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


>>OBVIOUSLY, GREAT INTEREST, AND THANKS TO THE GREAT CANDIDATES FOR STEPPING FORWARD. SEARCHING FOR THE NEXT SUPERINTENDENT, WE’VE BEEN VERY GRATIFIED TO HAVE SOME TERRIFIC PEOPLE APPLY, AND WE’RE GOING TO MEET THREE TODAY, AND GET TO KNOW THEM BETTER, AND THREE TOMORROW. SO, MARILYN, WE’RE GOING TO DISPENSE WITH MOST OF THE PRELIMINARIES, BUT WHY DON’T YOU INTRODUCE THE BOARD MEMBERS THAT ARE HERE, AND I DO NOTE THAT RICHARD ZEILE, BOARD MEMBER, IS NOT GOING TO BE IN ATTENDANCE TODAY, AND KAREN McPHEE, THE GOVERNOR’S EDUCATION ADVISOR, IS ALSO NOT HERE, BUT SHE’S TUNING IN TO WATCH AND WILL BE PART OF OUR DISCUSSIONS IN THE FUTURE.>>SO YOU’VE MET JOHN AUSTIN. HE’S THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD AND RESIDES IN ANN ARBOR. AS WE GO AROUND THE TABLE, CASANDRA ULBRICH IS ALMOST HERE, SO YOU’LL SEE HER IN A MINUTE. MICHELLE FECTEAU IS A BOARD MEMBER FROM DETROIT, AND SHE’S THE BOARD’S SECRETARY. AND THEN AS WE GO ACROSS THE TABLE, EILEEN WEISER, BOARD MEMBER FROM ANN ARBOR, KATHLEEN STRAUSS, BOARD MEMBER FROM DETROIT, LUPE RAMOS-MONTIGNY, BOARD MEMBER FROM GRAND RAPIDS. PAMELA PUGH SMITH NEXT TO ME. SHE’S A BOARD MEMBER FROM SAGINAW, AND PAM IS THE TREASURER.>>OKAY. FIRST, CAN I HAVE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE AGENDA IN ORDER OF PRIORITY, PLEASE?>>SO MOVED.>>SUPPORT.>>MOTION’S BEEN MADE AND SUPPORTED. ALL IN FAVOR, SAY AYE.>>AYE.>>ALL OPPOSED? MOTION CARRIES. WE’RE GOING TO BEGIN WITH BRIAN WHISTON, WHO’S HERE WITH US. THANK YOU, BRIAN. FIRST, WE VERY MUCH APPRECIATE ALL THE APPLICANTS– OVER 50– THAT APPLIED. WE VERY MUCH ARE GOING TO BE STRUGGLING TO MAKE A DECISION WITH SIX TERRIFIC APPLICANTS, BUT APPRECIATE YOUR COMING FORWARD TO HELP US ALL GET TO KNOW YOU BETTER, YOUR VISION, YOUR EXPERIENCE, AND HOW YOU COULD HELP US IMPROVE EDUCATION. YOU KNOW, IF YOU BOIL IT DOWN, IF YOU HAVE THE CRITERIA, AS WE MADE IT AVAILABLE, WE COLLECTIVELY WANT SOMEONE WHO CAN REALLY HELP US MOVE THE NEEDLE ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, WHO HAS A VISION AND A GAMEPLAN FOR HOW WE CAN DO THAT, WHO’S DONE IT, WHO’S REALLY DELIVERED THE GOODS AND HELPED STUDENTS LEARN AND STUDENT LEARNING IMPROVE IN MICHIGAN, OR ELSEWHERE. WE WANT SOMEONE FOCUSED LIKE A LASER ON THAT WORK, WHO REALLY IS ATTENDING EVERY DAY ON HOW WE IMPROVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND OUTCOMES, WHO CAN HELP US AS A BOARD AND WORK WELL WITH US SO WE CAN REALIZE OUR ABILITY TO SHAPE EDUCATION POLICY EFFECTIVELY, AND WHO VERY MUCH CAN WORK WELL WITH THE FIELD, THE GOVERNOR, AND THE LEGISLATURE AND HELP US WORK TOGETHER IN A COMMON AGENDA FOR HELPING IMPROVE EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES. SO IF I HAD TO BOIL IT DOWN, THAT’S A TALL ORDER, BUT WE’VE GOT CANDIDATES, INCLUDING BRIAN, WHO HAVE TREMENDOUS SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE, AND AS I SAID, WE’LL BE STRUGGLING MIGHTILY WITH THIS DECISION, BECAUSE ALL OF THE FOLKS THAT WE’RE GOING TO BE TALKING TO WOULD DO A BANG-UP JOB IN THIS IMPORTANT WORK. SO AGAIN, THANKS FOR COMING FORWARD, BRIAN, AND OFFERING YOUR SERVICE TO MICHIGAN. BRIAN WHISTON IS CURRENTLY SUPERINTENDENT OF DEARBORN SCHOOLS, HAS PART OF A DISTINGUISHED CAREER IN EDUCATION. I WON’T NARRATE THAT FOR YOU. YOU CAN READ HIS BIO. WE’RE GOING TO GET RIGHT INTO INTERVIEW QUESTIONS. THIS IS A LITTLE MORE STRUCTURED THAN IS PERHAPS OFTEN THE CASE, BECAUSE OF THE NEED FOR US TO ASK THE SAME QUESTIONS OF ALL THE CANDIDATES AND TREAT EVERYONE THE SAME AS PART OF THIS VERY IMPORTANT PUBLIC PROCESS, GIVING EVERY CANDIDATE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THEIR PERSPECTIVE, EXPERIENCE, AND IDEAS IN A SIMILAR FORMAT. OUR JOB TODAY AND TOMORROW WILL BE TO TALK TO THESE GREAT SEMIFINALISTS AND TRY TO SEE WHO WE CAN HONE IN ON FOR FURTHER ACQUAINTANCE AND END UP NEXT WEEK PERHAPS INTERVIEWING FINALISTS AND COMING TO A DECISION. SO BRIAN, AS YOU KNOW, WE’VE GOT– WE GAVE YOU TWO QUESTIONS TO BEGIN, AND WE GAVE ALL THE CANDIDATES THESE TWO QUESTIONS: TELL US, SPECIFICALLY, THE MAJOR THINGS WE NEED TO DO TO IMPROVE STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN MICHIGAN AND MAKE IT AN EDUCATIONAL LEADER IN THE NATION. ALSO, DESCRIBE WHAT YOU WILL DO TO ENSURE THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION AND THE BOARD OF EDUCATION ARE EFFECTIVE IN MAKING PROGRESS IN MICHIGAN. I INVITE YOU TO RESPOND TO THOSE AS YOUR OPENING COMMENTS IN OUR DISCUSSION, AND THEN, AS YOU KNOW, WE HAVE ABOUT 20 QUESTIONS THAT WE’RE GOING TO TAKE TURNS ASKING YOU, AND THEY’LL BE THE SAME FOR ALL THE CANDIDATES. WE HOPE THAT TWO OR THREE MINUTES IN ANSWERING EACH OF THOSE QUESTIONS WILL ALLOW US TO SPEND THE HOUR AND A HALF WE NEED TO TO LEARN AND UNDERSTAND YOUR EXPERIENCE, AGENDA, AND IDEAS FOR THIS IMPORTANT WORK. SO AGAIN, BRIAN, THANK YOU FOR JOINING WITH US TODAY. REALLY APPRECIATE IT.>>THANK YOU. I APPRECIATE IT. PRESIDENT AUSTIN, BOARD MEMBERS, I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HERE TODAY TO SHARE WITH YOU WHY I’M ASKING YOU TO HIRE ME AS THE NEXT STATE SUPERINTENDENT, SO THAT WE COULD WORK IN PARTNERSHIP TO DO THE THINGS JOHN HAD DESCRIBED, TO RAISE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND GRADUATION RATES, HELP STUDENTS BE COLLEGE AND CAREER READY, AND HELP STUDENTS BE SUCCESSFUL. AND SO I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE MY STORY WITH YOU, THE STORY OF MY CAREER AND WHAT WE’VE DONE IN DEARBORN TO DO THOSE VERY THINGS. SO WITH THAT, I’LL GET RIGHT INTO IT. YOU DO HAVE A PRESENTATION IN FRONT OF YOU, I THINK, THAT OUTLINES MY ANSWERS TO THOSE TWO QUESTIONS: IMPROVING STUDENT PERFORMANCE AND STATE BOARD AND SUPERINTENDENT RELATIONSHIP. SO IF YOU LOOK AT THAT FIRST PAGE OF IMPROVED STUDENT PERFORMANCE, IT OUTLINES SEVEN THINGS I’M GOING TO QUICKLY GO THROUGH AND DESCRIBE: THE PROCESS THAT I WOULD GO THROUGH, THE GOALS, THE CELEBRATION I WANT TO DO WITH THE BOARD, MY THOUGHTS ON THE BOARD, DELIVERABLES I’D GIVE TO THE BOARD WITHIN THE FIRST 100 DAYS, AND THE THINGS WE’VE DONE IN DEARBORN TO ANSWER THESE SAME TWO QUESTIONS. SO WITH THAT, OBVIOUSLY, NUMBER ONE, I WOULD NEED TO MEET WITH THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO GET YOUR GOALS AND YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES ON THE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT IN TERMS OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND SCHOOL FUNDING. I WOULD CREATE TWO COMMITTEES, ONE MADE UP OF SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY, AND ONE ON SCHOOL FUNDING. I WOULD SEEK COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO SERVE ON THE COMMITTEE WHO WOULD PUT STUDENTS FIRST AND AGREE TO DEVELOP A PLAN AND NOT LEAVE THE ROOM UNTIL WE DID THAT. WE WOULD LOOK TO EDUCATORS, PARENTS, EDUCATION GROUPS, BUSINESS GROUPS, LEGISLATORS, AND THE GOVERNOR’S REPRESENTATIVES TO DO THAT, AND I’D WORK WITH THE BOARD REGULARLY THROUGH THAT PROCESS TO MAKE SURE THE BOARD’S INPUT AND DIRECTION IS RECEIVED. AT THE END, I WOULD DELIVER A PRODUCT WITHIN 100 DAYS. NUMBER TWO, THE GOALS OF THE COMMITTEE WOULD START OFF WITH THE GOALS THE BOARD WOULD GIVE ME AS THE NON-NEGOTIABLES. IT WOULD HAVE TO BE SYSTEMATIC REFORM. THE STUDENT PERFORMANCE COMMITTEE WOULD LOOK AT SETTING ELA AND MATH STANDARDS, THE TESTING PROCESS, AND OUR ACCOUNTABILITY MODEL. THE SCHOOL FUNDING COMMITTEE WOULD LOOK AT PROVIDING A NEW PLAN FOR HOW WE WOULD FUND OUR SCHOOLS. AND AGAIN, WE WOULD DELIVER THAT WITHIN 100 DAYS. NUMBER THREE, I’D WANT TO WORK WITH THE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO CELEBRATE THE GREAT THINGS THAT ARE GOING ON IN CLASSROOMS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS AROUND THIS STATE TO HIGHLIGHT THOSE THINGS THAT ARE WORKING. I’D WANT TO WORK WITH THE BOARD TO TAKE THREE OR FOUR BOARD MEETINGS AND HIGHLIGHT WHAT’S GOING ON IN TOPICS I’D AGREED UPON WITH THE BOARD, FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT DISTRICTS ARE DOING TO GET STUDENTS READING ON LEVEL AT GRADE LEVEL OR GRADUATION RATES AS SOME EXAMPLES, OR JUST SOME GENERAL, INNOVATIVE THINGS THAT DISTRICTS ARE DOING, AND HIGHLIGHT THOSE AT BOARD MEETINGS. THEN, MY THOUGHTS ON REFORM: IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT MOST SUCCESSFUL COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD ARE DOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL, THEY HAVE AGGRESSIVE BENCHMARKING TO COMPARE HOW THEIR STUDENTS ARE DOING COMPARED TO OTHERS. THEY REALLY SPEND TIME LOOKING AT A QUALITY TEACHING FORCE, IN TERMS OF TEACHER PREP, CURRENT TEACHING STAFF, HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE FOR ACHIEVEMENT AND REALLY LOOKING AT A YEAR’S GROWTH OUT OF STUDENTS. AND THESE COUNTRIES THAT ARE SUCCESSFUL FOCUS ON ALL STUDENTS. THEY ALSO HAVE FUNDING PLANS WHERE THEIR MONEY FOLLOWS THE HARDEST TO EDUCATE, AND THEIR SYSTEM OF REFORM IS VERY COHERENT. THEY ALIGN THEIR INSTRUCTIONAL SYSTEMS TO PREPARE KIDS TO BE COMPLEX THINKERS, PROBLEM SOLVERS, WORKING IN TEAMS AND TRANSFERRING THEIR KNOWLEDGE FROM ONE AREA TO OTHERS. NOW, OTHER COUNTRIES DON’T HAVE THE SAME ISSUES IN POVERTY AND MENTAL HEALTH THAT WE DO, SO I WOULD HAVE TO ADD THOSE TO THE LIST OF THINGS WE NEED TO BE PREPARED TO DEAL WITH, NOT AS EXCUSES– BECAUSE WE HAVE POVERTY ISSUES IN DEARBORN, AND WE’RE GETTING SUCCESS, SO WE HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO WORK WITH KIDS IN POVERTY AND THOSE WHO HAVE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, AND THAT’D BE PART OF THE PLAN. SOME OTHER THINGS THAT I THINK NEED TO BE PART OF THIS REFORM PACKAGE INCLUDE SOMETHING WE’RE DOING IN DEARBORN CALLED MY LEARNING PLAN, AND THAT’S WHERE STUDENTS AND PARENTS TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS AND DECIDE HOW THEIR STUDENTS ARE GOING TO BE EDUCATED. THEY CAN GO THROUGH THE TRADITIONAL K-12 MODEL OR COME UP WITH THEIR OWN DESIGN OF HOW THEIR EDUCATION WOULD LOOK. IT ALSO IS ABOUT TAKING THE INTERESTS OF STUDENTS. FOR EXAMPLE, IF A STUDENT REALLY LOVES BASEBALL, BUT, SAY, THEY’RE NOT GOOD IN MATH, YOU COULD USE BASEBALL, WHICH IS NOTHING BUT MATH, TO TEACH THEM ABOUT MATH AND GET THEM TO LOVE MATH AGAIN. IT’S ALSO ABOUT THEM TRACKING THEIR PERSONAL AND ACADEMIC GOALS. SO IF YOU’RE A 4th GRADER AND YOU’RE READING AT