOLS. IF WE HAVE 1,799 INSTEAD OF 1,800, I CAN’T REDUCE ANY COSTS. AND SO THAT’S THE CHALLENGE AND THE TUG THAT YOU’VE SEEN WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS. IT’S BASED ON THE WAY THAT SCHOOLS ARE FUNDED, AND IT BASICALLY CREATES WINNERS AND LOSERS. AND THAT’S NOT WHAT OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM SHOULD BE ABOUT. WE SHOULD NOT BE CREATING WINNERS AND LOSERS IN OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM. AND SO IF WE COULD FIND A DIFFERENT WAY AS IT RELATES TO HOW CHARTER SCHOOLS WERE FUNDED, I THINK YOU’D SEE A WHOLE DIFFERENT OPINION IN REGARDS TO WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE. AND IN MY COMMUNITY, I JUST WENT THROUGH A BIT OF A CONTROVERSY MYSELF WITH A CHARTER SCHOOL LAST YEAR. IT WAS A SCHOOL THAT WE ACTUALLY STARTED– WE WERE THE CHARTER AUTHORIZER, BUT WE FELT AT THE END OF THE DAY THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE BETTER OFF UNDER OUR UMBRELLA. AND WE KNOW IT WAS BETTER FOR KIDS AND IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, BUT BOY, PEOPLE GOT EXCITED ABOUT THAT, BECAUSE IT WAS CHARTER SCHOOLS VERSUS PUBLIC SCHOOLS. I WAS SAYING, “MY GOSH, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THE NAME ON THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING MAKE?” IT’S ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON INSIDE OF THOSE SCHOOLS AND MAKING SURE THAT THEY GET EVERYTHING THAT THEY NEED. SO IF WE CAN GET BEYOND SOME OF THAT ISSUE, I THINK WE HAVE A DIFFERENT FEEL AND A DIFFERENT TUG ON THAT. BUT IT’S A TOUGH THING WHEN IT’S A WIN-LOSE PROPOSITION, BECAUSE THAT ISN’T WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING IN EDUCATION.>>THANKS, RANDY. PAM.>>WHAT EXPERIENCE HAVE YOU HAD IN SUCCESSFULLY TURNING AROUND UNDERPERFORMING SCHOOLS? AND WHAT DO YOU SEE AS EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO SCHOOL TURNAROUND?>>IT GETS BACK TO QUALITY TEACHING. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE RESEARCH IN REGARDS TO FAILING SCHOOLS AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO SUPPORT THEM, IT COMES DOWN TO WHAT CAN WE DO WITHIN THOSE CLASSROOMS. SO TO ME, IT’S NOT ABOUT AS MUCH A STRUCTURAL ISSUE AS TO WHO’S CONTROLLING THEM OR WHAT UMBRELLA THEY FALL UNDER. IT’S ABOUT MAKING SURE WHAT GOES ON IN THOSE CLASSROOMS IS MEETING THE NEEDS OF THOSE KIDS. AND SO IF WE’RE DOING A GOOD JOB IN REGARDS TO PROVIDING QUALITY TEACHERS, AND THAT’S A BIG CHALLENGE, BUT IF WE CAN WORK ON THAT, THAT’S GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I THINK IF WE CAN GARNER OUR RESOURCES AND GET COMMUNITY PARTNERS INVOLVED, THE RESEARCH IS PRETTY CLEAR, AND YOU ONLY NEED TO TALK TO TEACHERS WORKING IN SCHOOLS WITH KIDS LIVING IN POVERTY. THEY NEED TO HAVE THEIR BASIC NEEDS MET FIRST. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE’RE SUPPORTING KIDS AND THAT THEY’RE WALKING INTO SCHOOL WITH THEIR BASIC NEEDS MET. AND WE CAN’T DO THAT ALONE. WE KNOW WE CAN’T DO THAT ALONE, BUT WE CAN DO THAT BY PARTNERING WITH A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT AGENCIES. AND WE CAN REACH OUT IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS TO MAKE SURE THE KIDS ARE COMING INTO SCHOOL WITH THOSE BASIC NEEDS. AND THEN WE HAVE TO START WORKING ON WHAT WE’RE DOING TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR THOSE KIDS. IT’S ABOUT ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION. IT’S ABOUT ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITIES OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL. YOU GUYS HAVE PROBABLY HEARD THE