Michigan Department of Education Special Meeting for March 11, 2015 – Menzel Interview


>>INTERVIEW SCOTT MENZEL, SO I REALLY APPRECIATE EVERYBODY’S– MY COLLEAGUES, THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK AND GOING THROUGH ALL OF THIS, AND TRYING TO SQUEEZE AS MUCH INFORMATION AND INTELLIGENCE OUT OF THIS PROCESS AS WE CAN. BY NOW, EVERYBODY KNOWS OUR DRILL, SO THANK YOU FOR– GROUNDHOG DAY, AND SCOTT MENZEL IS JOINING US.>>SCOTT, I THINK YOU PROBABLY KNOW EVERYBODY HERE, BECAUSE YOU’RE A KNOWN QUANTITY, INCLUDING, AS YOU SEE, KAREN McPHEE, THE GOVERNOR’S EDUCATION ADVISOR HAS JOINED US, AND AGAIN, AS I’VE SAID TO ALL OF YOU KIND PEOPLE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING WILLING TO PUT YOURSELF FORWARD AND UNDERGO BOTH THE PUBLIC SCRUTINY, BUT ALSO THE PUBLIC APPRECIATION, I THINK, OF WHAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER. THIS IS TREMENDOUS. IT’S GOING TO MAKE IT REAL HARD FOR US, BUT THAT’S A GOOD THING, BECAUSE WE GOT A LOT OF WORK TO DO IN MICHIGAN. SO, AS YOU KNOW, WE GAVE YOU A COUPLE QUESTIONS. I KNOW YOU HAVE A PRESENTATION YOU WANTED TO START WITH BASED ON THAT, AND THEN WE’LL GO AROUND AND ASK OUR QUESTIONS, AND SPEND THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME AND THE SAME MANNER THAT WE DID WITH OTHER CANDIDATES. SO AGAIN, THANK YOU, SCOTT, FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU, JOHN. AND THANK YOU, MEMBERS OF THE STATE BOARD AND OTHERS WHO ARE HERE OBSERVING INTERVIEWS. I KNOW THIS IS A LONG AND GRUELING PROCESS, AND YOU MIGHT FEEL LIKE YOU’RE GETTING A LITTLE REPETITIVE, BUT FOR ME, THE QUESTIONS WILL BE FOR THE FIRST TIME, SO– [ LAUGHTER ]>>I’LL ALSO SAY THAT I’M REALLY GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET WITH YOU AND HAVE A CHANCE TO TALK ABOUT A VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF MICHIGAN’S CHILDREN, AND BEFORE I JUMP INTO THE PRESENTATION OF THE TWO QUESTIONS, I JUST WANT TO TELL YOU A LITTLE ABOUT MY PERSONAL BACKGROUND. I’M A NATIVE MICHIGANDER. I WAS BORN IN TRENTON. I WENT TO SUMMERFIELD FOR ELEMENTARY, KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 4TH GRADE, AND MY DAD, WHO WAS A PLUMBER BY TRAINING, DECIDED HE WAS GOING TO TRY BEING A PASTOR FOR A BIT. SO IT WAS AN OFF THE CUFF KIND OF THING ONE SUMMER, SO HE MOVED US TO DAVISBURG. THE CHURCH HE PASTORED WAS IN PONTIAC, AND WE WERE THERE FOR ONE YEAR. THEN HE WENT TO START A NEW CHURCH UP IN ALPENA. WE WERE THERE FOR TWO YEARS. THEN HE DID THE SAME THING IN HILLSDALE COUNTY AND DECIDED AFTER THAT, DOING THE PASTOR THING WASN’T HIS CALLING, AND HE WENT BACK TO PLUMBING. SO WE MOVED AROUND A BIT AS CHILDREN, AND I FINISHED MY EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN HIGH SCHOOL AT CAMDEN FRONTIER. I AM A PROUD PRODUCT OF MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND I’M GRATEFUL FOR THE EXPERIENCES I HAD IN ALL THOSE PLACES. I’M A FIRST GENERATION COLLEGE GRADUATE. OUR FAMILY DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF MONEY. WE HAD TO MOVE AROUND A LOT, BUT I HAD A LOT OF LOVE AND SUPPORT AT HOME. AND WHAT I KNOW IS THAT EVERY CHILD IN THIS STATE IS OF IMMEASURABLE VALUE, AND THAT THE WORK THAT WE DO IN PUBLIC EDUCATION IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL TO ENSURE THEY HAVE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO BE SUCCESSFUL. THAT’S THE REASON WHY I’M HERE TODAY, AND IT’S WHY I’M INTERESTED IN HAVING THIS CONVERSATION WITH YOU ABOUT THE FUTURE OF MICHIGAN’S CHILDREN. SO, YOU ASKED US TO ADDRESS TWO QUESTIONS: ONE ABOUT WHAT WE NEED TO DO IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN TO MOVE US FROM WHERE WE ARE TO ANOTHER PLACE, AND THEN YOU ASKED ABOUT HOW WE’RE GOING TO GO ABOUT DOING IT. I WANT TO START WITH THE PRIOR QUESTION, AND THAT IS THE WHY. AND AS YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGE ON OUR HANDS. AND I’M NOT GOING TO GO THROUGH ALL THE SLIDES YOU’VE ALREADY SEEN AND DATA YOU ALREADY KNOW WITH RESPECT TO ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE. WE KNOW WHERE WE RANK ON THE NAEP ASSESSMENT, AND HOW WE PERFORM WITH A NUMBER OF SUB-GROUPS. BUT I DID WANT TO POINT OUT JUST A COUPLE THINGS THAT SET THE CONTEXT IN TERMS OF WHAT’S IMPORTANT FOR US TO FOCUS ON, AND I PICKED GRADUATION RATES FOR A COUPLE OF REASONS. ONE, WE KNOW THAT THAT’S A GATEWAY. WE KNOW IT’S AN IMPORTANT INDICATOR, PARTICULARLY AS IT RELATES TO WHAT WE CALL THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE, AND WE SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING TO OUR KIDS OF COLOR: STUDENTS WHO DON’T GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND THEIR LIKELIHOOD OF ENDING UP IN PRISON IS PROBLEMATIC. AND WHEN WE LOOK AT HOW MICHIGAN IS PERFORMING FOR OUR GRADUATES, AND RECENTLY I SAW NEW INFORMATION RELEASED, AND WE’RE TRENDING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, BUT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE DISAGGREGATED DATA, WE’RE NOT DOING GOOD ENOUGH FOR FAR TOO MANY OF OUR CHILDREN. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. SAID, “OUR LIVES BEGIN TO END THE DAY WE BECOME SILENT ABOUT THINGS THAT MATTER.” ONE OF THE THINGS I THINK IS ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT FOR US TO DO IS BE ABLE TO SHINE THE LIGHT OF DAY ON THE REAL DATA. SOMETIMES, WHAT HAPPENS IS WE LOOK AT THE AGGREGATE AND FEEL REALLY GOOD ABOUT HOW WE’RE PERFORMING. BUT WHEN WE BEGIN TO DISAGGREGATE THE INFORMATION, WE SEE THAT WE HAVE A LOT MORE WORK TO DO. I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE SEEN THE SCHOTT FOUNDATION’S REPORT ON BLACK LIVES MATTER. THIS IS A COMPELLING AND DISTURBING REPORT THAT RELATES HOW MICHIGAN IS DOING WITH OUR CHILDREN OF COLOR, PARTICULARLY BLACK AND LATINO MALES. AND SO THE FIRST CHART SHOWS YOU– AND RED IS NOT GOOD– MICHIGAN IS NOT PERFORMING WELL WITH RESPECT TO BLACK OR LATINO MALE GRADUATION RATES, AND WHEN YOU COMBINE THOSE, WE’RE IN THE BOTTOM FOUR OF ALL STATES IN THIS CATEGORY. SO WHILE WE MAY BE TRENDING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, WE STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO. COUPLE THAT DATA WITH WHERE WE ARE WITH RESPECT TO KIDS IN POVERTY– 48% OF OUR SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ARE ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED. AT 4TH GRADE, THERE’S A 26 POINT GAP IN READING AND A 32 POINT GAP IN MATH. LATER IN THE INTERVIEW, I’LL TALK MORE ABOUT THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP. IT’S LANGUAGE I THINK WE SHOULD JETTISON BECAUSE OF ITS DEFICIT FOCUS, BUT IT DOES SERVE A USEFUL POINT IN TERMS OF IDENTIFYING WHERE WE ARE TODAY AND A COMPELLING CALL TO ACTION. WHAT I THINK IS IMPORTANT IN THE QUOTE IS THE WIDE VARIATION IN PERFORMANCE AMONG SCHOOLS SERVING SIMILAR CHILDREN SUGGESTS THAT THE GAPS CAN BE CLOSED, THAT RACE AND POVERTY ARE NOT DESTINY. AND I BELIEVE IT TO BE TRUE– THAT THERE ARE THINGS THAT WE CAN BE DOING TO ENSURE THAT RACE AND POVERTY ARE NOT DESTINY. SO WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? YOU KNOW, AND EVERY CANDIDATE HAS REMINDED YOU AND THIS ROOM THAT IT’S ABOUT THE 1.5 MILLION SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN, AND YOU CAN SEE THE JOYFUL FACES. THIS IS ABOUT THEIR HOPES, ASPIRATIONS, AND FUTURES. AND SO THERE’S A CALL TO ACTION FOR ALL OF US IN THE ROOM TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS THAT WE HAVE. AND YOUR QUESTION WAS, “WHAT ARE THE MAJOR THINGS WE NEED TO BE DOING?” THE RESEARCH IS CLEAR ON WHAT TOP PERFORMING STATES AND NATIONS DO. AND SO I’M GOING TO GO THROUGH THESE VERY QUICKLY, BECAUSE AGAIN, YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD SIMILAR THINGS FROM THE OTHER CANDIDATES AS WELL, AND I WILL TELL YOU: I DIDN’T WATCH THE OTHER INTERVIEWS. I DIDN’T WANT TO GET CONFUSED BY WHAT ANYONE ELSE SAID, BUT I KNOW THAT SOME OF THIS ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE. THE REAL QUESTION IS HOW DO WE IMPLEMENT IT IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. AND IT STARTS WITH HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR ALL STUDENTS, SETTING STANDARDS THAT ARE RIGOROUS AND THEN MAINTAINING THOSE STANDARDS. PART OF THE CHALLENGE THAT WE HAVE IS THAT IN MICHIGAN, OVER THE 13 YEARS I’VE BEEN A SUPERINTENDENT, THE STANDARDS HAVE MOVED. AND WE HAVE TO HAVE HIGH AND CONSISTENT STANDARDS SO THAT OUR TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS, AND DISTRICTS KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. THE SECOND BULLET POINT HERE I THINK IS REALLY IMPORTANT, BECAUSE YOU CAN LOOK AT THESE OTHER COMPONENTS, AND THEY’RE ALL IMPORTANT AND NECESSARY, BUT AS STAND-ALONES, THEY’RE INSUFFICIENT TO MOVE THE SYSTEM. AND SO THE LENS I THINK WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT IS SYSTEMIC SCHOOL REFORM. YOU’VE DONE SOME OF THAT WORK HERE AT THE STATE BOARD IN WORK THAT YOU’VE RECENTLY APPROVED– RECENTLY AS OF LAST DECEMBER. THE SYSTEMIC REFORM COMMITTEE FROM MASA HAS DONE SOME OF THAT WORK. AND THEN OTHER POINTS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER: BIRTH THROUGH COLLEGE AND CAREER SUCCESS. IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO JUST GET TO COLLEGE AND CAREERS. THE REAL MEASURE IS DID STUDENTS MOVE FROM THAT INTO PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT AND MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITIES THAT THEY COMPLETE SUCCESSFULLY. WE NEED TO INVEST IN HIGH QUALITY TEACHERS AND TEACHING. IT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT ASSET THAT WE HAVE IN THE SYSTEM, AND WE HAVE TO SPEND TIME AND ATTENTION ON THAT DETAIL. WE MUST HAVE A WHOLE CHILD FOCUS IF WE’RE REALLY GOING TO MOVE THE SYSTEM, BECAUSE SO MANY KIDS ARE BRINGING SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS FROM THEIR BACKGROUND, AND AGAIN, LATER ON WE CAN TALK MORE SPECIFICALLY ABOUT MY EXPERIENCES WITH YPSILANTI COMMUNITY SCHOOLS AND WHAT THOSE CHILDREN WERE BRINGING INTO THE CLASSROOM EVERY DAY. WE CAN’T MOVE THE NEEDLE FOR ALL OF OUR KIDS IF WE’RE NOT ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF THE WHOLE CHILD. I THINK IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT STUDENT VOICE, ENGAGEMENT, AND EMPOWERMENT. EDUCATION ISN’T SOMETHING THAT SHOULD JUST BE DONE TO A STUDENT. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT’S DONE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THEM. THEY’RE CO-CREATORS OF THEIR OWN KNOWLEDGE, SO THEY NEED TO BE AT THIS TABLE AND PART OF THIS CONVERSATION. AND NO REFORM, NO MOVEMENT FORWARD IN THE STATE IS REALLY COMPLETE WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY. HOW DO WE KNOW WE’VE ACTUALLY DONE WHAT’S NECESSARY FOR OUR STUDENTS? HOW DO WE MEASURE SUCCESS IN THIS ARENA? WE KNOW WHAT SOME INDICATORS ARE, BUT I THINK WE HAVE TO BE CRYSTAL CLEAR ABOUT THAT ACCOUNTABILITY. AND THE LAST PIECE IS FUNDING. WE MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO FUND THE SYSTEM THAT WE NEED. THE FIRST STEP IS TO SAY, “ARE WE SPENDING THE MONEY WE HAVE APPROPRIATELY?” AND THEN WE NEED TO MOVE TO THE NEXT QUESTION: “IF WE DON’T HAVE ADEQUATE FUNDING, HOW DO WE INCREASE INVESTMENT IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN IN ORDER TO MOVE THE NEEDLE FOR ALL OF OUR CHILDREN?” I LOVE THIS SLIDE. I’VE GOT A FRESHMAN IN COLLEGE AND A SOPHOMORE IN HIGH SCHOOL, AND I SHARED IT WITH THEM, BECAUSE THEY SAID, “WELL, TELL US WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT, DAD, AND THEN DON’T TALK ABOUT US.” [ LAUGHTER ]>>SO I SHARED THIS ONE BECAUSE IT’S ALWAYS HELPFUL FOR ME TO ILLUSTRATE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EQUALITY AND EQUITY. A LOT OF TIMES, WE HEAR PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT, “WELL, WE NEED EQUAL FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS,” OR EQUAL THIS OR THAT. BUT EQUALITY AND EQUITY ARE FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT, AND THIS PICTURE ILLUSTRATES IT PERFECTLY. AND WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT OUR KIDS IN POVERTY AND KIDS OF COLOR, WHO ARE STARTING BEHIND THEIR PEERS, OUR FOCUS HAS TO BE ON THAT EQUITY INVESTMENT. HOW DO WE ENSURE THAT WE’RE INVESTING IN OUR KIDS IN A WAY THAT HELPS THEM IN THEIR FULLEST POTENTIAL. THE SECOND PART OF THE QUESTION– AND I KNOW I’M MOVING PRETTY QUICKLY, BUT I’M COGNIZANT OF SEVERAL THINGS: YOU’VE BEEN SITTING HERE FOR A VERY LONG TIME, AND I’M THE SIXTH CANDIDATE. [ LAUGHTER ] SECONDLY, I’D REALLY APPRECIATE AN OPPORTUNITY DOWN THE ROAD TO HAVE A DIALOGUE. SO YOU ASKED THE OTHER QUESTION OF HOW I WOULD WORK WITH THE BOARD AND HOW WE AS A LEADERSHIP TEAM WOULD BE ABLE TO ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISH THE KINDS OF CHANGES NEEDED IN MICHIGAN TO MOVE THE NEEDLE FOR ALL OF OUR CHILDREN. AND SO I’VE IDENTIFIED A FEW THINGS HERE THAT I THINK ARE IMPORTANT, AND FIRST IS THAT WE NEED TO CREATE A PEAK PERFORMANCE LEADERSHIP TEAM. THE GOVERNING STRUCTURE IS SUCH THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT AND THE BOARD, WHETHER IT’S A LOCAL DISTRICT, AN ISD, OR HERE AT THE STATE LEVEL, ARE A LEADERSHIP TEAM, AND THAT MEANS WE HAVE TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP OF TRUST. IN MY CAREER, 13 YEARS AS A SUPERINTENDENT, I’VE DONE A FEW THINGS THAT HAVE SERVED ME REALLY WELL. ONE IS I’VE BUILT STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH EVERY ONE OF MY BOARD MEMBERS. AND I RECOGNIZE THAT THE DEMANDS OF THIS JOB MAY NOT MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO DO EVERYTHING I’VE DONE AT MY FORMER JOBS, BUT I’VE MADE IT A POINT TO HAVE A MEAL, BREAKFAST OR LUNCH, ON A SOMEWHAT REGULAR BASIS. IT’S NOT WEEKLY– COULD BE A COUPLE TIMES A YEAR, BUT TO GET TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND FOR YOU TO GET TO KNOW WHO I AM. THE PERSONAL STORIES THAT EACH OF US BRING TO THE TABLE ARE RELEVANT. WE’RE THINKING ABOUT THE LENS THROUGH WHICH WE VIEW EDUCATIONAL POLICY. IT’S IMPORTANT FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU’RE COMING FROM AND UNDERSTAND HOW WE COLLECTIVELY CAN ARTICULATE A VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF MICHIGAN. I KNOW THAT TRUST ISN’T SOMETHING THAT’S GRANTED BECAUSE OF SOMEONE’S TITLE. IT’S SOMETHING THAT’S EARNED THROUGH THE BUILDING OF RELATIONSHIPS. AND SO I BELIEVE THAT BUILDING THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH ONE OF YOU IS IMPORTANT, AND THEN BUILDING OUR COLLECTIVE EFFECTIVENESS AS A TEAM. I ALSO THINK COMMUNICATION IS CRITICAL, SO ONE OF THE THINGS I DO ON A REGULAR BASIS, EVERY FRIDAY OR AT LEAST EVERY WEEK, IS TO SUBMIT TO MY BOARD– AND AGAIN, I’VE DONE THIS CONSISTENTLY THROUGHOUT MY CAREER– AN UPDATE ON THE KINDS OF THINGS TAKING PLACE. I NEVER WANT MY BOARD TO BE SURPRISED. IF THEY HEAR OR READ ABOUT IT IN THE PAPER BEFORE THEY’VE HEARD ABOUT IT FROM ME, THAT’S A PROBLEM. NOW, IN THIS ENVIRONMENT, THERE MAY BE SOME THINGS THAT I CAN’T GET AHEAD OF, OR THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT CAN’T GET AHEAD OF, JUST BECAUSE OF WHERE THE MEDIA IS OPERATING, BUT ON ANY MAJOR THING, I DON’T THINK THERE SHOULD BE SURPRISE BETWEEN THE SUPERINTENDENT AND THE BOARD. I ALSO THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO OPERATE IN A COLLABORATIVE MANNER. I NEED FEEDBACK FROM YOU AS WE’RE GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS. AND THEN FINALLY, BEING CLEAR ON OUR ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. THE SUPERINTENDENT IS THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER– CHIEF PUBLIC– THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION FOR THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. THE BOARD SETS THE POLICIES, THE BOARD IDENTIFIES THE PARAMETERS, YOU SET THE GOALS, AND MY JOB IS TO CARRY OUT THAT VISION AND MAKE IT A REALITY USING THE TOOLS AND RESOURCES AT OUR DISPOSAL. AND SO WHEN YOU BOIL IT DOWN, BRASS TAX, IT’S ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIPS WE BUILD TOGETHER AND SHARING A COMMON VISION FOR HOW WE ADVANCE PUBLIC EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN SO THAT WHEN WE LOOK AT CHARTS 10 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD, WE DON’T HAVE TO BE EMBARRASSED BY THE NUMBERS, BUT WE’LL KNOW WE’VE DONE OUR BEST TO ADVANCE PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR THE GOOD OF THE STATE. THE FIRST SLIDE IS TITLED– I DON’T THINK YOU SAW IT– MICHIGAN’S FUTURE. OUR CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE. PETER DRUCKER SAID THAT THE BEST WAY TO PREDICT IT IS TO CREATE IT. SO I’M HOPEFUL THAT TOGETHER, WE CAN CREATE A BETTER, BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR THE CHILDREN IN THIS STATE.>>GREAT. THANK YOU, SCOTT, VERY MUCH. ALL RIGHT. WE’VE GOT OUR 20 QUESTIONS, AND WE’LL BEGIN AGAIN WITH CASANDRA.>>WELL, THANK YOU. THE FIRST QUESTION IS TO SIMPLY DESCRIBE AND OFFER EXAMPLES OF YOUR EXPERIENCE SUCCESSFULLY IMPROVING EDUCATIONAL LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR STUDENTS.>>THANK YOU, AND I IDENTIFIED THREE EXAMPLES. THE FIRST STARTS WITH MY EXPERIENCE IN WHITMORE LAKE AS A SUPERINTENDENT, AND WHEN I GOT THERE, OUR PERFORMANCE ON THE MEAP ASSESSMENT WAS PROBABLY AVERAGE AT BEST. AND GENERALLY, PEOPLE WERE COMFORTABLE WITH IT, BUT IT WASN’T WHERE WE NEEDED TO GO. BUT WE ALSO DIDN’T HAVE ANY GOOD TOOLS TO MEASURE HOW STUDENTS WERE DOING, AND TO REALLY PROMPT THAT NEXT-LEVEL CONVERSATION ABOUT STUDENT GROWTH. SO AT WISD, WE WERE THE FIRST DISTRICT IN WASHTENAW COUNTY TO IMPLEMENT MEASURES OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS, THE NWEA TESTING, BECAUSE WE KNEW OUR TEACHERS NEEDED TO HAVE THAT TOOL IN ORDER TO MAKE INFORMED INSTRUCTIONAL DECISIONS. OUR PARENTS NEEDED TO SEE THAT TOOL IN ORDER TO WATCH HOW THEIR CHILDREN WERE PROGRESSING THROUGH THAT SYSTEM. AND IT CHANGED THE NATURE OF THAT CONVERSATION. BY THE TIME I LEFT, IF YOU WERE TO TRACK THE ACHIEVEMENT SCORES, 1 OR 2 YEARS AFTER I WAS GONE, AFTER WE IMPLEMENTED MEASURES OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS, YOU COULD SEE THE TRENDS MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. BUT MORE POWERFULLY, THE STUDENTS HAD SOME OWNERSHIP OF THEIR OWN DATA, AS THEY WERE BEGINNING TO LOOK AT, “HERE’S MY PRE-TEST. HERE’S MY MID-YEAR. HERE’S MY POST.” THEY BEGAN TO SEE HOW THEY WERE PROGRESSING THROUGH THE SYSTEM. THE SECOND EXAMPLE IS ABOUT AN INNOVATIVE CLASSROOM THAT WE DID THROUGH A GRANT FUNDED BY THE MICHIGAN COUNCIL FOR ARTS AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS IN YPSILANTI COMMUNITY MIDDLE SCHOOL LAST YEAR. SO ONE OF THE THINGS THE DATA IS PRETTY CLEAR ON IS THAT OUR AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS, IN PARTICULAR, BUT MOST OF OUR STUDENTS DON’T DO WELL IN MATH. SO WE SUBMITTED A GRANT APPLICATION IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ARTS ALLIANCE IN ANN ARBOR TO LOOK AT MATH IN A LITTLE DIFFERENT LENS. AND SO IT WAS A DANCE MATH CLASS THAT WE PUT TOGETHER WITH A FOCUS ON GEOMETRY. SO IF YOU HAD COME TO ANY OF THE STUDENT PRESENTATIONS, BECAUSE THEY EXHIBITED THEIR LEARNING, THE WAY THEY CONVERTED THE GEOMETRIC PRINCIPLES INTO DANCE MOVEMENTS ON THE FLOOR WAS ABSOLUTELY COMPELLING. AND WE WERE ABLE TO DO SOME PRE- AND POST-TESTING, AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE FOUND ON JUST TWO OF THE INDICATORS, SOLVING PROBLEMS ON THE AREA AND PERIMETER. ON THE PRE-TEST, 27% OF THE STUDENTS UNDERSTOOD THE CONCEPT. ON THE POST-TEST, 55% DID. SO WE SAW SOME SIGNIFICANT GAINS. ON THE OTHER INDICATOR, “IDENTIFIES AND FINDS ANGLE RELATIONSHIPS,” ON THE PRE-TEST, ONLY 11% UNDERSTOOD THOSE CONCEPTS. AND BY THE POST-TEST, 44% UNDERSTOOD THOSE. I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT ILLUSTRATES THAT WE DON’T HAVE TO CONTINUE WITH CONVENTIONAL APPROACHES TO HOW WE ADDRESS CORE CONTENT AREAS. PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE ARTS, BRINGING IT ALIVE, CONNECTING WITH STUDENTS IN DIFFERENT WAYS WHERE WE’RE BRINGING IN MOVEMENT– WE SAW SOME POSITIVE GAINS, AND THE STUDENTS REALLY– IN FACT, SOME OF THE STUDENTS’ STATEMENTS WERE LIKE, “I DIDN’T LIKE IT AT FIRST, BUT I’M WONDERING IF YOU’RE GOING TO OFFER IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR.” SO THEY KIND OF REALIZED THE BENEFIT AS THEY WENT THROUGH THE PROCESS. THE THIRD, AND YOU HAVE DATA– IT’S THE LAST SHEET IN YOUR PACKET– IS THE READING APPRENTICESHIP INITIATIVE, WHICH STARTED IN WASHTENAW COUNTY AND THEN MOVED INTO LIVINGSTON. SO WHEN I BECAME THE LIVINGSTON EDUCATIONAL SERVICE AGENCY SUPERINTENDENT, THIS WAS ONE OF OUR CORE EFFORTS, AND WE TOOK IT TO SCALE IN THE COUNTY. AND WHAT YOU CAN SEE IS THAT IMPLEMENTATION IN GRADES 7 THROUGH 10 IN 5 DISTRICTS, WE SAW GROWTH IN THE DEGREES OF READING POWER, WHICH IS OUR READING COMPREHENSION TOOL WE WERE USING, ROSE IN THE RANGE OF 1.5 TO 3 YEARS OF GROWTH PER YEAR’S WORTH OF INSTRUCTION. BECAUSE OF WHAT WE DID WITH OUR TEACHERS IN TERMS OF BUILDING THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF ADOLESCENT LITERACY. IT WAS GIVING STUDENTS THE TOOLS TO ACCESS THE CONTENT EVEN THOUGH PERHAPS THEY WERE READING BELOW GRADE LEVEL. AND SO THIS DATA IS PRETTY COMPELLING TO ME, AND IT ILLUSTRATES THAT WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO GO TO SCALE. THE RESEARCH INDICATES WHAT MIGHT NEED TO BE DONE. SOME OF WHAT WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH IN WASHTENAW AND LIVINGSTON DEMONSTRATE HOW YOU TAKE THOSE IDEAS FROM INDIVIDUAL EXAMPLES AND GO TO SCALE ON A COUNTY LEVEL.>>GREAT. MICHELLE, THANK YOU.>>HOW HAS YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE OTHERWISE PREPARED YOU FOR THIS POSITION?>>WELL, YOU’VE ALL SEEN MY RESUME, SO YOU KNOW THAT IT’S VERY DIVERSE IN TERMS OF MY EXPERIENCES, AND ONE THING I’LL POINT OUT: IF YOU LOOK AT MY EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND, COUPLED WITH MY WORK EXPERIENCE, IS THAT THE THEME THAT UNITES ALL OF THAT TOGETHER, IN CASE FOR SOME PEOPLE IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE IT’S AN ORGANIZED CAREER PATH, IS A COMMITMENT TO SOCIAL JUSTICE AND REALLY DOING WHAT I CAN TO HELP MOVE THE SYSTEM FORWARD FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR CHILDREN AND FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T REALLY IMPACT THE SYSTEM. AND SO IF YOU LOOK AT MY BACKGROUND, I’D SAY I HAVE EXPERIENCE ON THE CRADLE TO CAREER CONTINUUM. I STARTED PROFESSIONALLY WORKING FOR THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR WORK AND LEARNING ON RESEARCH, RELATED TO SCHOOL TO WORK, AND THEN I CAME BACK TO MICHIGAN. SO LIKE A LOT OF OUR ADOLESCENTS, I DECIDED I HAD TO GO OUT AND EXPLORE WHAT WAS OUT THERE. THE PACIFIC OCEAN CALLED FOR MY UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE. WASHINGTON, DC WAS A PRETTY EXCITING PLACE FOR MY GRADUATE PROGRAM. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, NONE OF THOSE PLACES WERE WHERE I WANTED TO RAISE A FAMILY, SO MY WIFE AND I CAME BACK TO MICHIGAN. FORTUNATELY, I HAD BEEN WORKING ON SCHOOL TO WORK TRANSITION. MICHIGAN WAS IMPLEMENTING SCHOOL TO WORK, AND I WAS HIRED BY THE JACKSON, HILLSDALE, AND LENAWEE ISDS TO HELP FACILITATE THEIR PLANS. THAT GREW INTO AN OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE AS A MICHIGAN WORKS! DIRECTOR FOR SIX YEARS, SO I’VE HAD EXPERIENCE IN EMPLOYMENT, WELFARE TO WORK, UNEMPLOYMENT TO WORK, AND WORKER RETRAINING. IT WAS DURING MY ROLE IN THAT CAPACITY THAT I REALIZED WE’RE LOOKING AT THE WRONG END OF THE CONTINUUM. REALLY, IF WE’RE GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND PREPARE PEOPLE TO BE SUCCESSFUL, I NEEDED TO BE WORKING IN THE K-12 ENVIRONMENT. SO I WENT BACK TO EASTERN TO GET MY SPECIALIST DEGREE IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP. I ATTENDED THE FIRST SUP’S PREPARATION ACADEMY THE MICHIGAN LEADERSHIP INSTITUTION DID, AND IN 2002, WHITMORE LAKE DECIDED TO TAKE A CHANCE ON A PERSON WHO HAD NEVER REALLY WORKED IN K-12. I’D BEEN WORKING THROUGH ISDS AND SCHOOL TO WORK TRANSITION, BUT NEVER IN A K-12 ENVIRONMENT. AND FOR ME, THAT WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST OPPORTUNITIES IN MY PROFESSIONAL CAREER. AND WE WERE ABLE TO DEVELOP A HIGH PERFORMING TEAM. AND SO I WORKED IN A SMALL, RURAL SCHOOL DISTRICT. I THEN WENT TO THE LIVINGSTON EDUCATIONAL SERVICE AGENCY, AND YOU NOTED SOME OF THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF LIVINGSTON COUNTY: 30,000 KIDS, NOT PARTICULARLY DIVERSE. WE DID SOME INTERESTING THINGS, BUT THEN I WAS TAPPED AND ASKED TO CONSIDER APPLYING FOR THE WASHTENAW ISD JOB. SO EACH OF THESE MOVES, IT WASN’T THAT I WAS ASKED TO LEAVE. IT WASN’T AS THOUGH I WAS BEING FORCED OUT THE DOOR. QUITE FRANKLY, I WAS RECRUITED TO MOVE INTO EACH OF THESE POSITIONS. AND AS A PERSON WHO’S COMMITTED TO SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES, IF THERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE AN IMPACT ON A GREATER LEVEL, TO IMPACT MORE STUDENTS, TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A WAY THAT’S SUBSTANTIAL, I HAVE TO LOOK AT THAT. AND WHEN WASHTENAW ISD APPROACHED ME, I KNEW WHAT THE DEMOGRAPHICS WERE IN WASHTENAW. I KNEW THAT WE HAD QUITE AN ARRAY OF DISTRICTS, FROM THE UNIVERSITY DISTRICT IN ANN ARBOR, 16,000 PLUS STUDENTS TO WHITMORE LAKE WITH NOW ONLY 940 STUDENTS. SO WE’VE GOT THIS WIDE ARRAY. WE’VE GOT URBAN EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE COUNTY, AND THEN THE DISTRICTS ON THE WEST SIDE PRETTY MUCH LOOK LIKE LIVINGSTON COUNTY. THAT WAS AN INTERESTING CHALLENGE FOR ME, AND SO I STEPPED UP TO THAT CHALLENGE AND HAVE BEEN REALLY GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITIES WE’VE HAD THERE. AND IT’S BEEN PRETTY BUSY. IN THE FIRST YEAR, NOT ONLY DID THE COUNTY APPROACH US AND SAY, “WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO APPLY FOR THE HEAD START GRANT? BECAUSE WE DON’T THINK THAT’S OUR CORE COMPETENCE AND BUSINESS,” BUT THE YPSILANTI AND WILLOW RUN BOARDS APPROACHED US AND SAID, “BY THE WAY, WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO FACILITATE A CONVERSATION WITH OUR TWO DISTRICTS? BECAUSE WE’RE UNDERWATER AND STRUGGLING ACADEMICALLY, AND WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT WHAT WE COULD DO DIFFERENTLY.” SO IN MY BACKGROUND, I’VE DONE THOSE PROFESSIONALLY, BUT I’VE ALSO DONE AND HAD OTHER OPPORTUNITIES. I’VE CHAIRED THE MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICTS EARLY CHILDHOOD COMMITTEE, AND SO SINCE 2009, I’VE BEEN WORKING WITH COLLEAGUES FROM ACROSS THE STATE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD. AND AS YOU KNOW, WE’VE MADE SIGNIFICANT GAINS IN THE LAST FEW YEARS WITH RESPECT TO THE INVESTMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD, THE WAY THE STATUTES ARE STRUCTURED– SO I THINK THAT BACKGROUND HAS PREPARED ME FOR STATE LEVEL WORK. AND I’VE ALSO SERVED ON THE STATE MAISA LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE, AND RECENTLY, I’VE BEEN ENGAGED IN CONVERSATION ON THE REGIONAL PROSPERITY INITIATIVE. THERE’S BEEN SOME PUSH WITH THE MICHIGAN WORKS! AGENCIES– WE’VE GOT FOUR OF THEM IN OUR SIX-COUNTY REGION. AND THERE’S BEEN SOME CONVERSATION THAT THEY MAY NEED TO CONSOLIDATE. AND BECAUSE OF MY BACKGROUND, I’VE BEEN ASKED TO BE AT THE TABLE WITH THE BUSINESS LEADERS AND INDIVIDUALS IN THE ROOM TO SAY, “WHAT KIND OF STRATEGIES COULD WE DEPLOY IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY AND EFFECTIVELY AND TO HELP MOVE AN AGENDA FOR THE REGION?” SO I THINK ALL THOSE EXPERIENCES HAVE PREPARED ME TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP.>>THANKS, SCOTT. RICHARD, YOU’VE GOT THE NEXT QUESTION.>>WHAT EXAMPLES CAN YOU OFFER OF SUCCESS IN ORGANIZING AND MOVING DISPARATE STAKEHOLDERS, OUTSIDE INTERESTS, AND YOUR OWN STAFF AROUND A SHARED VISION FOR EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT? AND HOW WOULD YOU GO ABOUT SUCH AN EFFORT HERE ON THE STATE LEVEL?>>SO I WOULD POINT TO TWO DIFFERENT EFFORTS, AND I’LL START IN LIVINGSTON. WHEN– YOU ALL REMEMBER 2008 AND WHAT KIND OF HAPPENED FINANCIALLY. SO MY DISTRICTS IN LIVINGSTON COUNTY SAID, “YOU KNOW, WE NEED TO CREATE A CLIFF COMMITTEE, BECAUSE WE’RE ALL GOING OVER IT AND WE SHOULD PROBABLY START TALKING ABOUT IT.” [ LAUGHTER ]>>AND SO WE EVENTUALLY CHANGED THE NAME, BECAUSE THAT WAS PROBABLY NOT THE MENTAL IMAGE YOU WANTED TO CREATE ON AN ONGOING BASIS, BUT WE ADOPTED A COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION COMMITTEE FRAMING, AND WE HAD TWO BOARD MEMBERS AND A SUPERINTENDENT FROM EVERY DISTRICT, AND WE MET ON A MONTHLY BASIS. TWO PRIMARY AREAS OF CONVERSATION: ONE WAS RELATED TO THE CONVERSATION AROUND THE CLIFF THAT WE WERE ALL JUST ABOUT TO GO OVER. HELPING THE PUBLIC TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS HAPPENING WITH SCHOOL FUNDING AND PREPARING FOR WHAT THAT MEANT IN EACH INDIVIDUAL DISTRICT’S CASE. BUT THE OTHER PART OF THE CONVERSATION WAS, “WHAT CAN WE DO COLLABORATIVELY? ARE THERE THINGS WE COULD DO IN THE COUNTY TO OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY?” AND AS YOU KNOW, IN AN OPEN SCHOOL CHOICE ENVIRONMENT, AND ALL FIVE OF THE DISTRICTS IN LIVINGSTON WERE OPEN SCHOOL OF CHOICE, TO GET DISTRICTS TO COLLABORATE CAN SOMETIMES BE THREATENING, BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT TO LOSE A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE. BUT WHEN THEY CREATED THIS COMMITTEE, THEY SET A FORMALIZED PROCESS FOR ASKING, “WHAT ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS WE COULD BE DOING? HOW CAN WE MOVE FORWARD COLLECTIVELY TO OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY WITHOUT COMPROMISING OUR CORE? WHAT MAKES HARTLAND DIFFERENT FROM BRIGHTON THAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT FROM HOWELL?” WE WERE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH THAT. THEY LANDED ON TRANSPORTATION AS AN AREA OF FOCUS, AND SO WE CONDUCTED A STUDY, LOOKED AT WHAT WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO DO COLLECTIVELY. PINCKNEY HAD ALREADY PRIVATIZED TRANSPORTATION, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, THEY OPTED TO SIGN ON FOR THE TRANSPORTATION CONSORTIUM IN LIVINGSTON, FOUR OF THE FIVE DISTRICTS SIGNED ON. BECAUSE THE LESA HAD BEEN DOING SPECIAL ED TRANSPORTATION ALREADY, WE HAD CORE COMPETENCE WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION TO EXPAND AND TAKE OVER GENERAL EDUCATION TRANSPORTATION IN THE OTHER FOUR DISTRICTS. I’M BRINGING IT UP BECAUSE SOME OF YOU MAY HAVE READ ABOUT THE WASHTENAW ISD TRANSPORTATION CONSORTIUM AND SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT WE’RE EXPERIENCING NOW, AND ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE LIVINGSTON CONSORTIUM, WHICH IS GOING WELL AND CONTINUING WITH THOSE FOUR DISTRICTS, AND THE WASHTENAW IS THAT WISD HAD NEVER PROVIDED TRANSPORTATION SERVICES. THEY DIDN’T HAVE A CORE COMPETENCE THERE, NOR DID THEY HAVE CAPACITY. SO WHILE THEY WERE WORKING ON HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH THE COMMUNITY AND THE DISTRICTS ABOUT HOW THEY COULD COLLABORATE, THEY STARTED WITH TEN AND LANDED WITH THREE THAT DECIDED TO JOIN THE CONSORTIUM. THEY LAUNCHED IT AND BUILT THAT FROM SCRATCH, MOVING FROM ZERO TO FULL IMPLEMENTATION IN A MATTER OF A FEW MONTHS. AND SO IT’S ALWAYS HAD SOME CHALLENGES IN TERMS OF BEING AN EFFECTIVE OPERATION, AND THAT’S BEEN PART OF OUR PROBLEM. I’M HAPPY TO TALK ABOUT ANY OTHER SPECIFIC QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ON THAT, BUT THE POINT I WANT TO MAKE IS THAT CAPACITY IS IMPORTANT. IF YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE THAT MOVE, YOU HAVE TO ENSURE THAT THE ORGANIZATIONS TAKING ON THAT RESPONSIBILITY HAVE THE ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY TO DO IT AND DO IT WELL. THE SECOND EXAMPLE– AND AGAIN, I’M COGNIZANT OF TIME. I DO GET ACCUSED OF SPEAKING QUICKLY, AND I WROTE THE NOTE, “SLOW DOWN.” [ LAUGHTER ]>>BUT I FORGOT ABOUT IT UNTIL JUST NOW. [ LAUGHTER ]>>SO YPSILANTI. AND YOU’VE PROBABLY READ SOME ABOUT THE EFFORT IN YPSILANTI AND WILLOW RUN, SO I WANT TO TALK ABOUT PART OF THE PROCESS THAT WE IMPLEMENTED. YOU KNOW, THE HISTORY BETWEEN THE TWO DISTRICTS WAS LONG AND STORIED, AND IT WASN’T NECESSARILY A FRIENDLY ONE. THEY WERE RIVAL DISTRICTS. THERE WERE SOME DEEPLY HELD ANIMOSITIES. AND SO WHEN WE BEGAN TO BARGAIN THAT CONVERSATION, PART OF THE REASON WE WERE ABLE TO GET TRACTION WAS WE STARTED WITH THE PREFERRED FUTURE IN PROCESS, AND WHEN WE CONVENED, WE DIDN’T START WITH THE HISTORY AND WHERE THE DISTRICTS WERE FALLING SHORT. WE STARTED WITH THAT PREFERRED FUTURE, THE VISION WE ASPIRE TO FOR THE KIDS IN THE COMMUNITY. BECAUSE EVERYONE KNEW WE WEREN’T GETTING WHAT WE WANTED. WE WEREN’T ACCOMPLISHING THE HOPES, DREAMS, AND ASPIRATIONS OF PARENTS, AND YOU CAN SEE IT IN THE SCHOOL DATA. PARENTS WERE CHOOSING TO GO TO OTHER PLACES BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T GETTING WHAT THEY NEEDED. SO WHEN WE ENGAGED THE COMMUNITY, IT WAS THE PREFERRED FUTURE PROCESS THAT SAID, “WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?” AND THEN, YOU HAVE TO START FROM WHERE YOU ARE AFTER YOU’VE IDENTIFIED THAT VISION OF WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. AND SO YOU COULD GET PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENCES IN OPINION AT THE SAME TABLE BECAUSE THEY HAD A COMMON INTEREST IN CREATING A BETTER FUTURE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE COMMUNITY. SO I THINK AND HOPE THAT ANSWERS YOUR QUESTION.>>THANK YOU. EILEEN, YOU’VE GOT THE NEXT QUESTION.