A 3rd GRADE LEVEL, YOU’D SEE A STUDENT WITH A GRAPH OF WHERE THEY’RE CURRENTLY READING AT, WHERE THEIR NATURAL GROWTH SHOULD BE, AND WHERE THEIR GROWTH NEEDS TO BE TO GET THEM BACK ON TRACK. AND THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL YEAR, STUDENTS ARE TRACKING THEIR GROWTH IN READING AND MATH. GIVING THEM THAT OWNERSHIP SO THAT THEY REALLY DO SEE SUCCESS, AND I THINK OUR RESEARCH IS SHOWING THAT THAT IS WORKING. I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT ASSESSING STUDENTS BASED ON GRADE LEVEL IN READING AND MATH. IN ELEMENTARY, WE GRADE STUDENTS IN A LOT OF AREAS, BUT THE REAL FOCUS IS ARE THEY ON GRADE LEVEL, BELOW GRADE LEVEL, OR ABOVE GRADE LEVEL. WE NEED TO INFORM PARENTS OF THAT AND THOSE WHO ARE BELOW OR ABOVE, WE NEED TO HAVE INDIVIDUAL PLANS FOR THEM. SOME OF THE REFORM WE NEED TO DO HAS TO FOCUS ON CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION. WE CAN DO A LOT OF SYSTEMATIC REFORM, BUT IF WE DON’T DO SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT’S TAKING PLACE IN OUR CLASSROOMS, WE’RE NOT GOING TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT ACROSS THE STATE. WE KNOW THROUGH THE MARZANO PLAN OF CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION WHAT WORKS, AND WE NEED TO IMPLEMENT THAT. WE NEED TEACHERS TO BECOME FACILITATORS OF THE LEARNING, NOT JUST STANDING UP THERE AND TALKING, BUT FACILITATE THE STUDENTS TAKING OWNERSHIP OF THE LEARNING. WE NEED TEACHERS TO STEP AWAY FROM LECTURES AND MOVE INTO MINI-LESSONS, WHERE THEY TALK FOR A FEW MINUTES ABOUT THE MATH LESSON, CHECK TO MAKE SURE STUDENTS ARE UNDERSTANDING, AND THEN BREAK UP INTO SMALL GROUPS AND TAKE THAT LESSON AND MOVE IT FORWARD. WE NEED STUDENTS TO TAKE CHARGE OF THEIR LEARNING. WE NEED LEARNING OBJECTIVES, SO THAT EVERY TIME A STUDENT– SAY THEY’RE IN A SCIENCE LESSON, AND THEY UNDERSTAND THAT THEY’RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE WHAT THEY’RE DOING IN THAT LESSON AND WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO LEARN FROM IT. IN DEARBORN, WE DO THAT THROUGH “I CAN” STATEMENTS. WE NEED READING AND WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM, WHETHER A STUDENT IS IN ART, MUSIC, GYM, SCIENCE, OR SOCIAL STUDIES, THEY NEED TO BE READING AND WRITING EVERY DAY. WE USE SIOP, SHELTERED INSTRUCTION OBSERVATION PROTOCOL, WHICH ORIGINALLY BEGAN TO HELP ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS, BUT REALLY IS A SYSTEM TO HELP ALL LEARNERS BE SUCCESSFUL. WE NEED TO TRAIN OUR PARENTS ON WHAT’S TAKING PLACE IN THE CLASSROOMS. AT ELEMENTARIES IN DEARBORN, 300-400 PARENTS SHOW UP AND GET TRAINING IN WHAT THEIR STUDENTS ARE DOING IN READING AND MATH SO THAT PARENTS CAN HELP THEM AT HOME. AND THEN WE HAVE THOSE PARENTS WALK THROUGH THE CLASSROOMS TO SEE IF THE SCHOOL’S SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN IS IN PLACE. WE NEED TO FOCUS ON VOCABULARY AND MATH WORKSHOP. OTHER THOUGHTS IN TERMS OF REFORM: WE NEED TO HAVE PRESCHOOL FOR ALL STUDENTS. WE NEED TO HAVE ACCESS TO COLLEGE CREDIT, WHETHER THROUGH DUAL ENROLLMENT OR AP CLASSES. I’D LIKE TO SEE A 5-YEAR PLAN WHERE ANY STUDENT WHO MEETS THE 10th GRADE COLLEGE READY SCORES GET A FREE OPPORTUNITY TO GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN 5 YEARS WITH A 2-YEAR COLLEGE DEGREE AND THEIR HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA. WE NEED FUNDING REFORM. THAT’S A 5-MINUTE CONVERSATION IN ITSELF, SO HOPEFULLY WE’LL GET TO THAT. WE’LL REDUCE THE REDUNDANCY IN REPORTING. SOMETHING ELSE INNOVATIVE WE’RE DOING IN DEARBORN IS PARENT CONTRACTS. IF A STUDENT IS BEHIND IN READING OR MATH MORE THAN A YEAR IN 3rd THROUGH 9th GRADE, WE FORM A CONTRACT WITH THE PARENTS THAT TALK ABOUT WHAT WE AS A SCHOOL DISTRICT ARE GOING TO DO TO GET THEM ON GRADE LEVEL, AND WHAT THE PARENTS NEED TO DO, TOO. AND THEN THERE’S ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES, WHETHER IT BE SUMMER SCHOOL OR THE POSSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT BEING HELD BACK IF THE CONTRACT ISN’T LIVED UP TO. AGAIN, THOSE CONTRACTS ARE SEEING RESULTS AND SEEING STUDENTS MOVE UP TO GRADE LEVEL IN READING AND MATH. WE NEED TO SET PERFORMANCE STANDARDS IN ELA AND MATH. WE NEED A NEW TESTING MODEL TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF TESTING TO FOCUS ON GROWTH– SOMETHING LIKE NWEA. YOU KNOW, TO GO TO MED SCHOOL, IT’S A 6-HOUR TEST. TO GO TO DENTAL SCHOOL, IT’S A 4-HOUR TEST. TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL, IT’S A 2.5-HOUR TEST. TO TAKE A BAR EXAM, IT’S 12-18 HOURS. TO TAKE THE MED BOARDS EACH YEAR, IT’S 12 HOURS AT EVERY STAGE, AND YET WE EXPECT OUR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL KIDS TO TAKE TESTS FROM 7-9 HOURS AND OUR HIGH SCHOOL KIDS TO TAKE 12-15 HOURS. SO WE NEED A NEW MODEL. WE NEED A NEW ACCOUNTABILITY MODEL. WE NEED TO DEAL WITH LOW ACHIEVING SCHOOLS. THE MODEL I WOULD USE FOR PERSISTENTLY LOW ACHIEVING SCHOOLS IS YEAR ONE, IDENTIFY THEM THROUGH OUR NEW ACCOUNTABILITY MODEL, GIVE THE DISTRICT AN OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE. IF THEY DON’T IMPROVE, THEN YEAR TWO, THEY CAN APPLY TO THE STATE BOARD AND DEPARTMENT TO GET SOME ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY TO MAKE SOME OF THE CHANGES THEY NEED IN ORDER TO MAKE THE CHANGES TO GET THE GROWTH. IF THAT DOESN’T WORK, THEN IN YEAR THREE, I WOULD GIVE THE ISD SUPERINTENDENT SOME ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. CERTAINLY, MY THOUGHTS ON REFORM HAVE TO CENTER AROUND THE DETROIT COMMITTEE THAT’S BEEN FORMED TO LOOK AT REFORM AND SEE WHAT THEY COME UP WITH. WE HAVE 56 DEFICIT DISTRICTS. THEY DO HAVE TO PROVIDE REPORTS AND PLANS. I WOULD USE THE SAME YEAR ONE, TWO, AND THREE I JUST DESCRIBED UNDER LOW ACHIEVING SCHOOLS ON HOW TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THAT DEFICIT DISTRICT. OTHER GROUPS HAVE COME OUT WITH REFORM MEASURES, LIKE THE SYSTEMATIC SCHOOL REFORM COMMITTEE, MADE UP OF SCHOOL BOARDS, SUPERINTENDENTS, THE TEACHERS UNIONS, AND OTHER EDUCATIONAL GROUPS HAVE COME UP WITH PLANS, AND OF COURSE I’VE READ THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION’S THOUGHTS ON REFORM, AND THOSE DEFINITELY NEED TO BE INCLUDED IN WHEREVER WE MOVE FORWARD. SO WITHIN 100 DAYS OF GETTING THE BOARD’S NON-NEGOTIABLE INPUT INTO THE PROCESS, I’D DELIVER BACK TO YOU A PLAN TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY AND A PLAN TO DEAL WITH SCHOOL FINANCE. NOW, I WANTED TO TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO SHOW YOU WHAT WE’RE DOING IN DEARBORN TO IMPLEMENT THE THINGS WE JUST TALKED ABOUT, AND HOW IT IS HAVING A POSITIVE IMPACT ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. DEARBORN SCHOOLS IS THE THIRD LARGEST SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE STATE. YOU’LL SEE THAT WE HAVE A 72% POVERTY LEVEL, 52% ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS, 8.5% IN SPECIAL ED, AND WE’RE A VERY MOBILE COMMUNITY. EVEN WITH ALL THAT, WE’VE INCREASED STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND OUR GRADUATION RATES. WE’VE DONE THAT THROUGH IMPLEMENTING A 5-YEAR PLAN WHERE KIDS CAN GRADUATE IN 5 YEARS, ATTEND A COLLEGE OF THEIR CHOICE, STAY IN THEIR HOME HIGH SCHOOLS IF THEY MEET THE 10th GRADE COLLEGE-READY STANDARDS, AND THAT’S MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF STUDENTS. WE HAVE OVER 2,000 CLASSES OF DUAL ENROLLMENT BEING TAKEN, WITH STUDENTS BEING VERY SUCCESSFUL. WE ARE INNOVATIVE IN OUR STAFF CONTRACTS. WE IMPLEMENTED A STEPS PROCESS WHERE IF WE GET 35 RETIREES EACH YEAR, IT PAYS FOR THE STEPS FOR THE FOLLOWING YEAR, SO STRUCTURALLY, THAT HELPS US CONSTANTLY KEEP OUR BUDGET IN GOOD SHAPE. AS A DISTRICT, WE NO LONGER PROVIDE INSURANCE. WE JUST PROVIDE THE TEACHERS A STIPEND WHICH IS USED THROUGH THE TEACHERS UNION TO PURCHASE INSURANCE, SAVING US SOME $6 MILLION A YEAR. LAYOFFS IS DONE THROUGH A PROCESS OF STAFF EVALUATIONS, ATTENDANCE RECORDS, AND DISCIPLINE RECORDS. WE HAVE WHAT IS CALLED A DAILY FIVE IN CAFE, WHICH IS BUILDING STUDENT STAMINA IN READING AND WRITING, AND STUDENTS TAKE OWNERSHIP IN THEIR READING AND WRITING, BUILDING STAMINA EACH DAY IN TERMS OF HOW LONG THEY READ AND WRITE. WE ELIMINATED THE SCHOOL THAT WASN’T SUCCESSFUL, THAT WAS GETTING GRADUATION RATE OF 20%, AND REPLACED IT WITH A MAGNET SCHOOL WHICH HAS A 5-YEAR GRADUATION RATE OF 86%. IN RESPONSE TO BULLYING, IT’S NOT JUST A PROBLEM IN SCHOOLS. IT’S A PROBLEM IN COMMUNITIES, AND IN DEARBORN, WE HAVE AN AWARD-WINNING PROGRAM THAT REALLY TIES THE COMMUNITY INTO THE PROCESS AND TEACHES EVERYBODY HOW TO BE UPSTANDERS AND MAKE STUDENTS SAFE. AND IF YOU LOOK AT OUR DATA, IT IS WORKING. OTHER THINGS WE’VE DONE IS AN 8-STEP PLAN TO INCREASE GRADUATION RATES– THAT’S WORKING– PARENT CONTRACTS I TALKED ABOUT EARLIER, MY LEARNING PLAN I TALKED ABOUT EARLIER, THE DEARBORN TEACHING READING ACADEMY, WHICH IS TEACHING TEACHERS HOW TO TEACH READING. THAT’S LEADING TO SUCCESS IN THE CLASSROOM. I TALKED ABOUT FOCUSING ON READING AND WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM AND HOW THAT’S HAVING AN IMPACT. SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PROCESS: EACH SCHOOL HAS TO WRITE A SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN BASED ON THEIR DATA AND THEIR SCHOOL AND THEIR INDIVIDUAL STUDENT RESULTS, AND THEN WE GO INTO THE SCHOOLS TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE IMPLEMENTING THAT SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN. WE NEED TEACHERS TO BECOME FACILITATORS, TEACHING THROUGH MINI-LESSONS AND CHANGING CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION. THAT’S REALLY WHERE THE FOCUS NEEDS TO BE IF WE’RE GOING TO CHANGE HOW STUDENTS ARE SUCCESSFUL. AND I’VE ALREADY TALKED ABOUT PARENT TRAINING AND WALKTHROUGHS, VOCABULARY… SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? OUR GRADUATION RATES ARE UP 11 POINTS. OUR 4-YEAR GRADUATION RATE IS 87%. OUR 5-YEAR GRADUATION RATE IS 89.9%. STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IS UP. OUR TEST SCORES IN READING IN 4th, 5th, 6th, AND 8th ARE UP 14, 17, 17, AND 28 POINTS. OUR WRITING IS UP 21 POINTS. OUR MME READING IS UP 11. OUR SOCIAL STUDIES IS UP 17– OUR WRITING IS UP 17. OUR SOCIAL STUDIES IS UP 8. ALL ABOVE INCREASES MADE AT THE STATE LEVEL. OUR ACT SCORES HAVE GONE FROM 18 TO 19.4 IN 11th GRADE. AND EVEN THOUGH OUR TOTAL POPULATION HAS GONE UP 7 POINTS, OUR IEPs ARE DOWN 3.4 POINTS. OVERALL, IN THE MEAP, WE’RE UP IN 14 OF THE AREAS. OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT EXCEEDS THE COUNTY IN ALL SUBJECTS AND GRADES. WE EXCEED THE STATE IN MATH IN ALL GRADES, AND IN WRITING IN 4th AND 7th. IN THE MME, WE’VE INCREASED IN ALL AREAS, AND OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT LEADS THE COUNTY IN ALL SUBJECTS EXCEPT SCIENCE, WHERE WE’RE AT THE SAME LEVEL. WE EXCEED THE STATE SCORES IN WRITING, AND A 6-YEAR TREND SHOWS WE’RE IMPROVING FASTER THAN THE STATE IN READING, WRITING, AND SOCIAL STUDIES. SO YOU CAN SEE THE THINGS WE’RE IMPLEMENTING ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. WE’VE WON VARIOUS AWARDS– YOU CAN SEE THEM LISTED ON THE PAPER. IN “BRIDGE MAGAZINE,” WE HAVE 4 OF THE TOP 10 ELEMENTARIES, 2 OF THE TOP 10 MIDDLE, 1 OF THE TOP 10 HIGH SCHOOLS. TALK ABOUT OUR GRADUATION RATES– DISTRICTS WITH DIFFERENT WAYS OF RATING SCHOOLS HAVE RATED DEARBORN EITHER THE 14th OR 34th BEST DISTRICT IN THE STATE, BASED ON WHAT WE’RE DOING TO MOVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND POVERTY. SO IN SUMMARY, I WANT TO WORK WITH THE BOARD TO CELEBRATE THE GREAT THINGS THAT ARE GOING ON, I WANT TO TAKE THE INNOVATIONS I’VE TALKED ABOUT AND MOVE THEM FORWARD TO INCREASE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND GRADUATION RATES, I WANT TO WORK WITH THE BOARD ON A NEW TESTING PLAN, ACCOUNTABILITY MODEL, AND SCHOOL FINANCE PLAN, AND WE’D DO THAT WITHIN 100 DAYS.