Michigan State Board of Education Meeting April 22, 2019: Eric Thomas Interview


>>GOOD AFTERNOON TO EVERYONE. [ INDISTINCT CHATTER ]>>NICE TO MEET YOU.>>NICE MEETING YOU.>>HI, MICHELLE FECTEAU.>>HI, MICHELLE, ERIC. NICE MEETING YOU.>>NICE TO MEET YOU, ERIC.>>HI, PAMELA PUGH.>>HI, PAMELA.>>HI, CASANDRA.>>HI, HOW ARE YOU?>>NICE TO MEET YOU.>>HOW ARE YOU?>>TIFFANY TILLEY, HOW ARE YOU?>>TOM McMILLIN.>>HOW ARE YOU? ERIC. NICE TO MEET YOU.>>HELLO. LUPE RAMOS.>>NICE MEETING YOU HERE.>>JUDY PRITCHETT.>>NICE MEETING YOU, JUDY.>>NICE MEETING YOU. [ INDISTINCT CHATTER ]>>ALL RIGHT, GOOD AFTERNOON. THE TIME IS NOW 1:58. NO, 1:50– I DON’T KNOW. [ LAUGHTER ]>>1:53.>>1:53, THANK YOU, PM, AND A QUORUM OF THE BOARD IS PRESENT. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION SPECIAL MEETING OF APRIL 22ND, 2019, IS CALLED TO ORDER. THE NEXT ITEM ON OUR AGENDA IS AN INTERVIEW WITH CANDIDATE DR. ERIC THOMAS. AND JUST A REMINDER: PLEASE UTILIZE YOUR YELLOW FORMS. DON’T FORGET TO PUT YOUR NAME AND THE CANDIDATE’S NAME AT THE TOP. DR. THOMAS, WHAT WE’LL DO IS WE’LL QUICKLY INTRODUCE OURSELVES AGAIN. I KNOW YOU JUST SHOOK EVERYONE’S HAND. AND THEN WE HAVE ABOUT 24 QUESTIONS THAT WE’LL ASK, AND THEN WE’LL OPEN IT UP, IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR US. SO, FIRST OF ALL, I’M CASANDRA ULBRICH. I’M THE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE BOARD.>>AND I’M PAMELA PUGH. I’M THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE BOARD.>>AND I’M MICHELLE FECTEAU. I’M THE SECRETARY.>>MY NAME IS NIKKI SNYDER. I AM A MEMBER OF THE BOARD.>>TIFFANY TILLEY, NASBE REP.>>JUDY PRITCHETT, MEMBER.>>AND I’M LUPE, AND I’M VERY HAPPY THAT YOU’RE HERE IN PERSON.>>OH, WELL, THANK YOU.>>TOM McMILLIN, TREASURER. AND BY THE WAY, JUST FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE WATCHING, ALL CANDIDATES GOT THESE QUESTIONS.>>THEY DID.>>WELL IN AD– OR–>>IN ADVANCE.>>YEAH.>>CORRECT.>>AND I’M MARILYN SCHNEIDER. YOU’VE MET ME. I’M THE STATE BOARD EXECUTIVE, STAFF TO THE BOARD.>>ALL RIGHT, SO LET’S BEGIN. IF YOU COULD TAKE JUST A FEW MINUTES TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND TELL US WHY YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE MICHIGAN’S NEXT STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION.>>AWESOME. THANK YOU SO MUCH. FIRST OF ALL, I REALLY DO APPRECIATE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH YOU. REALLY DO HONOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE AROUND THE WORK THAT’S TAKING PLACE IN MICHIGAN, AND LOOK FORWARD TO THE PROSPECT OF BEING A PART OF THE TEAM TO CONTINUE THAT WORK. WHAT I’D LIKE TO DO IS JUST SHARE JUST A FEW THINGS INITIALLY, AND HOPEFULLY WON’T ONLY TAKE TWO OR THREE MINUTES. JUST A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MY BACKGROUND. OBVIOUSLY YOU’VE GOT CREDENTIALS AND A RESUME AND ALL OF THOSE SORT OF THINGS, BUT THERE’S THREE THINGS THAT I’D REALLY LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT, BECAUSE I THINK THEY’RE VERY MUCH ALIGNED TO WHERE WE ARE NOW. I THINK THE FIRST THING THAT I WOULD HIGHLIGHT IS JUST SORT OF MY DIVERSITY OF MY BACKGROUND. OBVIOUSLY, YOU KNOW, I CAME UP AS SORT OF A K-12 EDUCATOR. WAS A SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER. A PRINCIPAL. THE CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER IN CINCINNATI PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THE SECOND LARGEST SCHOOL DISTRICT IN OHIO. I DID SOME WORK FOR THE [ INDISTINCT ] DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. PRESENTLY, I WORK AT THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, AND I SPENT 5 1/2 YEARS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA WITH A PARTNERSHIP. IT’S A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE CURRY SCHOOL OF ED AND THE DARDEN BUSINESS SCHOOL. AND I THINK THAT 5 1/2 YEARS THAT I SPENT THERE– AND MOST OF OUR WORK WAS ACTUALLY WITH DARDEN, SO A LITTLE MORE ON THE BUSINESS SECTOR SIDE– WAS SUCH AN INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY BECAUSE IT REALLY SORT OF OPENED MY LENS ON HOW I LOOK AT ORGANIZATIONS AND HOW I LOOK AT CHANGE AND HOW I LOOK AT LEADERSHIP. AND I THINK IT’S AN EXPERIENCE THAT UNLESS YOU’VE HAD THOSE SORT OF EXPERIENCES– AS A K-12 EDUCATOR, YOU KNOW, OFTENTIMES JUST COMING UP SORT OF ON THE TEACHING AND LEARNING SIDE, YOU DON’T SORT OF THINK ABOUT LEADERSHIP OR ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS OR ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN IN QUITE THAT MANNER. PRESENTLY, I REPORT TO THE GEORGIA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. IT’S A 14-MEMBER BOARD. WE HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME TOGETHER, GREAT RELATIONSHIP. I ENGAGE DIRECTLY WITH THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, ELECTED OFFICIALS. I’VE LOBBIED, PRESENTED IN-IN-IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEES, BEEN A PART OF DRAFTING LEGISLATION. SO MANY OF THOSE SORT OF PIECES THAT I’VE, YOU KNOW, BEEN A PART OF. THE TWO OTHER PIECES THAT I’D SIMPLY LIKE TO SHARE IS THAT MUCH OF MY TIME IN MY 25-YEAR CAREER IN EDUCATION, PARTICULARLY THE LAST 15, HAS BEEN AROUND TRANSFORMATION. OR IF YOU USE THE WORD, TURNAROUND. AND I SORT OF PLAY BOTH OF THOSE WORDS TOGETHER SOMETIMES. OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS AS A BUILDING PRINCIPAL, I WAS GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE THE BUILDING PRINCIPAL OF THE LOWEST PERFORMING SCHOOL IN THE DISTRICT. AND IN A VERY SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME WITH SOME INCREDIBLE TEAM MEMBERS AND SOME INCREDIBLE ENGAGEMENT WITH OUR COMMUNITY, WE WENT FROM AN F SCHOOL TO A B SCHOOL, WE WENT FROM ONE OF THE LOWEST PERFORMING IN THE DISTRICT TO ONE OF THE HIGHEST PERFORMING IN THE STATE. AND REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THAT WORK. THAT OPPORTUNITY GAVE ME AN OPPORTUNITY TO-TO BEGIN WORKING WITH SCHOOLS. AND I LEFT MY PRINCIPAL’S ROLE. I WAS ASKED TO PROVIDE LEADERSHIP TO A CADRE OF SCHOOLS WHO, YOU KNOW, NEEDED TO BE TURNED AROUND. AND WE DID SOME INCREDIBLE WORK IN THAT AREA AS WELL. WE HAD 15 SCHOOLS. 13 OF THOSE 15 SCHOOLS MOVED FROM BEING CHRONICALLY LOW PERFORMING, BASICALLY ACADEMIC EMERGENCY OR F STATUS, TO A C OR BETTER. AND REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THAT WORK. MY LAST ROLE IN CINCINNATI WAS AS THE CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER. AND AS A PART OF THAT WORK, WE HELPED OUR DISTRICT MOVE FROM AN F DISTRICT TO A B DISTRICT. AND WHEN I LEFT CINCINNATI, WE WERE THE HIGHEST PERFORMING URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICT IN OHIO WITH A B-RATING. SO THIS IDEA OF TRANSFORMATION, THIS IDEA OF TURNAROUND IS, YOU KNOW, QUITE HONESTLY, THAT’S ABOUT ALL I KNOW HOW TO DO VERY WELL. THE OTHER PIECE THAT I WOULD ADD TO THAT, AFTER I LEFT CINCINNATI, I WAS RECRUITED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA. AND LARGELY, I WAS TASKED WITH HELPING THE ORGANIZATION REDESIGN HOW WE SUPPORTED SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS. INITIALLY, THE ORGANIZATION WAS SORT OF FOCUSED ON SORT OF– I’D USE THE PHRASE ROCK STAR PRINCIPLES. IT WAS FOCUSED ON CREATING SORT OF TURNAROUND PRINCIPLES. AND WHAT WE FOUND OUT OR WHAT THEY FOUND OUT VERY QUICKLY IS THAT’S NOT SUSTAINABLE. YOU KNOW, ROCK STARS SORT OF FLY IN AND THEY FLY OUT. SO IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT BEING ABLE TO SUSTAIN TURNAROUND, IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT BEING ABLE TO TRANSFORM SCHOOLS OVER TIME AND CONTINUE THAT PROGRESS, YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE CONDITIONS THAT THE DISTRICT HAS IN PLACE, BECAUSE SCHOOL TURNAROUND IS REALLY THE OBLIGATION OF THE DISTRICT. AND THAT’S A PARADIGM SHIFT THAT BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE, MOST STATES HAVE NOT REALLY APPRECIATED YET. I THINK WE STILL THINK THAT SCHOOL TURNAROUND IS ABOUT– SINGULARLY ABOUT SCHOOLS, PRINCIPALS, AND TEACHERS. THE RESEARCH REALLY DOES SUPPORT AND ARGUE THAT TURNAROUND IS REALLY ABOUT WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS IN THE DISTRICT THAT PROVIDES THE OPPORTUNITY FOR SCHOOLS TO TURN AROUND? IN MY PRESENT ROLE, AGAIN I REPORT DIRECTLY TO THE STATE BOARD. WE’RE PRESENTLY WORKING– I WAS TASKED WITH CREATING A STRATEGY TO SUPPORT THE LOWEST PERFORMING SCHOOLS IN GEORGIA. I WALKED IN WITH NOTHING. IT WAS LEGISLATION THAT HAD JUST BEEN PASSED, AND I WAS TASKED WITH CREATING THAT STRATEGY. AND I’M REALLY EXCITED THAT WE HAVE THAT STRATEGY IN PLACE. EARLY RESULTS ARE EXTREMELY PROMISING, AND WE’RE DEVELOPING THE FOUNDATIONAL COMPONENTS TO CONTINUE THAT WORK. SO I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THAT. IN REGARDS TO WHY MICHIGAN, I SEE IT AS AN INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY. YOU KNOW, I ACTUALLY SPENT MOST OF MY LIFE ACTUALLY IN OHIO AND CINCINNATI, SORT OF A NEIGHBORING STATE. AND AS I LOOK AT WHAT’S GOING ON IN MICHIGAN, EVERYTHING THAT I’VE READ OVER THE PAST TWO OR THREE WEEKS, THE STATE IS HUNGRY, IT’S EAGER TO DO SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR THE KIDS IN THIS STATE. I’VE SEEN IT AT THE LEGISLATIVE LEVEL. I’VE SEEN IT FROM THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE AND THE COMMENTS THAT SHE HAS MADE. ALL OF THE VARIOUS ENTITIES WITHIN THE STATE. I LOVE THE WORK THAT MICHIGAN LAUNCH IS SORT OF DOING AND SORT OF RALLYING PEOPLE. EVERYTHING THAT I’VE SEEN, THIS STATE IS HUNGRY TO DO SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR KIDS, TO TRANSFORM OUTCOMES FOR KIDS. I ENJOY THAT CONCEPT. IT ALIGNS WITH MY BACKGROUND. IT ALIGNS WITH WHAT I THINK I DO RELATIVELY WELL. SO THOSE ARE REALLY THE TWO REASONS WHY THIS IS SUCH AN ENERGIZING, SUCH AN INTRIGUING OPPORTUNITY. AND I WOULD SAY THE THIRD PIECE TO THAT IS WHAT AN INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY, IF WE TALK ABOUT SAVING KIDS’ LIVES. IF WE TALK ABOUT DOING REALLY SPECIAL THINGS FOR KIDS, HOW AWESOME WOULD IT BE IN FIVE YEARS, SEVEN YEARS, THAT WE’VE DONE SOME INCREDIBLE WORK HERE IN MICHIGAN AND THAT PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE COMING TO MICHIGAN TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WE DID. WHAT AN INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY, BECAUSE NOW NOT ONLY ARE WE IMPACTING KIDS IN MICHIGAN, BUT WE’RE ACTUALLY IMPACTING KIDS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. AND I USE THE PHRASE ALL KIDS, I REALLY DO MEAN ALL KIDS. NOT JUST THE KIDS YOU CAN TOUCH. SO THOSE ARE SORT OF THE REASONS WHY MICHIGAN AND THIS OPPORTUNITY IS ENERGIZING, IT’S INTRIGUING, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS CONVERSATION.>>THANK YOU. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION?>>YOU KNOW, AS A FORMER SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER, I’LL GO BACK TO SORT OF A HISTORICAL CONTEXT. FROM A HISTORICAL CONTEXT, YOU KNOW, WE EDUCATED THE CITIZENRY BECAUSE WE HAVE A DEMOCRACY. AND IN A DEMOCRACY, WE HAVE TO ENSURE THAT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE MAKING THE DECISIONS, THE CITIZENS, ARE EDUCATED ENOUGH TO MAKE GOOD DECISION. SO THAT’S SORT OF THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT WHY, SORT OF THE PURPOSE OF EDUCATION. AS WE THINK ABOUT WHERE WE ARE IN 2019 AND MOVING FORWARD IN THE 21ST CENTURY, I THINK EDUCATION IS ABOUT REALLY TWO THINGS. I THINK ONE OF THEM IS TO ENSURE THAT FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, BE IT ATTAINING JOBS, DEVELOPING CAREERS, BEING ABLE TO GIVE– BEING ABLE TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR CHILDREN, MAYBE A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN THEIR FAMILY WAS. SO THIS WHOLE IDEA OF, YOU KNOW, IN TODAY’S WORLD, IF YOU DON’T HAVE SOME SORT OF POST-HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE, BE IT TECHNICAL TRAINING, TWO YEAR TRAINING, FOUR YEAR TRAINING, MILITARY, WHATEVER THE CASE IS, WE HAVE TO ENSURE THAT INDIVIDUALS AND STUDENTS HAVE THOSE SORT OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES SO THAT THEY CAN LITERALLY TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES AND PROVIDE A RICH OPPORTUNITY FOR THE NEXT GENERATION. AND I WOULD SAY THE THIRD REASON OR THE THIRD PURPOSE OF EDUCATION, IT’S REALLY ABOUT DEVELOPING THOSE CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS. IT’S NOT SIMPLY ABOUT LEARNING CONTENT. IN THIS WONDERFUL COUNTRY THAT WE HAVE, WE ALWAYS HAVE CHALLENGES. WE ALWAYS HAVE PROBLEMS, AND WE HAVE TO SOLVE THOSE PROBLEMS. AND I DON’T KNOW ANY OTHER WAY TO SOLVE THOSE PROBLEMS THAN TO HELP INDIVIDUALS DEVELOP THE CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS SO THAT THEY CAN SOLVE THOSE PROBLEMS, THAT THEY CAN PROBLEM SOLVE. SO I THINK THOSE ARE SORT OF THE THREE REASONS WHY WE HAVE PUBLIC EDUCATION. I KNOW THERE’S SOME CONVERSATION ABOUT PUBLIC EDUCATION, BUT 25 YEARS IN EDUCATION, PUBLICLY EDUCATED MYSELF, WE’VE DONE REALLY WELL AND I THINK WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO EVEN BETTER.>>THANK YOU. OKAY, SO DURING YOUR FIRST 90 DAYS ON THE JOB, HOW MIGHT YOU GO ABOUT DETERMINING THE STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, AND THREATS OF THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, AND WHAT SPECIFIC STEPS WOULD YOU TAKE?>>IT WOULD– THERE’S SORT OF, LIKE, TWO APPROACHES, I THINK. ONE APPROACH WOULD BE SOMEWHAT OF A FORMAL APPROACH. IN MY WORK AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, WE DEVELOPED A PROCESS CALLED A READINESS ASSESSMENT. WE WORK WITH SMALL DISTRICTS, LARGE DISTRICTS, BUT PARTICULARLY IN OUR LARGER DISTRICTS, WHEN WE WORKED IN NEVADA, CLARK COUNTY, SCHOOL DISTRICT ABOUT 400,000 STUDENTS, WHEN WE WORKED IN BROWARD COUNTY IN FLORIDA, ABOUT 400,000 STUDENTS. SO WE HAD A VERY FORMALIZED APPROACH TO GAINING FEEDBACK. WE WOULD PROVIDE AN ELECTRONIC SURVEY TO STAKEHOLDERS. WE WOULD HAVE FOCUS GROUPS. WE’D HAVE ONE ON ONE CONVERSATIONS WITH KEY INDIVIDUALS. WE WOULD HAVE SMALL GROUP FOCUS GROUPS. SO ALL OF THOSE OPPORTUNITIES JUST TO GAIN DATA, TO GAIN UNDERSTANDING OF AT LEAST THEIR PERSPECTIVES. SO I THINK THERE COULD BE A VERY FORMAL APPROACH, AND TO SOME EXTENT MAYBE UTILIZING A PROCESS THAT I’M VERY FAMILIAR WITH. BUT I THINK WE COULD ALSO DO SOMETHING A LITTLE LESS FORMAL. HERE AT THE AGENCY, I COULD SEE OURSELVES POTENTIALLY DOING SOME SORT OF ELECTRONIC SURVEY, BUT I ALSO COULD SEE OURSELVES ASKING EACH DEPARTMENT OR EACH DIVISION, PROVIDING MAYBE A ONE OR TWO PAGE SORT OF BRIEF. WHAT DO THEY SEE AS THE STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS OF THE AGENCY. ALSO WOULD PROVIDE A LITTLE BIT OF CLARITY ON WHAT THEY ACTUALLY DO IN THAT DIVISION. SO I COULD SEE THOSE SORT OF THINGS TAKING PLACE. I COULD SEE DOING SOME SORT OF A LISTENING TOUR TO GET FEEDBACK FROM SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND ISDs AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS. SO I THINK IT’S– AND MAYBE EVEN DO A LITTLE BIT OF A HYBRID, SO A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH OF THOSE OPPORTUNITIES. BUT ULTIMATELY, WHAT WE’RE REALLY TRYING TO DO IS UNDERSTAND AT LEAST FROM A PERSPECTIVE STANDPOINT WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS, WHAT ARE THE WEAKNESSES, AND WE START, YOU KNOW, I CALL IT TRIANGULATING THAT DATA SO THAT WE’RE REALLY UNDERSTANDING WHAT ARE THE TRENDS, WHAT ARE THE ACTUAL PATTERNS? IT’S NOT JUST ONE OR TWO PEOPLE SAID THIS, BUT THERE’S A PATTERN AROUND IT. WE WOULD ALSO TAKE A HARD LOOK AT EVERY PIECE OF DATA THAT WE COULD GENERATE. WE WOULD TAKE A HARD LOOK AT VARIOUS ARTIFACTS AND VARIOUS DOCUMENTS, YOU KNOW, SORT OF DOCUMENT REVIEW. ALL OF THOSE PIECES OF DATA, QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DATA, YOU KNOW, AS WE ANALYZE THAT, AND AGAIN, THERE’S A PROCESS TO ACTUALLY DO THAT, WE CAN START GETTING DOWN TO, YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS, WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES, REALLY DIVE INTO A CONVERSATION AROUND ROOT CAUSES, BECAUSE I THINK THAT’S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IN EDUCATION WE DON’T ALWAYS DO VERY WELL. WE JUMP TO A CONCLUSION OF WHAT A PROBLEM IS. BUT GOING THROUGH A SORT OF A ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS PROCESS TO REALLY UNDERSTAND, YOU KNOW, WHAT’S REALLY THE PROBLEM. NOT JUST THE SYMPTOM, BUT WHAT’S REALLY THE UNDERNEATH PROBLEM. BUT THOSE WOULD BE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK WE WOULD WANT TO DO. AND AGAIN, IT COULD BE VERY FORMAL. I THINK THERE’S ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE A LITTLE MORE INFORMAL ABOUT THAT.>>DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE AND SUCCESS IN A LARGE, COMPLEX ORGANIZATION. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR MAJOR STRENGTHS AS A LEADER? AND PLEASE GIVE EXAMPLES.>>I’D LIKE TO SAY MY LEADERSHIP STYLE IS COLLABORATIVE. AND I SAY IT THAT WAY BECAUSE I’M CONVINCED THAT THIS WORK IS JUST TOO HARD TO DO IT ALONE. AGAIN, I’VE SPENT THE LAST 15 YEARS IN SOME SORT OF TRANSFORMATION TURNAROUND SETTING SO THE IDEA OF SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVING OUTCOMES, SIGNIFICANTLY TRANSFORMING AN ORGANIZATION, YOU KNOW, IF THIS WAS A SIMPLE TASK, YOU KNOW, ME AND MS. TILLEY COULD SIT DOWN AND HAVE A 30 MINUTE CONVERSATION AND WE COULD FIGURE OUT HOW TO FIX SOMETHING THAT WAS PRETTY SIMPLE. WHEN WE’VE GOT STUDENTS WALKING INTO THE SCHOOL HOUSE WHO HAVE, YOU KNOW, MAYBE NOT MASTERED CERTAIN CONTENT FROM TWO OR THREE GRADE LEVELS PRIOR, WHEN WE’VE GOT KIDS WALKING INTO SCHOOL HOUSES WHO HAVE HOME LIFE CHALLENGES THAT MANY OF US COULDN’T IMAGINE, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT REALLY DIFFICULT SITUATIONS. SO THE IDEA THAT ONE OR TWO INDIVIDUALS CAN COME UP WITH “THE SOLUTION,” THERE’S NOTHING TO SUGGEST THAT THAT’S POSSIBLE. SO WHEN I TALK ABOUT COLLABORATION AND BEING COLLABORATIVE, IT’S NOT SIMPLY BECAUSE, WELL, I JUST LOVE SITTING AROUND AND HAVING CONVERSATIONS WITH PEOPLE. IT REALLY MORE IS ABOUT WE NEED EVERYONE’S PERSPECTIVE. WE NEED IDEAS FROM EVERYBODY. WE NEED PEOPLE TO CHALLENGE EACH OTHER. WE NEED OPPORTUNITIES TO– AND THIS SOUNDS DIFFICULT IN EDUCATION SOMETIMES, BUT TO ACTUALLY ARGUE A LITTLE BIT, TO DEBATE A LITTLE BIT, HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF CONFLICT. BECAUSE I THINK THAT’S HOW THOSE REALLY POSITIVE SOLUTIONS RISE TO THE TOP. AND IF YOU CAN BUILD A CERTAIN LEVEL OF TRUST WITHIN THE TEAM, YOU CAN HAVE THOSE CONVERSATIONS. THEN AGAIN, THEY’RE NEVER PERSONAL, BUT YOU’RE, YOU KNOW, YOU’RE CHALLENGING ASSUMPTIONS. YOU’RE CHALLENGING PEOPLE’S THOUGHT PROCESS, AND I THINK THOSE ARE REALLY IMPORTANT PIECES. SO I WOULD SAY THAT I’M COLLABORATIVE, NUMBER ONE. AS FAR AS EXAMPLES OF THAT, IN CINCINNATI, THERE’S A CONCEPT CALLED IEP. EIP, I’M SORRY. THE EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVES PANEL. AND WHAT THE EIP DOES IS IT’S A COMBINATION OF 18 INDIVIDUALS, NINE ADMINISTRATORS AND NINE TEACHERS. IT’S, YOU KNOW, BASED ON CONTRACTS. IT’S PART OF THE BARGAINING AGREEMENT. ANY NEW INITIATIVE THAT WAS INTRODUCED HAD TO GO THROUGH AND BE APPROVED BY EIP. SO THE SUPERINTENDENT, THE BOARD, ADMINISTRATORS JUST COULD NOT SIMPLY DECIDE TO DO A, B, OR C. BY CONTRACT, IT HAD TO GO THROUGH EIP. I WAS THE SUPERINTENDENT’S DESIGNEE TO FACILITATE EIP. SO WHEN WE TALK ABOUT COLLABORATION, THERE WAS NO OTHER OPPORTUNITY. WE HAD TO COLLABORATE. I MEAN, THERE WERE JUST– IF YOU WANTED SOMETHING TO GET DONE, YOU HAD TO COLLABORATE. THAT MODEL HAS ACTUALLY BEEN, YOU KNOW, SORT OF LIFTED UP AS A NATIONAL MODEL, IF YOU DO ANY SORT OF RESEARCH AROUND CINCINNATI PUBLIC SCHOOLS, THAT COLLABORATIVE CULTURAL MODEL IS ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, LIFTED UP AS A BEST PRACTICE NATIONALLY. SO THE TIME THAT I WAS THERE HAVING AN OPPORTUNITY TO FACILITATE THAT, AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE DIRECTLY WITH THE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, I MEAN, JUST SUCH A POWERFUL OPPORTUNITY THERE. ANOTHER EXAMPLE THAT I WOULD SHARE AND SOME– IN THE WORK THAT I’M DOING NOW, IN GEORGIA WE ACTUALLY JUST PROPOSED TO HAVE A TURNAROUND COLLABORATIVE. OFTENTIMES, YOU’VE GOT A LOT OF ORGANIZATIONS WANTING TO HELP, YOU KNOW, SORT OF “LOW PERFORMING SCHOOLS.” SOMETIMES THEY HAVE THEIR OWN AGENDA, SOMETIMES THEY OFTENTIMES HAVE THEIR OWN VISION AND THEIR OWN GOALS. SO BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, YOU’VE GOT 15 DIFFERENT ENTITIES TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH THE SAME THING, BUT THEY’RE DOING IT SEPARATELY IN SILOS. SO THE OPPORT– THE IDEA AROUND THE COLLABORATIVE WAS TO PULL ALL OF THOSE ENTITIES UNDER SORT OF ONE UMBRELLA AND REALLY SORT OF CREATE A STRATEGIC PLAN INVOLVING THOSE VARIOUS ENTITIES. THOSE WERE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, THE CHAIR OF THE HOUSE, THE CHAIR OF THE SENATE, NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, YOU NAME IT, BRINGING ALL OF THOSE ORGANIZATIONS TO THE SAME TABLE SO THAT IF WE TALKED ABOUT WRAP AROUND SUPPORT, IF WE TALKED ABOUT HIGHER ED, WHATEVER IT IS THAT WE’RE TRYING TO CHAMPION, YOU KNOW, WE WOULD AGREE ON THIS IS THE WORK THAT THE COMMUNITY AND SCHOOLS ORGANIZATION IS GOING TO DO. THIS IS THE WORK THAT THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IS GOING TO TAKE ON. AND WE WOULD ACTUALLY IDENTIFY SOME DELIVERABLES AND PROGRESS INDICATORS AND AN ACTION PLAN SO THAT WE’RE ALL SORT OF WORKING TOGETHER. YOU KNOW, I USE THE PHRASE COLLECTIVE IMPACT. AND THAT’S WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO DO IS BRING EVERYBODY TOGETHER TO ACCELERATE PROGRESS BECAUSE WE’RE WORKING IN UNISON. SO THOSE WOULD BE TWO EXAMPLES OF WHAT I WOULD CONSIDER TO BE THIS SORT OF– THIS COLLABORATIVE CULTURE, AND QUITE HONESTLY, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO IT ANY OTHER WAY. THAT’S JUST KIND OF WHO I AM, AND A LOT OF THAT’S BASED OFF OF, I GUESS, 18 YEARS IN CINCINNATI WHERE, YOU KNOW, THERE WERE STRUCTURES IN PLACE WHERE YOU HAD TO BE COLLABORATIVE.>>THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DEVELOPED A TOP TEN IN TEN PLAN. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE PLAN? ARE THERE ANY CHANGES, ADDITIONS, OR DELETIONS YOU WOULD RECOMMEND TO THIS PLAN?