>>ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TASKS OF THE SUPERINTENDENT IS DEVELOPING POLICIES AND A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR IMPROVING EDUCATION WITH THE STATE BOARD AND ADVANCING IT EFFECTIVELY WITH THE GOVERNOR, LEGISLATURE, AND EDUCATIONAL INTEREST GROUPS. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE AND APPROACH IN DOING THIS SUCCESSFULLY? AND HOW WOULD YOU WORK WITH DIFFERENCES IN VISION, DIRECTION, AND EXPECTATIONS THAT MIGHT BE HELD BY THE GOVERNOR, LEGISLATORS, AND THE STATE BOARD?>>WELL, THAT’S A VERY GOOD QUESTION, AND I WOULD SAY OVER THE COURSE OF MY CAREER, IT’S KIND OF CHANGED. SO WHEN I STARTED AT WHITMORE LAKE, IT WAS A CONVENTIONAL STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS. YOU KIND OF PUT IT TOGETHER AND THEN IMPLEMENT THE PLAN. BECAUSE OF MY ENGAGEMENT WITH WASHTENAW, THAT PREFERRED FUTURE PROCESS, WHERE YOU CREATE THAT VISION OF WHERE YOU NEED TO GO AND THEN COME BACK– I SHOULD’VE BROUGHT THE DIAGRAM, BECAUSE THEN YOU COME BACK TO OUR CURRENT REALITY AND BUILD A STRATEGY TO GO FROM WHERE YOU ARE TO WHERE YOU’RE GOING. FOR ME, THE FIRST STEP FOR WORKING WITH THE BOARD IS TO BE CRYSTAL CLEAR ON WHAT THAT VISION OF THE FUTURE IS, AND THEN, TO BUILD THE STRATEGIES FROM WHERE WE ARE, YOU KNOW WHERE WE ARE. SO ONCE THAT’S FIRMLY IN PLACE, THAT’S PART OF THE JOB THAT YOU HIRE THE SUPERINTENDENT TO CARRY OUT. THAT’S WHAT WE DO, IS WORK TO IMPLEMENT THAT PLAN. YOU DO IT IN THE DEPARTMENT. YOU DO IT WITH COLLEAGUES IN THE FIELD. YOU DO IT WITH THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE. AND PART OF IT IS, WHEN YOU’RE DESIGNING THAT PLAN AND CREATING THAT VISION OF THE FUTURE, YOU INCLUDE THEM IN THE PROCESS. IT’S SOMETHING IN THE FUTURE– IT’S A VISION OF THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION FOR ALL OF MICHIGAN’S CHILDREN, AND WE NEED TO BE INCLUSIVE. WE NEED TO HAVE PARENTS AND STUDENTS AT THE TABLE. WE NEED TO HAVE TEACHERS AND LABOR ORGANIZATIONS. WE NEED THE BUSINESS LEADERS OF MICHIGAN. ALL OF THESE PLAYERS ARE CRITICAL TO HELPING TO IDENTIFY THAT PREFERRED FUTURE, AND THEN WE CAN BUILD THOSE SPECIFIC STRATEGIES. IN TERMS OF SPECIFIC SUCCESS IN WORKING WITH THE LEGISLATURE, I CAN THINK OF A NUMBER OF THINGS, BUT AS YOU KNOW, IN READING MY MATERIAL, I’VE WORKED CLOSELY WITH REPRESENTATIVE BILL ROGERS ON A NUMBER OF THINGS, AND ALSO DAVID RUTLEDGE, AND WE WERE ABLE TO GET CHANGES IN THE STATUTE RELATED TO THE WEIGHTED BLENDED FORMULA FOR CONSOLIDATED DISTRICTS. BUT, I THINK EVEN MORE SIGNIFICANTLY, SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH IN EARLY CHILDHOOD– SO SEVERAL YEARS AGO, THERE WASN’T A SECTION 32P IN THE SCHOOL AID ACT, WHICH IS NOW OUR BLOCK GRANT LANGUAGE, BUT BECAUSE OF INPUT THAT I HAD HEARD FROM ACROSS THE STATE WITH PEOPLE, TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE NEEDED TO DO, AND IN CONVERSATION WITH EARLY CHILDHOOD ADVOCATES, AND KNOWING WHAT OTHER STATES DID TO FUND BIRTH TO THREE, BECAUSE THIS WAS THE PROBLEM: WE’VE LOST A LOT OF FUNDING FOR THE FIRST 3 YEARS OF LIFE, AND IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT IN TERMS OF GETTING KIDS OFF TO A GREAT START. AND GETTING A DEDICATED STREAM OF FUNDING IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE WITH THE LEGISLATURE. PRE-SCHOOL, NOT SO HARD, BECAUSE THEY UNDERSTAND PRE-SCHOOL, AND WE HAD REALLY GOOD HIGH SCOPE DATA TO SHOW THAT IT WORKED. BUT BIRTH TO THREE, A MUCH MORE DIFFICULT SELL. BUT WHAT WE LEARNED IS THAT OTHER STATES LIKE ILLINOIS AND KANSAS HAD FIGURED OUT A BLOCK GRANT STRUCTURE. AND SO 32P IS A RESULT OF THOSE OTHER CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER PARTNERS, SAYING, “A BLOCK GRANT STRUCTURE THAT’S DEDICATED AND TIED TO INCREASING ANOTHER LINE ITEM CAN HELP ADDRESS YOUR CONCERN.” SO IT WAS PUT IN STATUTE AS A PLACEHOLDER, AND THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR IN THE GOVERNOR’S BUDGET WHERE THE MONEY’S BEEN INCREASED IN ORDER TO HELP ADVANCE THAT INITIATIVE. BUT IT WAS PUTTING IT IN PLACE SO WE’D BE READY TO MOVE WHEN THE TIME WAS RIGHT.>>THANK YOU, SCOTT. KATHY?>>OH. WELL, SCOTT, WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE IMPORTANT AND FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSES OF PUBLIC EDUCATION?>>SO AS YOU KNOW, AS A PRODUCT OF PUBLIC EDUCATION, ULTIMATELY, WE’RE ABOUT PREPARING GOOD CITIZENS. WE’RE ABOUT HELPING UNLOCK THE POTENTIAL FOR EVERY CHILD THAT LIVES IN THIS STATE. AND QUITE FRANKLY, IT SHOULDN’T DEPEND ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE OF BIRTH. SO WHEN WE THINK ABOUT OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM, WE NEED TO BE SURE THAT WE HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO EARLY CHILDHOOD THROUGH COLLEGE AND CAREER FOR ALL OF OUR STUDENTS, AND THAT QUALITY IS ASSURED THROUGHOUT THE SYSTEM. AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT SOME OF WHERE WE ARE, THERE ARE THINGS THAT IMPACT ON THE SYSTEM IN SIGNIFICANT WAYS. SO THE BIRTH TO 5– ACTUALLY, NOW, IT’S BIRTH THROUGH AGE 8 THAT’S THE NATIONAL FOCUS, AND IT’S THAT ALIGNMENT. SO YOU HAVE TO START AT THE BEGINNING. THAT’S PRETTY CRITICAL. IT’S GOOD TO BE FOCUSING ON 3RD GRADE LITERACY, BECAUSE THAT IS A BELLWETHER FOR US, BUT DON’T FORGET NUMERACY. IF WE’RE REALLY BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR FUTURE SUCCESS, IT’S BOTH. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SUB-GROUPS, AND HOW WE CAN MOVE THE NEEDLE THERE, AND THERE’S THINGS LIKE CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM. YOU CAN HAVE THE BEST TEACHERS IN THE WORLD, BUT IF KIDS AREN’T IN THE CLASSROOM, THEY’RE NOT GOING TO LEARN FROM THEM. SO WE’VE GOT A LOT OF PROBLEMS THAT WE NEED TO ADDRESS. WE NEED TO NOT BE SO FOCUSED ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT THAT WE FORGET THE ARTS AND THE ROLE THEY CAN HAVE IN ENHANCING ACHIEVEMENT FOR ALL STUDENTS. AND THEN, YOU KNOW, OUR MISSION STATEMENT AT WHITMORE LAKE WAS TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONAL PERSONALIZED EDUCATION. YOU KNOW, IT’S NOT A COOKIE CUTTER APPROACH, AND DIFFERENT THINGS WORK FOR DIFFERENT STUDENTS. SO MAKING SURE THAT WITH THE TOOLS WE HAVE AT OUR DISPOSAL, WE’RE REALLY PERSONALIZING EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES AND ULTIMATELY REMEMBERING THAT THIS HAS TO BE DONE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE WHOLE SYSTEM. WE DON’T WANT TO GET INTO THE WHACK-A-MOLE GAME, WHERE WE DO THIS ONE BUT WE’VE IGNORED THIS OTHER PROBLEM. WE’VE GOT TO LOOK AT THE ENTIRE SYSTEM AND SAY, “WE’VE GOT TO MOVE THE WHOLE THING FORWARD IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THAT OUTCOME OF PREPARING YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE PRODUCTIVE CITIZENS AND READY TO ENGAGE IN THEIR COMMUNITIES IN SIGNIFICANT WAYS.”>>THANKS, SCOTT.>>THANK YOU.>>LUPE.>>HELLO, SCOTT.>>HELLO.>>MY QUESTION IS, “PLEASE SPEAK TO THE ISSUES OF WHAT POLICIES, PRACTICES, AND ACTIONS ARE IMPORTANT TO IMPROVE TEACHER AND EDUCATOR PREPARATION, KEEPING IN MIND QUALITY, SUPPORT, MORALE, AND EFFECTIVENESS.”>>WELL, THERE ARE A LOT OF POINTS TO THAT, AND I’M EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO TALK ABOUT IT. SO LET’S START FIRST WITH TEACHER PREPARATION. AND I THINK THE STATE BOARD’S WRESTLED WITH SOME OF THIS, RIGHT? THE PIPELINE IS IMPORTANT. PREPARING FUTURE TEACHERS TO TACKLE THE CHALLENGES OF A DIVERSE STUDENT POPULATION IN A TECHNOLOGICALLY-SAVVY WORLD IS SO DIFFERENT THAN WHEN WE WENT TO SCHOOL. I DIDN’T HAVE ANY DISTRACTION WITH AN iPHONE– WHICH, MINE’S OFF, BY THE WAY. BECAUSE I WOULD GET DISTRACTED EASILY. AND OUR KIDS ARE COMING TO THE CLASSROOM WITH LOTS OF DISTRACTIONS. SO PREPARING OUR TEACHERS TO TACKLE THE CHALLENGES OF THE 21st CENTURY IS IMPORTANT. I’M GOING TO GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF WHERE I THINK THERE’S SOME LEVERAGE THAT LOCAL DISTRICTS MIGHT HAVE THAT WE DON’T OFTEN USE IN THIS ARENA, BECAUSE HIGHER EDUCATION IS OFTEN SEEN AS THE IVORY TOWER THAT’S HELD SACRED, AND WE CAN’T DO ANYTHING. BUT AS LOCAL DISTRICTS, WE ACTUALLY DO HAVE SOME POWER. SO WHEN WE LAUNCHED YPSILANTI COMMUNITY SCHOOLS IN THAT FIRST YEAR, THE FORMER YPSI AND WILLOW RUN DISTRICTS WERE PLACES WHERE EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY AND UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN PLACED A LOT OF STUDENT TEACHERS, AND THEY WERE LOOKING FORWARD TO CONTINUING TO PLACE NEW TEACHERS IN THE NEW DISTRICT. AND WE SAID, “NOT IN THE FIRST YEAR. WE HAVE TOO MUCH CORE WORK TO DO TO LAUNCH THE NEW DISTRICT, AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO LET THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS AND THE WORK THAT WE’RE DOING HERE TO CREATE THE RIGHT CULTURE AND CLIMATE GET DISTRACTED BY THIS PROCESS.” WE MADE ONE EXCEPTION, AND THAT WAS FOR THE WOODROW WILSON FELLOWS THAT BOTH EMU AND U OF M HAD, BECAUSE THESE ARE PROFESSIONALS THAT ARE COMING BACK INTO SCIENCE, AND SO WE THOUGHT THERE WAS SOMETHING TO BE GAINED BY HAVING OUR STUDENTS TO HAVE THOSE PROFESSIONALS WHO WERE NOW MOVING INTO THE TEACHING PROFESSION TO BE IN THE CLASSROOM. BUT THE OTHER THING WE DID AS WE GOT TOWARDS THE END OF THE FIRST YEAR IS WE MET WITH THE PROFESSIONALS AT EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY AND SAID, “WE’RE GOING TO HAVE SOME CONDITIONS FOR PLACING STUDENT TEACHERS IN THE FUTURE. AND WE’RE NOT, IN THIS DISTRICT, GOING TO PLACE STUDENT TEACHERS IF YOU DON’T INCLUDE A COMPONENT IN YOUR TRAINING ON CULTURAL PROFICIENCY. AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE STUDENT TEACHERS IF YOU’RE NOT DOING SOMETHING ON RESTORATIVE PRACTICES, BECAUSE WE NEED TEACHERS COMING OUT OF YOUR INSTITUTION TO BE CULTURALLY PROFICIENT AND TO UNDERSTAND THAT DISCIPLINE AS PUNISHMENT IS NOT THE WAY TO HELP IMPROVE STUDENT IMPROVEMENT. SO WE NEED YOU TO PARTNER WITH US ON THAT.” IF ALL OF OUR LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS WERE TO TAKE A SIMILAR KIND OF STANCE, I THINK WE COULD HELP MOVE THE NEEDLE THERE. SO IN TEACHER PREPARATION, I THINK THERE’S SOME WORK TO DO. AND I WAS GOING TO TALK ABOUT IT ON THE SPECIAL ED QUESTION, BUT WE DON’T DO ENOUGH TO PREPARE OUR TEACHERS TO ADDRESS THE DIVERSE LEARNING NEEDS OF ALL THE STUDENTS IN THEIR CLASSROOM. ONE CLASS ON STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO PREPARE TEACHERS TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THE DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION TO HELP STUDENTS SUCCEED. I THINK YOU HAD OTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT TEACHER PREPARATION. WHAT OTHER PARTS DID I MISS?>>MORALE.>>MORALE?>>YEP, AND EFFECTIVENESS.