RESEARCH: BY THE TIME A STUDENT OR CHILD LIVING IN WELFARE IS 3 YEARS OLD, HE’S HEARD 30 MILLION FEWER WORDS THAN A CHILD WHO LIVES IN A HIGH INCOME FAMILY. RESEARCH OUT OF KANSAS. WHAT ARE WE DOING TO BRIDGE THAT GAP? WHAT ARE WE DOING TO PROVIDE UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL FOR STUDENTS? WHAT ARE WE DOING TO– AGAIN, I’M GOING TO FOCUS ON, MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT’S ONE THING TO SAY THE SCHOOL IS FAILING. LET’S WALK INTO THE SCHOOL, WALK DOWN THE HALLWAYS, TALK TO THE PRINCIPAL, LOOK AT THE SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN, TALK TO THE TEACHERS, AND FIND OUT IF THEY’RE REALLY DOING EVERYTHING THEY CAN FOR THE KIDS IN THAT SCHOOL. IF THEY ARE, THEN WE NEED TO SUPPORT THEM IN DIFFERENT WAYS. IF THEY’RE NOT, THEN WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT ISSUE, UNDER SOME TYPE OF STRUCTURE OR UMBRELLA, WHATEVER THAT MIGHT LOOK LIKE.>>THANK YOU.>>LUPE.>>OKAY. AS STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, YOU WOULD MANAGE AND BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. WHAT ARE THE DIRECTIONS FOR CHANGE AND IMPROVEMENT IN THE WORK OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND/ OR WHAT PROCESS WOULD YOU USE TO LEARN HOW TO UNDERSTAND, IDENTIFY, AND MAKE SUCH IMPROVEMENTS?>>WELL, I THINK WE FIRST HAVE TO START WITH, GOING BACK TO WHAT I TALKED ABOUT INITIALLY, WITH OUR SHARED VISION. AND SO THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, SUPERINTENDENT, THE STAKEHOLDERS OUT IN SCHOOLS, AND PEOPLE THAT ARE WORKING IN THE DEPARTMENT THAT ARE WORKING DIRECTLY WITH SCHOOLS, WE NEED TO FIND OUT– FIRST OF ALL, WE NEED TO CREATE THAT SHARED VISION AND FIND THAT DIRECTION, AND THEN WE NEED TO LOOK AT OUR DEPARTMENTS AND SAY, “OKAY, ARE WE SUPPORTING WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT THAT WE’VE IDENTIFIED IN THE THINGS THAT WE WANT TO MAKE PROGRESS ON HERE IN MICHIGAN?” MY EXPERIENCE IS THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF TALENTED PEOPLE WORKING FOR THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. A LOT OF VERY DEDICATED WORKERS, AND SO THE QUESTION IS, FROM A STANDPOINT OF WHAT WE CAN DO TO IMPROVE THAT, WE NEED TO TAKE A LOOK AT EVERY SINGLE DEPARTMENT, SEE HOW THEIR WORK IS MATCHING THE WORK THAT WE SET OUT THAT WE WANT TO GET ACCOMPLISHED, AND MAKING SURE THAT IT MATCHES UP, AND MAKING SURE THAT THEY’RE DOING EVERYTHING THAT THEY CAN TO SUPPORT SCHOOLS. WE NEED TO BE GOOD LISTENERS IN REGARDS TO THE FIELD. AGAIN, I THINK THAT’S SOMETHING THAT I BRING TO THE TABLE, AS SOMEONE WHO’S BEEN IN THE FIELD FOR 28 YEARS. I KNOW WHAT THE IMPACT OF THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS ARE AND HOW THEY WORK. AND SO WHEN IT COMES TO REPORT REDUNDANCY, WHAT CAN WE DO TO TAKE A LOOK AT, “WELL, WE HAVE TO FILL OUT THIS REPORT FOR THIS DEPARTMENT, THIS REPORT FOR THIS DEPARTMENT…” WHAT CAN WE DO TO STREAMLINE THAT WORK SO WE HAVE PEOPLE FOCUSING ON WHAT’S GOOD FOR KIDS IN SCHOOLS? THAT’S THE KIND OF WORK WE CAN DO IN THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. AND I’M BIG ON CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT. THAT’S ONE OF OUR MOTTOS IN LIVONIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS. REGARDLESS OF WHAT DEPARTMENT YOU’RE IN OR WHERE YOU’RE AT, WE’RE ABOUT CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT. WE USE THE PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT CIRCLE OF IMPROVEMENT. WE PLAN, WE DO IT, WE CHECK TO SEE IF IT’S WORKING, AND IF NOT, WE MAKE MODIFICATIONS. AND EVERY SINGLE DEPARTMENT NEEDS TO MAKE SURE WE’RE DOING THAT TYPE OF WORK ALSO TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE PROVIDING THE MOST MEANINGFUL SUPPORT THEY CAN TO LOCAL SCHOOLS.