>>HERE’S THE FIRST THING THAT I DID– AND I’LL SHARE THIS. YOU’VE GOT A DOCUMENT IN FRONT OF YOU. I’M NOT GOING TO ASK YOU TO PULL IT OUT NOW. AS WE CLOSE, I’LL WALK YOU THROUGH JUST A COUPLE OF ITEMS. WHEN I LOOKED AT THE DOCUMENT, WHAT I DID WAS CREATED A CROSSWALK. AND I LOOKED AT THREE OTHER DOCUMENTS. ONE OTHER DOCUMENT I LOOKED AT WAS THE SURVEY DATA FROM THE MICHIGAN LAUNCH SCHOOL VOICES SURVEY. AND THERE WERE SEVEN OR EIGHT CATEGORIES THAT CAME ABOUT FROM THAT SURVEY INFORMATION. I THINK IT’S LIKE 18,000 RESPONSES IF I RECALL. ALSO LOOKED AT THE COUNCIL OF CHIEF STATE SCHOOL OFFICERS, CCSSO. THEY’VE IDENTIFIED, I THINK, IT’S NINE WHAT THEY’RE CALLING SORT OF PRINCIPLES OF SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT, EFFECTIVE SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PRINCIPLES. SO I DID CROSSWALK WITH THAT AS WELL. AND THEN THE THIRD ELEMENT IS WHAT I’M VERY FAMILIAR WITH, THE RAND CORPORATION IDENTIFIED OUR STRUCTURE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA AS THE MOST EFFECTIVE SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT STRATEGY IN THE COUNTRY. I’M PROUD TO SAY THAT I WAS RECRUITED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA TO DEVELOP THAT STRUCTURE. THAT STRUCTURE IDENTIFIES FOUR LEVERS AND 13 CONDITIONS, AND THEY’RE DISTRICT CONDITIONS, THAT DRIVE SCHOOL TURNAROUND. AND THE RAND CORPORATION VALIDATED THAT. LITERALLY IT’S IDENTIFIED AS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL STRATEGY IN THE COUNTRY. SO WHAT I DID WAS TOOK– DID A CROSSWALK WITH THE SEVEN GOALS OF THE TEN FOR TEN ACROSS THOSE THREE ELEMENTS. AND QUITE HONESTLY, THERE’S REALLY STRONG ALIGNMENT, WHICH I THINK IS REALLY POWERFUL. SOME VERY STRONG ALIGNMENT THERE. THERE’S ONE THING THAT I WOULD PROB– ACTUALLY TWO THINGS. ONE THING THAT I WOULD MAYBE EMPHASIZE, THERE’S A LOT OF CONVERSATION AROUND, YOU KNOW, SORT OF WRAP AROUND SERVICES, THE WHOLE CHILD, BRINGING RESOURCES TO THE SCHOOL. I WOULD PROBABLY SPECIFICALLY CALL OUT COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTERS. I THINK IT’S IMPLIED, BUT THERE’S A BODY OF RESEARCH AROUND COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTERS AND THE EFFECTIVENESS OF BRINGING RESOURCES INTO THE SCHOOL HOUSE, MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES, NUTRITION SERVICES, AFTER SCHOOL OPPORTUNITIES AND BRINGING ALL OF THOSE RESOURCES INTO THE SCHOOL HOUSE. AND THERE’S A BODY OF RESEARCH AROUND COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTERS IS WHAT IT’S CALLED. AND I WOULD SUGGEST THAT CALLING THAT OUT A LITTLE MORE EXPLICITLY. THE OTHER THING THAT I WOULD ENCOURAGE OR THAT I THINK WE WOULD HAVE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO REALLY MAYBE BRING TO THE TABLE, AS WE THINK ABOUT THE INVESTMENT AND THIS FUNDING INVESTMENT AND TIME INVESTMENT IN OUR LOWEST PERFORMING SCHOOLS, HOW COULD WE POTENTIALLY UTILIZE THAT INVESTMENT, THAT TIME AS A LITTLE BIT OF AN INNOVATION LAB? AND WHAT I MEAN BY THAT IS OFTENTIMES WE PUT A LOT OF ENERGY INTO TURNING AROUND, YOU KNOW, THE LOWEST 5%, THE LOWEST 10%, AND WE DEVELOP, BECAUSE IF IT WORKS REALLY WELL, THAT MEANS WE’VE DEVELOPED SOME REALLY GOOD PRACTICES. WELL, LET’S NOT LEAVE THOSE PRACTICES AT THOSE SCHOOLS. LET’S TAKE THOSE PRACTICES, DIFFUSE THEM, TRANSITION THEM TO OTHER SCHOOLS AS WELL TO KEEP THEM FROM MOVING INTO THE BOTTOM 5%, OR SCHOOLS THAT ARE MAYBE ON THE EDGE. BECAUSE QUITE HONESTLY, NORMALLY THOSE ARE JUST REALLY GOOD PRACTICES. THEY’RE GOOD PRACTICES FOR GOOD SCHOOLS, GOOD PRACTICES FOR SORT OF MODERATE SCHOOLS. SO I THINK THERE’S– WE CAN BE VERY INTENTIONAL ABOUT CREATING A STRATEGY AND A PROCESS THAT AS WE SUPPORT THOSE CHRONICALLY LOW PERFORMING SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS, THE PARTNERSHIP DISTRICTS, HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THAT WE’RE CAPTURING THE LEARNING, CAPTURING THOSE PRACTICES, AND TRANSITION THOSE AND SHARE THOSE AND ENCOURAGE THE USE OF THOSE A LITTLE MORE BROADLY THROUGHOUT THE STATE. I JUST THINK IT’S A REAL OPPORTUNITY TO GET A STRONGER RETURN ON OUR INVESTMENT SO THAT WE’RE NOT JUST INVESTING IN THOSE SCHOOLS. WE’RE ACTUALLY NOW INVESTING FOR THE ENTIRE STATE. SO THOSE WOULD BE A COUPLE THINGS THAT, YOU KNOW, AS I SORT OF DID THE CROSSWALK THAT JUST SORT OF JUMPED OUT TO ME.>>THANK YOU.>>DR. THOMAS, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TASKS OF THE SUPERINTENDENT IS ADVOCATING FOR THE BOARD’S STRATEGIC PLAN FOR IMPROVING EDUCATION WITH THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE, THE LEGISLATURE, AND THE EDUCATIONAL INTEREST GROUPS. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE AND APPROACH IN DOING THIS SUCCESSFULLY, AND HOW WOULD YOU MANAGE SITUATIONS WHERE THE LEGISLATURE AND THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE ARE IN CONFLICT RELATED TO THE EDUCATIONAL POLICY AND IMPLEMENTATION?>>I’M IN A UNIQUE SITUATION. I REPORT DIRECTLY TO THE STATE BOARD. SO IT’S A 14 MEMBER BOARD. AND I MEET WITH THE CHAIRMAN FACE TO FACE WEEKLY– NOT WEEKLY, MONTHLY– A WEEK BEFORE THE BOARD MEETING, AND THEN WE TEXT AND EMAIL AND CALL EACH OTHER, LIKE, ALL THE TIME. AND WHAT WE’RE CONSTANTLY DOING– I MEET WITH, YOU KNOW, OTHER BOARD MEMBERS AS WELL. WHAT WE’RE CONSTANTLY DOING, AND WHAT I’M CONSTANTLY DOING, IS TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE’RE ALIGNED. SO WHATEVER THE PRIORITIES THAT WE’VE ESTABLISHED, WHATEVER THE STRATEGIC PLAN IS, THAT WE’RE ALWAYS ALIGNED SO THAT I’M NOT SORT OF JUMPING OUT IN FRONT OF THE BOARD TOO MUCH AND THAT WE’RE ALWAYS SORT OF UNDERSTANDING SORT OF THE POLITICAL TONE THAT’S GOING, YOU KNOW, THAT’S IN PLAY. YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS JOKE, MY OFFICE IN ATLANTA IS ON THE 18TH FLOOR. AND MY WINDOW LOOKS DOWN ON THE STATE CAPITAL. SO LITERALLY EVERY DECISION THAT I MAKE, EVERY CONVERSATION THAT I HAVE, I ALWAYS SORT OF HAVE TO HAVE THE LENS OF HOW DOES THAT PLAY IN THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, HOW DOES THAT PLAY IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY? I MEAN, IT LITERALLY– EVERYTHING THAT I DO, THAT’S A PART OF MY DECISION MAKING PROCESS. HOW DOES THAT PLAY THERE? SO I THINK ALWAYS SORT OF STAYING CONNECTED WITH THE STATE BOARD, ALWAYS HAVING OPEN COMMUNICATION, ALWAYS STAYING VERY MUCH ALIGNED TO THE STRATEGIC PLAN AND NOT DEVIATING FROM THAT PLAN UNLESS WE’VE GOT SOME DATA THAT SUGGESTS WE SHOULD SO THAT WE’RE ALWAYS– YOU KNOW, I USE THE PHRASE SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE. WE’RE ALWAYS SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE. WE’RE ALWAYS GOING DOWN THE PATH TOGETHER. SO I THINK THAT’S REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT. IN REGARDS TO, YOU KNOW, POTENTIAL CONFLICT, YOU KNOW, WE LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY, AND ONE OF THE GREATEST PARTS ABOUT A DEMOCRACY IS THAT, YOU KNOW, COMPROMISE IS REALLY NECESSARY. THERE’S VERY FEW SITUATIONS WHERE ONE SIDE IS GOING TO GET EVERYTHING THEY WANT, THE OTHER SIDE’S GOING TO GET EVERYTHING THEY WANT. YOU KNOW, WHERE’S OUR COMMON GROUND, WHERE CAN WE MEET IN THE MIDDLE? MY EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN YOU’RE ABLE TO DO THAT WHEN YOU’VE GOT A REALLY STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH THE INDIVIDUALS THAT YOU’RE ENGAGING WITH. I DON’T NECESSARILY ALWAYS AGREE WITH THEM. YOU MAY HAVE A PHILOSOPHICAL DIFFERENCE WITH THEM ON HOW THEY SEE THE WORLD, HOW THEY SEE POLITICS, BUT IF THERE’S A RELATIONSHIP THERE, THAT AT LEAST GIVES YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE CONVERSATION. THE BOARD ACTUALLY HAS A RETREAT EVERY FALL, SO THIS PAST OCTOBER, I ASKED IF– IT WAS THE FIRST TIME EVER, I DIDN’T KNOW THEY WERE GOING TO GO FOR IT– BUT I ASKED FOR ADDITIONAL TIME. AND I ACTUALLY INVITED ALL OF THE SUPERINTENDENTS THAT MY OFFICE WAS WORKING WITH. SO WE WERE PRESENTLY WORKING WITH EIGHT SCHOOL DISTRICTS. SO I BROUGHT THE EIGHT SUPERINTENDENTS FROM THOSE SCHOOL DISTRICTS. WE DID SOME TRAINING WITH THEM. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT WAS A THREE DAY RETREAT. MORE IMPORTANTLY, WE ACTUALLY DID A PANEL WITH THE SUPERINTENDENTS. IN THE AUDIENCE, WE HAD, AGAIN, ALL THE BOARD MEMBERS, WE HAD REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE. WE HAD REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AT THE END. YOU KNOW, WE WENT AND HUNG OUT THAT– I THINK TWO DIFFERENT NIGHTS. MOST OF OUR SUPERINTENDENTS HAD LITERALLY NEVER HAD A CONVERSATION WITH A STATE BOARD MEMBER. MOST OF OUR STATE BOARD MEMBERS HAD NEVER EVEN ACTUALLY MET THOSE SUPERINTENDENTS. SUPERINTENDENTS HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE DIRECTLY WITH ASSEMBLY MEMBERS, GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS. THOSE SORT OF RELATIONSHIPS, SO NOW IF THERE’S A NEED TO GO AND CREATE SOME CONVERSATION, IF THERE’S A NEED TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT A CHALLENGE, WE AT LEAST SORT OF KNOW EACH OTHER, AND THEY SORT OF KNOW EACH OTHER. JUST OPENS THAT DOOR FOR COLLABORATION, BECAUSE A RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN BUILT. AS FAR AS HOW DO YOU, AGAIN, CONTINUE TO MANAGE THAT CONFLICT, YOU KNOW, I’M A DATA GUY, SO I THINK THE DATA ALWAYS TELLS A STORY. SO IF YOU’RE ADVOCATING FOR SOMETHING, WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY, WHAT DOES THE DATA SAY? AND YOU LEVERAGE THE DATA, YOU LEVERAGE THE RESEARCH TO SUPPORT YOUR POSITION KNOWING, YOU KNOW, THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY, THERE MAY BE A COMPROMISE THAT’S NEEDED AND YOU HAVE TO BE FLEXIBLE ENOUGH EVEN THOUGH EVERY PIECE OF DATA SAYS YOU SHOULD DO A, EVERY PIECE OF EVIDENCE SAYS THAT YOU SHOULD DO A. IF YOU WANT TO GET TO SOME AGREEMENT, YOU MAY HAVE TO GIVE UP A LITTLE BIT OF SOMETHING. AGAIN, IN A DEMOCRACY, THAT’S, YOU KNOW, THAT’S HOW WE FUNCTION. SO I THINK THAT IDEA OF COMPROMISE, I THINK RELATIONSHIPS ARE REALLY IMPORTANT, AND THEN I THINK THERE’S OPPORTUNITY– YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS TALK ABOUT PILOTS. AND AGAIN, SOME OF THIS IS MY EXPERIENCE AT DARDEN. WE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT SMALL BETS. SO IF YOU’VE GOT AN IDEA AND LET’S SAY THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OR THE LEGISLATIVE– THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY DOESN’T REALLY LIKE THIS IDEA, WELL, THE CONVERSATION IS LET’S PILOT IT. LET’S INTRODUCE IT AT A VERY SMALL SCALE. AND LET’S PLAY WITH IT FOR ONE OR TWO OR THREE YEARS, JUST TO SEE IF IT’S GOING TO WORK. JUST GIVE US A LITTLE BIT OF A CHANCE HERE. I KNOW THAT’S YOU’RE AGAINST IT. SO WE’RE NOT GOING TO ROLL IT OUT FULL SCALE. WE’RE NOT GOING TO BEAT ANYBODY OVER THE HEAD WITH IT. WE’VE GOT ONE OR TWO DISTRICTS THAT’S WILLING TO PILOT IT. THE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION ARE SOMEWHAT ON BOARD WITH IT. LET’S JUST PILOT IT. AND IF WE CAN SHOW SOME SUCCESS, NOW IT’S MUCH EASIER TO COME BACK ONE OR TWO YEARS LATER AND SAY, “YOU KNOW WHAT, “WE’VE GOT EVIDENCE THAT SAYS “THIS WORKS.” AND BECAUSE WE SORT OF COMPROMISED, WE DIDN’T TRY TO FORCE IT DOWN ANYBODY– YOU KNOW, SORT OF FORCE IT UPON ANYBODY, I THINK THAT LEVEL OF RESPECT, THOSE RELATIONSHIPS ARE STRENGTHENED. AND FROM A BUSINESS STANDPOINT, I MEAN, YOU KNOW, THAT’S A GOOD BUSINESS PRACTICE IS ABOUT SMALL BETS. SO I THINK THOSE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF, YOU KNOW, SORT OF HOW DO YOU ENGAGE WITH EXECUTIVE OFFICE, WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AND TRY TO MOVE K-12 EDUCATION.