>>SO YOU KNOW, IN THIS ENVIRONMENT WHERE WE HAVEN’T HAD ANY NEW MONEY, I’M JEALOUS OF THE SUPERINTENDENTS WHO CAN REMEMBER THE GOOD OLD DAYS WHERE WE WERE ACTUALLY SEEING INCREASES IN THE FOUNDATION GRANTS. THEY WERE ABLE TO SETTLE CONTRACTS WITH 2% OR 3% INCREASES. THAT’S NOT BEEN THE CASE SINCE 2002 WHEN I BECAME A SUPERINTENDENT. SO I GET THE MORALE QUESTION, AND I KNOW IT’S VERY CHALLENGING, AND WHAT WE’VE SEEN IS THAT THE DECLINING ENROLLMENT WITH THE BUDGETS BEING STRETCHED, TEACHERS ARE ASKED TO BE DOING MORE WITH LESS, CLASS SIZES HAVE INCREASED… WE AS A STATE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT REALLY INVESTING IN TEACHING AS A PROFESSION THAT’S WORTHY OF THE RESPONSIBILITY THAT TEACHERS HAVE IN THE CLASSROOM. IF WE’RE REALLY GOING TO HELP OUR KIDS ACHIEVE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL, THEN WE HAVE TO TREAT TEACHERS AS A PROFESSION. THAT’S WHAT THE TOP PERFORMING NATIONS AND STATES DO. AND SO I THINK THAT’S PART OF OUR CHALLENGE. THE OTHER IS ONGOING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, SHOULDER TO SHOULDER SUPPORT, NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED TRAINING. AND ONE OF MY FORMER UNION MEMBERS IS NOW WORKING AT WISD. SHE’S ACTUALLY MY UNION PRESIDENT, IS WORKING ON THE NATIONAL BOARD TRAINING ACROSS THE STATE FOR SOME OF OUR HIGH PRIORITY DISTRICTS BECAUSE WE WANT TO HELP BUILD PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES. IT’S A CAPACITY BUILDING EFFORT. AND IF YOU GIVE TEACHERS THE TOOLS, THEY CAN WORK MAGIC IN THE CLASSROOM. BUT I THINK THAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE PART OF OUR OVERALL STRATEGY IN TERMS OF HOW WE PUT ALL THE PIECES TOGETHER.>>THANK YOU.>>PAM. DO TOPICS IN EDUCATION.>>WHAT IS THE ROLE OF ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION? AND WHAT ELSE HAS TO GO ALONG WITH ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS TO IMPROVE LEARNING?>>SO I THINK THAT A QUOTE COMES TO MIND: “NOT EVERYTHING THAT COUNTS CAN BE COUNTED, AND NOT EVERYTHING THAT YOU’VE COUNTED… MAY NOT COUNT.” I DON’T HAVE IT QUITE RIGHT HERE. BUT THE POINT IS THAT WE’VE BEEN PRETTY TEST-CENTRIC, AND FOR ME, IT’S ALWAYS LIKE THINKING IF I GO TO THE DOCTOR FOR MY ANNUAL PHYSICAL AND THE ONLY THING THEY DO IS TAKE MY TEMPERATURE, AND THEN THE DOCTOR PROVIDES A DIAGNOSIS ON MY OVERALL STATE OF HEALTH BASED ON THAT SINGLE INDICATOR, I’M PROBABLY NOT GOING BACK TO THAT DOCTOR AGAIN. SO I THINK WE NEED BALANCED FORMS OF ASSESSMENT TO KNOW HOW OUR CHILDREN ARE PERFORMING. THERE’S A ROLE FOR OUR STANDARDIZED ASSESSMENTS. WE DO NEED TO KNOW WHAT OUR CHILDREN ARE DOING TO MEET THOSE STANDARDS. BUT THOSE SHOULDN’T BE HIGH STAKES THE WAY THAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THEM AT THE PRESENT TIME. THE MOST IMPORTANT ASSESSMENTS ARE THE ONES TEACHERS DO EVERYDAY IN THE CLASSROOM. IT’S THAT FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT, GAUGING WHERE STUDENTS ARE, HAVING CLEAR AND SPECIFIC LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND MOVING TOWARDS THOSE IN THE CLASSROOM. I THINK WHAT’S CRITICAL FOR US ON AN ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM IS TO REALLY BUILD HIGHLY RELIABLE SYSTEMS. IN THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY, THERE’S A CHECKLIST FOR PILOTS, BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT IF YOU HAVE A CHECKLIST, THEY’RE LESS LIKELY TO FORGET TO LOOK AT SOMETHING THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT BEFORE YOU TAKE OFF. THERE ARE THINGS WE KNOW IN THE CLASSROOM THAT TEACHERS CAN DO THAT ARE THE SAME KIND OF HIGH RELIABILITY KINDS OF THINGS. SO IF WE CAN BE FOCUSED ON PROVIDING THAT SUPPORT IN THE CLASSROOM AS PART OF THAT ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM, THEN WE CAN SEE THE NUMBERS MOVE IN TERMS OF IMPROVED ACHIEVEMENT.>>OKAY. EILEEN.>>MICHIGAN, LIKE OTHER STATES, HAS SEEN POLICY DEBATES ABOUT THE NATURE AND UTILITY OF STATE LEARNING STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENTS, INCLUDING THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS IN MATH AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS, BUT ALSO WE’RE ON THE VERGE OF REVISING OUR SCIENCE STANDARDS AND SOCIAL STUDIES TOO. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENTS IN IMPROVING STUDENT LEARNING? AND WHERE DO YOU RECKON WE SHOULD GO IN OUR POLICIES REGARDING BOTH OF THOSE?>>SO AGAIN, A VERY GOOD QUESTION, AND TIMELY. STANDARDS AND HIGH STANDARDS ARE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. IF WE’RE GOING TO DO WHAT THE TOP PERFORMING STATES AND NATIONS ARE, WE’RE GOING TO HAVE HIGH STANDARDS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN FOR ALL STUDENTS. THAT BEING SAID, I THINK WE HAVE TO REALLY BE PREPARED TO DEAL WITH SOME OF THE CHALLENGES. SO COMMON CORE IS TOXIC LANGUAGE, RIGHT? IT’S BEEN HIJACKED. THE CONCEPTS BEHIND IT ARE ABSOLUTELY APPROPRIATE. IT WASN’T A FEDERAL OVER-REACH. IT WAS A MOVE BY THE STATES TO REALLY CREATE SOME COMMONALITY SO THAT AS STUDENTS MOVE FROM STATE TO STATE, WE HAVE SOMETHING WE CAN MEASURE OURSELVES AGAINST. AND ULTIMATELY, WHEN WE THINK ABOUT OUR COMPETITIVENESS IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY, IT’S IMPORTANT. BUT THE LANGUAGE HAS KIND OF BECOME VERY TOXIC. I THINK WE HAVE TO HAVE STATE STANDARDS. YOU CAN’T GO BACK TO A TIME WHEN STANDARDS VARIED FROM DISTRICT TO DISTRICT. AND THEY HAVE TO BE RIGOROUS. I ALSO THINK THEY NEED TO BE INFORMED BY THE PEOPLE IN THE FIELD WHO KNOW BEST. AND SO THOSE STANDARDS SHOULD INCLUDE PROFESSIONAL SCIENTISTS AND PEOPLE WHO ARE THE EXPERTS IN MATH, AND– AND WE’VE ENGAGED THEM IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS. I THINK AS WE LOOK AT NEXT GEN SCIENCE AND SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS, MAKING SURE WE’RE HEARING FROM THE FIELD APPROPRIATELY IS CRITICAL.>>THANKS.>>CASANDRA.>>THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF SO-CALLED EDUCATION REFORM IDEAS ADVANCED IN RECENT YEARS. WHICH OF THESE ARE WORTHY OF EXPLORATION, AND WHICH WOULD YOU RECOMMEND AGAINST?>>SO LET ME START BY SAYING I THINK WHAT I EMBRACE HOLISTICALLY IS SYSTEMIC SCHOOL REFORM, BECAUSE I DON’T THINK ANY SINGLE INITIATIVE THAT WE WERE TO PURSUE, APART FROM LOOKING AT THE ENTIRE SYSTEM, REALLY GETS US TO WHERE WE NEED AS A STATE. AND WHILE YOU MIGHT SEE SOME INCREMENTAL GAINS FOR SOME THINGS FOR SOME KIDS, IT’S NOT GOING TO MOVE THE NEEDLE FOR ALL KIDS. SO I’M GOING TO EMBRACE SYSTEMIC SCHOOL REFORM AS THE OVERALL THAT I THINK WE SHOULD BE PURSUING. I WILL SAY THAT THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT WE’VE EXPERIENCED IN MY OWN PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE THAT CONTRIBUTE TO IT. SO COMPONENTS, BUT NOT THE WHOLE. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO SEE TREMENDOUS SUCCESS WITH IN WASHTENAW COUNTY IS THE CREATION OF SECONDARY OPTIONS, OR EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS, FOR STUDENTS CREATED ON A CONSORTIUM BASIS. TWO IN PARTICULAR THAT ARE IMPORTANT ARE THE EARLY COLLEGE ALLIANCE AT EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY, AND THE INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL, WHICH IS AN IB DIPLOMA PROGRAM CREATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR LOCAL DISTRICTS TO CREATE OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS. I THINK EARLY AND MIDDLE COLLEGES, FINDING WAYS TO ACCELERATE LEARNING TO ALLOW STUDENTS– IF THEY CAN MOVE FAST, LET THEM MOVE FAST. LET THEM MAXIMIZE THEIR POTENTIAL, AND THEN PROVIDE SUPPORTS FOR STUDENTS WHO NEED MORE TIME AND ATTENTION IN ORDER TO MASTER THE CONTENT. BUT LET’S NOT GET CONFUSED: THERE’S NO SILVER BULLET IN TERMS OF MOVING IT. AND THEN I THINK IN TERMS OF WHAT’S A RISK FOR US, WHAT NOT TO PURSUE, I DON’T THINK WE SHOULD BE OFFERING AN A LA CARTE MENU OF EDUCATION. IT’S GOT TO BE A SYSTEM. WE’VE GOT TO BE ABLE TO GUARANTEE THAT EVERY CHILD, REGARDLESS OF THEIR ZIP CODE, HAS A HIGH QUALITY EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE. AND IF YOU TEAR THE SYSTEM APART AND MAKE IT A LA CARTE AND YOU JUST TRUST MARKET FORCES TO MAKE IT WORK, INDEPENDENT OF SOME KIND OF SYSTEM, TOO MANY KIDS ARE GOING TO FAIL. AND SO WE HAVE TO BE REALLY INTENTIONAL ABOUT HOW WE PERSONALIZE, CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS TO THRIVE, BUT IT’S GOT TO BE WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THAT OVERALL SYSTEM.>>THANK YOU. RICHARD.>>DESCRIBE THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY GENERALLY, THE PLACE OF VIRTUAL, BLENDED, AND OTHER CYBER LEARNING IN EDUCATION. AND HOW CAN TECHNOLOGY AND THESE TOOLS AND OPPORTUNITIES BE USED TO IMPROVE LEARNING AND EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES?>>SO TECHNOLOGY IS TRANSFORMATIVE IN ITS NATURE. IT’S TRANSFORMED THE WAY THAT ALL OF US OPERATE, FOR BETTER OR WORSE. BUT IT REALLY DOES CREATE SOME ENHANCED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS, AND WE SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I OBSERVED EARLY IN MY CAREER WAS THAT SIMPLY BUYING TECHNOLOGY, SAY, SMART BOARDS, AND PUTTING THEM IN THE CLASSROOM DOESN’T REALLY PRODUCE IMPROVED OUTCOMES FOR KIDS. TECHNOLOGY IS A TOOL. IT REQUIRES PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR THE TEACHERS IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO USE IT WELL. SO DON’T ASSUME THAT HANDING EVERY KID AN iPAD ULTIMATELY WILL IMPROVE OUTCOMES FOR KIDS. BUT LET’S BE VERY INTENTIONAL ABOUT HOW WE DO IT, AND LET’S RECOGNIZE THE POWER IN TECHNOLOGY TO ENGAGE KIDS IN DIFFERENT WAYS. AND FOR SOME, THEY MIGHT THRIVE IN A COMPLETELY VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT, BUT MOST PEOPLE NEED HUMAN INTERACTION, AND SO FIGURING OUT WHAT’S THE RIGHT BALANCE– THAT’S WHY I LIKE FLIPPED CLASSROOMS AND THE BLENDED LEARNING CONCEPT– TO BE ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT RELYING ON IT TOO MUCH BEING THE ANSWER TO THE PROBLEM. BUT THIS IS A TOOL TO HELP US IMPROVE OUTCOMES FOR KIDS.>>THANK YOU SCOTT. YOU’VE BENEFITED BY KNOWING THE QUESTIONS FOR A WHILE, AND THEN THANK YOU FOR BEING CONCISE, FOR–>>I’M JUST WATCHING THE CLOCK.>>NO, THAT’S GOOD. MICHELLE.>>OKAY, THIS IS A MULTI-PART QUESTION. NUMBER 11, BY THE WAY. WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE WITH SPECIAL EDUCATION? WHAT DO YOU THINK THE DIRECTION AND AGENDA FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS TO BE TO IMPROVE EDUCATIONAL EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES? HOW WOULD YOU WORK TO ENSURE SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS, PARENTS, AND STAKEHOLDERS ARE INCLUDED IN THE PROCESS OF IMPROVING SPECIAL ED?