>>BRIAN, WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO ALLOW SOME TIME FOR ALL THE OTHER QUESTIONS, BUT ALSO I DO SEE A LOT OF WHAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR PRESENTATION I THINK CAN BE IN RESPONSE TO THE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS THAT WE ASK, AND MAYBE YOU COULD DRAW THAT OUT AS WE TALK ABOUT THE NEXT TOPICS.>>SURE.>>AND WE WILL– YOU DON’T HAVE TO REPEAT OURSELVES EITHER, SO SOME OF THE QUESTIONS MAY ASK YOU TO REITERATE SOMETHING THAT YOU JUST TOLD US, AND I WILL TRY TO BE ATTENTIVE TO THAT AND SAY, “WE HEARD ABOUT THAT AND IT’S VERY POWERFUL.” SO IF YOU’RE WILLING, MAYBE WE CAN FLEXIBLY LOOK AT HOW YOU CAN WEAVE IN SOME OF THE ADDITIONAL POINTS YOU WANTED TO MAKE IN YOUR OPENING IN RESPONSE TO SOME OF THE QUESTIONS, BECAUSE I THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE– AND WE’LL MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PLENTY OF TIME AT THE END TO TELL US WHATEVER YOU WANT TO TELL US.>>OKAY.>>AND AGAIN, THIS MAY BE TOWARDS REDUNDANCY, BUT I THINK CASANDRA HAS THE FIRST QUESTION WE’RE GOING TO ASK, AND THEN WE’LL MOVE AROUND FROM THERE.>>FIRST OF ALL, I APOLOGIZE FOR BEING A LITTLE LATE. GLAD THAT YOU WENT AHEAD AND GOT STARTED WITHOUT ME, AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR INTEREST IN THIS POSITION. CAN YOU DESCRIBE AND OFFER SOME EXAMPLES OF YOUR SUCCESSFUL EXPERIENCE IN IMPROVING EDUCATION AND LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR STUDENTS? AND IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU PROBABLY ALREADY HIGHLIGHTED MUCH OF THIS, BUT MAYBE IF YOU WANT TO GIVE A FEW EXAMPLES?>>YEAH, I THINK I DID HIGHLIGHT THAT IN THE PRESENTATION, BUT A FEW EXAMPLES OF THINGS THAT WE’RE DOING TO IMPROVE INSTRUCTION IS MY LEARNING PLAN, WHICH IS GIVING STUDENTS AND PARENTS THE OWNERSHIP OF DESIGNING THEIR EDUCATIONAL– THE WAY THEY’RE GOING TO GO THROUGH THE K-12 SYSTEM, THE WAY IT PUTS STUDENTS IN CHARGE OF THEIR LEARNING, AND THE WAY IT PUTS THEM RESPONSIBLE FOR GRAPHING AND CHARTING THEIR GROWTH, SO THEY UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY ARE AND NEED TO BE IN READING AND MATH. CERTAINLY, OUR 5-YEAR PLAN, WHICH ALLOWS KIDS TO GRADUATE IN 5 YEARS WITH A COLLEGE DEGREE AND A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA IS AN EXAMPLE. OUR EIGHT STEPS TO GRADUATION– WE DESIGNED AN 8-STEP PLAN THAT STARTS IN KINDERGARTEN AND WORKS ALL THE WAY UP THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL, AND THAT’S LED TO AN INCREASED GRADUATION RATE OF 11%. PARENT CONTRACTS I TALKED ABOUT, WHERE STUDENTS ARE BEHIND IN READING AND MATH– YOU KNOW, WE ONLY HAVE STUDENTS 12% OF THE CALENDAR YEAR, AND PARENTS HAVE THEM THE OTHER 88%. SO WE NEED TO WORK WITH STUDENTS IN TERMS OF SUCCESS, BUT WE ALSO NEED TO PROVIDE PARENTS SUPPORT AT HOME SO THEY CAN HELP US BE SUCCESSFUL AS WELL, AND WE DO THAT THROUGH PARENT CONTRACTS. SO THERE’S SOME EXAMPLES.>>THANK YOU, BRIAN. MICHELLE?>>AND I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU FOR BEING THE FIRST ONE, TOO. [ LAUGHTER ]>>THAT’S RIGHT. EVERYBODY ELSE WILL KNOW THE QUESTIONS. [ LAUGHTER ]>>I DID TALK TO ALL THE CANDIDATES, AND I DID OFFER BRIAN A LITTLE PREVIEW, KNOWING THAT PEOPLE WOULD BE TUNING IN FURIOUSLY TO LOOK AT THE QUESTIONS BEING ASKED AND HAVE A JUMP, SO TRYING TO GIVE BRIAN A SENSE OF– NOT PUTTING BRIAN AT A DISADVANTAGE. SO APPRECIATE THAT.>>SO HOW HAS YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE OTHERWISE PREPARED YOU FOR THIS POSITION?>>I THINK I’M UNIQUELY QUALIFIED, IN THAT I’M SUPERINTENDENT OF THE THIRD LARGEST DISTRICT, AN URBAN DISTRICT, WHICH COMES WITH A HIGH ECONOMIC DISADVANTAGE, AND WE’VE BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL, AND THAT’S BEEN BECAUSE OF THE PARTNERSHIP WITH THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, WITH MY ADMINISTRATORS AND TEACHERS AND SUPPORT STAFF, AND SO THAT EXPERIENCE OF BEING ABLE TO DRAW EVERYBODY TOGETHER TO BE ON THE SAME PAGE AND HAVE A LASER-LIKE FOCUS ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, GRADUATION RATES, AND FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY HAS MADE DEARBORN A VERY SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL DISTRICT, NOT BECAUSE OF ME, BUT BECAUSE OF THE BOARD, MY ADMINISTRATORS, TEACHERS, AND ALL OF US WORKING AS A TEAM. SECONDLY, I DO HAVE 17 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN LANSING, 11 YEARS AS A LOBBYIST AND 7 YEARS WORKING FOR A STATE SENATOR. SO I UNDERSTAND HOW THE LANSING PROCESS WORKS. IN 2007, I WAS AWARDED LOBBYIST OF THE YEAR BY LEGISLATORS AND THEIR STAFF BECAUSE OF MY ABILITY TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER TO IDENTIFY AND SOLVE PROBLEMS AND WORK IN A BIPARTISAN WAY. SO HAVING THAT 17 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, I THINK, IS UNIQUE. THIRDLY, I’M A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER. I WAS A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER FOR 17 YEARS, SO I CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANT ROLE THAT BOARDS OF EDUCATION PLAY IN THE SUCCESS OF WHAT YOU’RE DOING IF THE SUPERINTENDENT AND THE BOARD ARE NOT ON THE SAME TEAM, WE’RE NOT GOING TO GET THE SUCCESS WE NEED TO BE, SO I AND ALL OF YOU NEED TO BE WORKING HAND IN HAND IN PARTNERSHIP TO SET AND REACH OUR GOALS IF WE’RE GOING TO MAKE THE STATE OF MICHIGAN THE SHINING STAR WE ALL WANT IT TO BE. AND THEN FINALLY, I DID WORK FOR WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY TEACHING A CLASS TO PROSPECTIVE ADMINISTRATORS ON HOW THE LANSING PROCESS WORKS. DID THAT FOR 5 YEARS. SO BEING HERE IN LANSING, BEING A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER, BEING A SUPERINTENDENT OF THE THIRD LARGEST DISTRICT AND AN URBAN DISTRICT, I THINK, IN A LOT OF WAYS MAKES ME UNIQUELY QUALIFIED TO BE SUPERINTENDENT.>>THANK YOU, BRIAN. I’LL TAKE RICHARD’S QUESTIONS IN ABSENTIA. BRIAN, WHAT EXAMPLE OR EXAMPLES CAN YOU OFFER TO YOUR SUCCESS IN ORGANIZING AND MOVING THROUGH DISPARATE STAKEHOLDERS AND YOUR OWN STAFF AROUND A SHARED VISION OF EDUCATIONAL IMPROVEMENT? AND HOW WOULD YOU GO ABOUT SUCH AN EFFORT SHOULD YOU BE SUPERINTENDENT?>>WELL, AS A LOBBYIST REPRESENTING PUBLIC EDUCATION, I ROUTINELY GOT OTHER LOBBYISTS, STAFF MEMBERS, AND LEGISLATORS TOGETHER TO IDENTIFY AND SOLVE PROBLEMS. I THINK THAT WAS A STRENGTH OF MINE, TO GET US ALL WORKING ON THE SAME PAGE. IT’S VERY EASY TO HAVE LOBBYISTS REPRESENTING DIFFERENT INTERESTS TO NOT WORK TOGETHER, TO HAVE LEGISLATORS FROM DIFFERENT PARTIES NOT WORK TOGETHER, BUT I THINK AS A LOBBYIST, I HAVE A RECORD OF BEING ABLE TO DRAW THE LOBBYISTS, LEGISLATORS, GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, AND OTHER PARTIES TOGETHER TO IDENTIFY AND SOLVE PROBLEMS. IN DEARBORN, MY MANAGEMENT STYLE IS VERY OPEN. I’M AN OPEN BOOK. I WORK VERY WELL WITH THE TEACHERS UNIONS. IT DOESN’T MEAN WE ALWAYS AGREE, BUT WE WORK WELL TOGETHER BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS HAVE A SEAT AT THE TABLE. AND TO SOLVE PROBLEMS, YOU HAVE TO HAVE EVERYBODY TO HAVE A SEAT AT THE TABLE, SO IN DEARBORN, THE UNIONS HAVE A SEAT AT THE TABLE. OF COURSE, THE BOARD LEADS THE PROCESS. WE SIT DOWN TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEMS AND WORK TOGETHER TO SOLVE THEM, AND WORKING IN DEARBORN, IT’S A VERY CHALLENGING COMMUNITY AND CHANGING, SO GETTING THE TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATION, THE STAFF ALL WORKING ON THE SAME PAGE CAN SOMETIMES BE VERY DIFFICULT, BUT ALSO VERY REWARDING. AND I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT THE INNOVATIVE THINGS WE’VE PUT IN PLACE BECAUSE OF WORKING TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE THAT HAPPEN, AND THAT’S BECAUSE OF THE LEADERSHIP OF OUR BOARD.>>THANKS, BRIAN. EILEEN?>>BRIAN, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TASKS OF THE SUPERINTENDENT IS DEVELOPING WITH THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION POLICIES AND STRATEGIES TO TRY TO BRING ALL PEOPLE TOGETHER TO IMPROVE EDUCATION AND ADVANCE IT WITH THE GOVERNOR, LEGISLATURE, EDUCATIONAL POLICY GROUPS, AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE AND APPROACH IN DOING THAT WORK? AND I GUESS I WOULD ALSO ASK, BECAUSE YOU’VE ALREADY DONE A GOOD JOB OF OUTLINING HOW YOU DO IT IN DEARBORN, WHAT THE DIFFERENCES MIGHT BE ON THE STATE LEVEL, AND HOW WOULD YOU RESOLVE DIFFERENCES IN VISION, DIRECTION, AND EXPECTATIONS HELD BY ALL OF THOSE LEADERS?