>>THANK YOU.>>OKAY, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO BUILD EFFECTIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS WITH UNIONS AND OTHER ORGANIZED EDUCATIONAL GROUPS? WHAT ABOUT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY? AND PLEASE GIVE SPECIFIC EXAMPLES.>>AS I SHARED, IN CINCINNATI, WE HAD SOME STRUCTURES IN PLACE THAT JUST SIMPLY, YOU HAD TO COLLABORATE. SO THAT, YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS ANCHOR THERE. WE ALSO PARTNERED– AND I GUESS WE WEREN’T A PART– WE WERE A PART OF AN ORGANIZATION CALLED A STRIVE PARTNERSHIP. STRIVE ACTUALLY STARTED IN CINCINNATI, I GUESS ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO NOW. AND IT SIMPLY WAS AN ORGANIZATION THAT BROUGHT OTHER ENTITIES TOGETHER TO REALLY CREATE AND PROMOTE THIS IDEA OF COLLECTIVE IMPACT. STRIVE OVER THE COURSE OF TEN YEARS NOW HAS NETWORKS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. I BELIEVE THERE ARE THREE NETWORKS, OFTENTIMES THEY’RE LOCAL, BUT I BELIEVE THERE ARE THREE NETWORKS ACTUALLY HERE IN MICHIGAN. SO THE NETWORK IS CALLED A STRIVE NETWORK. WHAT WAS STARTED WAS THE STRIVE PARTNERSHIP AND IT STARTED IN CINCINNATI. I WAS THE SUPERINTENDENT’S DESIGNEE TO BE A PART OF THAT WORK. SO THAT’S JUST SORT OF THE WAY I THINK ABOUT COLLECTIVE IMPACT AND COLLABORATION. IN REGARDS TO SPECIFIC EXAMPLES, YOU KNOW, PROBABLY THE MOST POWERFUL EXAMPLE– I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR LEADING THE PROCESS TO REDESIGN OUR TEACHER EVALUATION PROCESS. AND ANYONE WHO’S AN EDUCATOR, THERE’S ONE THING THAT’S GOING TO GET PEOPLE TO STAND UP, IT’S THE EVALUATION PROCESS. LIKE MICHIGAN, WE WERE A RACE TO THE TOP DISTRICT. A RACE TO THE TOP SITE– I THINK MICHIGAN WAS. A RACE TO THE TOP STATE. SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR WAS CREATING AN EVALUATION SYSTEM THAT INCORPORATED STUDENT OUTCOMES. WE WERE ACTUALLY THE FIRST DISTRICT IN OHIO TO ACTUALLY DO THAT. AND THE FACT THAT YOU CAN IMAGINE THIS, YOU KNOW, IT WAS SUCH A PARADIGM SHIFT WITH TEACHERS. THAT THEIR EVALUATION IS NOW GOING TO BE PARTIALLY BASED– AND I THINK-I THINK– I THINK WE LANDED ON 45% OR 50%. PARTIALLY BASED ON STUDENT OUTCOMES. I MEAN THAT WAS A GAME CHANGER. THAT HAD NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT INNOVATION, THAT WAS– NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. BUT OUR PROCESS ALLOWED US TO MOVE THAT FORWARD. IT WAS A YEAR-LONG PROCESS. I WORKED DIRECTLY WITH THE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT. AND WE SPENT LITERALLY 12 MONTHS. WE HAD SUBCOMMITTEES, WE BROUGHT TEACHERS, WE-WE BROUGHT PRINCIPALS IN. WE WENT AND DID RESEARCH. I MEAN, EVERYTHING THAT NEEDED TO HAPPEN OVER THE COURSE OF A YEAR, WE MADE SURE THAT TOOK PLACE. SO AT THE END OF THAT YEAR, THE PRODUCT THAT WE HAD, IT WASN’T THE ADMINISTRATION’S PRODUCT. IT WASN’T THE SCHOOL BOARD’S PRODUCT. IT WAS OUR PRODUCT. WE CO-CREATED IT. AND ULTIMATELY, THAT ACTUAL– THAT MODEL ACTUALLY BECAME THE MODEL FOR THE STATE. SO OHIO’S TEACHER EVALUATION MODEL ACTUALLY WAS BUILT OFF OF WHAT WE CREATED. SO I WOULD SAY THAT’S PROBABLY THE MOST POWERFUL EXAMPLE OF THIS SORT OF COLLECTIVE IMPACT COLLABORATION, ENGAGING WITH THE UNION. BECAUSE AGAIN, WE WORK TOGETHER TO SORT OF CO-CREATE THAT SUCCESS. I TALKED ABOUT EIP. AGAIN, ANOTHER COLLABORATIVE STRUCTURE. SO THOSE ARE JUST SOME EXAMPLES THERE OF SOME COLLABORATIVE STRUCTURES.>>WHAT ABOUT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY?>>AWESOME. ACTUALLY, SOME OF– WE’VE ACTUALLY HAD TWO THINGS IN PLACE NOW. FOR ALL OF THE PRINCIPALS THAT WE WORK WITH, WE IDENTIFIED– AND WE CALL THEM CEO FRIENDS– SO, WE IDENTIFIED A– SOMEONE WHO IS LEADING EITHER A CORPORATION, BUSINESS, ORGANIZATION, TO SORT OF– AND YOU’RE NOT NECESSARILY A COACH OR A MENTOR. WE REALLY JUST WANT THEM TO BE A FRIEND. SO, IT’S ONE OF OUR WAYS TO FIRST OF ALL, ENGAGE WITH THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, SO THAT’S A PART OF IT, BUT YOU ALSO WANTED TO GIVE A PRINCIPAL SOMEONE THAT THEY COULD SORT OF PRIVATELY HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH, SOMEONE WHO’S SUCCESSFUL, WHO’S A SUCCESSFUL LEADER, EVEN THOUGH IT’S IN A DIFFERENT SECTOR, BECAUSE TO SOME EXTENT, LEADERSHIP IS LEADERSHIP. SO THAT’S ONE EXAMPLE, THIS IDEA OF CEO FRIENDS. ANOTHER THING THAT WE DID IS DEVELOP A CONCEPT CALLED “PLATINUM PARTNERS.” SO WE HAVE I THINK IT’S ABOUT 15 PLATINUM PARTNERS FROM THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, AN ORGANIZATION CALLED “COMMUNITIES AND SCHOOLS,” TRYING TO THINK, THERE’S AN ORGANIZATION CALLED “GET GEORGIA READING,” “NO KIDS HUNGRY,” YOU NAME IT, JUST A CONGLOMERATION OF DIFFERENT PARTNERS, MANY OF THEM FROM THE BUSINESS SECTOR, BUT PROBABLY OUR MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT TO THE BUSINESS SECTOR WAS OUR CEO FRIENDS, AND REALLY WHAT IT’S TURNED OUT TO BE IS BRING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY INTO THOSE INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS, BECAUSE NOW THEY’VE SORT OF ADOPTED THOSE SCHOOLS, AND THAT’S BEEN REALLY POWERFUL FOR THOSE PARTICULAR SCHOOLS AND THOSE PARTICULAR COMMUNITIES.>>AS STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC EDUCATION– OR PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, HOW WOULD YOU ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY WITHIN THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION? HOW WOULD YOU JUDGE YOUR OWN EFFECTIVENESS AS A STATE SUPERINTENDENT? PLEASE DESCRIBE INTERNAL ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS YOU WOULD PUT IN PLACE.>>YOU KNOW, FOR ME, ANYTIME YOU USE THE WORD “ACCOUNTABILITY,” I THINK YOU HAVE TO USE THE WORD “CLEAR EXPECTATIONS.” I-I THINK-I THINK IT’S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO HOLD ANYONE ACCOUNTABLE TO ANYTHING IF IT’S NOT CLEAR UP FRONT WHAT THE EXPECTATION IS, SO I THINK WE ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE’S VERY CLEAR EXPECTATIONS. IN REGARDS TO THE WORK HERE AT THE AGENCY, IT GOES BACK TO THIS IDEA OF S– OF A STRATEGIC PLAN. IN K-12 EDUCATION, AGAIN, I’VE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH DISTRICTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, AND MANY OF THOSE DISTRICTS DON’T HAVE A ROAD MAP, A STRATEGIC PLAN. SO BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, WE’RE HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THINGS THAT MAY NOT ACTUALLY EVEN BE IMPORTANT. SO I THINK ALWAYS ANCHORING THOSE EXPECTATIONS, THOSE PRIORITIES, THOSE DELIVERABLES INTO THE STRATEGIC PLAN PROVIDES NOT ONLY SOME COHESIVENESS AND SOME COHESION, BUT IT KEEPS US MOVING IN THE EXACT SAME DIRECTION. SO I THINK THAT’S ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECES. HERE’S OUR STRATEGIC PLAN, WE’RE ANCHORING ALL OF OUR WORK AROUND THAT, HERE ARE THE PRIORITIES BASED ON THAT STRATEGIC PLAN. I THINK WE ALWAYS HAVE TO LOOK AT ACTIONS STEPS AND PROGRESS INDICATORS. I THINK ONE THING THAT WE– THAT MY EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN, PARTICULARLY IN DEPARTMENTS OF ED AND IN LARGE SCHOOL DISTRICTS, WE SOMETIMES HAVE A STRATEGIC PLAN, BUT THERE’S NO INDICATORS OF WHETHER WE’RE ACTUALLY MAKING PROGRESS. IT’S A FIVE YEAR PLAN, AND WE DON’T KNOW IF WE’D MADE PROGRESS UNTIL YEAR FIVE. I MEAN, WE SHOULD HAVE PROGRESS INDICATORS THAT, ON A MONTHLY BASIS, QUARTERLY BASIS, SIX MONTH BASIS, ANNUAL BASIS. YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE OUR CHECK-INS? HOW DO WE KNOW THAT WE’RE ACTUALLY MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION SO THAT WE’RE NOT GETTING THREE, FOUR YEARS DOWN THIS ROADMAP AND FIGURING OUT THAT WE’RE NOT ACTUALLY BEING SUCCESSFUL? WE SHOULD BE– BEING– WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT DATA ON A REGULAR BASIS SO THAT IF WE NEED TO MAKE SOME MID-COURSE CORRECTIONS, WE CAN MAKE THOSE MID-COURSE CORRECTIONS. SO I THINK THOSE ARE SOME OF THE PIECES THERE. IN REGARDS TO THE DEPARTMENT AGAIN, ONE OF THE THINGS I DO WITH MY TEAM NOW, MY SENIOR TEAM, EACH OF MY SENIOR TEAM MEMBERS, THEY HAVE A 45 DAY PLAN. WE CO-CREATE WHAT THOSE DELIVERABLES AND PRIORITIES WILL BE FOR THAT 45 DAYS, AND I SAY “CO-CREATED” S– LARGELY THEM CREATING IT, I JUST SORT OF APPROVE IT. AND-AND IT’S VERY INTENTIONAL THAT I TAKE THAT APPROACH. I WANT THEM TO OWN THEIR PLAN, I WANT THEM TO OWN THEIR PRIORITIES. AS LONG AS THEIR PRIORITIES ARE ALIGNED TO OUR BIGGER VISION, I’M-I’M GOING TO SUPPORT WHATEVER THOSE PRIORITIES ARE. MY EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN THAT IF YOU GIVE PEOPLE THAT SORT OF AUTONOMY, THEY’LL GO AND HIT HOME RUNS, PARTICULARLY IF YOU’VE GOT REALLY STRONG PEOPLE. EFFECTIVE EMPLOYEES DON’T WANT TO BE OVERMANAGED. GIVE THEM SOME DIRECTION AND LET THEM GO AND DO THEIR JOB. WE CHECK IN ON A WEEKLY BASIS, AND OUR CHECK-INS ARE LITERALLY ABOUT THEIR 45 DAY PLAN. WHAT-WHAT DO YOU NEED FROM ME? WHAT BARRIERS DO YOU HAVE? IS THERE ANYTHING THAT I CAN DO TO REMOVE SOME BARRIERS? WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU HAVE? AND ARE WE MAKING PROGRESS? AND WE HAVE PROGRESS INDICATORS, SO DEPENDING ON WHAT THE PRIORITY WAS, HERE’S THE METRIC THAT WE AGREED ON, THAT WE WERE GOING TO TRY TO BE HERE AT THE END OF WEEK ONE, OR AT THE END OF WEEK TWO, OR AT THE END OF WEEK THREE. ARE WE THERE? IF WE’RE NOT THERE, THAT’S FINE. WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO ACTUALLY GET THERE THE FOLLOWING WEEK? SO I THINK THOSE ARE SORT OF THE REALLY ESSENTIAL ACCOUNTABILITY FEATURES, AND THAT’S THE EXECUTION AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORK. HAVING A PLAN BY ITSELF, IN MY MIND, MEANS ALMOST NEXT TO NOTHING IF YOU DON’T HAVE SOME MONITORING STRUCTURES IN PLACE AND HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PLAN. IN-IN REGARDS TO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR-FOR ERIC, I’VE GOT SOME INITIAL THOUGHTS. SOME IDEA, MAYBE IN YEAR ONE, SOME SORT OF QUARTERLY FEEDBACK FROM-FROM DISTRICTS, FROM ISDs, FROM INTERNAL STAFF, FROM MAYBE OTHER STAKEHOLDERS, BECAUSE AGAIN, YOU KNOW, FEEDBACK IS IMPORTANT. YOU ALWAYS WANT TO KNOW IF YOU’RE ACTUALLY MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, AND THE ONLY WAY TO DO THAT IS TO GET SOME HONEST FEEDBACK. SO I COULD SEE THAT, YOU KNOW, POTENTIALLY SOME STRUCTURE AROUND THAT. I THINK GRA– GATHERING SOME FEEDBACK FROM THE STATE BOARD, YOU KNOW, IF-IF I’M FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO-TO BECOME THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT HERE, DURING YOUR DELIBERATIONS, I’M-I’M SURE THERE’S NO PERFECT CANDIDATE, SO FOR EVERY CANDIDATE, THERE ARE GOING TO BE SOME GAPS. I COULD SEE AN OPPORTUNITY IN WHICH, YOU KNOW, THE BOARD PROVIDES SOME CLARITY. YOU KNOW, HERE WERE TWO OR THREE GAPS, YOU KNOW. YES, WE IDENTIFIED YOU AS MAYBE YOU’RE NOT OUR NUMBER ONE CANDIDATE, BUT HERE ARE TWO OR THREE THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD WORK ON OR SHOULD CONSIDER. SO GETTING THAT SORT OF FEEDBACK I THINK IS IMPORTANT, AS WELL.