>>SO I HAVE A LONG AND IN-DEPTH INVOLVEMENT WITH SPECIAL EDUCATION, STARTING WITH MY SUPERINTENDENCY OF WHITMORE LAKE. WHEN I GOT THERE, THERE WAS A REGIONAL PROGRAM WHERE FIVE DISTRICTS WOULD SEND THEIR KIDS WITH IEPs TO CENTER PROGRAMS. WE DISMANTLED THAT REGIONAL SYSTEM, BECAUSE THERE’S A FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF– I HELD IT AND SO DID BILL MILLER AT WISD AT THE TIME– THAT OUR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES, WITH IEPs, NEEDED TO BE EDUCATED IN THEIR HOME ENVIRONMENT WITH THEIR PEERS. AND WE WERE SENDING THEM OFF TO BE EDUCATED SOMEWHERE ELSE. AND THAT WASN’T ACCEPTABLE TO US, SO WE BROUGHT THOSE STUDENTS BACK IN HOUSE. NOW, THERE WERE TIMES WHERE THERE ARE PROGRAMS OR THE SERVICES NEEDED WARRANT A DIFFERENT PLACEMENT, BUT WE WANTED TO FUNDAMENTALLY SAY WE’RE GOING TO EDUCATE OUR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IN THEIR HOME SCHOOL WITH THEIR NEIGHBORS AND PEERS. AND SO THAT’S BEEN PART OF IT. I BELIEVE WE HAVE TO SET HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. THERE’S A STORY FROM ONE OF MY BOARD MEMBERS AT LESA. HER DAUGHTER WAS BORN WITH DOWN SYNDROME, AND SHE WAS TOLD BY PEOPLE AT LESA BACK IN THE ’90s THAT HER DAUGHTER WOULD NEVER READ. AND SHE SAID, “WELL, I DON’T ACCEPT THAT PROGNOSIS FOR MY DAUGHTER.” SHE PUSHED HARD AND INSISTED THAT ABBY BE EDUCATED WITH HER TYPICALLY DEVELOPING PEERS. AND ABBY IS BOTH LITERATE, A FANTASTIC PRESENTER– SHE MAY HAVE EVEN PRESENTED TO THIS BOARD AT SOME POINT, BECAUSE OF THE ADVOCACY THAT HER MOM PUT BEHIND HER EDUCATION. I BELIEVE IN TERMS OF SPECIAL EDUCATION THAT WE SHOULD BE ADVOCATING FOR ALL OF OUR KIDS THAT WAY, AND I’M SO GRATEFUL FOR THE PARENTS THAT HAVE BOTH THE WHEREWITHAL AND THE PASSION AND COMMITMENT TO DO IT, BUT WE SHOULD BE DOING IT FOR ALL OF OUR KIDS WHETHER OR NOT THE PARENTS ARE DOING IT. AND WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO SEE WHAT THE POTENTIAL IS FOR EACH ONE OF THOSE STUDENTS. I’M GRATEFUL THAT MICHIGAN IS A BIRTH MANDATE STATE, AND THAT WE SERVE CHILDREN 0 TO 26. IN WASHTENAW COUNTY, WE’VE SEEN A PROLIFERATION OF THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN OUR YOUNG ADULT PROGRAM, AND THAT’S PARTLY BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMIC DECLINE, SO WHERE PEOPLE MIGHT’VE HAD JOB OPPORTUNITIES BEFORE, NOW IT’S A LITTLE BIT MORE DIFFICULT. BUT WE’VE GOT OPPORTUNITIES NOW, WORKING WITH BUSINESSES IN WASHTENAW COUNTY, TO GET REALLY GOOD PLACEMENTS FOR OUR YOUNG ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES THAT HAVE COME THROUGH THE SYSTEM. AND SO IT’S BUILDING THOSE PARTNERSHIPS, VALUING EACH AND EVERY ONE OF OUR CHILDREN, PROVIDING SUPPORTS FOR PARENTS SO THAT EARLY ON– I WAS JUST AT A SESSION YESTERDAY ON EARLY ON. AND JUST KNOWING THE POWER OF THE INTERVENTION AND PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR PARENTS, AND WHAT A DIFFERENCE THAT CAN MAKE IN THE OUTCOME FOR KIDS, THAT’S REALLY CRITICAL. I’M JUST TRYING TO SEE IF THERE’S ANYTHING ELSE IN YOUR QUESTION THAT I HAVEN’T ANSWERED.>>WELL, I’M LOOKING AT THE– WELL, YOU’VE KIND OF TOUCHED ON IT– THE PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN ENSURING– IN THE POLICY PROCESS, NOT JUST THE INDIVIDUAL.>>RIGHT, ABSOLUTELY. AND THE POLICY SETS THE BOUNDARIES, SO IT’S REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT TO BE ABLE TO BE CRYSTAL CLEAR ON WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO DO. AND WHILE WE’RE ALL CONCERNED ABOUT FREE PUBLIC EDUCATION IN A LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT, WE SHOULDN’T ALLOW THAT LANGUAGE TO CAUSE US TO LOSE SIGHT OF THE INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS. THAT’S PARTLY WHY IN MY POWERPOINT SLIDE, I HAD A LOT OF PICTURES OF KIDS, BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT’S REALLY ABOUT THOSE KIDS.>>THANK YOU.>>KATHY, YOU’VE GOT THE NEXT QUESTION.>>WELL, WE HAVE SCHOOL OF CHOICE AND CHARTERS IN MICHIGAN, AND I WONDERED WHAT YOU THINK THE ROLE IS OF CHOICE AND CHARTERS IN IMPROVING… EDUCATION AND OUTCOMES.>>WELL, I THINK CHOICE IS REALLY IMPORTANT. AND WE HAVE SOME GOOD CHARTERS AND SOME POOR PERFORMING CHARTERS. IN FACT, IN WASHTENAW COUNTY, WE CHARTER ONE THAT DOES QUITE WELL: HONEY CREEK. BUT MY BOARD ALSO HAS A VERY HIGH STANDARD FOR AUTHORIZING A CHARTER SCHOOL– THAT’S THE ONLY ONE WE’VE AUTHORIZED, ALTHOUGH WE’VE BEEN APPROACHED BY OTHERS THAT WANT US TO CONSIDER CHARTERING THEM, NONE HAVE MET THE STANDARD MY BOARD HAS ESTABLISHED. THAT MEANS THAT PART OF THE CHOICE QUESTION FOR ME IS THAT THERE ISN’T A ONE SIZE FITS ALL MODEL. AND WHEN I WAS IN WHITMORE LAKE, AS A SMALL DISTRICT, I WOULD HAVE PARENTS COME AND ASK ME TO SIGN A RELEASE FOR THEIR CHILD TO GO TO ANOTHER DISTRICT. AND I ALWAYS INSISTED THEY MEET WITH ME AND TALK ABOUT WHAT THE ISSUES WERE. AND MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, IT WAS THAT THEIR CHILD GOT IN WITH A BAD CROWD, WAS MAKING SOME BAD CHOICES, AND THEY NEEDED AN ALTERNATIVE. WELL, WHITMORE LAKE WAS SO SMALL, I DIDN’T HAVE ANOTHER MIDDLE SCHOOL TO SEND THEM TO. I BELIEVE PARENTS HAVE TO ADVOCATE FOR THEIR KIDS AND FIND THAT RIGHT FIT, SO I’M A SUPPORTER OF CHOICE. BUT I THINK WHEN WE HAVE A PROBLEM IS WHEN WE HAVE UNCONSTRAINED CHOICE, UNCAPPED CHARTERS, NO QUALITY ASSURANCE MEASURES IN THIS ENVIRONMENT. THOSE ARE ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL. SO IT’S ABOUT FINDING THAT RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN THE CHOICE AND THE CHARTERS, AND ENSURING WE HAVE HIGH QUALITY OPTIONS FOR EVERY STUDENT.>>THANK YOU.>>PAM.>>WHAT EXPERIENCE HAVE YOU HAD IN SUCCESSFULLY TURNING AROUND UNDER PERFORMING SCHOOLS? WHAT DO YOU SEE AS EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO SCHOOL TURNAROUND?>>SO MY EXPERIENCE IS THE WORK THAT WE DID WITH YPSILANTI COMMUNITY SCHOOLS, AND THE NARRATIVE IS NOT YET FINISHED. BUT WHAT WE DID WAS A WHOLE DISTRICT TURNAROUND, NOT JUST AN INDIVIDUAL BUILDING. SO WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE CONSOLIDATION, WHAT IT GAVE US WAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO HIT THE RESET BUTTON. BOTH OF THOSE DISTRICTS– EACH HAD SCHOOLS ON THE PERSISTENTLY LOW ACHIEVING LIST. BOTH WERE NOT ONLY DEFICIT DISTRICTS, BUT ACADEMICALLY, THE PERFORMANCE WAS REALLY UNACCEPTABLE. THE CONSOLIDATION GAVE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO CLEAR THE DECK AND BUILD THE SYSTEMS BASED ON WHAT RESEARCH SAYS WORKS. SO WE STUDIED THE 90/90/90 SCHOOLS. WE STUDIED WHAT WORKS FOR KIDS IN POVERTY, BECAUSE THE HIGH CONCENTRATION WAS SIGNIFICANT IN THE TWO COMMUNITIES. WE LOOKED AT HOW TO BUILD CULTURALLY PROFICIENT SYSTEMS AND HOW TO BUILD THE CAPACITY OF OUR TEACHERS TO BE ABLE TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF THEIR STUDENTS AS THEY WALK THROUGH THE DOOR. WE PUT THOSE IN AS PART OF THE REDESIGN EFFORT. IN THE FIRST YEAR, WE TACKLED MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL BY CREATING SMALL LEARNING COMMUNITIES. RELATIONSHIPS ARE REALLY IMPORTANT, AND FOR MANY OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE COMING FROM UNSTABLE HOME ENVIRONMENTS, IF YOU PUT THEM IN A SCHOOL WITH 1,000 KIDS OR 750, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GET GOOD OUTCOMES, BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT CONNECTING WITH ADULTS WHO CARE. SO WE BUILT SMALL LEARNING COMMUNITIES INTENTIONALLY IN MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL. THAT WAS IN THE FIRST YEAR. WE ALSO PUT TOGETHER A ROAD MAP FOR WHAT WE DID IN THE SECOND YEAR FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS, AND THAT INCLUDED A BALANCED CALENDAR IN ONE OF THE PERSISTENTLY LOW ACHIEVING ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS, SO THAT WE COULD ACTUALLY CREATE OPTIONS FOR PARENTS, BUT ALSO ADDRESS WHAT WE KNOW IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE CHALLENGE THAT KIDS IN POVERTY FACE, AND THAT’S THE LEARNING LOSS WHEN THEY HAVE THIS EXTENDED BREAK. SO MY EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN THAT COMPLETE REDESIGN OF YPSILANTI COMMUNITY SCHOOLS, AND IT’S NOW IN ITS SECOND YEAR OF OPERATION. AND BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE CONSISTENT ASSESSMENT, BEING ABLE TO TELL YOU HOW THINGS ARE IMPROVING IS A LITTLE BIT CHALLENGING.>>THANK YOU.>>LUPE.>>AS STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, YOU WOULD MANAGE AND BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. WHAT ARE 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, IT’S A GOOD QUESTION, AND WHAT I KNOW IS THAT THE STAFF HERE AT THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, AND I’VE WORKED WITH A LOT OF THEM IN A NUMBER OF CAPACITIES, WORK REALLY HARD. MDE IS UNDERSTAFFED, JUST LIKE OUR LOCAL DISTRICTS AND MANY OF OUR ISDs ARE. WE DON’T HAVE RESOURCES TO BE ABLE TO DO ALL THE THINGS WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO DO. AND SO FOR ME, PART OF IT IS ABOUT BUILDING A COHESIVE TEAM AND GETTING TO KNOW THEM AS A LEADER. I DON’T EVER LIKE TO WALK INTO A NEW SITUATION AND ASSUME ANYTHING, OR SAY THAT I’M GOING TO IMPOSE A CERTAIN STRATEGY, WITHOUT GETTING A REALLY GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT’S THERE. SO I’D BE SPENDING SOME TIME UNDERSTANDING HOW THINGS ARE STRUCTURED HERE, WHAT THINGS ARE WORKING WELL, WHAT WOULD BE BENEFICIAL TO CHANGE, BASED ON THE THINGS THE PEOPLE ON THE FRONT LINE ARE SAYING. SO IT’S BUILDING THOSE RELATIONSHIPS HERE WITH THE TEAM AT MDE AS THE FIRST STEP. I DO HAVE– AND YOU CAN ASK ANY OF MY PEOPLE AT LIVINGSTON OR WASHTENAW ISD– I HAVE A RELENTLESS FOCUS ON CUSTOMER SERVICE. ISDs ARE SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS, SO WE’RE ASKING EVERY YEAR OUR CONSTITUENT DISTRICTS HOW WE’RE DOING ON THE CUSTOMER SERVICE METRIC, AND I THINK THAT’S IMPORTANT FOR MDE AS WELL, BECAUSE WE EXIST TO SERVE THE FIELD IN ORDER TO ADVANCE OPPORTUNITIES AND ACHIEVEMENT FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THE STATE. SO THAT’S WHERE I WOULD START.>>THANK YOU.>>CASANDRA.>>WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE ROLE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT AND THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WHEN IT COMES TO LOCAL AND INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICTS?>>I REALLY DO THINK THERE ARE A COUPLE OF THINGS. ONE, WE’VE GOT OUR FUNDAMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR COMPLIANCE AND OVERSIGHT OF THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF FUNDS THAT WE MANAGE, FEDERAL AND STATE, AND ENSURING ACCOUNTABILITY FOR HOW THOSE DOLLARS ARE USED, MAKING SURE THAT ADMINISTRATIVE RULES AND REGULATIONS ARE COMPLIED WITH, AND WHEN THEY NEED TO BE CHANGED, GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS. SO I THINK IT’S A TWO-WAY STREET. IT’S A DIALOGUE WITH OUR LOCAL DISTRICT AND ISD SUPERINTENDENTS, BUT IT’S ALSO A RELATIONSHIP WHERE WE’RE HERE TO HELP THEM. IF WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR KIDS, WE DON’T WANT TO BE SEEN AS JUST THE POLICE AND ENFORCERS IN WHAT WE’RE DOING. WE WANT TO BE SEEN AS THE PEOPLE HELPING TO CREATE THE CONTEXT IN WHICH CREATION CAN THRIVE, IN WHICH STUDENTS WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. SO MAKING SURE WE’RE WILLING TO REFLECT ON AND RECONSIDER THINGS THAT MIGHT HAMPER INNOVATION IN THE FIELD OR OPPORTUNITIES TO ADVANCE LEARNING FOR STUDENTS, AND SOMETIMES THINGS MIGHT BE AN UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE OF POLICY. SO I THINK IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO HAVE THOSE RELATIONSHIPS. BECAUSE OF MY ROLE ON THE EARLY CHILDHOOD COMMITTEE AND THE CONSOLIDATION, I’VE HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE OF HAVING COLLEAGUES FROM THE UPPER PENINSULA CALL ME AND SAY, “HOW DID YOU DO THAT? WHAT WAS THE NEXT STEP IN YOUR PROCESS FOR CONSOLIDATION OR EARLY CHILDHOOD?” I THINK IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE FIELD TO BE ABLE TO CONTACT THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT, TO KNOW WHO THE PERSON IS, TO KNOW THE PHONE CALL WILL BE RETURNED OR ANSWERED. WE’VE GOT TO HAVE THAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP.>>MICHELLE. THANK YOU, SCOTT.>>AND IT’S TWO PARTS. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SUCCESS AS AN EDUCATIONAL LEADER IN COLLABORATING AND PARTNERING WITH THE BUSINESS, LABOR, AND BROADER COMMUNITY– AGAIN, YOU’VE SORT OF HIT ON SOME OF THIS ALREADY. PLEASE DISCUSS SPECIFIC PARTNERSHIPS OR ACHIEVEMENTS DUE TO THESE PARTNERSHIPS THAT HAVE DEVELOPED AS A RESULT OF YOUR LEADERSHIP.>>SO LET ME START WITH THE FIRST, AND AGAIN, BECAUSE WE’RE SHORT ON TIME AND HAVE A LOT TO GO THROUGH, I’VE APPROACHED IN ALL OF MY DISTRICTS, COLLABORATIVE BARGAINING. SO MY RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE UNION HAVE BEEN RELATIVELY POSITIVE. NOT ALWAYS GREAT NEWS IN TERMS OF THE MONEY WE HAD TO DEAL WITH, BUT ALWAYS RESPECTFUL AT THE TABLE, AND A RECOGNITION THAT WE NEEDED TO WORK TOGETHER TO IDENTIFY HOW WE COULD BEST ALLOCATE THE RESOURCES WE HAD. AND I THINK IT WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL, PARTICULARLY IN LIVINGSTON, WHERE WE HAD TO GET CONCESSIONS. A VERY PAINFUL PROCESS, AND THEY AGREED. MY COMMITMENT WAS THAT IF THE FINANCIAL COMMITMENT OF THE ORGANIZATION CHANGES, WE’RE GOING TO PUT THINGS BACK. AND FORTUNATELY, AFTER THOSE CONCESSIONS, WITHIN A MATTER OF MONTHS AFTER AN AUDIT WAS DONE, WE HAD SOME MONEY COMING IN THAT WE DID NOT ANTICIPATE, AND THE BOARD AGREED THAT WE WOULD REINSTATE THE CONCESSIONS THAT WERE DONE. SO THE TRUST WAS REINFORCED BECAUSE WE ACTED AS QUICKLY AS WE COULD. AND I THINK IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO BE A PERSON OF YOUR WORD AND A PERSON OF INTEGRITY WHEN IT COMES TO THOSE KINDS OF RELATIONSHIPS. I HAVE SO MANY EXAMPLES ON THE OTHER PARTNERSHIPS PIECE, BUT RECENTLY, IT’S THE SCHOOL JUSTICE PARTNERSHIP. IT’S REALLY BRINGING TOGETHER LAW ENFORCEMENT, THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM, COMMUNITY BASED ORGANIZATIONS, THE SCHOOLS, TO SAY, “HOW CAN WE INTERRUPT THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE? WHAT ARE THE THINGS WE CAN AND SHOULD BE DOING INTENTIONALLY TO ADDRESS CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM?” AND WE’VE GOT A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF ENERGY IN WASHTENAW COUNTY TO MAKE THAT A SUCCESS, AND WE’VE GOT REALLY KEY PLAYERS AT THE TABLE.>>THANKS, SCOTT. LUPE.>>ALL RIGHT. MY NEXT QUESTION IS, 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 POINT CHILDREN TO SUCCESS IN SCHOOLS.>>SO THE FIRST THING THAT I’LL SAY IS THIS WAS FRONT AND CENTER IN OUR WORK WITH YPSILANTI COMMUNITY SCHOOLS– 67% OF THEIR STUDENTS ARE AFRICAN AMERICAN, 24% WHITE, 6% LATINO, 2% ASIAN, 1% OTHER, IF I REMEMBER THE NUMBERS CORRECTLY. SO A VERY DIVERSE STUDENT BODY. EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE TEACHING STAFF IS WHITE. SO BEFORE WE EVER STARTED THE NEW DISTRICT, WE SAID CULTURAL PROFICIENCY IS REALLY CRITICAL AS PART OF THE WORK THAT WE DO. AND WE MADE A 5-YEAR COMMITMENT AND PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NEW BOARD FOR INTENSIVE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN CULTURAL PROFICIENCY. IT’S CALLED THE RACIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE PROJECT BECAUSE WE’RE LOOKING NOT ONLY AT THE RACIAL DIVERSITY BUT ALSO ECONOMIC DIVERSITY. AND WE’VE HAD TEACHERS VOLUNTEER EVENINGS AND WEEKENDS TO BECOME PART OF WHAT’S CALLED THE JUSTICE LEAGUE, WHERE THEY’RE REALLY BUILDING THEIR UNDERSTANDING AND UNEARTHING HIDDEN BIASES SO THAT THEY CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR STUDENTS. AND IT’S SIGNIFICANT. SO PERSONALLY, I’VE ATTENDED THE LAST THREE NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF BLACK SCHOOL EDUCATOR CONFERENCES. I’M A MEMBER BECAUSE I NEED TO BUILD MY OWN CULTURAL PROFICIENCY AND I DON’T KNOW ANY OTHER WAY TO DO IT THAN BEING THERE WITH PEOPLE, UNDERSTANDING FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE WHAT THE ISSUES AND CHALLENGES ARE. AND SO WE’VE BEEN VERY INTENTIONAL ABOUT THAT. WE ALSO KNOW– AND OUR WORK HAS INCLUDED A WHOLE-CHILD FOCUS, THINKING ABOUT WHAT ASSETS STUDENTS MAY NOT BE BRINGING TO THE TABLE. SO, THE SUMMER LEARNING LOSS AND LOOKING AT HOW WE USE 21ST CENTURY LEARNING FUNDS TO BE ABLE TO CREATE BRIDGE PROGRAMS FOR KIDS IN POVERTY, FOR EXAMPLE. THOSE WOULD BE OTHER EXAMPLES OF HOW WE’VE BEEN TRYING TO ADDRESS THIS QUESTION.>>THANK YOU.>>EILEEN?>>AS SUPERINTENDENT, YOU’LL MANAGE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION’S VERY LARGE BUDGET, COMPLEX ORGANIZATION AND FEDERAL COMPLIANCE. PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR APPROACH AND SUCCESS IN MANAGING A SIMILAR ORGANIZATION.>>SO, TO BE BRIEF, I’VE HIRED TOP TALENT, EMPOWERED THEM TO DO THE WORK AND HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE, WHILE PROVIDING SUPPORT ALONG THE WAY. MY LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY IS ONE OF SERVANT LEADERSHIP. I’M NOT THE ONE WITH ALL THE RIGHT ANSWERS. AND IF I HAVEN’T HIRED PEOPLE WHO ARE CAPABLE OF CARRYING OUT THE FUNCTIONS THAT THEY WERE HIRED FOR, THEN I’VE MADE THE MISTAKE. BUT, REALLY I DON’T MICRO MANAGE MY PEOPLE. I WANT THEM TO THRIVE IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE WE TRUST AND SUPPORT THEM IN CARRYING OUT THE WORK. I THINK IN ORDER TO DO THAT WELL, YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE A CLARITY OF YOUR WORKING CONDITION. THERE HAVE TO BE NON-NEGOTIABLES THAT THEY UNDERSTAND. AND YOUR GOALS HAVE TO BE CRYSTAL CLEAR. AND YOU’VE GOT TO REFLECT ON THEM REGULARLY. AND IF YOU EVER ARE INTERESTED, I CAN SHARE WITH YOU HOW WE’RE DOING THAT AT WASHTENAW ISD, BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN VERY CLEAR THAT WAY. WE WOULD’VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO PULL OFF LAUNCHING HEADSTART AT THE SAME TIME WE DID THE YPSILANTI CONSOLIDATION IF I DIDN’T HAVE TOP-PERFORMING TALENT, PEOPLE WHO WERE DEEPLY COMMITTED TO THE MISSION VISION, AND WHO HAD FUN WORKING TOGETHER, BECAUSE THEY KNEW THIS WAS THE RIGHT WORK FOR KIDS. I THINK THAT’S THE KIND OF TEAM WE HAVE AT MDE. I CERTAINLY HOPE IT IS. AND THAT’S THE WAY YOU GET THE REALLY HARD WORK DONE.>>OKAY, SO, KATHY, YOU HAVE THE NEXT TO LAST QUESTION FROM US.>>WOULD YOU BE SO KIND AS TO GIVE US A SPECIFIC IDEA ON HOW YOU WOULD JUDGE YOUR OWN EFFECTIVENESS? AND HOW THE BOARD SHOULD EVALUATE YOUR WORK?>>SO, FOR ME, AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT’S ABOUT MOVING THE NEEDLE FOR KIDS. AND IF YOU FOLLOW THE KINDS OF CHALLENGES THAT I’VE TACKLED IN MY PROFESSIONAL CAREER, IT’S REALLY ABOUT THE MORAL IMPERATIVE. IT WASN’T EASY TO DO THE YPSI/WILLOW RUN CONSOLIDATION WORK. AND IT WOULD’VE BEEN REALLY EASY TO NOT ACCEPT THE DUAL SUPERINTENDENCY. IN FACT, I DID TELL THE BOARD, THE NIGHT THEY APPROVED THE CONTRACT, THAT THEY COULD STILL VOTE NO. AND THEY SMILED AND THEN CAST THE UNANIMOUS VOTE. THE REASON WE DID IT IS BECAUSE IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR KIDS. IT WAS THE RIGHT WAY TO MOVE THE SYSTEM. THAT’S HOW I SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. HAVE WE CHANGED THESE NUMBER THAT WE STARTED WITH? HAS MICHIGAN MOVED FROM 38TH? HAVE WE MOVED UP THE LADDER? HAVE WE REALLY MOVED THE NEEDLE FOR OUR KIDS IN POVERTY, OUR KIDS OF COLOR, OUR KIDS WITH IEPS? IF WE’VE DONE THAT, THEN I’VE BEEN EFFECTIVE IN MY JOB. AND THAT’S HOW YOU SHOULD HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE.>>THANK YOU.>>WELL, AS YOU KNOW, THE LAST QUESTION IS TELL US MORE ABOUT WHAT’S MOTIVATING YOU TO WANT TO BE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION?>>SO, JOHN, CAN I ASK THIS QUESTION? HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE?>>YOU’VE ACTUALLY LEFT YOURSELF A GOOD BIT OF TIME, RELATIVE TO THE TIME ALLOTTED TO TALK WITH YOU. SO, TAKE AS MUCH TIME AS YOU WANT.>>SO, I CAN TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND–>>YEP, ABSOLUTELY.>>TAKE A DRINK OF WATER.>>SO, I JUST FINISHED READING, WITHIN THE LAST MONTH, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’S “WHY WE CAN’T WAIT.” HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE READ IT? YOU KNOW, I’VE ALWAYS BEEN AN ADMIRER OF HIS. BUT, TO READ HIS WORK PROVIDES A DIFFERENT SET OF PERSPECTIVES ON THINGS. AND FOR ME IT’S BEEN REALLY TELLING. THE FIRST REASON I READ IT WAS BECAUSE SOME OF THE WORK WE’VE BEEN DOING IN WASHTENAW COUNTY. SO, BACK TO KATHLEEN’S QUESTION ABOUT HOW I SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. WE’RE BEING VERY INTENTIONAL IN WASHTENAW COUNTY AT LOOKING AT OUR SUBGROUP DATA. WE’RE A TOP PERFORMER IN ALMOST EVERY INDICATOR, OR VERY NEAR THE TOP IN THE AGGREGATE, IN WASHTENAW COUNTY. WE COULD COAST. IF YOU ONLY LOOK AT THE AGGREGATE. BUT, IF YOU BEGIN TO LOOK AT THE SUBGROUP DATA, IT’S A VERY DIFFERENT STORY. AND SO THE WHY WE CAN’T TITLE IS WHAT COMPELLED ME TO READ IT. THERE’S GOT TO BE A SENSE OF URGENCY TO THE WORK THAT WE’RE PURSUING. SO, WHEN YOU GET IN AND START REFLECTING ON THE HISTORY — AND I’VE GOT TO TELL YOU, PART OF OUR JOB IN PUBLIC EDUCATION IS TO HELP KIDS TO THINK, TO LEARN FROM HISTORY, TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT. AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE, IN 1963 IN PARTICULAR, THAT HE UNPACKS, AND WHERE WE WERE, AND YOU LOOK AT SOME OF THE PARALLELS TODAY. WE HAVEN’T MADE ENOUGH PROGRESS. WE MADE SOME THEN, BUT WE’RE NOT A WHOLE LOT FURTHER ALONG THAN WE WERE AT THE TIME. AND IT WAS NOT JUST RACIAL JUSTICE, BUT ECONOMIC JUSTICE. HE TALKED ABOUT POOR WHITE KIDS AS WELL AS THE RACIAL JUSTICE QUESTIONS THAT WERE BEING ADDRESSED. THE THING THAT STOOD OUT TO ME WAS THAT THE LEADERS OF THE TIME HAD COURAGE. THEY WERE WILLING TO TACKLE THE DIFFICULT QUESTIONS AND CHALLENGES BECAUSE IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. SO, FOR ME, I THINK BACK AND LOOK AT THAT, AND THEN I GO BACK TO 1983, A NATION AT RISK, A CALL TO ACTION. AND YOU’RE ALL FAMILIAR WITH IT. AND YET, WE STILL HAVE AN ACHIEVEMENT GAP THAT PERSISTS. WE REALLY HAVEN’T MOVED THE NEEDLE IN ANY APPRECIABLE WAY IN MICHIGAN. NOW OTHER STATES AND COUNTRIES HAVE, BUT WE HAVEN’T. THAT’S A CONCERN TO ME. BECAUSE I DON’T THINK THAT WE SHOULD BE COMFORTABLE WITH WHERE WE ARE IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN WITH THE RESOURCES AND KNOWLEDGE THAT WE HAVE IF WE REALLY VALUE ALL KIDS. AND, TO ME, IT’S ABOUT EVERY CHILD, EVERY DAY. I THINK IT’S BOTH AN ECONOMIC AND MORAL IMPERATIVE TO ACT. WE CAN’T BE A PROSPEROUS STATE, IF WE DON’T GET THIS RIGHT. AND SO IT REALLY IS, IF PEOPLE DON’T CARE ABOUT KIDS AND THEY JUST WANT TO LOOK AT THE BOTTOM LINE– WELL, THE BOTTOM LINE IS WE CAN’T BE A PROSPEROUS STATE IF WE DON’T CARE ABOUT ALL KIDS. WE LEAVE FAR TOO MANY CHILDREN BEHIND AND CONSIGN THEM TO LIVES WHERE THEIR FUTURE HOPES AND PROSPECTS ARE LIMITED. AND, ULTIMATELY, WE PAY THE PRICE FOR THAT. SO, TO ANSWER THE QUESTION, BECAUSE YOU MAY WONDER WHEN I’M GOING TO GET TO THE ANSWER. I NEED TO TALK ABOUT ONE OTHER QUOTE. AND I WANT TO READ IT AND HOPEFULLY DO IT CORRECTLY. TEDDY ROOSEVELT, YOU PROBABLY KNOW THIS ONE, BUT HE SAYS “IT’S NOT THE CRITIC WHO COUNTS, NOT THE MAN THAT POINTS AT HOW THE STRONG MAN STUMBLES, OR WHERE THE DOER OF DEEDS COULD’VE DONE THEM BETTER. THE CREDIT BELONGS TO THE MAN WHO WAS ACTUALLY IN THE ARENA, WHOSE FACE IS MARRED BY DUST, SWEAT, AND BLOOD, WHO STRIVES VALIANTLY, WHO ERRS, WHO COMES SHORT AGAIN AND AGAIN. BECAUSE THERE IS NO EFFORT WITHOUT ERROR AND SHORTCOMING. BUT WHO DOES ACTUALLY STRIVE TO DO THE DEEDS, WHO KNOWS GREAT ENTHUSIASMS AND DEVOTIONS, WHO SPENDS HIMSELF AT A WORTHY CAUSE, WHO AT BEST KNOWS IN THE END THE TRIUMPH OF HIGH ACHIEVEMENT. AND WHO, AT THE WORST, IF HE FAILS, AT LEAST FAILS WHILE DARING GREATLY, SO THAT HIS PLACE SHOULD NEVER BE WITH THOSE COLD AND TIMID SOULS WHO NEITHER KNOW VICTORY NOR DEFEAT. SO, WHEN I WAS APPROACHED TO CONSIDER APPLYING FOR THE JOB, FOR ME, THE ISSUE WAS CAN I SIT ON THE SIDELINES WHILE WE’RE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION? OR DO I OFFER MYSELF TO BE IN THE ARENA WITH ALL OF YOU, FIGHTING ON BEHALF OF MICHIGAN’S CHILDREN. AND THE ANSWER IS WHY I’M HERE TODAY, MAKING THE CASE FOR WHY I’D LIKE TO ROLL UP MY SLEEVES WITH YOU ON BEHALF OF OUR KIDS.