>>WELL, I THINK THE STATE BOARD SETS THE DIRECTION. THEY SET THE NON-NEGOTIABLES THAT I USE TO THEN GO OUT AND BRING GROUPS TOGETHER, SO IF WE’RE FOCUSED ON STUDENTS, WE’RE FOCUSED ON THE BOARD’S NON-NEGOTIABLES. THEN IT’S MY JOB TO CALL IN THE VARIOUS EDUCATIONAL GROUPS AND TO GET ALL OF US TO AGREE WE’RE NOT GOING TO LEAVE THE ROOM UNTIL WE’VE SOLVED THE PROBLEM. AND I’VE DONE THAT IN LANSING IN MY SIX YEARS AS CHIEF OF STAFF TO A SENATOR. I DID IT THOSE 11 YEARS AS A LOBBYIST. AND I’M DOING IT IN DEARBORN. I THINK IT’S ABOUT BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS, IT’S ABOUT YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE, IT’S ABOUT BUILDING TRUST, IT’S ABOUT BEING FOCUSED ON STUDENTS, AND TRYING TO GET EVERYONE TO PUT THEIR POLITICS ASIDE AND SAY, “WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO THAT’S IN THE BEST INTEREST OF STUDENTS?” IF THAT’S WHAT WE HAVE AT OUR CENTER CORE, THEN I THINK I CAN GET PEOPLE TO WORK TOGETHER TO IDENTIFY A LIKE VISION, A LIKE PHILOSOPHY, LIKE POLICIES. IT WON’T ALWAYS BE EASY. IN DEARBORN, THERE ARE SOME TIMES WHEN WE HAVE SOME PRETTY GOOD DISCUSSIONS AND DISAGREEMENTS, BUT I FIND THOSE TO BE HEALTHY, BECAUSE THAT MEANS PEOPLE ARE PUTTING THEIR HEART AND SOUL FORWARD. AND AS LONG AS PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO DO THAT, WE CAN DO WHAT’S BEST FOR KIDS. AND SO I THINK MY MANAGEMENT STYLE, MY OPENNESS, AND MY ABILITY TO GET PEOPLE TO DO THAT IS A STRENGTH, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH THE BOARD TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.>>KATHY?>>OKAY. WELL, A LOT OF ISSUES AROUND PUBLIC EDUCATION. WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT AND FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSES OF PUBLIC EDUCATION?>>WELL, MY EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY IS I BELIEVE IN ALL STUDENTS. I BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE THE ABILITY AND DESIRE TO BE SUCCESSFUL. I THINK EVERY STUDENT WANTS TO BE CARING AND TO BE CARED FOR. I THINK THEY WANT TO BE LIFELONG LEARNERS, AND THEY WANT TO BE CHALLENGED BEYOND THEIR ABILITIES, TO LIVE HAPPY, HEALTHY, SUCCESSFUL LIVES. AND I THINK WE CAN ACCOMPLISH THAT BY CHANGING THE WAY WE DELIVER CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION, BY ALLOWING AND ENCOURAGING AND NURTURING STUDENTS’ CURIOSITY, ALLOWING STUDENTS AND PARENTS TO OWN THEIR EDUCATIONAL PROCESS AND HOW THEY GO THROUGH THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM, THE MY LEARNING PLAN, AND TO REALLY PROMOTE OTHERS ABOVE SELVES. SO I THINK IT’S ABOUT BELIEVING IN ALL STUDENTS, SO MY AGENDA WOULD BE TO PUT STUDENTS FIRST AND TO RAISE– LOOK AT HOW WE CAN RAISE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, GRADUATION RATES, ACCOUNTABILITY, WHETHER THAT BE FOR ME AS STATE SUPERINTENDENT, LOCAL SUPERINTENDENTS, TEACHERS, SUPPORT STAFF, THROUGH THE EVALUATION PROCESS. I THINK THROUGH SETTING GOALS AND HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE, WE WILL RAISE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND GRADUATION RATES. WE WILL MAKE STUDENTS COLLEGE AND CAREER READY.>>THERE’S A LOT OF PUSH NOW THAT EDUCATION SHOULD BE TO TRAIN PEOPLE FOR JOBS.>>KATHY, WE CAN’T DO FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS AT THIS ONE.>>OH, WE CAN’T DO FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS? OH. SORRY ABOUT THAT.>>IT WOULDN’T BE FAIR TO THE PROCESS– WE’D HAVE TO DO MANY MORE. WE’VE GOT A SERIES OF QUESTIONS COMING UP ABOUT PARTICULAR TOPICS OR ASPECTS– I’M SORRY. YEAH. LUPE, YOU’VE GOT THE FIRST ONE.>>HELLO, BRIAN. 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.>>AS I MENTIONED, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT OTHER SUCCESSFUL COUNTRIES HAVE DONE IS FOCUS ON TEACHER PREP, AND I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT HOW WE ARE PREPARING OUR STUDENTS TO BE TEACHERS, ABOUT HOW THEY’RE SELECTED TO GO INTO THE PROCESS OF EDUCATION, AND THEN ONCE THEY’RE IN THERE, THE EDUCATION THEY’RE RECEIVING. FOR EXAMPLE, ARE THEY BEING TRAINED TO WORK WITH STUDENTS IN POVERTY? ARE THEY BEING TRAINED TO WORK WITH STUDENTS OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE BACKGROUND? ARE THEY BEING TRAINED TO REALLY GET A YEAR’S WORTH OF GROWTH OUT OF STUDENTS? ARE THEY BEING TRAINED TO NO LONGER BE LECTURERS, THE SAGE ON THE STAGE, BUT REALLY LEARNING TO BE FACILITATORS OF STUDENTS’ LEARNING? SO WE NEED TO LOOK AT HOW WE’RE PREPARING OUR TEACHERS, AND THAT NEEDS TO BE A CONVERSATION FIRST WITH THE STATE BOARD, TO GET YOUR INPUT AND DIRECTION, BUT THEN IT’S TO CALL IN THE VARIOUS COLLEGES THAT HAVE TEACHER PREP AND HAVE A CONVERSATION BETWEEN WHAT WE’RE CURRENTLY DOING AND HOW WE’RE PREPARING AND HAVE SUPERINTENDENTS AND TEACHERS ON THE OTHER SIDE TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE NEED FROM NEW TEACHERS TO BE SUCCESSFUL. SO WE NEED TO DEVELOP THAT AND WE NEED TO DO IT BY WORKING TOGETHER, BUT IT IS GOING TO BE A TOUGH CONVERSATION, BECAUSE I RECENTLY SPOKE TO A GROUP OF TEACHERS WHO WERE VISITING DEARBORN FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, AND I THINK I SHOCKED THEM ABOUT WHAT WE REALLY WANT IN TEACHERS MOVING FORWARD. I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE GO INTO EDUCATION BECAUSE THEY LOVE THE TOPIC. I LOVE MATH, SO I WANT TO BE A MATH TEACHER. AND THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHILE TEACHING MATH IS IMPORTANT, IT’S ABOUT BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH KIDS, ABOUT FOCUSING ON DATA TO DRIVE INSTRUCTION FOR KIDS, AND IT’S ABOUT MEETING THEIR NEEDS AND FINDING A WAY TO GET THEM TO LOVE MATH AS MUCH AS YOU DO. IT’S NOT JUST STANDING UP AT A BOARD AND TEACHING MATH, BUT IT’S TEACHING KIDS TO LOVE MATH, AND IT’S REALLY CHANGING THE WAY WE DELIVER INSTRUCTION, AS I’VE TALKED ABOUT SEVERAL TIMES. SO THIS IS A KEY ISSUE. IF WE’RE GOING TO CHANGE AND MAKE MICHIGAN A SHINING STAR, THEN WE NEED TO REALLY FOCUS IN ON TEACHER PREP, OUR CURRENT TEACHERS, AND HOW THEY’RE TEACHING, AND WE NEED TO REALLY HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE AS OUR ADMINISTRATORS, AS WELL.>>THANK YOU.>>PAM, YOU’VE GOT THE NEXT TOPIC.>>GOOD MORNING. YOU SPOKE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY, AND SO THIS QUESTION IS, “WHAT IS THE ROLE OF ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION?” AND IT’S A TWO-PART QUESTION– AND WHAT ELSE HAS TO GO ALONG WITH ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS TO IMPROVE LEARNING?>>WELL, ACCOUNTABILITY IS KEY. WE DO NEED TO HAVE THE EVALUATIONS PROCESS IN PLACE FOR ME AS STATE SUPERINTENDENT, FOR SUPERINTENDENTS IN LOCAL DISTRICTS, FOR TEACHERS. IN DEARBORN, WE HAVE AN ACCOUNTABILITY MODEL IN PLACE, AND WE HAVE HELPED 80 PEOPLE DECIDE THEY’RE NO LONGER FIT TO BE TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS IN DEARBORN, BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT MEETING THE HIGH EXPECTATIONS AND THE NEEDS IN THE CLASSROOM. AND WHILE THAT’S A TWO-EDGED SWORD, BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO BE PROUD OF GETTING 80 PEOPLE TO FIND OTHER CAREERS, I AM PROUD THAT WE HAVE HIGH STANDARDS AND ARE HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT IS CHANGING INSTRUCTION: IT’S ACCOUNTABILITY, TYING IT AT LEAST PARTIALLY TO STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IS VERY IMPORTANT. AND DOING THAT, I THINK WE CAN HELP RAISE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. WHAT ELSE HAS TO GO ALONG WITH THAT IS A PARTNERSHIP, BECAUSE EVALUATIONS CAN’T JUST BE GOTCHA THINGS. IT’S GOT TO BE, “WHAT ARE WE DOING TO HELP YOU CHANGE YOUR CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION? WHAT PD ARE WE PROVIDING YOU SO YOU CAN CHANGE THE WAY THAT YOU’RE DELIVERING THE CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION?” SO WHAT ELSE GOES WITH ACCOUNTABILITY? PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, CARING, WE NEED TO REWARD TEACHERS WHO ARE GETTING A YEAR OR MORE WORTH OF GROWTH FROM THEIR STUDENTS, WE NEED TO REWARD TEACHERS WHO ARE WILLING TO TEACH IN HARD– IN AREAS WHERE IT’S DIFFICULT TO EDUCATE STUDENTS. SO WHAT GOES WITH ACCOUNTABILITY? WE NEED TO REWARD SUCCESSFUL TEACHERS, AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOES WITH IT.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH. EILEEN?>>BRIAN, 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?>>WE DO NEED TO SET STANDARDS IN EACH OF THOSE AREAS, PARTICULARLY IN ELA AND MATH, BUT REALLY IN ALL SUBJECT MATTERS. IT SHOULDN’T MATTER WHETHER YOU’RE A STUDENT IN DEARBORN OR MOUNT PLEASANT OR TRAVERSE CITY– YOU SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO THE SAME STANDARDS BY GRADE LEVEL. WE SHOULD ALL BE USING THE SAME TESTS SO WE CAN FAIRLY BENCHMARK. WE TALKED ABOUT WHAT SUCCESSFUL COUNTRIES ARE DOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL. BENCHMARKING IS ONE OF THEM, BUT IT HAS TO BE APPLES TO APPLES BENCHMARK, AND IT HAS TO BE APPLES TO APPLES CURRICULUM SO THAT WE CAN REALLY JUDGE HOW STUDENTS ARE DOING. I KNOW COMMON CORE IS A VERY CONTENTIOUS THING, BUT I BELIEVE IN INCREASING THE RIGOR THAT COMES WITH COMMON CORE. I BELIEVE IN TEACHING STUDENTS TO BE CRITICAL THINKERS AND TO BE ABLE TO TRANSFER THEIR KNOWLEDGE FROM ONE TOPIC TO ANOTHER, AS COMMON CORE DOES. I BELIEVE AND I THINK STUDENTS IN MICHIGAN, CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA, ALL OUGHT TO BE HELD TO THE SAME STANDARDS AND ALL OUGHT TO BE TAKING THE SAME TESTS SO WE CAN HAVE THAT BENCHMARKING TAKE PLACE. BUT WHAT WE CAN NEVER DO IS TOUCH THE CLASSROOM IN TERMS OF THE INSTRUCTION. IT NEEDS TO BE THE TEACHER WHO IS THE EXPERT IN DELIVERING THE INSTRUCTION, SO THAT PART OF IT ALWAYS HAS TO BE LEFT UP TO THE LOCAL EXPERTS THROUGH PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND TEACHERS. SO DO I BELIEVE THAT WE NEED TO HAVE LEARNING STANDARDS? YES. DO WE NEED TO CREATE LEARNING STANDARDS? YES.>>THE SECOND PART OF THE QUESTION WAS ON ASSESSMENTS.