>>SO I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW, WE’RE ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH OUR TIME, BUT WE’RE NOT HALFWAY THROUGH OUR QUESTIONS.>>I UNDERSTAND.>>SO JUST LETTING YOU KNOW. GIVEN THE CHANGING DYNAMICS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MOST CRITICAL ISSUES FACING THE MICHIGAN EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THE NEXT THREE TO FIVE YEARS?>>OBVIOUSLY WHERE– WHERE MICHIGAN’S PRESENTLY AT, AND AGAIN, MANY STAKEHOLDERS HAVE IDENTIFIED IT, YOU KNOW, ONE CHALLENGE IS GOING TO BE THE TRANSFORMATION OF, AGAIN, OUTCOMES FOR-FOR THE STATE. IF YOU LOOK AT WHERE THE STATE IS NOW AND MAYBE WHERE IT WAS 20 YEARS AGO, YOU KNOW, IT’S A TREND HEADING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. SO TURNING THAT I-IS A CHALLENGE IN ITSELF. THE AGENCY HAS-HAS IDENTIFIED THE WHOLE CHILD, PRE-NATAL AGE TO AGE EIGHT IN LITERACY AS AREAS OF FOCUS. I SUPPORT THOSE AREAS OF FOCUS. THE OTHER THING I WOULD SIMPLY ADD TO THAT, PARTICULARLY AROUND SORT OF THE LITERACY PIECE, I KNOW THERE’S CONVERSATION AROUND, YOU KNOW, THIRD GRADE RETENTION AND THIRD GRADE– YOU KNOW, THAT WHOLE CONVERSATION. I-I THINK THERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY– WHETHER IT STAYS IN PLACE OR NOT– I THINK THERE’S OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN WHAT’S GOING ON IN OTHER STATES. IN OHIO, WE IMPLEMENTED A THIRD GRADE GUARANTEE, AND MOST PEOPLE THINK THAT IT’S ACTUALLY WENT VERY WELL. IN GEORGIA, THERE IS NO THIRD GRADE GUARANTEE, BUT WE’VE CREATED A STRUCTURE CALLED “THE GET GEORGIA “READING CAMPAIGN.” I’M A CAM– A CABINET MEMBER ON THE CAMPAIGN, SO IT’S CREATING A DIALOGUE AND AWARENESS ABOUT TRYING TO GET KIDS AT GRADE LEVEL BY GRADE THREE. SO I THINK THOSE ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES. OBVIOUSLY, YOU KNOW, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS IDENTIFIED STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND-AND– WITH THE PROTOCOLS AROUND STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES, SO I THINK THAT’S A CHALLENGE. I-I KNOW HERE IN MICHIGAN, YOU KNOW, FROM A CONSTITUTIONAL STANDPOINT, YOU KNOW, THE IDEA OF “VOUCHERS MAY NOT EXIST.” BUT I THINK IF YOU LISTEN TO WHAT’S GOING ON AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, THERE-THERE IS A CONVERSATION AROUND VOUCHERS AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, SO I COULD POTENTIALLY SEE THAT BEING A CONVERSATION THAT NEEDS TO BE HAD. SO I WOULD SAY THOSE ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES. I WOULD ACTUALLY ALSO ADD TEACHER– POTENTIAL TEACHER SHORTAGES OR TEACHER RETENTION. MICHIGAN IS ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, BELOW THE AVERAGE COMPARED TO OTHER STATES. ON AVERAGE.>>SO WHAT DOES AN EFFECTIVE ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM LOOK LIKE? IF YOU WERE TO S– TO DESIGN ONE FROM SCRATCH, WHAT ELEMENTS WOULD YOU INCLUDE, AND WHAT WOULD YOU ELIMINATE? HOW WOULD THE SYSTEM HOLD SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS ACCOUNTABLE FOR STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT?>>A-AGAIN, ACCOUNTABILITY, CLEAR EXPECTATIONS. SO THAT’S-THAT’S NUMBER ONE, WHAT DO WE EXPECT? I– AND I THINK THE MAJOR EXPECTATION IS GROWTH. AND I DON’T KNOW IF WE USE THE PHRASE “VALUE ADD” OR NOT– I USE THE WORD “VALUE ADD.” BUT KIDS WALK INTO THE SCHOOLHOUSE AT DIFFERENT PLACES. SEPTEMBER 1ST COMES, SCHOOL STARTS, AND YOU’VE GOT KIDS ALL OVER THE PLACE AS FAR AS WHERE THEY ARE IN THAT PARTICULAR CONTENT. BUT IF WE HAVE THEM FOR NINE MONTHS, THERE SHOULD BE SOME GROWTH DURING THAT NINE MONTHS, AND I THINK THAT REALLY SHOULD BE THE FOCUS OF WHETHER WE’RE SEEING SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS ARE IMPROVING OR NOT. DID THEY GROW DURING THAT NINE MONTHS? I THINK WE ALSO HAVE TO START PUSHING TOWARD NINE MONTHS OF GROWTH ISN’T GOING TO BE ENOUGH. IF THEY’RE ALREADY TWO OR THREE GRADES BEHIND, GETTING NINE MONTHS OF GROWTH… WELL, YOU’RE STILL TWO OR THREE GRADES BEHIND. SO I THINK WE’VE GOT TO START HAVING THE CONVERSATION, “HOW DO WE ACCELERATE GROWTH?” AND WE’RE ACTUALLY GETTING 1.25 YEARS, AND 1.5 YEARS OF GROWTH, AND I THINK WE’VE GOT TO START THINKING IN THAT– IN THAT DIRECTION. THE OTHER THING I THINK IT’S MOST IMPORTANT FROM THE STATE LEVEL IS A VERY ROBUST SUPPORT STRUCTURE. HAVING AN OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH STATE DEPARTMENTS OF ED ACROSS THE COUNTRY, THEY’RE ALL OVER THE PLACE, TO BE VERY HONEST. UNDER NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, BECAUSE THERE’S A LITTLE MORE OF A FEDERAL, YOU KNOW, WE COULD CALL IT– IT WAS– WE COULD SAY IT WAS INFLEXIBLE, BUT YOU KNOW, YOU HAD TO DO CERTAIN THINGS. UNDER ESSA, THERE’S A LOT MORE FLEXIBILITY, AND THAT-THAT LEVEL OF FLEXIBILITY MAY NOT ALWAYS BE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF KIDS, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE DEPARTMENTS OF ED, AND-AND STATE AGENCIES NOW MAKING DECISIONS BECAUSE THEY HAVE THAT FLEXIBILITY. IT-IT MAY NOT ALWAYS BE THE RIGHT DECISION. BUT I THINK YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE A ROBUST STRUCTURE OF SUPPORT. AND I WOULD SAY THE THIRD THING IS BASED ON PERFORMANCE, THAT THERE IS THIS DIFFERENTIATED LEVEL OF INTERVENTION. AT SOME POINT, YOU HAVE TO INTERVENE. OBVIOUSLY, IF YOU’RE A HIGH-PERFORMING SCHOOL IN A HIGH-PERFORMING DISTRICT, YOU KNOW, GO AND DO YOUR THING, YOU KNOW? EVERYTHING’S MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, PARTICULARLY IF YOU’RE LOOKING AT SUBGROUP DATA. IF THAT’S NOT THE CASE, THEN WE’VE GOT TO START LOOKING AT IF YOU’RE NOT MAKING PROGRESS, THEN THE ROLE THAT THIS AGENCY PLAYS HAS TO INCREASE. SO THIS IDEA OF INCREASED INTERVENTION BASED ON OVERALL PERFORMANCE, I THINK, HAS TO BE A CRITICAL PIECE TO THAT, AND I THINK BRINGING PEOPLE TO THE TABLE TO, “WHAT COULD THAT LOOK LIKE?” AND LEARNING FROM SOME OTHER STATES WOULD BE IMPORTANT AS WELL.>>I’M-I’M SORRY, WE GOT–>>[ INDISTINCT ].>>I’D REALLY LIKE TO ASK, THOUGH.>>VERY, VERY, VERY BRIEFLY.>>SORRY.>>ERIC, YOU’RE– ABOUT THE 1.25, 1.5 YEARS GROWTH?>>MM-HMM.>>IS THERE ANY– AND THIS PROBABLY SPANS SOME OF THE OTHER ONES, SO EVEN THE NEXT ONE– IS THERE ANY DANGER IN JUST FOCUSING ON TEST-TAKING? AND THAT, YOU KNOW– AT WHAT COST? SO I MEAN, YOU KNOW, YOU COULD GROW. DR. YONG ZHAO IS A– HAS COME HERE AND SAID YOU CAN GET ANY KID TO READ BY THIRD GRADE, BUT THEN THEY HATE THEIR– THEY MAY HATE READING THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. YOU KNOW, AND SO, THI-THIS WHOLE IDEA OF BASING SUCCESS ON A TEST OR TEST-TAKING ABILITIES, IS THERE ANY DOWNSIDE TO THAT? AND ARE YOU OPEN TO– THIS BOARD HAS BEEN A LITTLE BIT LEERY– WE FOUGHT A-F, WE FOUGHT, YOU KNOW, REALLY HIGH-STAKES TESTING AND THINGS LIKE THAT, AND SAID THAT THERE’S MORE TO IT THAN JUST A TEST.>>ABSOLUTELY.>>ARE YOU OPEN TO– IF THIS BOARD INSTRUCTED YOU TO LOOK AT OTHER TYPES OF SUCCESS AND ACHIEVEMENT AND GROWTH– I MEAN, YOU KNOW, AND-AND– COULD YOU SPEAK TO THAT, JUST BRIEFLY?>>ABSOLUTELY. ULTIMATELY, I TH– YOU KNOW, A-AGAIN, SOCIAL STUDIES BACKGROUND SAYS, “HERE’S WHAT THE LAW IS, “AND BASED ON WHAT THE LAW SAYS “NOW, THEN WE ACTUALLY “HAVE TO HONOR WHATEVER “THAT LAW IS NOW.” I’M A FIRM BELIEVER THAT WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO LOOK AT KIDS A LITTLE MORE HOLISTICALLY, AND THAT A TEST ON A SINGLE GIVEN DAY DOES NOT NECESSARILY SAY THAT YOU LEARN WHATEVER CONTENT THAT WE THINK THAT YOU LEARN. TOTALLY UNDERSTAND IT, TOTALLY APPRECIATE THAT, AND WOULD BE VERY OPEN AT LOOKING AT OTHER OPPORTUNITIES TO-TO CONFIRM WHETHER KIDS LEARNED. I-I WILL SAY– A-AND AGAIN, I-I’M– A-ALWAYS ATTEMPT TO BE PRETTY TRANSPARENT– IN-IN OUR SOCIETY, WHETHER WE AGREE WITH IT OR NOT, WE UTILIZE ASSESSMENTS. IF YOU WANT A LI– A DRIVER’S LICENSE, YOU TAKE A TEST. IF YOU WANT TO BECOME A LAWYER, YOU TAKE A TEST. SO O-OBVIOUSLY THAT’S A BROADER CONVERSATION. IF THE LAW SAYS THAT’S WHERE WE ARE, THEN-THEN OBVIOUSLY THAT WOULD BE MY FOCUS.>>OH, IT’S MY TURN. SO DESCRIBE– YOU’VE KIND OF HIT ON THIS ALREADY, SO MAYBE IT’LL BE A-A SHORTER ANSWER. BUT DESCRIBE BEST PRACTICES IN TURNAROUND– SCHOOL TURNAROUND– INCLUDING THE ROLE OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.>>I’LL KEEP THAT ONE SHORT.>>OKAY, YEAH, BECAUSE I THINK YOU’VE RUN– YOU’VE GIVEN A LOT OF, YEAH, GOOD INFORMATION.>>UM, I’LL– AGAIN, MY BACKGROUND, I MEAN, THAT’S WHERE I’VE ANCHORED MY BACKGROUND ON. WE’VE FOCUSED ON FOUR LEVERS: LEADERSHIP, TALENT MANAGEMENT, WHAT I WOULD CALL THE INSTRUCTIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE– THAT’S ALL THE TEACHING AND LEARNING COMPONENTS– AND WHAT WE CALL SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY. IT’S THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SCHOOLS AND THE DISTRICTS. THOSE ARE SORT OF KEY INDICATORS OR THE KEY PIECES TO THAT WORK. A FOCUS ON ACADEMICS AND NON-ACADEMICS. AND I THINK THAT’S MAYBE WHERE MR. McMILLIN IS GOING, TO SOME EXTENT. A RICH FOCUS ON THE NON-ACADEMIC SIDE OF THE WORK. AGAIN, KIDS WALK IN WITH MANY CHALLENGES. AND YOU HAVE TO HONOR THAT AND YOU HAVE TO ENSURE THAT SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS HAVE CERTAIN SYSTEMS IN PLACE AND WE CAN MEASURE THOSE SYSTEMS THEN, IF THEY HAVE THOSE SYSTEMS IN PLACE. THE OTHER PIECE THAT I WOULD ADD TO THAT IS JUST A RICH APPRECIATION FOR DATA. AND, AGAIN, THAT’S QUALITATIVE AND THAT’S QUANTITATIVE DATA. THAT’S SURVEY DATA. IT’S WHATEVER ASSESSMENT DATA THAT WE MAY ALSO HAVE IN PLACE. SO THAT WE CAN IDENTIFY ARE THERE GAPS? WE CAN IDENTIFY, IS THIS SUBGROUP MOVING? IS THIS SUBGROUP NOT MOVING? AND WE’RE NOT WAITING UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR TO MAKE– TO UNDERSTAND THAT. THAT WE ACTUALLY HAVE FORMATIVE PRACTICES IN PLACE TO UNDERSTAND WHETHER KIDS ARE MOVING IN REAL TIME. BECAUSE WHAT WE’RE REALLY TRYING TO DO IS BUILD MOMENTUM. MOST OF THE TURNAROUND WORK IS LITERALLY AROUND CHANGING MINDSET AND BUILDING SOME SMALL WINS. AND AS YOU LOOK AT WHATEVER DATA YOU LOOK AT, AND YOU START GETTING WIN– SMALL WINS, IT CREATES A POSITIVE CULTURE. AND IT’S SORT OF THAT FLYWHEEL EFFECT. BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, THERE’S THIS MOMENTUM THAT’S TAKING PLACE. AND THAT’S HOW YOU GENERATE THE ENERGY TO CREATE THE TRANSFORMATION THAT’S POSSIBLE. I MEAN, THERE REALLY IS A SCIENCE BEHIND IT, TO SOME EXTENT.>>QUESTION NUMBER [INDISTINCT]. IF WE WERE TALK TO YOUR GREATEST CRITIC IN YOUR CURRENT POSITION AND/OR ORGANIZATION, WHAT WOULD THEIR CRITICISM BE OF YOU? AND THEN ALSO, WHAT WOULD BE THEIR GREATEST COMPLIMENT?>>IS IT THE SAME PERSON? THE SAME CRITIC?>>YOU CHOOSE.