>>THANK YOU.>>WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE ROLE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION AND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WITH LOCAL AND INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICTS?>>WELL, I MEAN, WE’RE ALL PART OF THE SAME SYSTEM, SO AGAIN, IT GETS DOWN TO EACH ONE OF THOSE ENTITIES, WHAT ARE WE DOING IN CONCERT AND IN SYNC WITH EACH OTHER TO MAKE SURE THAT, IF YOU’RE A PRINCIPAL OR A TEACHER IN A SCHOOL, THAT YOU’RE GETTING WHAT YOU NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL. AND SO OUR ISDs PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN REGARDS TO PROVIDING SUPPORT TO LOCAL SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS, FROM EVERYTHING FROM VOCATIONAL PROGRAMMING, SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMMING, LEADERSHIP AS IT RELATES TO SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT, LEADERSHIP AS IT RELATES TO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS– THE LIST GOES ON AND ON IN REGARDS TO WHAT ISDs PROVIDE TO LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN REGARDS TO SUPPORTING THEM. AND SO FROM A DEPARTMENT STANDPOINT, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE OUR EFFORTS IN EACH DEPARTMENT ARE ALIGNED WITH THOSE GOING ON IN THE ISD LEVEL TO MAKE SURE THAT WE’RE, NUMBER ONE, NOT CROSSING EACH OTHER, NUMBER TWO, NOT BEING REDUNDANT WITH INFORMATION WE’RE ASKING FOR OR WORK THAT WE’RE DOING. WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW WE CAN COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER. AND AN EXAMPLE I WOULD GIVE IS THE WORK THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HAS HELPED WITH WITH THE FOCUS SCHOOLS AND PRIORITY SCHOOLS. THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HELPED TO COORDINATE EFFORTS TO FIND PEOPLE THAT WOULD GO AND WORK DIRECTLY WITH SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT TEAMS, PRINCIPALS, AND SCHOOLS TO CLOSE ACHIEVEMENT GAPS AND IMPROVE STUDENT LEARNING. AND THAT RESOURCE HAS BEEN GREAT FOR US AND A LOT OF MY COLLEAGUES WHEN I TALK TO THEM IN LOCAL SCHOOLS. THAT KIND OF SUPPORT REALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE, TO HAVE SOMEONE COME IN WITH AN OBJECTIVE LOOK AT WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR SCHOOL AND YOUR STUDENT DATA, MAYBE A DIFFERENT IDEA IN REGARDS TO HOW YOU CAN ATTACK SOMETHING. THAT’S THE KIND OF WORK THAT WE LIKE TO SEE COMING FROM THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.>>OKAY. MICHELLE.>>WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SUCCESS AS AN EDUCATIONAL LEADER IN COLLABORATING AND PARTNERING WITH THE BUSINESS, LABOR, AND BROADER COMMUNITY? PLEASE DISCUSS SPECIFIC PARTNERSHIPS OR ACHIEVEMENTS DUE TO THESE PARTNERSHIPS THAT HAVE DEVELOPED AS A RESULT OF YOUR LEADERSHIP.>>I ACTUALLY NOT ONLY SIT ON OUR LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN LIVONIA, BUT I’VE BEEN THE PAST CHAIRMAN, WHICH, AGAIN, IS HOPEFULLY AN EXAMPLE OF PEOPLE WHO SEE ME AS SOMEONE WHO CAN LEAD AND KNOWS HOW TO PLAN TOGETHER TO GET THINGS DONE. WE’VE DONE SOME VERY UNIQUE THINGS AS IT RELATES TO BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT THAT WE’RE VERY PROUD OF. AND THIS HAS ACTUALLY GONE ON FOR MANY YEARS. WE HAVE A BUSINESS EDUCATION COMMITTEE OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE THAT MEETS WITH US ON A REGULAR BASIS TO TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY CAN DO TO SUPPORT US IN OUR SCHOOLS, AND OF COURSE, THE WHOLE CONVERSATION AROUND COLLEGE AND CAREER READY IS A BIG PART OF THAT. AND I HEAR FROM BUSINESS PEOPLE ON A REGULAR BASIS ABOUT WHAT THEIR NEEDS ARE AS IT RELATES TO KIDS WHEN THEY COME OUT OF SCHOOL. I TALKED ABOUT THAT A LITTLE BIT EARLIER WHEN I TALKED ABOUT COLLEGE AND CAREER READY AND HOW WE’RE MUCH MORE SOPHISTICATED IN REGARDS TO THOSE NEEDS. SO WE’RE ABOUT WORKING WITH OUR BUSINESSES TO PROVIDE THAT SUPPORT. WE HAVE A LIVONIA INDUSTRIAL COUNCIL. THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT THEIR NEEDS AS FAR AS WORKERS AND WHAT WE OUGHT TO BE LOOKING AT. AND THEY’RE PARTNERING WITH US IN A LOT OF WAYS TO DO THAT. WE’RE CURRENTLY PROVIDING A UNIQUE CAREER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT. IT’S A VOCATIONAL PROGRAM LIKE A CO-OP PROGRAM, BUT THE KIDS ACTUALLY, ONE OUT OF THEIR FIVE DAYS, COME TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND MEETS WITH A TEACHER. THEY TALK ABOUT NOT ONLY WHAT WENT ON AT WORK THAT WEEK, BUT ALSO ABOUT WHAT QUALITIES BUSINESSES ARE LOOKING FOR IN HAVING A GOOD EMPLOYEE. THEY LEARN HOW TO DO RESUMES, TEAM BUILDING SKILLS, THEY LEARN ABOUT– COME TO WORK, SHOW UP, GOOD ATTITUDE, ALL THOSE TYPES OF THINGS. WE WORK WITH THESE KIDS ON THIS CAREER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM, AND IT’S TYPICALLY BEEN FOR THESE KIDS WHO ARE LOOKING FOR A TYPICAL PROFESSION. THEY MIGHT BE GOING TO AN ENGINEERING FIRM, A HOSPITAL. AND WE JUST EXPANDED THAT THIS LAST YEAR BASED ON THE CONVERSATION I WAS HAVING WITH THE LEADERS IN OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY. THEY’RE LIKE, “RANDY, WE NEEDS GOOD KIDS OUT THERE FOR THESE GOOD, HIGH PAYING JOBS OUT THERE. KIDS DON’T HAVE TO HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE, BUT THEY NEED TO HAVE THESE SKILLS. HERE’S WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR. WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING TO HELP US?” AND I SAID, “WELL, WE NEED TO GET KIDS AND FAMILIES UNDERSTANDING THAT THERE ARE OTHER OPPORTUNITIES OUT THERE, FIRST OF ALL.” IT’S NOT “IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME.” OUR NEIGHBORING SCHOOL DISTRICT FOUND THAT OUT WHEN THEY BUILT A PROGRAM FOR MANUFACTURING TECH, AND KIDS WEREN’T TAKING THE CLASS. AND SO WE HAVE TO, NUMBER ONE, EDUCATE PEOPLE TO DO THAT, AND WE HAVE TO HAVE THESE TYPES OF PROGRAMS, TO WHERE, NOW, THIS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM THAT I SHARED WITH YOU, WE’RE NOW INCLUDING A VOCATIONAL PROGRAM WHERE WE HAVE KIDS THIS SEMESTER THAT ARE LITERALLY IN OUR PLANTS AND MANUFACTURING BUSINESSES IN OUR COMMUNITY HAVING THAT EXPERIENCE AND ARE EXCITED ABOUT IT. THEY DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS AVAILABLE. THEY’RE NOT SURE THEY WANT TO GO TO COLLEGE, OR IF THEY GO, THEY’RE GOING TO GO TO SCHOOLCRAFT AND MAYBE GO INTO MANUFACTURING TECH, AND THEY’RE MAKING THAT CONNECTION. SO THAT’S JUST ONE EXAMPLE. I’VE GOT SEVERAL, BUT I KNOW I’M OVER MY 3 MINUTES.>>THANKS. WHO’S NEXT? LUPE.>>OKAY. MICHIGAN AND MICHIGAN SCHOOLS ARE VERY DIVERSE IN TERMS OF RACE, ETHNICITY, CULTURE, AND SOCIOECONOMIC LEVELS. PLEASE SPEAK TO YOUR APPROACH, AND GIVE EXAMPLES OF YOUR SUCCESS IN SUPPORTING DIVERSE LEARNERS AND POOR CHILDREN TO SUCCESS IN SCHOOLS.