>>THANK YOU, SCOTT. THERE STILL IS SOME TIME, TO THE DEGREE YOU HAVE ANY OTHER POINTS OR ISSUES OR THINGS YOU WANT TO BRING TO THE TABLE OR REINFORCE ABOUT YOUR CANDIDACY. YOU’RE MORE THAN WELCOME TO DO THAT. AND ASK US ANY QUESTIONS, AS OTHERS HAVE.>>WELL, I DO HAVE A FEW QUESTIONS, AND MAYBE ONE WILL ALLOW YOU TO DEVIATE FROM PROTOCOL.>>KATHY TRIED IT. RICHARD TRIED IT. WHAT’S THAT?>>ARE THERE ANY TOPICS THAT I RUSHED THROUGH THAT YOU NEED MORE CLARITY ON, BECAUSE I WAS REALLY TRYING TO BE CAREFUL OF TIME.>>IF ANY OF THE QUESTIONS WE ASKED–>>IF YOU WANT ME TO GO BACK AND PROVIDE MORE DEPTH.>>THERE WAS ANOTHER ELEMENT. THERE WAS ONE WHERE — DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE BOARD AGENDA, POTENTIALLY, LEGISLATURE AND GOVERNOR. WHAT HAPPENS IN THAT SITUATION?>>SO, I THINK, PART OF IT IS WE KNOW THAT THOSE ARE GOING TO BE INEVITABLE. THE FIRST THING IS, HOPEFULLY, FINDING COMMON GROUND WITH THE BOARD. DIFFERENCES OF OPINION ACTUALLY DON’T DISTURB ME, PROVIDED WE’RE RESPECTFUL IN UNPACKING THEM. BUT ONCE WE’VE SET A DIRECTION, WE NEED TO FIND THE BEST WAY FORWARD. ULTIMATELY, THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT WORKS FOR THE STATE BOARD. SO, IF THERE ARE INTRACTABLE POSITIONS THAT CREATES ONE SET OF CIRCUMSTANCE. IN MY EXPERIENCE, WE CAN GENERALLY FIND COMMON GROUND ON ISSUES OF PUBLIC EDUCATION. BECAUSE PEOPLE REALLY DO CARE. THEY MIGHT HAVE VERY DIFFERENT AND STRONGLY HELD OPINIONS ON HOW TO MOVE FORWARD, BUT THEY CARE ABOUT THIS TOPIC. SO, FOR ME, IT’S ABOUT BUILDING THE RELATIONSHIPS IN TERMS OF MAKING SURE WE UNDERSTAND WHAT THE REAL ISSUES ARE. SOMETIMES WE HAVE MISUNDERSTANDINGS BECAUSE OF POOR COMMUNICATION. BUT, I THINK IF THE BOARD HAS DONE THE WORK NECESSARY TO CREATE THAT COMPELLING VISION OF THE FUTURE, THEN I HOPE WE CAN MINIMIZE THE CONFLICTS WITH THE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR. ULTIMATELY WE ALSO HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE NON-NEGOTIABLE IS. WHERE DO WE PLANT OUR FEET FIRMLY? BECAUSE THIS IS SOMETHING WE’LL NEVER MOVE ON. AND WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT MAYBE– OPPORTUNITY TO COMPROMISE AND FIND COMMON GROUND IN A DIFFERENT WAY?>>ANY OTHER ELEMENTS OF THE QUESTIONS THAT WE ASKED THAT WEREN’T TOUCHED ON THAT PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO ASK? OKAY. QUESTIONS THAT YOU HAVE?>>I DO.>>OKAY.>>I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES ARE. IF WE’RE GOING TO PLANT OUR FLAG, WHAT ARE YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES–>>ANOTHER CANDIDATE ASKED THIS QUESTION, WHICH IS HELPFUL. AND ONE OF THE– I’M JUST REACTING– I’M NOT CRAZY ABOUT THAT TERM, BUT I UNDERSTAND THE INTENT, WHICH IS, A, WE CERTAINLY, IN HIRING SOMEONE AS SUPERINTENDENT, WANT SOMEONE WHICH HAS COMPLETE TRUST AND COMMUNICATION AND RELATIONSHIP WITH US AND THE BOARD SO WE CAN BE ON ONE PAGE ABOUT THE POLICY AGENDA AND HOW WE CAN ADVANCE IT TOGETHER AND INFORM IT TOGETHER. AND THEN, TWO, I THINK WE REALLY WANT SOMEONE WHO IS ONLY INTERESTED IN THIS WORK SO THAT WE CAN EFFECTIVELY MOVE THE NEEDLE OF PERFORMANCE AND ACHIEVEMENT, AND HAS NO OTHER AMBITIONS OR DESIRES TO BE AN IMPORTANT POLITICAL PLAYER THAT MIGHT COLOR THE WAY THEY’D BEHAVE, BUT CAN BE EFFECTIVE IN ADVANCING AN EFFECTIVE EDUCATIONAL VISION, WHICH MUST MEAN WORKING WELL WITH ALL THE STAKEHOLDERS IN THE FIELD, THE GOVERNOR, AND THE LEGISLATURE. THAT’S MY SECOND-DAY RESPONSE TO THE SAME QUESTION.>>THANK YOU.>>AND I WOULD INVITE OTHERS TO GIVE THEIRS.>>WELL, I WOULD SAY I WANT TO MAKE SURE IT’S SOMEBODY WHO’S NOT SIMPLY AN IDEOLOGUE, WHO HAS– IS RESPONDING TO ANY POLITICAL POINT OF VIEW IN GENERAL, BUT SOMEONE WHO HAS SPECIFIC IDEAS AND PLANS THAT ARE ROOTED IN WHAT GOES ON IN THE SCHOOL, SOMEONE TO SORT OF– THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF BEATING UP ON TEACHERS, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, AND SCHOOL BOARDS, FOR THAT MATTER, AND I’M NOT LOOKING FOR THAT KIND OF BLAME OR– YOU KNOW, SOME SORT OF SIMPLISTIC ANSWER, BECAUSE IT’S MUCH MORE COMPLICATED. I WANT PEOPLE THAT HAVE REAL IDEAS THAT MOVE BEYOND THE IDEOLOGICAL ROOTEDNESS THAT– AND NOT NECESSARILY ABOUT WHAT’S EFFECTIVE.>>RIGHT. THANK YOU.>>I WOULD SAY FOR ME, IT’S SOMEONE WHO HAS A SENSE OF URGENCY AROUND CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT GAPS AS WELL AS MOVING THE NEEDLE FOR THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF STUDENTS, AND WHO HAVE SOME IDEAS AS TO HOW TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.>>THANK YOU.>>I’M LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO IS TOTALLY CALM ABOUT GOOD DATA, ABOUT THE INFORMATION IT BRINGS, AND IS ABLE TO FIND A WAY TO BRIDGE THE CONCERNS THAT TEACHERS HAVE ABOUT BEING AT THE FOREFRONT OF IMPLEMENTING DATA-DRIVEN INSTRUCTION, AT THE SAME TIME THAT WE FIND A PATH WITH THEM FOR LOCAL CONTROL, TO SOMEHOW DEVELOP BETTER AS TEACHERS TO IMPROVE THEIR CRAFT.>>THANK YOU.>>ANYONE ELSE WANT TO OFFER THEIR SIMILAR OR DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE? YEAH, RICHARD.>>YEAH, MINE IS A SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. I REALLY LIKE SOMEONE WHO’S WILLING TO COME TO TERMS WITH AND ACKNOWLEDGE LIMITS.>>WITH WHAT?>>LIMITS.>>OH.>>NOT EVERY CHILD WILL PERFORM ON THE AVERAGE. IN FACT, THE AVERAGE CHILD– STARTING OUT IN KINDERGARTEN, IF ONE CHILD LEARNS 90% OF WHAT’S TAUGHT IN A YEAR AND ANOTHER LEARNS 110%, BY THE TIME THEY REACH 8TH GRADE, THERE’S A 2 1/2 YEAR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM. I DON’T BELIEVE THAT THESE KINDS OF INEQUITIES OF NATURE CAN BE OVERCOME BY INFUSIONS OF CASH. FURTHERMORE, A SUPPLY OF MONEY FOR THE STATE IS NOT UNLIMITED, SO WE HAVE TO MAKE SOME HARD CALLS. WE HAVE TO BE CONCERNED WITH ISSUES OF EFFICIENCY AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE LIMITS OF HUMAN CAPACITY. AND ABOVE ALL , WE NEED TO AVOID THE KIND OF RHETORICAL NONSENSE REPRESENTED BY GOVERNMENT INVESTED IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION WHICH MAY DISPLACE PARENTAL INVESTMENTS. AND I’M NOT SAYING THAT WE HAVE TO CHOOSE SIDES, BUT I– WE HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE FACTS, THE UNSPOKEN FACTS, RATHER THAN MERELY REPEATING WHAT’S TRENDY IN OUR PROFESSIONAL CIRCLES.>>STILL WANT THE JOB? [ LAUGHTER ]>>WE’RE ALL OF ONE MIND HERE. [ LAUGHTER ]>>WE HAVE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION ON THESE.>>YEAH, SOMETIMES.>>DID YOU HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS?>>–BUT WHAT YOU ALSO SEE IS THAT WE WORK WELL TOGETHER AND RESPECT AND LISTEN TO EACH OTHER AND COME TO CONVERGE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ON WHAT WE’RE FOR. AND MY STATEMENT ABOUT I DON’T WANT– IN OTHER WORDS, I HAVE NO INTEREST IN NEGOTIATING WITH OUR SUPERINTENDENT. I REALLY WANT TO WORK TOGETHER HAPPILY AND SHARE AN AGENDA THAT’S GOING TO MOVE ACHIEVEMENT IN MICHIGAN.>>AND I DID HAVE TWO OTHER QUESTIONS, ONE THAT KIND OF LEADS INTO THAT. SO WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR UPDATING YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN AND CREATING THAT SHARED AGENDA?>>AS SOON AS WE MAKE THIS HIRE, IT’S TIME TO LOOK FRESH AT ALL OF THAT.>>AND WE HAVE A DATE PICKED OUT.>>AND WE HAVE A RETREAT DATE, AND WE MAY NEED TO ADD ELEMENTS OR ORNAMENTS OR ACTIVITIES OR MEETINGS OR RETREATINGS OR WHATEVER THAT HELPS US DO WHAT WE NEED TO DO. SO WE’RE TOTALLY OPEN–>>AND THE NEW SUPERINTENDENT WOULD PARTICIPATE IN THAT, CORRECT?>>ABSOLUTELY, YES.>>YES.>>BUT WE GENERALLY DO THIS EVERY SPRING. WE HAVE AN ANNUAL MEETING WHERE WE COME TOGETHER AND REVIEW THE PRIORITIES AND THE VISION AND MAKE ANY UPDATES THAT ARE NEEDED. SO I THINK THE TIMING WILL BE VERY WELL. ONCE WE SELECT THE NEXT SUPERINTENDENT, WE’LL BE ABLE TO HAVE THAT RIGHT AWAY.>>ALL RIGHT, THANK YOU. AND MY LAST QUESTION IS WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP PRIORITY FOR THE INCOMING SUPERINTENDENT?>>WHICH FIRE TO PUT OUT FIRST? [ LAUGHTER ]>>BUILDING STRONG RELATIONSHIPS QUICKLY WITH PEOPLE OF INFLUENCE.>>YEAH. RELATIONSHIPS AND TRUST.>>YEAH.>>THANK YOU.>>YEAH, NOT JUST WITH US BUT WITH THE LEGISLATURE, THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE.>>AND THE STAFF.>>AND THE STAFF, INTERNALLY.>>YEAH, AND THE OTHER SUPER– ALL THE EDUCATION COMMUNITY FOLKS.>>AND MIND YOU, I AGREE, ALL TOWARDS HOW DO WE HELP THE STATE, I WOULD SAY, REDIRECT OUR POLICIES AND AGENDA TO BETTER INCREASE LEARNING OUTCOMES.>>YES.>>RIGHT.>>OKAY, THANK YOU. APPRECIATE IT.>>WELL, THANK YOU, SCOTT, REALLY, FOR– AS YOU KNOW– FULL CONFESSION: WE HAVE A LONG HISTORY– I THINK, WHEN I STARTED OUT IN MICHIGAN AFTER I MARRIED IN SOME 25 YEARS AGO, I WAS RUNNING A COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP PROGRAM IN FLINT WORKING ON THE SCHOOL TO WORK PROGRAM ABOUT THE SAME TIME YOU WERE FOLLOWING THE SAME COURSE. AND WE MET WHEN YOU WERE DOING YOUR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT JOB, AND I’VE BEEN BOTH ENCOURAGING AND A FAN IN TRYING TO HELP YOU AS YOU PLAYED VARIOUS LEADERSHIP ROLES, AND WE KNOW YOU HAVE– AND WE’RE HEARING FROM A LOT OF THEM– A LOT OF STRONG FANS, SUPPORTERS, ADMIRERS FOR YOUR INNOVATION AND WILLINGNESS TO TAKE ON AND LEAD SOME IMPORTANT CHANGES IN EDUCATION FROM MULTI-STAKEHOLDER GROUPS AROUND MICHIGAN AND IN YOUR OWN COMMUNITY, AND THAT’S A GREAT TRIBUTE, AND WE’RE CERTAINLY– FOR THOSE WHO DIDN’T KNOW THAT ABOUT YOU, EVERYONE HERE HAS LEARNED THAT AND APPRECIATES THAT, SO YOU OBVIOUSLY, LIKE ALL THE FOLKS WE’VE TALKED TO, HAVE A TON TO OFFER ON THIS IMPORTANT ASSIGNMENT. AND WE REALLY THANK YOU FOR STEPPING UP AND BEING WILLING TO PURSUE IT, AND NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, WE LOOK FORWARD TO CONTINUING TO WORK TOGETHER. SO–>>THANK YOU.>>YEP, THANK YOU.>>APPRECIATE IT. [ APPLAUSE ]>>WELL, WHY DON’T WE TAKE 15 MINUTES. TIM QUINN IS HERE. PLEASE– WE HAVE A TOUGH JOB JUST TO TRY TO REFLECT AS FULSOMELY AS WE CAN ON ALL WE’VE HEARD AND LEARNED AND TRY TO WRESTLE WITH WHO’S THE TOP FOLKS WE MIGHT WANT TO INVITE BACK. THANK YOU, SCOTT. BEFORE WE DO THAT, THOUGH, LET’S TAKE 15 MINUTES. LET’S INVITE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, AS WE SHOULD. SO IF THERE IS ANY PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THIS PART OF THE STATE BOARD MEETING, WE WELCOME IT NOW. SEEING NONE, LET’S RECONVENE AT 3:15 AND TALK FURTHER. THANK YOU.

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