>>YES. I MEAN, AS I MENTIONED EARLIER IN MY REMARKS, I THINK ASSESSMENT IS IMPORTANT, BUT I THINK WE’RE ASSESSING TOO MUCH. I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT ASSESSMENTS THAT LOOK AT STUDENT GROWTH, SO THAT IF I’M A 3rd GRADE TEACHER, DID I GET A YEAR OR MORE WORTH OF GROWTH OUT OF MY STUDENTS? THAT’S WHAT WE SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON. THE FACT THAT KIDS DO TAKE, IN ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL, 7-9 HOURS WORTH OF ASSESSMENTS, I THINK WE CAN REPLACE THAT WITH SOMETHING THAT LOOKS AT GROWTH LIKE NWEA. THAT TEST IS ABOUT 35-40 MINUTES PER SUBJECT, AND IT GIVES US THAT GROWTH MEASURE. SO ASSESSMENT IS IMPORTANT. WE NEED TO HAVE THE SAME ASSESSMENTS FOR ALL SO WE CAN HAVE THE BENCHMARKING, BUT WE DO NEED TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF TESTS. TESTS SHOULD HELP US DRIVE AND CHANGE INSTRUCTION, AND THE TESTS WE HAVE NOW I DON’T THINK DO THAT. SO THAT’S WHY LOCAL DISTRICTS HAVE TO HAVE ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENTS ON TOP OF THE STATE AND FEDERAL REQUIRED ASSESSMENTS. SO I THINK WE COULD REPLACE THOSE WITH ONE ASSESSMENT THAT ACCOMPLISHES BOTH GOALS, WHICH IS TO FOCUS ON THE GROWTH OF STUDENTS. WHAT PARENTS CARE ABOUT IS DID MY STUDENT, NO MATTER WHAT GRADE THEY’RE IN, GET A YEAR’S WORTH OF GROWTH IN THEIR INSTRUCTION, AND THAT’S WHAT WE SHOULD FOCUS ON.>>THANK YOU. CASANDRA.>>THERE HAVE BEEN MANY EDUCATIONAL REFORM IDEAS IN RECENT YEARS. WHICH OF THESE DO YOU THINK ARE WORTHY OF EXPLORATION, AND WHICH WOULD YOU RECOMMEND AGAINST?>>WELL, CERTAINLY, I THINK THE FIRST THING I NEED TO DO IS MEET WITH THE STATE BOARD IN A RETREAT TO HEAR YOUR DIRECTION, AGAIN, YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES, BECAUSE I THINK IT’S A PARTNERSHIP. THIS ISN’T JUST ME AS STATE SUPERINTENDENT GOING OUT AND TALKING ABOUT WHAT I THINK IS IMPORTANT. I NEED TO WORK IN CONCERT WITH YOU, SO THAT WOULD NEED TO TAKE PLACE, REALLY, TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, BUT I DO THINK EARLY CHILDHOOD IS KEY. I DO THINK CHANGING, AS WE JUST TALKED ABOUT, OUR ACCOUNTABILITY AND ASSESSMENT MODEL IS IMPORTANT. CHANGING OUR TESTS IS IMPORTANT. I THINK CHANGING CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION– YOU DON’T HEAR A LOT OF THAT IN CONVERSATION, BUT THAT’S REALLY WHERE WE NEED TO FOCUS IF WE’RE GOING TO CHANGE THINGS. WE CAN TALK BIG THINGS, GRANDIOSE THINGS, BUT IF WE’RE NOT IMPACTING INSTRUCTION IN THE CLASSROOM, WE’RE NOT GOING TO CHANGE HOW SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS ARE. IF WE’RE NOT GOING TO FOCUS ON POVERTY AND WHAT IT MEANS TO TEACH KIDS WHO SUFFER FROM POVERTY OR KIDS WHO COME FROM AN EL BACKGROUND, THEN WE’RE NOT REALLY GOING TO MAKE CHANGES. SO WE HAVE TO FOCUS ON THINGS THAT ARE GOING TO IMPROVE INSTRUCTION IN THE CLASSROOM. SO THAT’S WHERE MY FOCUS WOULD BE, BUT AS I SAID, I WOULD DO EARLY CHILDHOOD, I WOULD DO THE MY LEARNING PLAN, I WOULD DO PARENT CONTRACTS, I WOULD CHANGE THE ASSESSMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM.>>THANKS, BRIAN. 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?>>TECHNOLOGY IS VERY IMPORTANT. YOU KNOW, WHEN PROPOSAL A WAS PASSED AND WE DEVELOPED OUR FUNDING SYSTEM, TECHNOLOGY WASN’T THAT BIG IN CLASSROOMS, SO THAT’S ANOTHER REASON WE NEED TO LOOK AT OUR FUNDING SYSTEM, BECAUSE TECHNOLOGY IS KEY TO INSTRUCTION. IN DEARBORN, YOU WALK INTO A CLASSROOM, WE HAVE WHAT IS CALLED WHITEBOARDS, AND THOSE ELECTRONIC BOARDS– I TELL YOU WHAT, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE THEM, BUT YOU GO TO ANY 3rd GRADER AND THEY KNOW HOW TO USE THEM. YOU GIVE THEM A SMARTPHONE AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE IT, BUT THEY DO. TECHNOLOGY IS VERY IMPORTANT TO KIDS IN THE WAY THEY LIVE THEIR LIVES, AND WE HAVE TO USE TECHNOLOGY TO ENTICE THEM TO BE EXCITED ABOUT THEIR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM, IN TERMS OF TESTING AS WELL. SO TECHNOLOGY DOES PLAY A VERY KEY ROLE IN EDUCATION, AND WE NEED TO FIND A WAY TO HELP DISTRICTS BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH THE LACK OF TECHNOLOGY OR THE QUALITY OF TECHNOLOGY THAT THEY HAVE. NOW, IN TERMS OF ONLINE SCHOOLS OR STUDENTS TAKING CLASSES ONLINE AND THROUGH TECHNOLOGY, MY LEARNING PLAN, WHICH I DESCRIBED EARLIER, CERTAINLY HAS THAT AS PART OF WHAT COULD BE DONE. STUDENTS COULD TAKE ONLINE COURSES AS PART OF THEIR DEARBORN EDUCATION. I THINK THAT AS LONG AS THERE’S A QUALITY SYSTEM IN PLACE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE INSTRUCTION IS TAKING PLACE AND STUDENTS ARE GETTING THE LEARNING, AND WE ASSESS THEM AND THEY ARE BEING SUCCESSFUL, I THINK THAT’S IMPORTANT. BUT WHETHER IT’S A TRADITIONAL SCHOOL, CHARTER SCHOOL, OR ONLINE SCHOOL, WE ALL HAVE TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR HOW WE’RE SPENDING OUR MONEY AND GETTING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT RESULTS. SO TECHNOLOGY IS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR, AND WE NEED TO HELP DISTRICTS FIND WAYS TO FUND TECHNOLOGY, AND WE NEED TO FIND A WAY TO USE TECHNOLOGY, BECAUSE IT ALREADY EXCITES AND MOTIVATES KIDS, AND WE NEED TO LEARN HOW TO DO THAT. WHEN I GO INTO A CLASSROOM AND SEE A SIGN THAT SAYS, “NO CELL PHONES,” I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY, BUT I’D RATHER SEE A TEACHER TAKE THAT SMARTPHONE AND USE IT AS A WAY TO HELP DRIVE INSTRUCTION AND GET KIDS ENGAGED.>>THANK YOU, BRIAN. I THINK MICHELLE HAS THE NEXT QUESTION.>>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?>>FIRST OF ALL, I HAVE A CHILD WHO IS SPECIAL ED AND LEARNING DISABLED, AND I DID HAVE TO SUFFER THROUGH THE EMOTIONAL STUFF THAT SHE WENT THROUGH AS A CHILD AND THE DIFFICULTY IN LEARNING, SO I CERTAINLY APPRECIATE THAT AND THE IMPACT ON STUDENTS AND THE ROLE PARENTS NEED TO PLAY IN HELPING FOR THEM TO BE SUCCESSFUL. IN DEARBORN, WE’VE SEEN OUR SPECIAL ED RATE GO FROM 12% TO 8.5% BECAUSE OF CO-TEACHING, BETTER IDENTIFICATION OF STUDENTS’ NEEDS, AND BETTER PLANS IN TERMS OF MEETING THOSE NEEDS. SO OUR SPECIAL ED TEAM, LED BY MIKE SHELTON, HAS DONE AN EXCELLENT JOB OF IMPROVING OUR SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM AND REDUCING THE NUMBERS AND SEEING THE TEST SCORES GO UP. HE’S DOING THAT THROUGH A VARIETY OF THINGS, BUT CO-TEACHING IS ONE OF THE WAYS HE’S DOING THAT, AND THAT’S WHEN YOU HAVE A SPECIAL ED AND A GENERAL ED TEACHER IN THE CLASSROOM WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ALL THE STUDENTS TO HELP THEM BE SUCCESSFUL. SO THE DEARBORN MODEL IS WORKING IN TERMS OF IMPROVING SPECIAL ED SERVICES AND REDUCING THE NUMBER OF KIDS IDENTIFIED. I KNOW SPECIAL ED IS A VERY DIFFICULT THING. PARENTS ARE VERY ENGAGED IN THAT PROCESS, AS THEY SHOULD BE, BUT SOMETIMES PARENTS WANT THINGS THAT AREN’T NECESSARILY IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THEIR STUDENTS, AND I’M FINDING THAT NOW IN SOME SPECIAL ED ISSUES, AND SO IT’S A FINE LINE TO WALK, BECAUSE IF I’M GOING TO KEEP MY SOUL AND MY HEART WHERE IT NEEDS TO BE, WHICH IS STUDENTS FIRST, I HOPE MOST OF THE TIME WE’RE ON THE SAME PAGE AS PARENTS, WORKING TOGETHER TO PROVIDE THAT FOR STUDENTS. BUT I’M ALWAYS GOING TO DO WHAT I BELIEVE IS IN THE BEST INTEREST FOR STUDENTS, EVEN IF THAT MEANS THAT SOMETIMES I’M NOT ON THE SAME PAGE AS PARENTS. SO SPECIAL ED IS AN IMPORTANT PROCESS. IT’S IMPORTANT TO IDENTIFY THE FACTORS IN THE IEP PROCESS AND MAKE SURE WE’RE PROVIDING THE SERVICES STUDENTS NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL. I DON’T CARE WHAT STUDENT YOU ARE– WE OWE YOU A YEAR’S OR MORE WORTH OF GROWTH, AND WE OWE IT TO YOU TO BE SUCCESSFUL SO YOU CAN GRADUATE AND HAVE SUCCESS IN A TRADE SCHOOL, IN COLLEGE, OR IN LIFE, AND THAT INCLUDES EVERY STUDENT, INCLUDING SPECIAL ED. SO THE DIRECTION NEEDS TO BE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF OUR SPECIAL ED STUDENTS AND ALL THE STUDENTS IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT.>>GREAT. THANK YOU. KATHY?>>WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE ROLE OF STUDENT CHOICE AND CHARTER SCHOOLS IN IMPROVING LEARNING AND EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES? AND DO YOU THINK THERE SHOULD BE ANY STANDARDS FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS? AND IF SO, WHAT SHOULD THEY BE?>>WELL, I THINK, WHETHER YOU’RE A TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL, AN ONLINE SCHOOL, OR A CHARTER SCHOOL, WE ALL SHOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE. IF WE’RE GOING TO ACCEPT TAX DOLLARS, THEN WE HAVE TO BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR HOW WE SPEND THOSE TAX DOLLARS, FOR STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, FOR GRADUATION RATES, FOR FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND HOW WE’RE SPENDING THOSE DOLLARS, SO I WOULD SAY THAT FOR EVERY SCHOOL, WE NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. CHARTERS ARE PART OF THE LANDSCAPE. I THINK CHARTER SCHOOLS THAT ARE SUCCESSFUL– I KNOW THE BOARD– I READ THE BOARD’S THOUGHT OF USING THE MEDICAL MODEL TO DETERMINE IF WE NEED MORE CHARTERS OR NOT. I THINK THAT’S INTRIGUING. I’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE FROM THE BOARD ABOUT THAT. CERTAINLY, I THINK SUCCESSFUL CHARTERS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TO ISSUE CHARTERS. I THINK CHARTERS, TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS, ONLINE SCHOOLS THAT ARE NOT BEING SUCCESSFUL OUGHT TO BE GIVEN THAT THREE YEAR PROCESS I OUTLINED EARLIER TO CHANGE AND BE SUCCESSFUL. AND IF THEY’RE NOT, WHETHER THEY’RE A CHARTER, PUBLIC, ONLINE, THEN THEY NEED TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCES, BECAUSE SPENDING TAX DOLLARS AND NOT MEETING THE NEEDS OF KIDS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.>>THANK YOU.>>I DID– LET ME ADD, AS WELL, MY LEARNING PLAN TALKS ABOUT MEETING THE NEEDS OF INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS, AND WHETHER OR HOW CHOICE AND CHARTERS PLAY INTO THAT IS REALLY UP TO THE PARENTS, BUT I DO THINK THAT PARENTS AND STUDENTS OUGHT TO HAVE SOME SAY IN HOW THEY GO THROUGH THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM. I’D LIKE TO SEE THAT IN THE TRADITIONAL MODEL AS WELL AS SOME OPTIONS IN CHARTER. I KNOW A NEW CHARTER WAS JUST OPENED IN GRAND RAPIDS AT THE AIRPORT CENTERING AROUND AIRPLANES, AND I THINK THAT’S AN EXCITING, DIFFERENT OPPORTUNITY THAT CHARTERS COULD PLAY.>>PAM?>>WHAT EXPERIENCE HAVE YOU HAD IN SUCCESSFULLY TURNING AROUND UNDERPERFORMING SCHOOLS? AND WHAT DO YOU SEE AS EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO SCHOOL TURNAROUND?