>>A BIG ISSUE IN MICHIGAN, AND GROWING. WE KNOW THAT HALF OF OUR KIDS IN OUR STATE NOW QUALIFY FOR FREE OR REDUCED LUNCH. IN MY COMMUNITY, THE NUMBER OF KIDS WHO QUALIFY SINCE I’VE BEEN SUPERINTENDENT HAS INCREASED BY FIVEFOLD. WE SEE CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS IN OUR COMMUNITY ALSO. AND SO WE’VE HAD THIS OPPORTUNITY TO WATCH THIS HAPPEN AND SAY, AS EDUCATORS, “OKAY, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO TO ADDRESS THIS?” AND SO I WOULD GO BACK TO IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT, THE PROGRAM THAT I TALKED TO YOU ABOUT, OPERATION STUDENT SUCCESS, WHICH IS ABOUT REACHING OUT TO EVERY ONE OF OUR LEARNERS, WHEREVER THEY’RE AT, QUALITY CORE INSTRUCTION AT THE CORE, AND THEN CREATING INTERVENTIONS FOR KIDS WHO ARE STILL STRUGGLING AFTER THEY RECEIVE THAT SUPPORT. IT’S BEEN A SIGNIFICANT INITIATIVE, AND SOMETHING THAT EVERY ONE OF OUR ELEMENTARY TEACHING STAFF ARE INVOLVED IN. AGAIN, I WOULD HIGHLIGHT IN OUR SECONDARY SCHOOLS WHERE WE’VE, IN MY OPINION, MADE THE MOST PROGRESS IN REGARDS TO MEETING THE NEEDS OF DIVERSE LEARNERS. WE’RE ABOUT LEARNING WHAT THIS MEANS AND BRINGING IN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR STAFF SO THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY CAN DO TO SUPPORT, MAYBE, KIDS THEY HAVEN’T SEEN IN THE LAST 10 YEARS IN THEIR SCHOOL, OR MORE KIDS THEY HAVEN’T SEEN FROM DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES, RACES, SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS. AND SO IT’S PROVIDING THAT BACKGROUND AND KNOWLEDGE TO STAFF SO THEY CAN HELP LIFT THESE KIDS UP IN EVERY WAY THAT THEY CAN, AND ONE OF THE THINGS WE’RE REALLY FOCUSED ON RIGHT NOW IS WE WATCH AND STRUGGLE WITH TRANSIENCY AND KIDS WE KNOW WE HAVE FOR A YEAR, AND TEACHERS ARE EXCITED BECAUSE THEY’VE SEEN THEM GROW TWO GRADE LEVELS IN THEIR READING ABILITY. THEY COME TO REGISTER NEXT YEAR, AND THEY’RE GONE. WE’RE WONDERING WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT THIS, AND SO WE’RE REALLY FOCUSED ON WHAT WE CAN DO TO GIVE THE KIDS THE SKILLS THAT THEY NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL, REGARDLESS OF WHAT POSITION THEY’RE GOING TO BE IN. IT’S SIMILAR TO BULLYING. WE CAN TALK ABOUT STOPPING BULLYING, AND WE KNOW THAT FOR TIME ON END, KIDS HAVE BULLIED EACH OTHER, AND THEY’LL CONTINUE TO DO SO INTO THE FUTURE. BUT WHAT WE CAN DO IS EQUIP KIDS TO WORK WITH THAT. WE CAN EQUIP KIDS TO DEAL WITH ADVERSITY, AND THAT’S GOING TO PROVIDE THEM SKILLS FOR A LIFETIME. MAYBE YOU GUYS KNOW ABOUT LEADER IN ME SCHOOLS, THE COVEY PROGRAM. GREAT PROGRAM– WE’RE DOING IT IN MULTIPLE SCHOOLS, AND IT’S TO THE SCHOOLS’ CREDIT. IT’S NOT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT SAYING, “THIS IS WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO.” IT’S INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS THAT STEPPED UP AND SAID, “THIS CHARACTER EDUCATION PROGRAM MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN KIDS AND PROVIDES THEM THE SKILLS TO BE ABLE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN EDUCATION.” IT’S EXCITING WORK, AND IT’S GROWING ACROSS THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. IT’S SOMETHING THAT CAN REALLY PROVIDE KIDS WHAT THEY NEED TO BE RESILIENT.>>THANKS, RANDY.>>THANK YOU.>>EILEEN.>>AS SUPERINTENDENT, YOU WOULD BE MANAGING A LARGE BUDGET AND COMPLEX ORGANIZATION, INCLUDING FEDERAL COMPLIANCE. YOU’VE ALREADY MENTIONED STREAMLINING AND REDUCING REDUNDANCIES. PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR APPROACH BEYOND THAT IN SUCCESS IN MANAGING A SIMILAR ORGANIZATION. WHAT DIRECTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT IN THE WORK OF THE DEPARTMENT WOULD YOU PURSUE, ALONG WITH WHAT PROCESS YOU WOULD USE TO UNDERSTAND, IDENTIFY, AND MAKE SUCH IMPROVEMENTS, WHERE YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY TALKED ABOUT IT?