>>OOH, THAT’S DIFFERENT. I THINK THE CRITIC WOULD QUESTION WHETHER I’M MOVING TOO FAST. AND WE CAN LOOK AT THAT AS A POSITIVE AND A NEGATIVE. BUT I THINK THE CRITIC WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW, “GOD, YOUR LEVEL OF URGENCY “DOESN’T MATCH MY LEVEL “OF URGENCY.” I’M ACTUALLY OKAY WITH THAT, MOST DAYS. SO, I THINK THAT’S WHAT SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SAY. I JUST SIMPLY HAVE TO BE AWARE OF THAT. IN REGARDS TO, I WOULD SAY, THAT SAME PERSON WOULD QUICKLY SAY ERIC IS EXTREMELY PASSIONATE ABOUT KIDS. THAT’S WHY HE’S URGENT. THE RESEARCH AROUND A PARTICULAR YEAR FOR A KID AND THE IMPACT ON ONE GRADE LEVEL FOR THAT STUDENT– WE CAN’T GIVE AWAY YEARS. YOU KNOW, THERE’S RESEARCH THAT SPEAKS ABOUT, IF YOU’VE GOT ONE STUDENT WHO DOESN’T HAVE AN EFFECTIVE TEACHER AND DOESN’T REALLY LEARN CONTENT IN THAT ONE YEAR, IT HAS AN ELONGATED EFFECT OVER TWO OR THREE YEARS. SO, WE CAN’T WASTE YEARS. OBVIOUSLY, WE HAVE TO BE VERY STRATEGIC. WE GO BACK TO THE IDEA OF COMPROMISING. BUT, YOU KNOW, THIS IS, YOU KNOW, TO SOME EXTENT, MISSIONARY WORK. I DO BELIEVE IT’S ABOUT SAVING KIDS’ LIVES. AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I SOMETIMES SAY, IF YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH THE MOVIE “TAKEN,” AND I’M NOT GOING TO WALK THROUGH IT– BUT IF YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH THE MOVIE “TAKEN,” LIAM NEESON’S DAUGHTER’S LIFE IS IN JEOPARDY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. HE DOES WHATEVER HE NEEDS TO DO QUICKLY TO SAVE HIS DAUGHTER’S LIFE. IF OUR CHILD WAS ON THE WEST COAST IN TROUBLE, DYING, WE WOULD DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING WE NEEDED TO DO TO GO AND SAVE OUR KIDS’ LIVES. THERE ARE KIDS IN MICHIGAN THAT GO TO SCHOOLS EVERY SINGLE DAY, AND THEY’RE DYING. AND WE CAN SAY THEY’RE LITERALLY DYING OR FIGURATIVELY DYING, BUT THEY’RE DYING. SO, THE IDEA THAT WE’RE GOING TO NOT BE URGENT, THAT DOESN’T– THAT’S JUST NOT– THAT DOESN’T RESONATE WITH ME VERY MUCH.>>HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE THE ROLE OF THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT AND THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION? WHAT IS YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SUPERINTENDENT AND THE BOARD?>>AGAIN, I REPORT TO THE STATE BOARD. AND I SEE OUR RELATIONSHIP AS A PARTNERSHIP. THE BOARD IS OBLIGATED TO CREATE POLICY AND TO SORT OF DEFINE DIRECTION, DRIVEN BY A STRATEGIC PLAN. MY ROLE IS TO EXECUTE ON THAT. MY ROLE IS TO IMPLEMENT THAT. MY ROLE IS TO MONITOR THAT. MY ROLE IS TO ENGAGE EVERY RESOURCE THAT I HAVE AT MY DISPOSAL TO SUPPORT THAT STRATEGIC PLAN. BUT IT’S ALWAYS IN UNISON. AS I SPOKE A LITTLE BIT EARLIER, I ENGAGE WITH OUR BOARD MEMBERS ON A REGULAR BASIS, BECAUSE WE ALWAYS WANT TO SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE. MY WORK AT UVA, WE STARTED WORKING WITH SCHOOL BOARDS. THERE’S A BODY OF RESEARCH– YOU KNOW, IF YOU’VE GOT EFFECTIVE PRACTICES AT THE SCHOOL BOARD LEVEL, YOU KNOW, IT CORRELATES TO STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT OUTCOMES. SO WE STARTED DOING A LOT OF WORK ABOUT SUPPORTING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SCHOOL BOARDS. WE’RE ACTUALLY DOING THAT IN GEORGIA NOW, WITH THE DISTRICTS THAT I WORK WITH. SO, IT’S A PARTNERSHIP. THE BOARD HAS A ROLE, THE SUPERINTENDENT HAS A ROLE. BUT IT’S ALWAYS IN UNISON.>>REAL QUICK. I KNOW YOU SAID YOU MOVE FAST, HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE FOR YOU TO DEVELOP A STRATEGIC PLAN?>>HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE FOR US TO DEVELOP A STRATEGIC PLAN?>>YES.>>I THINK THE ROADMAP WITH THE SEVEN GOALS, I THINK, PROVIDES A REALLY STRONG ANCHOR. IT’S REALLY NOW JUST SORT OF GOING A LITTLE BIT DEEPER. YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE THE ACTION STEPS? WHO’S OWNING THIS? WHAT’S THE TIME TABLE? YOU KNOW, THOSE SORT OF THINGS. I DON’T THINK THERE’S A CRITICAL NEED TO MAKE MAJOR ADJUSTMENTS TO WHERE WE ARE NOW. IT’S JUST SIMPLY PULLING PEOPLE TOGETHER TO TAKE SORT OF THE SKELETON OF A PLAN TO ACTUALLY TURN IT INTO MORE OF A FULL-FLEDGED PLAN. I COULD SEE THAT– AND, AGAIN, I THINK IT’S JUST A MATTER OF HOW MUCH ENGAGEMENT THAT THE BOARD WOULD WANT. I THINK THAT COULD BE DONE IN THREE MONTHS. I THINK IT COULD BE DONE ON A LONGER RUNWAY IN SIX MONTHS. BUT I THINK IT’S REALLY JUST A MATTER OF HOW MUCH ENGAGEMENT THAT WE WANT AND EXPECT FROM STAKEHOLDERS.>>THANK YOU.>>AS STATE SUPERINTENDENT, YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR A LARGE BUDGET. WHAT ARE SOME PRINCIPLES YOU BELIEVE ARE KEY TO BUILDING AND MANAGING A BUDGET? WHAT DO YOU FORESEE AS YOUR ROLE IN THE STATE BUDGETARY PROCESS?>>YOU KNOW, BUDGETS SHOULD ALWAYS ALIGN TO PRIORITIES. AND, AGAIN, IF THERE’S NO STRATEGIC PLAN, THEN THERE ARE NO PRIORITIES. AND THAT’S WHERE– MY EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN THAT’S WHERE DISTRICTS GET IN TROUBLE. THEY GET TO THE BUDGET TIME OF THE YEAR, BUT BECAUSE THERE’S NO CLARITY ABOUT PRIORITIES, EVERYBODY SORT OF GETS TO FIGHT ABOUT WHAT GOES IN THE BUDGET. WHEREAS, IF THERE’S A VERY UNIFIED, AGREED UPON, STAKEHOLDER-DEVELOPED STRATEGIC PLAN, MY EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN THE BUDGET PROCESS BECOMES A LOT EASIER. BECAUSE HERE ARE FOUR PRIORITIES. WE AGREED ON THESE PRIORITIES. THEY’RE NOT ERIC’S PRIORITIES. THEY’RE STAKEHOLDER PRIORITIES. SO HAVING THAT STRATEGIC PLAN, HAVING SOME CLEAR PRIORITIES REALLY BECOMES THE DRIVER OF THE BUDGET. AND YOU’RE SIMPLY NOW ALLOCATING DOLLARS TO EXECUTE THE STRATEGIC PLAN. I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS, AS THE SUPERINTENDENT, I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT’S RESPONSIBLE FOR DOING IS ALWAYS BEING CONSCIOUS AND, AGAIN, ALWAYS LOOKING AT DATA. ARE WE MOVING THIS PRIORITY? ARE WE MOVING THAT PRIORITY? IF WE’RE NOT MOVING THAT PRIORITY, FIRST OF ALL, WHY? AND DO WE NEED TO REALLOCATE RESOURCES TO THIS PRIORITY? WHICH MAY MEAN PULLING SOME RESOURCES FROM ANOTHER PRIORITY. BUT, AGAIN, THAT’S ALWAYS AROUND LOOKING AT WHAT THE DATA’S TELLING US. SO THAT, IF YOU NEED TO REALLOCATE FUNDING, YOU HAVE A DATA-INFORMED REASON FOR MAKING THAT DECISION. AND NOW YOU CAN GO BACK AND, YOU KNOW, SHARE THAT WITH WHOEVER WANTS TO HEAR IT. “THIS IS WHY WE’VE MADE “THIS ADJUSTMENT, BECAUSE “THE DATA SAYS WE’RE NOT “MOVING AS QUICKLY “IN THIS PARTICULAR AREA “AS COMPARED TO ANOTHER AREA.” THE OTHER THING I WOULD HIGHLIGHT IS THIS IDEA OF RETURN ON INVESTMENT. I THINK THERE ARE ALWAYS OPPORTUNITIES TO BE MORE EFFICIENT. I THINK THERE’S ALWAYS OPPORTUNITIES TO ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING IN A MORE EFFECTIVE MANNER, UTILIZING TECHNOLOGY, NOT UTILIZING TECHNOLOGY. BUT HOW DO WE ACCOMPLISH WHAT WE WANT TO ACCOMPLISH IN A MORE EFFICIENT MANNER, SO THAT WE NOW CAN TAKE WHATEVER ABUNDANT RESOURCES AND SEND THEM SOMEWHERE ELSE, SO THAT WE ACTUALLY ACCELERATE ANOTHER PRIORITY? SO IT’S NOT JUST SAVING MONEY TO BE SAVING MONEY. IT’S LITERALLY SAVING MONEY SO THAT WE CAN CHAMPION THOSE FUNDS SOMEWHERE ELSE THAT NEEDS IT THE MOST.>>THANK YOU.>>ABSOLUTELY.>>HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE DECISIONS THAT ARE UNPOPULAR WITH STAKEHOLDERS BUT EDUCATIONALLY NECESSARY FOR THE STATE EDUCATION SYSTEM TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ALL CHILDREN? PLEASE CITE ACTUAL EXAMPLES.>>THAT DECISION-MAKING PROCESS– AND HOPEFULLY YOU’VE HEARD THIS, THIS IDEA ABOUT COLLABORATION, HOPEFULLY WHATEVER DECISION IS BEING MADE, IT’S NOT A SINGLE PERSON’S DECISION. THAT THERE’S BEEN ENOUGH WORK ON THE FRONT END THAT WE’RE, TO SOME EXTENT, JOINTLY MAKING THE DECISION. EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS THIS IS– WE’VE SORT OF AGREED TO IT, TO SOME EXTENT. SO I THINK THAT BEING PROACTIVE AND BEING COLLABORATIVE ALLOWS THAT TO TAKE PLACE. HOWEVER, THERE– YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES LEADERS HAVE TO MAKE DIFFICULT DECISIONS. AND WHEN YOU MAKE DIFFICULT DECISIONS, I THINK YOU ALWAYS GO BACK– WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY? WHAT DOES THE EVIDENCE OR THE DATA SAY? AND I THINK YOU ALWAYS GO BACK AND ANCHOR IT ON WHAT’S BEST FOR KIDS. ONE OF THE THINGS WE DID– AND I TALKED ABOUT EIP, THE EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVES PANEL. AGAIN, NINE ADMINISTRATORS, NINE TEACHERS. AT THE START OF EVERY MEETING, I WOULD PUT A PICTURE OF KIDS AT THE CENTER OF THE TABLE. AND IT WAS OUR SYMBOLIC WAY OF SAYING, “WE CAN DISCUSS, “WE CAN ARGUE A LITTLE BIT, “BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, “LET’S MAKE SURE THAT “WE ALWAYS FOCUS BACK ON KIDS, “THAT THEY’RE AT THE CENTER OF “THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS.” SO, IT WAS SYMBOLIC, BUT IT ALSO WAS– IF SOMEBODY WANTED TO MOVE IN A CERTAIN DIRECTION, HOW DOES THAT APPLY TO KIDS? YOU WANT TO MOVE IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION? OKAY, HOW DOES THAT APPLY TO KIDS? AND IF YOU COULDN’T MAKE THE ARGUMENT THAT IT WAS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF KIDS, WE WOULD– IT WOULD ALLOW US TO SORT OF PUSH BACK ON THAT ARGUMENT A LITTLE BIT. SO, I THINK THOSE ARE JUST SOME IDEAS AROUND HOW WE CAN SORT OF MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION. I’LL GIVE ANOTHER EXAMPLE IN MY PRESENT WORK. OUR SUPERINTENDENTS WERE NOT EXCITED THAT WE ACTUALLY PROVIDE A MONTHLY REPORT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT AND TO THE LOCAL BOARD PRESIDENT. AND, QUITE HONESTLY, OUR SUPERINTENDENTS WEREN’T EXCITED ABOUT THAT. FROM AN ACCOUNTABILITY STANDPOINT, I THINK WE ALL CAN APPRECIATE THAT THE MOMENT THE LOCAL BOARD KNOWS WHAT IS OR IS NOT TAKING PLACE, THERE’S A LEVEL OF EXPECTATION THAT’S PUT FORTH. SO, ALTHOUGH OUR SUPERINTENDENTS WERE NOT EXCITED ABOUT IT, OUR BOARD MEMBERS OR THE LOCAL PRESIDENTS WERE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT IT. IT WAS THE BEST THING FOR KIDS, BECAUSE NOW THERE’S A LITTLE BIT OF A PUSH. THE BOARD MEMBERS AND THE BOARD PRESIDENT KNOW WHAT IS OR WHAT’S NOT GOING ON. AND NOW THEY CAN ASK QUESTIONS OF WHAT IS TAKING PLACE. OBVIOUSLY, THE SUPERINTENDENT GOES AND ASKS QUESTIONS TO THE PRINCIPAL SUPERVISOR. PRINCIPAL SUPERVISOR GOES AND HAS CONVERSATION WITH THE PRINCIPALS. YOU KNOW, THAT WHOLE ACCOUNTABILITY CHAIN. SO, THAT WOULD BE AN EXAMPLE. THE OTHER EXAMPLE I WOULD BRIEFLY SHARE IN MY WORK AT UVA– AND EVERYBODY WASN’T HAPPY WITH THIS. AND, AGAIN, IT’S NOT LIKE WE MADE ANYBODY– YOU KNOW, WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO MAKE ANYBODY DO ANYTHING. BUT WE OPENED THE CONVERSATION AROUND ENCOURAGING DISTRICTS TO CREATE STRUCTURES TO ENCOURAGE THEIR HIGHEST PERFORMING TEACHERS BASED ON SOME DATA TO CONSIDER MOVING TO THE SCHOOLS THAT NEED THEM THE MOST. THAT WAS AN INCREDIBLE PARADIGM SHIFT. EVERYONE ISN’T EXCITED ABOUT EVEN HAVING THAT CONVERSATION. AND AGAIN, OUR ROLE– YOU KNOW, WE CAN’T MAKE ANYBODY DO ANYTHING. BUT OPENING THAT CONVERSATION ALLOWED PEOPLE TO START THINKING ABOUT IF WE’RE REALLY GOING TO DO WHAT’S RIGHT FOR KIDS, AND WE’VE GOT DATA THAT SAYS THESE ARE THE– SOME OF THE BEST TEACHERS IN THE DISTRICT AND THEY’RE TEACHING, QUITE HONESTLY, KIDS WHO ARE PROBABLY, YOU KNOW, WALKING IN AND PROBABLY COULD TEACH THE TEACHER SOMETIME, HOW AWESOME WOULD IT BE TO HAVE SOME OF THOSE TEACHERS VOLUNTARILY– AND WE INCENTIVIZED THEM IN SOME MANNER– COME AND TEACH THE KIDS WHO ACTUALLY NEED THEM THE MOST. THAT’S WHAT’S IN THE BEST INTEREST OF KIDS. BUT THOSE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT WE’VE PROMOTED. AND SOME DISTRICTS JUMP ONTO THAT, AND SOMETIMES THEY JUST, QUITE HONESTLY, NEEDED SOMEBODY TO SORT OF TAKE THE BLAME FOR IT. AND WE WERE MORE THAN HAPPY TO TAKE THE BLAME.>>SINCE I’M NEXT, I’M JUST GOING TO TAG ON AND SAY I’M ASSUMING YOU LIKE THAT EIP SYSTEM. IT SOUNDS GOOD HAVING TEACHERS, LIKE, AT 50%–>>OH, ABSOLUTELY.