>>WELL, LET ME TALK ABOUT AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN DEARBORN THAT, WHEN I GOT THERE, WAS ALMOST ON THE STATE TAKEOVER LIST, AND NOW, IT’S PERFORMING AT THE 70th PERCENTILE JUST A FEW YEARS LATER. THAT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, I CHANGED THE ADMINISTRATION– AND HERE’S AGAIN WHERE YOU SOMETIMES GET INTO A DISAGREEMENT WITH PARENTS. PARENTS LOVED THE PRINCIPAL AND FOUGHT MY REMOVAL OF THAT PRINCIPAL, BUT THE BOARD STOOD STRONG WITH ME AND WE CHANGED THE PRINCIPAL. IN THAT SCHOOL, THE PRINCIPAL CHANGED WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE CLASSROOM, IMPLEMENTED SOME OF THE THINGS I TALKED ABOUT IN MY OPENING STATEMENT IN TERMS OF CHANGING CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION, PROVIDED THE ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONAL TIME, WHETHER THAT’S BEFORE OR AFTER SCHOOL OR SUMMER SCHOOL, AND THEY– THE TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS WORKING TOGETHER HAVE TURNED AROUND THAT SCHOOL ALMOST FROM THE STATE TAKEOVER LIST TO NOW PERFORMING JUST 3 OR 4 YEARS LATER AT THE 70th PERCENTILE, AND I DID HAVE STATE SUPERINTENDENT MIKE FLANAGAN VISIT THAT SCHOOL, AND THE SUPERINTENDENTS IN OAKLAND COUNTY, AND THEY COULDN’T BELIEVE HOW GREAT THINGS WERE GOING ON IN THAT SCHOOL. SO THIS WAS A SCHOOL THAT HAD 99% ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED, 83% ELL, A LOW PERCENTAGE OF SPECIAL ED STUDENTS, BUT IT WAS A LOW ACHIEVING SCHOOL OVER A NUMBER OF YEARS, AND WE DID IMPLEMENT A DETAILED SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN THAT WAS FOCUSED ON DATA AND INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS, AND AS I SAID, THAT SCHOOL IS PERFORMING VERY HIGHLY AND WILL CONTINUE TO GROW AND IS A REWARD SCHOOL BY YOU FOLKS. I CAN ALSO TALK ABOUT A HIGH SCHOOL THAT WAS PUT ON THE PRIORITY LIST AND IN 1 YEAR, WE’RE NO LONGER ON THAT PRIORITY LIST BECAUSE WE’RE ALREADY MAKING CHANGES IN THAT SCHOOL. I CHANGED THE ADMINISTRATION AND ABOUT 20 TEACHERS– NOT BECAUSE THE TEACHERS WEREN’T DOING THEIR JOBS, JUST BECAUSE WE FELT WE NEEDED SOME EXPERTS, SO THE 20 TEACHERS I MOVED STILL HAVE JOBS AND ARE DOING A GREAT JOB IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, BUT WE NEEDED EXPERTS IN READING AND MATH, AND SO WE MOVED SOME TEACHERS INTO THE BUILDING, AND THAT SCHOOL IS ALSO TAKING OFF AND DOING A GREAT JOB. SO I HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE TURNING AROUND LOW ACHIEVING SCHOOLS IN DEARBORN, AND I THINK THE MODEL WE HAVE, WHILE IT’S NOT 100% REPLICABLE, THE THINGS WE’VE DONE CAN BE USED BY OTHER SCHOOLS. AND AGAIN, THE SCHOOLS I’M TALKING ABOUT ARE VERY POOR, LOW ACHIEVING SCHOOLS, AND ELL AS WELL, BUT WE WERE ABLE TO TURN THEM AROUND AND WE’RE DOING GREAT THINGS FOR OUR KIDS.>>THANK YOU, BRIAN. LUPE, YOU’VE GOT THE NEXT QUESTION.>>OKAY. IT’S A LONG ONE.>>I’LL GET A CLEAN PIECE OF PAPER.>>YEAH.>>IT’S PRETTY UNDERSTANDABLE.>>YES. 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?>>ALL RIGHT. WITH THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF ED, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, I GO BACK TO WHAT MY MANAGEMENT STYLE IS, AND THAT’S TO SIT DOWN WITH THE BOARD AND TO BENCHMARK WHAT PRIORITIES YOU HAVE FOR THE BOARD, HOW I’D TALK ABOUT PRIORITIES WITH THE BOARD AND THE DEPARTMENT. I WOULD THEN GIVE GOALS TO THE EMPLOYEES TO ACHIEVE THAT. WE’D BENCHMARK THE DEPARTMENT AGAINST THOSE GOALS THAT THE BOARD AND I HAVE SET. WE WOULD SURVEY LOCAL DISTRICTS AND OTHERS WHO RECEIVE SERVICES FROM THE DEPARTMENT– THEY WOULD RATE THE DEPARTMENT, AND THAT WOULD BE PART OF THE BENCHMARKING PROCESS. I THINK THERE’S A LOT OF GOOD THINGS GOING ON IN THE DEPARTMENT, BUT ANY LARGE ORGANIZATION, DEARBORN INCLUDED, ALWAYS HAS THINGS WE CAN DO BETTER. I THINK THE DEPARTMENT CAN WORK ON SOME CUSTOMER SERVICE ISSUES. I THINK THEY CAN WORK ON– WELL, I KNOW TITLE I IS A FEDERAL REQUIREMENT. I DO KNOW THAT THE REQUIREMENTS THE DEPARTMENT PUTS ON US, 130-PAGE REPORT TO DEVELOP OUR TITLE I PLANS IS A USELESS WASTE OF TIME. THAT NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. ANY PLAN THAT HAS 130 PAGES IN IT CAN’T REALLY BE A PLAN THAT ANY TEACHER OR ADMINISTRATOR CAN IMPLEMENT. THE PLAN NEEDS TO BE 2 PAGES. IT NEEDS TO USE DATA TO DRIVE WHAT IS THE ISSUE. IT NEEDS TO SAY WHAT ARE THE STEPS OR INITIATIVES WE’RE GOING TO PUT IN PLACE TO IMPROVE? WHAT IS THE DATA WE’RE GOING TO USE TO SEE THAT WE’RE BEING SUCCESSFUL? WHAT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DO WE NEED TO DO? THAT TITLE I PLAN CAN BE WRITTEN IN 2 PAGES, IT WILL BE EFFECTIVE, AND IT WILL BE IMPLEMENTED. SO THOSE ARE SOME EXAMPLES. SOME OTHER THINGS– YOU KNOW, IN A LARGE DEPARTMENT, SOMETIMES WE CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT AND WE GET MULTIPLE ANSWERS. THAT’S TOUGH. I UNDERSTAND WHY THAT HAPPENS, BUT WE NEED TO TRY TO DESIGN SYSTEMS SO THAT IT DOESN’T DEPEND ON WHO YOU CALL FOR THE ANSWER YOU GET. SO WE’D HAVE TO WORK AS A TEAM WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT TO FIGURE OUT HOW WE ADDRESS THAT PROBLEM. QUITE FRANKLY, THERE’S BEEN SOME COMMUNICATIONS, IN DEARBORN, WE’VE RECEIVED FROM THE DEPARTMENT THAT WEREN’T VERY NICE. FOR EXAMPLE, THEY SAID WE DIDN’T FILE SOME REPORTS, AND THE LETTER WASN’T REALLY VERY NICE, AND IT TURNS OUT WE DID FILE THE REPORTS, AND ALL WE GOT BACK WAS A SIMPLE, “YES, YOU FILED THE REPORTS.” I DON’T THINK THAT’S APPROPRIATE TO HANDLE IT, AND IT’S NOT THE WAY I WOULD TREAT MY CUSTOMERS OF THE LOCAL DISTRICTS. NOW, CERTAINLY, THERE’S TIMES WHERE THE DEPARTMENT HAS TO HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE, AND I UNDERSTAND THAT, BUT THERE’S A PROCESS TO DO THAT. SO I WOULD WORK WITH YOU TO SET THE GOALS OF THE DEPARTMENT, I’D WORK WITH THE DEPARTMENT TO IMPLEMENT THOSE GOALS, WE’D HOLD ALL MANAGERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT ACCOUNTABLE TO THOSE GOALS, WE’D WORK ON CUSTOMER SERVICE AND WE’D BENCHMARK OURSELVES SO THAT WE COULD BECOME THE BEST DEPARTMENT OF ED IN THE STATE.>>THANK YOU.>>YOU MAY BE ABLE TO ELABORATE ON THIS IN THE NEXT QUESTION, OR CHOOSE NOT TO, BUT CASANDRA’S GOT THE NEXT QUESTION.>>WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE ROLE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION AND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WITH LOCAL AND INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICTS?>>WELL, I THINK THERE’S REALLY AT LEAST TWO ROLES. ONE IS A SERVICE ROLE, WHERE WE’RE THERE TO PROVIDE SERVICES TO LOCAL DISTRICTS. AND THEN, OF COURSE, WE HAVE AN OVERSIGHT ROLE. AND I UNDERSTAND THAT SOMETIMES THOSE ROLES CAN BE COMPETING WITH EACH OTHER AND CAN CAUSE SOME PROBLEMS, BUT IF WE SET GOALS FOR HOW WE’RE GOING TO OPERATE, I THINK WE CAN DO THOSE EFFECTIVELY, BUT THE ROLE OF THE DEPARTMENT IS TO HELP SCHOOL DISTRICTS RAISE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, RAISE GRADUATION RATES AND HELP STUDENTS BECOME COLLEGE AND CAREER READY, REALLY TO HELP STUDENTS BE SUCCESSFUL AND SAFE IN THEIR SCHOOLS. SO THE DEPARTMENT NEEDS TO PROVIDE THOSE SUPPORTS TO LOCAL DISTRICTS AND ISDs SO THAT DISTRICTS CAN BE SUCCESSFUL. AS I MENTIONED IN MY OPENING, I’D LIKE THE DEPARTMENT TO REALLY FOCUS ON SOME INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS THAT ARE WORKING IN DISTRICTS SO THAT OTHER DISTRICTS CAN LEARN FROM THOSE. I’D LIKE FOR THEM TO BE HIGHLIGHTED AT BOARD MEETINGS AND IN THE DEPARTMENT SO THAT IF SOMEONE CALLS TO ASK WHAT SUCCESS IS OUT THERE TO RAISE GRADUATION RATES, THE DEPARTMENT CAN SHARE DISTRICTS THAT ARE BEING SUCCESSFUL, THAT ARE MOVING PERSISTENTLY LOW ACHIEVING SCHOOLS TO SUCCESS, WHAT THOSE DISTRICTS ARE DOING AND HOW WE CAN LEARN FROM THEM. THE BOARD CAN FOCUS ON THAT AT MEETINGS, AND THE DEPARTMENT CAN HAVE THAT INFORMATION AND SHARE IT TO DISTRICTS. CERTAINLY, THERE IS SOME OVERSIGHT AND SOME INVESTIGATION THINGS THAT THE DEPARTMENT NEEDS TO DO, AND THEY NEED TO DO THOSE IN A VERY THOROUGH, FAIR WAY, SO I THINK THE DEPARTMENT PLAYS A VERY IMPORTANT ROLE IN HELPING DISTRICTS DO THEIR MISSION OF HELPING IMPROVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, GRADUATION RATES, COLLEGE AND CAREER READY. THE DEPARTMENT HAS TO BE A PARTNER IN THAT PROCESS.>>THANKS. MICHELLE?>>I THINK YOU’VE SPOKEN TO THIS, SO MAYBE YOUR ANSWER DOESN’T HAVE TO BE AS LONG– NOT THAT THEY’RE LONG. [ LAUGHTER ]>>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.>>SO, A COUPLE OF THINGS. ONE, WHEN I BECAME SUPERINTENDENT IN DEARBORN, I BROUGHT IN SOME BUSINESSES TO LOOK AT HOW WE OPERATED, AND TO BENCHMARK US AGAINST OTHER SCHOOLS AND THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, AND WE LEARNED SOME THINGS THERE AND IMPLEMENTED THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, SO THAT’S ONE WAY. RECENTLY, THE WAYNE COUNTY BUSINESSES ASSOCIATION, FOR THE FIRST TIME, I BELIEVE, AT LEAST, THAT’S WHAT I WAS TOLD, IN THEIR HISTORY, THEY GAVE A SCHOOL DISTRICT THE BUSINESS INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD. THEY GAVE THAT TO DEARBORN SCHOOLS FOR THINGS WE’RE DOING TO INNOVATIVELY MEET THE NEEDS OF STUDENTS AND HELP THEM BE SUCCESSFUL. THE DEARBORN AND DEARBORN HEIGHTS CHAMBER WE WORK WITH VERY CLOSELY. THEY– SEVERAL OF THEIR MEMBERS SIT ON COMMITTEES WITHIN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT TO HELP IN TERMS OF CURRICULUM AND WHAT WE’RE DOING IN THE BUSINESS OFFICE TO WHAT WE’RE DOING IN THE CLASSROOM, AND THOSE BUSINESS PARTNERS WORK WITH US HAND IN HAND. WE TALK TO THE BUSINESS PARTNERS IN TERMS OF WHAT THEY’RE LOOKING FOR IN STUDENTS WHEN THEY HIRE THEM, AND WHAT ARE THEY ACTUALLY GETTING FROM DEARBORN STUDENTS, AND WHAT WE NEED TO IMPROVE ON. SO IT’S THOSE KINDS OF PARTNERSHIPS THAT WE WORK WITH, AND THEY WORK WITH US QUITE WELL. FORD MOTOR COMPANY HAS WORKED– YOU KNOW, DEARBORN IS THE HOME OF FORD MOTOR. THEY’VE WORKED VERY CLOSELY WITH US TO LOOK AT SOME TECHNOLOGY ISSUES, TO LOOK AT STEM EDUCATION, AND THEY’VE BEEN VERY HELPFUL TO US TO PROVIDE SOME SERVICES TO STUDENTS, SO WE HAVE WORKED WITH THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY TO HELP IDENTIFY WHAT WE CAN DO BETTER, THEY SERVE ON COMMITTEES TO CONTINUE HELP US DO THINGS BETTER, AND THEY PARTNER WITH US IN TERMS OF FUNDING VARIOUS PROGRAMS. AND, AS I SAID, TWO BUSINESS COMMUNITIES GAVE US AWARDS FOR THE INNOVATIVE THINGS WE’RE DOING.>>ALSO IN THE QUESTION WAS LABOR AND THE BROADER COMMUNITY. IS THERE ANY– IT ALSO– THE QUESTION ALSO INCLUDED LABOR AND THE BROADER–>>OH, I’M SORRY. I DIDN’T HEAR THAT PART.