>>YEAH. AND AGAIN, I THINK THERE’S A LOT OF WORK THAT’S BEEN DONE IN THIS AREA, OR AT LEAST, IT’S BEEN STARTED. IF YOU GO TO THE MASA ORGANIZATION, THEY’VE STARTED THIS WORK. DIFFERENT REGIONS HAVE STARTED THIS WORK. IN FACT, I WAS WORKING WITH ONE OF OUR LEGISLATORS OVER THE LAST 3 YEARS IN REGARDS TO COMING UP WITH A LIST OF REPORTS WE HAVE TO COMPLETE TO MEET COMPLIANCE, AND WHAT WE COULD POTENTIALLY DO TO STREAMLINE THOSE AND MAKE THEM BETTER. I THINK, FROM A MANAGEMENT STANDPOINT, IT’S REALLY SITTING DOWN– AND IT’S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A PERSON WITH A NEW SET OF EYES. IT’S NO DIFFERENT THAN IF I WAS TO COME HERE, THE NEW SUPERINTENDENT OF LIVONIA IS GOING TO COME WITH A NEW SET OF EYES AND BE ABLE TO PROVIDE VALUE. I THINK JUST HAVING A NEW SET OF EYES AND COMING IN AND LOOKING AT EACH ONE OF THE DEPARTMENTS, BECAUSE OF THE SKILLED PEOPLE THAT WORK HERE, BUT LOOKING AT THOSE DEPARTMENTS AND LOOKING AT WHAT WE’RE DOING AND WHY WE’RE DOING IT, WITH THAT BACKGROUND INFORMATION OF HOW IT IMPACTS LOCAL SCHOOLS. AND I THINK WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO WORK DIRECTLY WITH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IN REGARDS TO THINGS WE THINK ARE IMPORTANT. SO IF WE’RE FINDING THINGS THAT, BY THE TIME IT GETS DOWN TO THE SCHOOL LEVEL, WE DON’T THINK IS MAKING MUCH IMPACT, WE NEED TO HAVE A VOICE IN THAT. WE HAVE TO STAND UP AND SAY, “YOU KNOW, THIS PARTICULAR COMPLIANCE PIECE, I UNDERSTAND WHY YOU’RE DOING IT, BUT IT DOESN’T MAKE A WHOLE LOT OF SENSE.” I REMEMBER– WELL, I WON’T GO INTO DETAILS BECAUSE OF TIME, BUT I THINK IT’S THAT PLAN TO CHECK EVERY SINGLE DEPARTMENT AND SEE WHAT WE’RE DOING TO SUPPORT LOCAL SCHOOLS IN DOING MEANINGFUL WORK, AND IF NOT, HAVING A VOICE WHERE WE NEED TO TO– IF WE DON’T HAVE CONTROL OVER IT DIRECTLY, TO MAKE THE COMPLIANCE MORE MEANINGFUL.>>THANKS.>>TWO MORE QUESTIONS FOR YOU, RANDY, AND THEN YOU’LL HAVE A CHANCE TO ASK US QUESTIONS OR RECAP ANYTHING YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU PUT FORWARD. SO, KATHY? YOU’RE THE NEXT QUESTION.>>YEAH. RANDY, COULD YOU GIVE US SOME SPECIFIC IDEAS OF HOW YOU’D JUDGE YOUR OWN EFFECTIVENESS AS A STATE SUPERINTENDENT AND HOW THE BOARD SHOULD EVALUATE YOUR WORK?>>WELL, I THINK, FIRST OF ALL, THE PROCESS OF IDENTIFYING HOW WE ARE DOING AS A STATE COMPARED TO THE PAST IS AN IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF THE EVALUATION. I’M NOT SHY OF OR SCARED OF ANY TYPE OF EVALUATION AS IT RELATES TO ANY KIND OF ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURE OR ASSESSMENT WE MIGHT WANT TO DO, SO I THINK IT’S ABOUT COLLABORATIVELY SITTING DOWN AND TALKING ABOUT WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU AND WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO ME IN REGARDS TO WHAT I THINK WE NEED TO BE LOOKING AT FOR OUR STUDENTS. ANYTHING FROM GRADUATION RATES TO HOW WE’RE DOING ON OUR STATEWIDE STANDARDIZED ASSESSMENTS, TO GETTING FEEDBACK– AND I THINK THIS IS A BIG PIECE– FROM THE FIELD IN REGARDS TO HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT THE SERVICES OF THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. DO THEY THINK WE ARE A SUPPORT TO THEM? ARE WE PROVIDING MEANINGFUL HELP IN REGARDS TO THEIR WORK? I THINK SOME KIND OF SURVEY TO SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS ACROSS THE STATE WOULD BE A MEANINGFUL MEASUREMENT AND SOMETHING THAT WHOEVER THE SUPERINTENDENT IS CAN BUILD ON AND BUILD GROWTH ON. CERTAINLY, COMPLIANCE MATTERS, ET CETERA, ARE THINGS THAT