>>SO YOU HAD TO AT LEAST GET SOME TEACHERS ON BOARD WITH THE ADMINISTRATORS OR IT WASN’T MOVING FORWARD. SO I’M ASSUMING MAYBE WE MIGHT DO THAT IN THE STATE. YOU MIGHT BE OKAY WITH THAT.>>I THINK IN GENERAL I WOULD.>>OKAY. WHAT’S THE MOST DIFFICULT DECISION YOU’VE HAD TO MAKE IN THE LAST TWO TO THREE YEARS, AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN?>>ONE WAS A STAFFING DECISION. AND, YOU KNOW, WITHOUT GETTING TOO CONCRETE, I ACTUALLY HAVE AN EXECUTIVE COACH. AND MY EXECUTIVE COACH HELPED ME APPRECIATE THAT IF YOU’RE SPENDING AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF TIME CONSIDERING WHETHER SOME SORT OF PERSONNEL MOVE NEEDS TO BE MADE, YOU’RE ALREADY LATE. IF YOU’RE HAVING TO SPEND THAT MUCH TIME DELIBERATING SHOULD YOU DO SOMETHING, SHOULD YOU NOT, THAT MEANS YOU’RE PROBABLY ARE ACTUALLY ALREADY TOO LATE. SO THAT’S ONE THING THAT I’VE LEARNED. A SECOND THING RECENTLY IS A NEW INITIATIVE THAT WE WERE PROMOTING. AND IT JUST DEPENDS ON WHETHER IT WAS A CHALLENGE OR NOT. WE HAD ABOUT A THREE MONTH RUNWAY TO THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION. AND WE DIDN’T GET ENOUGH ENGAGEMENT OR STAKEHOLDERS TO SORT OF SUPPORT THIS INITIATIVE. SO IT DID NOT MOVE FORWARD. I THINK IT’S POISED TO MOVE FORWARD IN THE NEXT LEGISLATIVE SESSION. SO DEPENDING ON HOW WE SORT OF LOOK AT THAT, HAVING A THREE MONTH RUNWAY JUST WASN’T GOING TO WORK. HAVING WHAT WOULD TURN OUT TO BE ABOUT A 15 MONTH RUNWAY WILL ACTUALLY BE– IT WOULD ACTUALLY PASS PROBABLY IN THE NEXT TWO OR THREE MONTHS NOW. SO I THINK WHAT– AND I THINK I ALREADY KNEW IT– THAT, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO BE NOT ONLY STRATEGIC, BUT YOU REALLY HAVE TO TRY TO FORECAST AS SORT OF AS LONG AS POSSIBLE AS FAR AS POSSIBLE SO THAT YOU’RE NOT CAUGHT IN SORT OF MAKING DECISIONS OR SORT OF PROMOTING, YOU KNOW, WHAT SOME PEOPLE MIGHT CONSIDER TO BE A CONTROVERSIAL DECISION OR A CONTROVERSIAL INITIATIVE, SORT OF WITHOUT A LONG ENOUGH RUNWAY TO SORT OF GET PEOPLE TO BUY INTO IT OR SUPPORT IT.>>DISCUSS IN DETAIL EFFORTS YOU HAVE TAKEN PERSONALLY TO RAISE AND SUSTAIN STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND THE RESULTS. WHAT ELEMENTS OF THESE EFFORTS SHOULD BE PRESENT IN THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION’S STRATEGIC PLAN FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPROVEMENT IN THIS STATE?>>I’LL GIVE A COUPLE OF EXAMPLES. AS A FORMER PRINCIPAL– AND THIS ACTUALLY GOES INTO A LINE OF, YOU KNOW, THIS EIP CONCEPT. AT THE SCHOOL LEVEL, THERE WAS ANOTHER COLLABORATIVE CULTURE. IT WAS CALLED THE ILT, THE INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM. BY CONTRACT, THE ILT HAD TO BE MADE UP OF 60% TEACHERS, SO IT WASN’T EVEN 50/50, IT WAS BY 60%. SO AS A PRINCIPAL, I COULDN’T CHANGE BELL SCHEDULES. I– YOU KNOW, QUITE HONESTLY, I COULDN’T DO A WHOLE LOT OF ANYTHING WITHOUT ILT ACTUALLY APPROVING IT. AND AGAIN, THAT’S 60% TEACHERS. WE WERE ABLE TO GET OUR– ONE OF THOSE TALENT MANAGEMENT CONVERSATIONS– WE WERE ACTUALLY ABLE TO GET SOME OF OUR STRONGEST JUNIOR/SENIOR TEACHERS, YOU KNOW, THE TEACHERS WHO ARE TEACHING AP AND ALL OF THOSE SORT OF THINGS, SOME OF OUR VETERAN TEACHERS, WE ACTUALLY CONVINCED THEM TO GO AND TEACH NINTH AND TENTH GRADERS. IT WAS VOLUNTARY. AGAIN, TECHNICALLY I HAD NO AUTHORITY TO MAKE THEM DO ANYTHING. BUT WE TOOK THAT– I MEAN, I HAD LOTS OF CONVERSATIONS WITH THEM, LOTS OF CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER PEOPLE. ULTIMATELY, THEY AGREED TO DO IT. AND IT REALLY JUST CHANGED THE CONTEXT OF OUR SCHOOL. I MEAN, IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST DECISIONS WE EVER MADE. IT ALLOWED OUR SCHOOL TO GO FROM AN F SCHOOL TO A B SCHOOL, BECAUSE WE UNDERSTOOD THAT IF WE DON’T CATCH OUR NINTH GRADERS AS THEY WALK IN THE BUILDING, WAIT UNTIL THEY’RE JUNIORS– FIRST OF ALL, THEY MAY NOT EVER GET TO JUNIOR/SENIOR STATUS, SO WE NEED TO HAVE OUR BEST TEACHERS AT GRADES NINE AND TEN. AND WE CREATED A CULTURE THAT OUR STRONGEST TEACHERS WERE COMFORTABLE DOING THAT. AND THEN WE LOOPED THEM, SO THEY TAUGHT NINTH GRADE, AND THEN THEY FOLLOWED THE KIDS TO GRADE TEN. AND WHAT WE PROMISED THEM WAS YOU ONLY HAVE TO DO IT FOR TWO YEARS. SO IF YOU DO IT FOR TWO YEARS, YOU CAN GO BACK AND KEEP FOLLOWING THOSE KIDS FOR 11TH AND 12TH GRADE, AND THEN WE WOULD START OVER FOUR YEARS LATER. THAT WAS A PART OF SORT OF THE COMPROMISE, A PART OF THE BARGAIN. SO I THINK THAT’S ONE OF THE SORT OF THINGS THAT SUSTAINS STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. OBVIOUSLY THE WORK THAT I DID– THAT I’VE DONE AT UVA IN SORT OF THE MODEL THAT WE PROMOTED HAS HAD A POSITIVE IMPACT ON LITERALLY KIDS AND STUDENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THAT WORK. THE WORK THAT WE’RE DOING IN GEORGIA, I’M REALLY EXCITED. FOR EACH OF OUR SCHOOLS, WE HAVE THEM IDENTIFY FOUR PRIORITIES. ONE PRIORITY AROUND CLIMATE AND CULTURE, TWO PRIORITIES AROUND ACADEMICS, AND A FOURTH PRIORITY AROUND A NON-ACADEMIC BARRIER. YOU KNOW, YOU PROBABLY KNOW HOW THIS WORKS. THEY HAVE 90 DAY PLANS, 45 AND 90 DAY PLANS. EVERY CONVERSATION, EVERY RESOURCE IS ANCHORED AROUND THOSE FOUR PRIORITIES. WE MONITOR, WE SUPPORT THOSE FOUR PRIORITIES. THAT STRUCTURE– I MEAN, WE’VE GOTTEN INCREDIBLE FEEDBACK ABOUT THAT STRUCTURE. EVEN THOUGH WE MAY NOT BE WORKING WITH THE SCHOOL IN THAT PARTICULAR DISTRICT, MOST OF THE DISTRICTS– I THINK MOST OF THE DISTRICTS THAT WE WORK WITH HAVE ADOPTED THAT CONCEPT DISTRICT-WIDE NOW. SO I THINK THOSE ARE JUST SOME EXAMPLES.>>WHAT DO YOU SEE THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WITH LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICTS?>>THAT’S AN INTERESTING ONE. AND AGAIN, I DON’T EXACTLY KNOW MICHIGAN’S CONTEXT, BUT WHAT I CAN SHARE IS WHAT I’VE SEEN AROUND THE COUNTRY. HERE, THEY’RE CALLED ISDs, SOME PLACES THEY’RE CALLED RESAs, BUT SAME CONCEPT. WHAT I’VE LEARNED IS THAT ISDs HAVE DIFFERENT CAPACITIES, AND THERE’S SOME THAT ARE EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH QUALITY, AND THERE’S SOME OTHERS NORMALLY THAT ARE ON THE OTHER END OF THAT SPECTRUM AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN. I ACTUALLY THINK THE AGENCY SHOULD PROVIDE A LITTLE MORE DIRECTION AND CREATE MORE ALIGNMENT WITH THE ISDs AND WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. AND WHAT I MEAN BY THAT IS, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A STATE ESSA PLAN. WE HAVE– YOU KNOW, WE TALK ABOUT THE SPECIAL ED, YOU KNOW, INTERVENTION. YOU KNOW, THE DEPARTMENT OF ED, FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF ED DOES NOT GO TO SPECIFIC DISTRICTS OR SPECIFIC ISDs. THEY COME TO THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF ED. SO I THINK THERE HAS TO BE A GREATER LEVEL OF COHERENCE AND ALIGNMENT BETWEEN DISTRICTS, ISDs, AND THE DEPARTMENT. AGAIN, EXACTLY WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE, I THINK WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CO-CREATE WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE. BUT I THINK THERE HAS TO BE A GREATER ALIGNMENT SO THAT WE ARE SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE MORE OFTEN. IN MY MIND, WE CAN’T ALLOW STUDENTS AND SCHOOLS TO SORT OF CREATE THEIR OWN SORT OF DEPARTMENT OF ED THROUGH THAT PARTICULAR ISD. SO I THINK THERE HAS TO BE A LITTLE MORE COHERENCE AND ALIGNMENT BETWEEN DISTRICTS, THE ISD, AND THE DEPARTMENT. I SAY THAT BASED OFF OF MY EXPERIENCE IN OTHER STATES WHERE SOME OF THE RESAs, YOU KNOW, DON’T NECESSARILY ALIGN OR DON’T SEE THEMSELVES AS A PART OF THE GREATER STATE DEPARTMENT OF ED.>>SO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HAS IDENTIFIED MICHIGAN’S SPECIAL ED PROGRAM AS NEEDING INTERVENTION DUE TO POOR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE AND LOW GRADUATION RATES. WHAT STEPS WOULD YOU TAKE AS STATE SUPERINTENDENT TO IMPROVE SPECIAL EDUCATION?>>I THINK ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IS TO REALLY GET A STRONG UNDERSTANDING OF DISTRICTS, SCHOOLS AND ISDs THAT ARE DOING REALLY GOOD WORK. YOU KNOW, WHERE ARE STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES PERFORMING WELL AT? AND WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS, THE PRACTICES THAT ARE TAKING PLACE IN THOSE SCHOOLS, THOSE DISTRICTS, THOSE ISDs SO THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THEM? SO I THINK THAT’S MAYBE NUMBER ONE. I THINK WE CAN ALSO DO THE SAME THING SORT OF FROM A NATIONAL STANDPOINT. YOU KNOW, I OFTENTIMES JOKE WHEN I WOULD GO AND WORK WITH A DISTRICT AND, YOU KNOW, SORT OF HELP THEM THINK THROUGH AND SORT OF MAYBE GUIDE THEM IN A CERTAIN DIRECTION, I DON’T KNOW IF THEY THOUGHT THAT I SOMEHOW CAME UP WITH THIS IDEA ALWAYS. MORE TIMES THAN NOT, I SAW THAT IN ANOTHER STATE. AND IT’S REALLY SORT OF PULLING BEST PRACTICES FROM WHEREVER WE CAN IDENTIFY BEST PRACTICES. AS WE CONCLUDE, I’LL SHARE THAT THERE’S LIKE FIVE STATES THAT DEMOGRAPHICALLY ARE VERY SIMILAR TO MICHIGAN, YOU KNOW, SORT OF WENT THROUGH THE RESEARCH TO IDENTIFY THOSE FIVE STATES. AND I WOULD REALLY WANT TO TAKE A DEEP DIVE INTO WHAT THOSE STATES ARE DOING WITH THEIR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES POPULATION. WHEN WE HAVE A SITUATION WHERE MICHIGAN, IF I’M NOT MISTAKEN, IS THE ONLY STATE THAT’S BEEN IDENTIFIED FOR INTERVENTION, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE GOOD PRACTICES TAKING PLACE IN THE OTHER 49 STATES, OR AT LEAST SOME SORT OF POSITIVE PRACTICES. SO I THINK THERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN FROM OTHERS AS WELL. I ALSO THINK– AND AGAIN, THIS MAY BE ONE OF THOSE SITUATIONS WHERE THAT MAY BE PUSHING THE ENVELOPE TOO MUCH– MANY STATES SORT OF ALLOW THE ISDs AND DISTRICTS TO SORT OF OWN SPECIAL ED. I– YOU KNOW, IS THERE A CONVERSATION IN WHICH IF A SCHOOL, IF A DISTRICT OR AN ISD IS NOT SHOWING THE LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE, YOU KNOW, THAT SOME OF THAT AUTONOMY THAT’S GIVEN IS TAKEN BACK. AND THAT THE DEPARTMENT PLAYS A MUCH GREATER ROLE AND PROVIDES SOME INTERVENTION INTO WHAT’S TAKING PLACE IN THAT DISTRICT AROUND STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES OR IN THAT ISD. ULTIMATELY, WE CAN’T ALLOW STUDENTS TO NOT GAIN THE EDUCATION THAT’S ALIGNED IN THEIR IEP AND ALIGNED WITHIN FEDERAL GUIDELINES. WE JUST SIMPLY CANNOT ALLOW THAT. AND THAT’S A STATE CONVERSATION. THAT’S A MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF ED CONVERSATION. SO AT SOME POINT, WE MAY HAVE TO PULL THAT CONVERSATION BACK TO THIS TABLE AND NOT ALLOW THAT CONVERSATION TO NECESSARILY BE HAD AT SOMEONE ELSE’S TABLE.>>QUESTION– I GUESS I NEED TO ASK THE SAME… FOLLOW UP ON THIS. I’LL MAKE IT QUICK. I MEAN, WE’VE GOT– THIS IS IMPORTANT. I ASKED THE OTHER CANDIDATES, SO I THINK I HAVE TO ASK YOU ABOUT: ONE OF THE CONCERNS– I THINK ONE OF THE BIGGER THING– RULES THAT THE STATE HAS IN SPECIAL ED IS APPEAL PROCESS. AND I AS A LEGISLATOR HAD A LOT OF INTERACTION, BECAUSE I FEEL IT’S VERY BAD HERE IN MICHIGAN. WHAT– AND SINCE I’VE BEEN ON THE BOARD AS WELL– WHAT DO YOU THINK A GOOD SPECIAL ED APPEALS PROCESS FROM THE DECISIONS AT THE LOCAL UP TO THE STATE, WHAT WOULD THAT LOOK LIKE? WHAT WOULD BE INVOLVED IN A STATE– A GOOD STATE APPEALS PROCESS FOR SPECIAL ED?