>>IT’S OKAY. I WAS– I CAN–>>SO THE LABOR COMMUNITY, I THINK MY UNION PRESIDENTS WOULD TELL YOU THEY HAVE AN OUTSTANDING RELATIONSHIP WITH ME. I MEET WITH EACH UNION PRESIDENT INDIVIDUALLY EVERY MONTH TO TALK ABOUT ISSUES AND HEAD OFF ISSUES. I ALSO MEET WITH ALL THE UNION PRESIDENTS AS A GROUP AT ONCE, AND THEY ALL WISHED ME WELL, BUT SAID, “I HOPE YOU DON’T GET THE JOB.” [ LAUGHTER ]>>SO I THINK THAT TELLS YOU WHAT THEY THINK OF OUR RELATIONSHIP– NOT THAT WE ALWAYS AGREE. I AM ABOUT, YOU KNOW, HAVING HONEST CONVERSATIONS, SO SOMETIMES WE DO GET INTO SOME GOOD CONVERSATIONS. BUT I THINK IF YOU TALKED TO ANY OF MY LABOR PRESIDENTS, THEY’D TELL YOU THEY HAVE A SEAT AT THE TABLE, I’M OPEN AND HONEST– YOU WALK INTO MY OFFICE, THERE’S NO SECRET AS TO WHAT I’M WORKING ON. IT’S RIGHT THERE ON MY BOARD. SO DURING THE CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS, THEY KNOW WHAT WE WANT AND NEED. IN FACT, THE TEACHERS UNION, IN THE LAST CONTRACT, SAID, “BRIAN, WE THINK IT’LL GO MUCH FASTER IF YOU SIT AT THE TABLE.” I GAVE THEM A LIST OF 21 THINGS THAT WE NEEDED IN THE CONTRACT AND SAID, “IF YOU CAN LIVE WITH THESE THINGS, I’LL SIT DOWN.” BUT I ONLY GOT 20 OF THE 21, SO… BUT WE HAVE VERY GOOD PARTNERSHIPS WITH OUR LABOR UNIONS.>>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.>>SO IN DEARBORN, OBVIOUSLY, WE HAVE ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED– 73% AS A DISTRICT, SOME OF OUR BUILDINGS ARE 99%, AND I THINK WE CAN SHOW YOU THE DATA THAT SHOWS THE SUCCESS WE’RE HAVING WITH THE THINGS WE’VE IMPLEMENTED AS AN ORGANIZATION LED BY THE BOARD AND SUPPORTED BY OUR ADMINISTRATION AND TEACHERS. WE ALSO HAVE, AS YOU KNOW, DEARBORN IS A LARGE ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER POPULATION, A LOT OF ARABIC STUDENTS, AND SO WE HAVE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH– IN FACT, WE HAD SOME VISITORS FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY COME IN AND WALK THROUGH OUR HIGH SCHOOL, AND THEY WERE AMAZED, IN A HIGH SCHOOL CLASS, WE HAD STUDENTS IN THAT MATH CLASS THAT HAD JUST COME OVER FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES, HAD NEVER BEEN IN SCHOOL, AND THEY’RE IN A HIGH SCHOOL MATH CLASS, AND OTHER KIDS HAD BEEN IN THE COUNTRY 2-3 YEARS, AND HOW WE’RE DIFFERENTIATING INSTRUCTION IN THAT CLASSROOM TO HELP EVERY ONE OF THOSE STUDENTS BE SUCCESSFUL. SO WE HAVE, IN DEARBORN, EXPERIENCE DOING THAT. I SAT ON THE BOARD AT WATERFORD FOR 17 YEARS. WE HAD A GROWING AFRICAN AMERICAN POPULATION IN WATERFORD, AND THE DYNAMICS OF WORKING WITH STUDENTS– SOME IN POVERTY AND SOME NOT– SO I HAD THAT EXPERIENCE IN 17 YEARS OF WORKING WITH WATERFORD SCHOOLS. AND YOU’RE RIGHT: WE HAVE RURAL SCHOOLS, URBAN SCHOOLS, LARGE SCHOOLS, SMALL SCHOOLS, ECONOMIC DISADVANTAGE, ENGLISH LANGUAGE– WE HAVE A BROAD MIX. AND THAT’S WHY I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE A LARGE TABLE THAT PEOPLE CAN SIT AROUND WHILE WE’RE LOOKING AT INITIATIVES TO MAKE SURE WE’RE MEETING THE NEEDS OF EVERY STUDENT. AND MY LEADERSHIP STYLE WOULD BE TO BRING THE SCHOOL BOARDS, THE TEACHERS UNIONS, THE OTHER– MASA AND OTHERS TO THE TABLE TO MAKE SURE WE’RE COVERING AND MEETING THE NEEDS OF THOSE VARIOUS SCHOOL DISTRICTS, BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT. WHILE WE CAN TAKE WHAT WE’VE LEARNED IN SOME SCHOOL DISTRICTS, WE CAN’T JUST TAKE IT AND IMPLEMENT IT, BECAUSE THEIR POPULATION MAY BE DIFFERENT. BUT WE CAN TAKE THE THINGS WE’VE LEARNED AND HELP US TO HELP OTHERS BE SUCCESSFUL.>>EILEEN, I’M NOTICING THAT LAST SENTENCE IN THIS QUESTION IS A REPEAT, SO I HOPE YOU’LL SHED THAT FROM THE PRIOR QUESTION.>>YES.>>I DO APOLOGIZE.>>WELL, MAYBE NOT THE SAME WAY YOU WOULD, BUT HERE WE GO. AS SUPERINTENDENT, YOU WOULD BE MANAGING MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION’S LARGE BUDGET AND COMPLEX ORGANIZATION, INCLUDING FEDERAL COMPLIANCE. PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR APPROACH AND SUCCESS IN MANAGING A SIMILAR ORGANIZATION. AND YOU’VE ALREADY DISCUSSED BOTH ASSESSMENT AND TITLE I REQUIREMENTS FOR IMPROVING THE WORK THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAS, BUT ARE THERE OTHER PROCESSES THAT YOU WOULD DO OR INVOLVE? AND I KNOW YOU’VE ALREADY DISCUSSED ALSO HOW YOU WOULD PULL TOGETHER A STRATEGIC PLAN AND THEN WORK THAT THROUGH THE ORGANIZATION, SO ARE THERE OTHER THINGS YOU’D CLEAN UP?>>YEAH, THAT’S A VERY COMPLEX QUESTION.>>IT DOESN’T SOUND LIKE IT, BUT IT IS.>>CERTAINLY, AS I MENTIONED, DEARBORN IS THE THIRD LARGEST SCHOOL DISTRICT. WE HAVE 2,500 EMPLOYEES, A $185 MILLION BUDGET, PLUS TITLE I AND FEDERAL FUNDS, AND SO THAT IS A VERY COMPLEX ORGANIZATION, AND THERE’S A LOT OF DIFFERENT PLAYERS THAT NEED TO COME TO THE TABLE TO ADDRESS ISSUES. AND I THINK MY RECORD HAS DEMONSTRATED THAT I’VE BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT. SO THAT’S ONE PART OF THE ANSWER. THE OTHER IS THAT I UNDERSTAND THE DEPARTMENT IS DIFFERENT– 450 EMPLOYEES, AND I UNDERSTAND THE FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS. I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS COME TOGETHER TO DECIDE WHAT– YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU APPLY TO THE FEDS FOR A WAIVER, WHAT THE NEW ACCOUNTABILITY AND TESTING MODEL WOULD LOOK LIKE. WE’D DO THAT, AS I MENTIONED, BY FORMING A COMMITTEE AND BRINGING VARIOUS PARTNERS INTO THE ROOM TO HELP DESIGN THAT, AND OF COURSE, STARTING AND ENDING WITH THE STATE BOARD. SO I THINK MY MANAGEMENT STYLE OF BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER, RUNNING A VERY COMPLEX ORGANIZATION IN DEARBORN– AND AGAIN, I CAN’T TAKE ALL THE CREDIT FOR DEARBORN. I HAVE GREAT ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENTS, GREAT BOARD OF EDUCATION AND A GREAT CABINET AND ADMINISTRATORS THAT HELP MAKE IT HAPPEN. BUT AS THE LEADER, IT’S MY JOB TO BRING THAT TOGETHER AND HELP THOSE PARTIES WORK TOGETHER.>>THANKS.>>KATHY?>>WELL, I THINK THIS IS THE– NO, IT ISN’T THE LAST QUESTION. WELL, BRIAN, 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, IN DEARBORN, I’M HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT GROWTH, GRADUATION RATES, FINANCIAL, AND COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS. BOARD OF EDUCATION SETS SPECIFIC GOALS TO MEET, AND EITHER I MEET THEM OR I DON’T, AND I HAVE A MID-TERM EVALUATION AND A FINAL EVALUATION. AND IF YOU LOOK AT ANY OF MY EVALUATIONS, YOU’D SEE THAT THE BOARD HAS RATED ME VERY WELL. IN FACT, LAST NIGHT, WE HAD OUR REGULAR BOARD MEETING, AND THEY WANTED TO GO UNTIL 1 OR 2 IN THE MORNING SO I’D BE TIRED FOR THIS. [ LAUGHTER ]>>SO I THINK THEY’RE ROOTING AGAINST ME AS WELL. BUT I THINK THAT THE STATE BOARD WOULD SET GOALS FOR ME. AND I THINK THEY SHOULD BE SPECIFIC, ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND DID I DELIVER ON THE 100-DAY PLAN AS I TALKED ABOUT? ARE WE RAISING GRADUATION RATES? ARE WE RAISING CAREER AND COLLEGE READY? AND WE HAVEN’T REALLY TALKED ABOUT COLLEGE AND CAREER READY, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE THE DEFINITION OF THAT, BECAUSE I THINK THE FACT THAT STUDENTS HAVE TO TAKE ONE CLASS DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEY’RE NOT COLLEGE AND CAREER READY. IN DEARBORN, WE HAVE OVER 2,000 CLASSES TAKEN WITH OVER 80% OF KIDS GETTING As, Bs, AND Cs, AND YET, IF YOU LOOK AT COLLEGE AND CAREER READY, WE’RE AT 20%. THE NUMBERS DON’T MATCH– OUR KIDS ARE BEING SUCCESSFUL IN COLLEGE. SO I THINK THE DEPARTMENT, YOU ALL, AND I NEED TO SIT DOWN AND SAY, “HERE ARE MY GOALS. HERE’S ALL THE DATA WE’RE GOING TO USE TO DETERMINE WHETHER I MEET THOSE GOALS,” AND IT’S VERY SIMPLE: DID I MEET THEM OR DIDN’T I? IF I DIDN’T MEET THEM, I SHOULDN’T BE THE SUPERINTENDENT, AND IF I DID, I SHOULD.>>THANK YOU, BRIAN. THIS IS THE LAST QUESTION THAT WE HAVE FOR YOU, AND THEN AFTER THAT, WE’LL CERTAINLY–>>I’M JUST GETTING WARMED UP. LET’S GO.>>THAT’S RIGHT, GOOD. AND I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR TERRIFIC RESPONSIVENESS AND THE NATURE OF YOUR ANSWERS, AND THE RELATIVELY CONCISE NATURE. AND ALSO, AFTER THIS QUESTION, WE CAN LET YOU ASK US QUESTIONS, AS WELL AS SHARE ANYTHING YOU DIDN’T GET TO HIGHLIGHT THAT IS IMPORTANT AND THAT YOU WANT US TO TAKE AWAY. THE LAST QUESTION IS A SIMPLE ONE: WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION IN MICHIGAN?>>YOU KNOW, I’M VERY BLESSED. I HAVE A GREAT JOB IN DEARBORN, GREAT BOARD OF EDUCATION, GREAT ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM, AND A GREAT UNION LEADERSHIP. I REALLY HAVE A GOOD SITUATION, AND PART OF ME DOESN’T WANT TO LEAVE, BECAUSE WE’VE IMPLEMENTED SOME THINGS AND THEY’RE JUST STARTING TO COME TRUE, AND I WANT TO BE THERE TO CELEBRATE AND MAKE ADJUSTMENTS AS NECESSARY. BUT MY HEART IS FOR KIDS. AND IF MY HEART IS FOR KIDS, I CAN TAKE WHAT WE’VE DONE IN DEARBORN AND WORK, USE MY EXPERIENCE– 17 YEARS IN LANSING, 17 YEARS AS A BOARD MEMBER, 7 YEARS WITH A SUCCESSFUL SUPERINTENDENT IN THE THIRD LARGEST DISTRICT IN THE STATE. WORKING WITH YOU, I THINK WE CAN RAISE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. WE CAN DO THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT– GRADUATION RATES, CAREER AND COLLEGE READY– YOU KNOW, I TALKED ABOUT MY OWN CHILD, AND EVERY TIME I DO, I TEAR UP. SORRY ABOUT THAT.>>UNDERSTANDABLE.>>– AND WHAT SHE WENT THROUGH. AND I DON’T WANT OTHER KIDS TO GO THROUGH THAT. SO I WANT TO BE PART OF AN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THAT HELPS STUDENTS BE SUCCESSFUL. ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY, YOU KNOW, I WAS READING A BOOK WITH A STUDENT IN A CLASSROOM, AND IT WAS ABOUT FARM ANIMALS, AND IT WAS ABOUT THE NOISE THAT FARM ANIMALS MAKE. AND YOU KNOW WHAT THE STUDENT SAID? “I CAN’T TELL YOU WHAT NOISE FARM ANIMALS MAKE, BUT IF A GUN FIRES, I CAN TELL YOU WHAT TYPE OF GUN IT IS.” AND THAT WAS A KINDERGARTENER. AND THAT JUST BROKE MY HEART, AND I THINK WE OWE IT TO THAT STUDENT, THROUGH EDUCATION, TO RAISE THEM UP AND HELP THEM BE SUCCESSFUL. AND I ALSO KNOW IN DEARBORN A PARENT CAME UP TO ME AND SAID, “I DIDN’T THINK MY CHILD WAS EVER GOING TO GO TO COLLEGE, BUT BECAUSE OF THE 5-YEAR PLAN YOU IMPLEMENTED, MY CHILD’S IN COLLEGE AND BEING SUCCESSFUL, AND WE’RE GOING TO FIND A WAY THAT THEY CAN CONTINUE ON AND GET THEIR 4-YEAR DEGREE,” AND HOW THAT’S IMPACTING THAT CHILD AND THE FAMILY. SO WHEN YOU SEE THE IMPACT YOU CAN HAVE ON KIDS, IT’S IMPORTANT WORK AND IMPORTANT THAT WE DO THIS WORK. AND I WANT TO BE A PARTNER WITH THIS BOARD OF EDUCATION TO DO THE THINGS WE NEED TO DO, TO MAKE THE HARD DECISIONS WE NEED TO MAKE, TO BE INNOVATIVE, TO MEET THE NEEDS OF STUDENTS, AND I’M JUST EXCITED ABOUT THAT OPPORTUNITY. BUT PART OF ME HOPES I DON’T GET THE JOB SO THAT I CAN CONTINUE TO WORK IN DEARBORN, WHERE MY WIFE AND I ENJOY LIVING AND BEING PART OF THE COMMUNITY AND BEING PART OF THE SUCCESS THAT’S HAPPENING IN DEARBORN.