WE’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR AND HAVE TO BE ON TOP OF. AND SO DIFFERENT AREAS OF COMPLIANCE– AND ALSO MAKING– YOU KNOW, MY RELATIONSHIP WITH ALL THE STAKEHOLDER GROUPS. I TALKED ABOUT SURVEYING SCHOOLS, BUT WE OUGHT TO TALK ABOUT HOW THE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR FEELS ABOUT MY WORK. WE OUGHT TO DEFINITELY BE TALKING ABOUT HOW CITIZENS FEEL ABOUT THE DIRECTION OF EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN. AND SO FINDING APPROPRIATE AND EFFECTIVE TOOLS WITHIN THOSE STAKEHOLDER GROUPS, I THINK, WOULD BE REALLY VALUABLE FEEDBACK TO EVALUATE ME ON. AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE NEED TO LOOK AT ARE KIDS READING AT 3rd GRADE LEVEL, ARE WE GRADUATING KIDS, ARE THEY BEING SUCCESSFUL IN COLLEGE, ARE THEY GETTING JOBS. WE CAN FIND GOOD MEASUREMENTS FOR THAT, NOT ONLY IN LOCAL SCHOOLS, BUT I THINK THAT WOULD BE A GOOD WAY TO MEASURE ME.>>THANKS, RANDY. LAST, EASIEST QUESTION: WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION IN MICHIGAN?>>YOU KNOW, IT’S A GREAT QUESTION, AND IT’S AMAZING. THE SUPPORT I’VE GOTTEN OVER THE LAST WEEK HAS BEEN REMARKABLE. I THINK I RECEIVED OVER 200 EMAILS FROM WELL-WISHERS IN REGARDS TO THEIR SUPPORT FOR ME DOING THIS WORK. AND SO I THINK THIS REALLY IS JUST AN OUTGROWTH OF MY CAREER. AT MY STAGE IN MY CAREER– I WON’T TELL YOU HOW OLD I AM. YOU GUYS CAN FIGURE THAT OUT. BUT IN MY STAGE IN MY CAREER, I’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR A LONG TIME. I’M REALLY, IN MY OPINION, AT THE TOP OF MY GAME. I’VE BEEN A SUPERINTENDENT FOR 12 YEARS. I’VE BEEN A TOP-LINE ADMINISTRATOR FOR ALMOST 25 YEARS NOW IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND TWO VERY LARGE SCHOOL DISTRICTS, AND HAVE WORKED CLOSELY WITH ENTITIES ACROSS THE STATE, AND SO I’VE GOT A GOOD FLAVOR FOR WHAT’S GOING ON IN MY NEIGHBORS’ SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND ACROSS THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. I HEAR ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE’S HOPES AND FRUSTRATIONS ARE, AND WITH THAT BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE THAT I’VE HAD, I THINK THAT I CAN BRING MY SKILLS, WHICH, AGAIN, I WOULD FOCUS ON BEING ABLE TO TAKE COMPLEX PROBLEMS, BREAK THEM DOWN, FIND A PATH FORWARD, AND BRINGING PEOPLE ALONG IN THAT PROCESS. I THINK YOU’LL FIND, BASICALLY, PEOPLE LIKE ME AND LIKE WORKING WITH ME, YET THEY KNOW THAT I’M SOMEONE WHO HAS HIGH EXPECTATIONS AND EXPECTS RESULTS. AND SO I THINK THOSE SKILLS, ALONG WITH THE EXPERIENCES I’VE HAD OVER THE LAST MANY YEARS PUTS ME IN A POSITION TO BE ABLE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AT A DIFFERENT LEVEL. AND VERY HONESTLY, WHEN I SAT DOWN AND LOOKED AT THIS, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR ME, AND AS I’VE TOLD EVERYONE IN LIVONIA, IF I TOOK THE JOB, I’D BE HAPPY TO RETIRE FROM THERE– VERY HAPPY. BUT I HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AT A DIFFERENT LEVEL, AND I THINK I’VE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS OUTSIDE OF LIVONIA IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, AND I THINK PEOPLE SEE ME AS SOMEONE WHO CAN MAKE THAT DIFFERENCE AT A LARGER LEVEL. SO IT’S MY PASSION FOR EDUCATION. I MEAN, THAT’S REALLY WHY I’M HERE. I MEAN, MY GOSH, AN ACCOUNTANT WHO STARTED IN AN ACCOUNTING FIRM, SITTING IN FRONT OF YOU AND TALKING ABOUT ALL THESE TYPES OF ISSUES. IT’S MY PASSION AND BELIEF THAT THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT GOVERNMENTAL FUNCTION THAT WE HAVE.