>>WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH BRIAN. CERTAINLY, WE WELCOME YOU TO ASK US QUESTIONS OR QUIZ US IN ANY WAY. WE’VE GOT ABOUT 15 MORE MINUTES. WE’RE ON A GOOD SCHEDULE– OR CERTAINLY, INVITE YOU TO GO BACK AND COVER ANY GROUND–>>WELL, I THINK I DID. THE OTHER PART WAS ON THE BOARD AND THE KIND OF RELATIONSHIP. I THINK I COVERED THAT IN MY ANSWERS IN SAYING THAT THE BOARD PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE. AS A BOARD MEMBER FOR 17 YEARS, I UNDERSTAND. THE RESEARCH IS CLEAR: IF A BOARD AND A SUPERINTENDENT ARE ON THE SAME PAGE, IF YOU LOOK AT THE RESEARCH, IT’S VERY CLEAR: IF WE’RE FOCUSED ON THE SAME THINGS, WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN. SO IF WE’RE FOCUSED ON THE SAME THINGS, WE WILL RAISE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. WE WILL RAISE GRADUATION RATES. WE WILL RAISE COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS. WE WILL HELP STUDENTS BE SUCCESSFUL, AND SO THAT’S A GREAT OPPORTUNITY. SO QUESTIONS FOR YOU I’D LIKE TO ASK– I HAD OUTLINED FORMING TWO COMMITTEES TO DELIVER WITHIN 100 DAYS A NEW ACCOUNTABILITY MODEL AND FINANCE MODEL. AND I WONDERED WHAT SOME OF THE NON-NEGOTIABLES WOULD BE WITH THE BOARD– WHAT YOU’D LIKE TO SEE IN THOSE.>>I THINK WE’RE POSITIONED WELL TO SORT OF WORK WITH YOU OR WHOEVER THE SUPERINTENDENT IS ON A REFRESHED STRATEGIC PLAN THAT WOULD ALLOW US TO TAKE A FRESH LOOK AT HOW WE ADVANCE OUR GOAL OF WHAT WE DO, THIS IMPORTANT POLICY ORGANIZATION AND FINANCE TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES, AND I THINK THAT TARGET IS WHAT WE WANT TO FOCUS ON. SO I THINK WE’D BE OPEN TO DISCUSSING AND REITERATING WHERE WE ARE, BUT ALSO ENGAGING THE SUPERINTENDENT WITH GREAT IDEAS THEMSELVES ON WHAT THAT STRATEGIC PLAN SHOULD LOOK LIKE. WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY, AFTER SELECTING THE SUPERINTENDENT, TO ALMOST IMMEDIATELY BEGIN TO WORK TOGETHER AND HAVE A RETREAT WHERE WE’LL BEGIN THAT PROCESS, SO IT’S A GOOD TIME TO SORT OF THINK FRESH AND WORK TOGETHER LAYING THAT OUT. I DON’T KNOW IF CASANDRA OR OTHERS HAVE COMMENTS THEY’D LIKE TO MAKE.>>WELL, I THINK, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, I APPRECIATE THE FACT THAT YOU TALKED A LOT ABOUT PROVIDING RESOURCES AND ASSISTANCE. AND I THINK THAT’S KIND OF– WHEN WE GET INTO TALKING ABOUT FINANCE OR ACCOUNTABILITY MODELS, I’D LIKE TO MOVE AWAY FROM WHERE WE’VE BEEN OVER THE LAST DECADE, WHICH IS A PUNISHMENT MODEL, INTO ONE THAT’S MORE, “HOW CAN WE HELP YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL?” AND SO THAT’S– FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, THAT’S AN OVERARCHING THEME WE NEED TO LOOK AT, IS NOT SO MUCH HOW WE CAN LABEL AND PUNISH, BUT HOW WE CAN IDENTIFY AND ASSIST.>>YOU JUST REMINDED ME, I TESTIFIED TO THE HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE, AND IT WAS– AND EILEEN WAS WITH ME, AND IT WAS A VERY GOOD DISCUSSION, BUT PART OF THE POINT I MADE– IN MICHIGAN, WE’VE MADE LOTS OF THE REFORMS. WE’VE PUT IN PLACE HIGH LEARNING STANDARDS AND HIGH ACCOUNTABILITY REGIMES FOR OUR SCHOOLS, REPORT CARDING WE’VE PUT IN PLACE, EXPECTATIONS FOR TEACHERS TO DELIVER THE GOODS… WHAT WE HAVE NOT DONE IS PROVIDE THE SET OF SUPPORTS: SUPPORTS FOR IMPLEMENTING STANDARDS, SUPPORT FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND HELPING TEACHERS LEARN THEIR CRAFT THAT WE NEED. SO I WAS SURPRISED AND MANY WERE SURPRISED THAT WE HAD MANY OF THE REPUBLICAN MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE AGREEING, “THAT’S RIGHT, THAT’S RIGHT, WE NEED TO DO THAT,” BOTH HANDS CLAPPING. HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR ALL, BUT PROVIDE EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES AND SUPPORTS THAT HELP US DELIVER THOSE STANDARDS, SO I THINK THOSE ARE THE KINDS OF DIRECTION THAT WE’RE INTERESTED IN FIGURING OUT TOGETHER WITH OUR NEXT SUPERINTENDENT, AND WITH STAKEHOLDERS, THE LEGISLATURE, AND THE GOVERNOR.>>I WANTED TO JUST SAY I APPRECIATE THE WAY THAT YOU’RE COLLABORATIVE WITH A LARGE GROUP, GETTING IDEAS AND BEING WILLING TO HASH THINGS OUT, AND HAVING PEOPLE BE AT THE TABLE THAT NEED TO BE AT THE TABLE. I THINK IT’S BEEN A REAL PROBLEM. WE HAVEN’T ALWAYS HAD ALL THE PEOPLE AT THE TABLE, AND THEN WE HAVE A LOT OF PUSH-BACK, AND PEOPLE– I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY. SO I APPRECIATE THAT AND I THINK THAT’S GREAT. THE NON-NEGOTIABLES, YOU KNOW, WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THAT AMONGST OURSELVES, AND I THINK WE’RE PRETTY CLOSE TO HAVING– BEING– AN AGREEMENT, AND I LOOK AT– FOR ME, SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT ARE NON-NEGOTIABLE ARE THAT FUNDING NEEDS TO GO TO THE KIDS THAT NEED IT, NOT TO JUST, YOU KNOW, WHEREVER IT GOES TO– I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS, WHAT SCHOOLS HAVE THE HIGHEST BURDEN. AND WE’RE DOING THAT WITH ASSESSMENT, LOOKING AT– WELL, THE LEGISLATURE IS, LOOKING AT HOW MUCH IT TAKES TO ACTUALLY TEACH A KID, AND THEN MAKING SURE THAT THE SCHOOLS THAT TAKE IN THOSE KIDS HAVE THE RESOURCES THEY NEED. SO THAT, TO ME, IS IMPORTANT, BUT I DON’T KNOW IF I’M REALLY SPEAKING FOR EVERYONE ON THE BOARD.>>WELL, I TALKED IN MY OPENING OF COUNTRIES THAT ARE SUCCESSFUL DO MAKE SURE THAT THE MONEY FOLLOWS WHERE THE KIDS THAT ARE THE MOST DIFFICULT TO EDUCATE.>>AND I THINK OTHER BOARD MEMBERS’ COMMENTS ON NON-NEGOTIABLES– I THINK YOU MENTIONED ONE, WHICH IS US BEING ON THE SAME PAGE, THE BOARD AND THE SUPERINTENDENT, ON WHAT POLICIES WE’RE ADVOCATING AND ADVANCING, AND NO SURPRISES IN THAT DIALOGUE. AND THEN US WORKING CONSTRUCTIVELY WITH ALL OTHER STAKEHOLDERS TO HELP US ALL BE ON A PAGE THAT IS EFFECTIVE IN LIFTING ACHIEVEMENT.>>IT’S VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE BE HONEST WITH EACH OTHER SO THAT WE CAN GET A TRUST RELATIONSHIP BUILT AND MAINTAINED. THAT’S REALLY CRITICAL, I THINK. AND SOME OF THE THINGS THAT MY COLLEAGUES HAVE SAID– THERE’S BEEN SO MUCH BASHING OF TEACHERS IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, AND IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF THE LEGISLATURE SEEMS TO BE TO ATTACK TEACHERS AND FIRE THEM. THEY SOUND LIKE THEY’RE ALL NO GOOD AND SHOULD BE FIRED. AND I THINK THAT’S BEEN VERY DESTRUCTIVE TO THE FACULTY MORALE, HONESTLY, SO ANYTHING WE COULD DO TO CHANGE THAT MINDSET AND RECOGNIZE THAT TEACHERS DO VERY GOOD WORK. I’M ALWAYS AMAZED WHEN I GO INTO SCHOOLS. I’M SORT OF IN AWE OF THE TEACHERS. THEY’RE REMARKABLE, MOST OF THEM. AND THERE MIGHT BE A FEW– IN EVERY PROFESSION, THERE’S A FEW THAT AREN’T SO GREAT, SO WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP THEM GET BETTER. AND THE EVALUATION PROCESS THAT’S BEEN DEVELOPED– NOW THERE’S ANOTHER BILL IN THE UPPER– IT SHOULD BE TO HELP THE TEACHERS BE BETTER, RATHER THAN BEING PUNITIVE, AS CASANDRA WAS SAYING. SO THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT CONCERN ME. THE WHOLE FUNDING THING IS SOMETHING I’VE BEEN CONCERNED ABOUT FOR YEARS. I’M GLAD WE’RE FINALLY TALKING ABOUT IT, AT LEAST, AND HOPEFULLY WE’LL GET SOMETHING CHANGED FOR THE BETTER. SO THOSE ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES. THE OTHER THING IS YEARS AGO, WE HAD A SAYING: EQUITABLE FINANCING DOES NOT NECESSARILY EQUAL FINANCING. AND THOSE THAT NEED IT THE MOST SHOULD GET THE MOST, AND ONE OF THE THINGS WE’VE SEEN IN OTHER STATES WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THINGS TO USE AS A MODEL FOR LEGISLATION HERE, FOR INSTANCE, 3rd GRADE READING, IN OTHER STATES, THEY PUT MONEY INTO IT TO HELP GET EARLY INTERVENTION AND HELP SUPPORT IT. AND ALL WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT HERE IS– NOT WE. I SHOULDN’T SAY– IT’S NOT THE BOARD, IT’S OTHERS. WE WANT EVERYBODY TO BE ABLE TO READ BY 3rd GRADE, BUT THERE’S NO MORE MONEY. WELL, NOW THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT MORE MONEY FOR THAT, SO THAT’S A GOOD THING. AND JUST THE IDEA THAT WE CAN TALK ABOUT MORE MONEY IS REALLY NECESSARY, BECAUSE WE’VE BEEN TOLD FOR SO LONG THAT WE HAVE NO MONEY, NO MONEY, NO MONEY, AND I THINK RESULTS REQUIRE RESOURCES.>>DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS FOR US– OH, I’M SORRY, KATHY. I DIDN’T MEAN TO CUT YOU OFF, BUT I WANT TO MAKE SURE BRIAN HAS A CHANCE OR OTHERS HAVE A CHANCE–>>PARDON ME?>>I WAS JUST– I DIDN’T MEAN TO CUT YOU OFF, BUT I WANTED TO MAKE SURE BRIAN HAD A CHANCE– WE ONLY HAVE A FEW MORE MINUTES TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS, AND ANY OTHER BOARD MEMBERS.>>THE OTHER QUESTION THAT I HAD CENTERED AROUND THE WHOLE NOTION OF ACCOUNTABILITY, AND YOU KIND OF ANSWERED THAT QUESTION, SOME OF YOU DID, BY LOOKING AT, “YES, WE HAVE TO HOLD SCHOOLS ACCOUNTABLE, BUT LET’S TRY TO DO IT IN A WAY WHERE WE’RE PROVIDING ASSISTANCE AS WELL,” AND I THINK THAT’S VERY VALUABLE. BUT THERE DOES HAVE TO BE THE ACCOUNTABILITY PIECE AS WELL. WE ARE SPENDING TAX DOLLARS, AND KIDS DESERVE A GREAT EDUCATION.>>ABSOLUTELY. WELL, UNLESS YOU HAVE ANYTHING MORE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE OR ASK US ABOUT, ONE, YOU SHOULD BE FANTASTICALLY PROUD OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO DATE, IN DEARBORN AND ELSEWHERE. YOU SHOULD ALSO BE VERY PROUD OF THE SUPPORT YOU HAVE FROM YOUR COLLECTIVE COMMUNITY, THAT THEY WANT TO HOLD YOU HOSTAGE AND NOT LET YOU ESCAPE, BUT ALSO, YOU HAVE A LOT TO OFFER THE STATE, AND WE VERY MUCH APPRECIATE YOUR WILLINGNESS TO STEP FORWARD AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES IN THIS IMPORTANT WORK. I WANT TO THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR TERRIFIC PRESENTATION AND YOUR VERY THOUGHTFUL AND CONCISE ANSWERS TO A WHOLE SET OF QUESTIONS THAT YOU WERE THE FIRST TO HEAR, SO VERY NICELY DONE. I APPRECIATE IT.>>CAN I WALK AROUND AND THANK EVERYBODY?>>ABSOLUTELY.>>THANK YOU.>>WE’LL TAKE A 15 MINUTE BREAK– [ APPLAUSE ]

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