>>YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ACCOUNTANT IN SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP POSITIONS HERE. [ LAUGHTER ]>>SO THOSE ARE OUR QUESTIONS. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU’D LIKE TO TALK MORE ABOUT OR SHARE MORE OR ASK US ABOUT?>>WELL, YOU KNOW, JUST A COUPLE THINGS. I WANT TO HIGHLIGHT HOW EXCITED I AM, NOT JUST ABOUT THIS OPPORTUNITY, BUT HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN. I’M AN OPTIMIST BY NATURE. THAT DOESN’T ALWAYS GO WITH SOMEONE WHO’S A TASKMASTER AND GETS THINGS DONE, BUT I TRULY AM. THERE ARE A LOT OF GOOD THINGS GOING ON IN MICHIGAN AS IT RELATES TO HOW WE CAN MOVE EDUCATION FORWARD HERE. I KNOW IT’S BEEN SOME TOUGH YEARS HERE. I KNOW WE HAVE CHALLENGES COMING UP AND THESE ISSUES OF POVERTY AND OTHER ISSUES AREN’T GOING AWAY, BUT WE HAVE A LOT OF THINGS IN PLACE RIGHT NOW WITH OUR GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS, WITH THE NEW STANDARDS WE HAVE, THAT, BY THE WAY, HAVE BEEN CONSISTENT, SO TEACHERS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO WORK ON THOSE FOR SOME TIME NOW. THOSE THINGS ARE IN PLACE AND WITH THE TECHNOLOGY, RESOURCES, AND THE KNOWLEDGE WE HAVE NOW ABOUT HOW TO HELP KIDS LEARN, THAT’S FAR MORE THAN WE HAD 10 OR 15 YEARS AGO. AND I THINK IN 10 YEARS, IT’LL BE MORE THAN WE HAVE TODAY. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. WE CAN DO A LOT OF REALLY GOOD THINGS HERE IN OUR STATE, AND WE CAN BE SEEN AS A LEADER IN REGARDS TO PROVIDING EDUCATION FOR KIDS IF WE STAY FOCUSED ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT, WHAT MAKES COMMON SENSE, WE CAN DO WONDERFUL THINGS HERE. I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU HEAR MY PASSION FOR THAT AND MY BELIEF IN MY OPTIMISM AS IT RELATES TO WHAT WE CAN DO FOR KIDS HERE IN MICHIGAN. THAT’S WHERE I’M AT. I SHARED WITH YOU MY SPECIFIC STRENGTHS, NOT ONLY AS IT RELATES TO MY EXPERIENCE WORKING FOR 28 YEARS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, WORKING WITH ENTITIES ACROSS MICHIGAN AS IT RELATES TO PUBLIC EDUCATION, BUT MORE ALONG MY ABILITY TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER AND GET THEM WORKING ALONG A SIMILAR MISSION AND GETTING THINGS DONE. I THINK WE CAN DO GREAT THINGS, AND I KNOW YOU GUYS WANT TO DO GREAT THINGS, AND I HAVE TO TELL YOU HOW IMPRESSED I AM WITH EACH OF YOUR BACKGROUNDS. I MEAN, I WENT ON AND CHECKED YOUR BIOS OUT. MY GOSH, WHAT A REMARKABLY BRIGHT AND TALENTED GROUP OF PEOPLE YOU ARE. I’M SURE YOU GUYS DON’T AGREE ALL THE TIME. MY BOARD DOESN’T AGREE ALL THE TIME, AND THAT’S OKAY. BUT IF WE’RE WORKING TOGETHER WITH COMMON EXPECTATIONS FOR EACH OTHER, YOU KNOW, WE’RE GOING TO FIND COMMONALITIES AND MOVE MICHIGAN FORWARD. AS FAR AS QUESTIONS, YOU KNOW, AT THIS STAGE– I MAY HAVE SOME QUESTIONS IF I’M AROUND NEXT WEEK, BUT– [ LAUGHTER ]>>WELL, LET ME JUST SAY, BY WAY OF THANKING YOU FOR COMING FORWARD, CLEARLY, AS WE LEARNED ABOUT YOU AND THE CONFIDENCE AND TRUST YOUR COMMUNITY HAS IN YOU, YOU SHOULD BE VERY PROUD. YOU SHOULD ALSO– YOUR PEERS AROUND THE STATE, I KNOW, THINK VERY HIGHLY OF YOU AND YOUR ABILITIES. I WOULD JUST NOTE, IN SPITE OF YOUR RELATIVE YOUTH–>>THANK YOU.>>YOUR SMARTS, PASSION, AND INSIGHT INTO WHAT WE NEED TO DO REALLY SHINES THROUGH, AND YOU HAVE A LOT TO OFFER THE STATE. I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU FOR OFFERING YOUR SERVICE, AND APPRECIATE YOUR COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>GREAT. [ APPLAUSE ]>>SO WE’RE ON SCHEDULE. WE’LL TAKE A BREAK FOR– WE’LL RECONVENE AT 1:30 PROMPTLY. PLEASE SAY HI TO EVERYBODY.

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