>>I WOULD SAY THERE’S– I THINK THERE’S TWO PIECES– OH, GOD, I’M TRYING TO THINK WHAT STATE WAS THAT. ACTUALLY, IT WASN’T A STATE. IT WAS BROWARD– I GUESS I DON’T KNOW IF I SHOULD SAY THIS– IT WAS A DISTRICT, A LARGE DISTRICT, THAT AS A PART OF OUR WORK, WE WENT IN AND SPENT FIVE DAYS LOOKING AT THEIR DISTRICT LEVEL PROTOCOLS AND PRACTICES, AND SPECIAL ED, STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES WAS ONE OF THEIR MAJOR CHALLENGES. AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE HELPED THEM DETERMINE IS THAT WE TALKED ABOUT APPEALS PROCESS IS THAT A PANEL WOULD BE REALLY APPROPRIATE, A PANEL THAT HAS A PARENT REPRESENTATIVE ON IT, A PANEL THAT HAS A TEACHER REPRESENTATIVE ON IT, A PANEL THAT– IN FACT, I’M TRYING TO THINK. ACTUALLY A STATE BOARD– WAS IT A STATE BOARD MEMBER? IT WAS EITHER A STATE BOARD MEMBER OR SOMEONE FROM THE STATE AGENCY, BUT I THINK IT WAS LIKE A FIVE MEMBER PANEL, AND THEY DEVELOPED PROTOCOLS AND WHAT THE PROCESS WAS. BUT THE ROLE OF THAT WAS TO ENSURE THAT EVERYONE’S PERSPECTIVE WAS AT THE CONVERSATION TABLE. BECAUSE IF YOU’RE A PARENT WHO HAS A STUDENT WITH DISABILITIES, YOU SIMPLY SEE THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE THAT’S YOUR CHILD. AND HAVING A PARENT AT THE TABLE, WE THOUGHT, WAS REALLY IMPORTANT. HAVING A TEACHER AT THE TABLE– AND WE ACTUALLY HAD– YOU KNOW WHAT, WE HAD A SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER, WE CALLED THEM INTERVENTION SPECIALIST, AND A, YOU KNOW, SORT OF GENERAL ED TEACHER AT THE TABLE. BECAUSE AGAIN, THEY HAVE OFTENTIMES DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES. SO I THINK THAT WOULD BE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECES. ANOTHER THING THAT WE ENCOURAGE THERE, AND WE ACTUALLY DID THIS WITH MOST OF OUR DISTRICTS THAT WE WORK WITH, IS TO HAVE SOME SORT OF STREAMLINED PROCESS FOR PARENTS TO– I DON’T WANT TO USE THE WORD COMPLAIN– BUT TO ENGAGE, SO THAT THEY’RE NOT, YOU KNOW– OFTENTIMES, YOU KNOW, YOU CALL HERE AND THEY SEND YOU OVER HERE AND THEY DON’T CALL BACK. AND ALL OF THOSE SORT THINGS. HERE’S THE PROCESS. AND WHATEVER THAT IS, AND AGAIN, EACH DISTRICT MAY HAVE A DIFFERENT PROCESS, BUT THE PARENTS UNDERSTOOD HERE’S HOW I ENGAGE REGARDING CONCERNS WITH MY STUDENT WHO’S BEEN IDENTIFIED WITH DISABILITIES. SO I WOULD SAY THOSE ARE TWO IMPORTANT PIECES.>>SO WE HAVE ABOUT 15 MINUTES LEFT, AND JUST SO YOU KNOW, WE HAVE FOUR ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS. NIKKI?>>YES. WHAT EXPERIENCE HAVE YOU HAD IN WORKING IN A COMPLEX ORGANIZATION THAT SERVES A HIGHLY DIVERSE POPULATION, INCLUDING THOSE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS, DIVERSE SOCIOECONOMIC AND EDUCATION LEVELS, CULTURE, RACE, AND ETHNICITY? PLEASE EXPLAIN IN DETAIL.>>I’LL BE CONSCIOUS OF HOW MUCH DETAIL. [ LAUGHTER ] YOU KNOW, I SPENT MOST OF MY CAREER IN CINCINNATI PUBLIC SCHOOLS. CINCINNATI IS THE SECOND LARGEST DISTRICT IN OHIO, ABOUT 35,000 STUDENTS, VERY DIVERSE DISTRICT. QUITE HONESTLY, AS A PRINCIPAL AND LEADING TURNAROUND WORK, WE WORKED WITH A SUBSET OF SCHOOLS. AND MOST OF THOSE SCHOOLS, YOU KNOW, HAD A HIGH POPULATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES, ELL LEARNERS, YOU KNOW, MINORITY SUBGROUPS, THAT SORT OF THING. WHEN I BECAME THE CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER, AND WORKED MORE DISTRICT WIDE, WE WORKED WITH ALL SCHOOLS, AND THEY’RE– YOU KNOW, THERE ARE SOME VERY STRONG MAGNET SCHOOLS IN CINCINNATI. SOME VERY STRONG MONTESSORI SCHOOLS THAT HAS, YOU KNOW, QUITE HONESTLY, A DIFFERENT POPULATION. YOU KNOW, A LITTLE MORE AFFLUENT POPULATION. SO BEING ABLE TO ENGAGE IN ALL OF THOSE COMMUNITIES, BECAUSE IT ALWAYS GOES BACK TO ALL KIDS. YOU KNOW, AS LONG AS YOU JUST SORT OF ANCHOR ON ALL KIDS, IT– THE CONVERSATION’S ALWAYS EASY, BECAUSE IT’S ALL KIDS. AND HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THAT KIDS WHO ARE WALKING IN THE DOOR AT A HIGHER LEVEL, HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THAT THEY GET A YEAR’S WORTH OF GROWTH OR EVEN MORE? SO IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THIS SUBGROUP OF KIDS. IT’S LITERALLY ALL KIDS. BUT ONE OF THE THINGS– AS A HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I WAS REALLY EXCITED ABOUT– WHEN I BECAME A PRINCIPAL, WE HAD NO AP CLASSES, WE HAD NO DUAL ENROLLMENT CLASSES. AND THOSE THINGS JUST DIDN’T EXIST. AND, YOU KNOW, QUITE HONESTLY, FOR AN INDIVIDUAL WHO GREW UP IN A REALLY TOUGH CIRCUMSTANCE MYSELF, YOU KNOW, EDUCATION HAS BEEN SORT OF AN ANCHOR FOR ME. I WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR KIDS HAD THOSE SORT OF OPPORTUNITIES. SO WE DEVELOPED AP CLASSES AND DUAL ENROLLMENT CLASSES, THAT SORT OF THING. AT UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, WE WORKED WITH EVERYONE. YOU KNOW, WE ACTUALLY WORKED WITH A DISTRICT IN ARIZONA THAT WAS ANCHORED ON A NATIVE AMERICAN RESERVATION, ABOUT 400 STUDENTS IN THE ENTIRE DISTRICT. EVERYTHING URBAN, RURAL, SUBURBAN, SMALL– I SHARED SOME EXAMPLES OF SOME LARGE DISTRICTS, CLARK COUNTY IN NEVADA, BROWARD COUNTY IN FLORIDA. ACTUALLY WORKED IN A SMALLER DISTRICT– ACTUALLY, A PRETTY HIGH PERFORMING DISTRICT– A COUPLE HIGH PERFORMING DISTRICTS IN INDIANA BECAUSE THEY HAD SUBGROUP CHALLENGES. SO THEY ACTUALLY WERE LIKE A, B DISTRICTS, BUT THEIR SUBGROUPS WERE NOT PERFORMING. SO WE WORKED WITH THOSE SCHOOLS IN THOSE DISTRICTS. SO, YOU KNOW, ANY OF THE SUBGROUPS, ANY OF THE CULTURAL PIECES, RACIAL PIECES, THE WORK THAT WE’RE DOING IN GEORGIA. WE ACTUALLY ARE WORKING IN SOME URBAN SCHOOLS AND SOME RURAL SCHOOLS. IN SOUTHWEST GEORGIA THERE’S– IT WAS ACTUALLY– I DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE IT EXISTED AT THAT LEVEL. BUT THERE ARE SOME RURAL SCHOOLS THAT THOSE KIDS NEED A CERTAIN LEVEL OF SUPPORT. AND IT’S SUCH A UNIQUE DIFFERENCE, SUCH A UNIQUE SITUATION. BUT YEAH, I’VE GOT EXPERIENCE IN WORKING IN, YOU KNOW, ALL KIDS IN ALL SETTINGS.>>WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER– I’M SORRY.>>GO AHEAD.>>CAN I DO A FOLLOW UP TO THAT, BECAUSE I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT I’M BEING CONSISTENT.>>OKAY.>>AND WHAT I ASKED PREVIOUSLY WAS– AND THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION 19 AND 20, BOTH– BUT IN OCTOBER OF 2017, MICHIGAN, ON OUR REPORT, SCORED WORSE IN EDUCATION OUTCOMES FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN, AND JUST WANTED TO KNOW, SIMILAR TO QUESTION NUMBER 19– AND I THINK IT COINCIDES WITH QUESTION NUMBER 20– WHAT WOULD BE SOME THINGS THAT YOU WOULD DO TO ADDRESS THAT DIRE STATISTIC?>>I’LL GIVE JUST ONE EXAMPLE. AS A HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, WE WALKED INTO A SITUATION AND REALLY STARTED DIVING INTO WHAT THE DATA WAS TELLING US. AND A PATTERN EXISTED. AND IT’S NOT A PATTERN THAT– I DIDN’T KNOW IT THEN, BUT NOW, YOU KNOW, IT’S NOT AN UNCOMMON PATTERN– OUR MINORITY MALES WERE FIRST IN ALL THE NEGATIVE CATEGORIES AND THEY WERE LAST IN ALL THE POSITIVE CATEGORIES. AND, YOU KNOW, YOU PROBABLY COULD FIGURE OUT THAT, YOU KNOW, ERIC JUST WASN’T GOING TO BE OKAY WITH THAT. SO WE ACTUALLY CREATED A PROGRAM CALLED MORE– MEN, ORGANIZED, RESPECTFUL AND EDUCATED. AND IT’S REALLY A VERY FANCY WAY OF SAYING IT BECAME SORT OF AN MTSS, MULTI-TIERED SYSTEM OF SUPPORT. IT REALLY JUST BECAME SORT OF A INTERVENTION PROGRAM, BUT, YOU KNOW, YOU DON’T CALL IT AN INTERVENTION PROGRAM. SO WE DID ALL SORTS OF SUPPORTS FOR THOSE STUDENTS. WE BASICALLY IDENTIFY STUDENTS WHO WERE NOT– OFTENTIMES NOT ATTACHED TO, LIKE, A CLUB OR AN ATHLETIC TEAM. BECAUSE IN OUR MIND– AND WE WORKED WITH OUR ATHLETIC COACHES AND OTHER SORT OF SPONSORS OF ORGANIZATIONS. IF YOU’RE THE SPONSOR OR A COACH, THOSE KIDS ARE YOURS IN REGARDS TO THEIR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT, ATTENDANCE, THEIR DISCIPLINE. YOU OWN THOSE KIDS. AND A PART OF– YOU KNOW, I DON’T NECESSARILY CARE IF YOU WIN TONS OF GAMES, BUT THOSE KIDS NEED TO DO EXCEPTIONALLY WELL INSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM. IT WAS REALLY FOR THOSE KIDS WHO WERE NOT ATTACHED TO AN ORGANIZATION OR A PROGRAM. SO WE NORMALLY WOULD HAVE ABOUT 20, 30 KIDS PER GRADE LEVEL THAT WAS A PART OF THE MORE PROGRAM. TOOK THEM ON VISITS TO COLLEGES, LINED THEM UP WITH INTERNSHIPS IN THE SUMMER. GE WAS OUR PARTNER IN ED, SO LINED THEM UP WITH INTERNSHIPS. I MEAN, YOU NAME IT. JUST– WHATEVER WE NEEDED TO DO, WE ENGAGED– WE TALKED ABOUT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, WE ENGAGED THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AS A PART OF THAT. WE ENGAGED A FAITH-BASED COMMUNITY AS A PART OF THAT. WHEN I WENT TO CENTRAL OFFICE, THE BOARD ASKED IF WE COULD REPLICATE THAT PROGRAM. SO WE ACTUALLY WENT FROM THE ONE PROGRAM AT THE HIGH SCHOOL I WAS AT TO TEN PROGRAMS. I THINK NOW THE PROGRAM’S STILL THERE AND ACTUALLY CONTINUES TO GROW. I THINK THERE’S 28 OF THE DISTRICT’S 55 SCHOOLS HAVE A MORE PROGRAM. AND ACTUALLY IT WAS IDENTIFIED, IF YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH MY BROTHER’S KEEPER PROGRAM THROUGH THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, IT WAS ACTUALLY– THE MORE PROGRAM HAS BEEN HIGHLIGHTED AS ONE OF THE BEST PRACTICES– ONE OF THE NATIONAL BEST PRACTICES. SO THIS IDEA– AND AGAIN, IT REALLY IS ABOUT WHAT DOES THE DATA SAY? THE DATA SAID WE NEEDED TO DO SOMETHING UNIQUE FOR THIS GROUP OF KIDS, SO WE CREATED STRUCTURES AND PRACTICES TO DO SOMETHING UNIQUE FOR THOSE KIDS. AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT, BEHAVIOR, DISCIPLINE. I MEAN, IT WAS ONE OF OUR KEY PIECES TO MOVE OUR SCHOOL. AND EVERY BIT OF RESEARCH– CINCINNATI HAS ACTUALLY VALIDATED THE IMPACT. IT’S A LINE ITEM IN THE BUDGET. SO I MEAN, YOU KNOW, THEY SEE IT AS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECES OF THE WORK THAT THEY DO. HOPEFULLY THAT ANSWERS THAT.>>YEAH, THANK YOU. I APPRECIATE THAT.>>WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR MAJOR STRENGTHS AS A LEADER? WHAT WOULD YOU TARGET FOR PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL IMPROVEMENT IF YOU ARE HIRED FOR THIS POSITION? AND I’M GOING TO ADD TO THAT THAT YOU– ASK THAT YOU USE A FEW MEASURABLES, INCLUDING HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATES, HOW THE PERCENTAGES THAT THEY’VE IMPROVED FROM YOU BEING IN DISTRICTS OR YOUR STATE POSITION.>>AS FAR AS STRENGTHS, THERE’S A CONCEPT CALLED TURNAROUND LEADER COMPETENCIES FROM PUBLIC IMPACT. THEY’VE BEEN SORT OF VALIDATED. AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE– AND THIS WAS MY UVA WORK, ALTHOUGH WE’RE DOING IT AT GEORGIA AS WELL– ALL OF OUR PRINCIPALS GO THROUGH SORT OF THIS ASSESSMENT. IT’S CALLED A BEI, BEHAVIOR EVENT INTERVIEW. AND IT’S BASED ON THE CONCEPT THAT THE BEST WAY TO PREDICT FUTURE BEHAVIOR IS TO LOOK AT PAST BEHAVIOR. YOU KNOW, IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S SOMEBODY’S GOING TO DO TOMORROW, LOOK AT WHAT THEY DID THE DAY PRIOR. IT’LL GIVE YOU A GOOD INDICATION. SO THERE’S THESE SET OF COMPETENCIES THAT, THROUGH THE BUSINESS SECTOR AND NOW IN K-12 SECTOR THAT’S BEEN IDENTIFIED AS REALLY GOOD COMPETENCIES TO SORT OF LEAD TRANSFORMATION AND LEAD TURNAROUND. I TOOK THE BEI, AND SO THIS ISN’T ERIC TALKING. THIS IS WHAT THE RESULTS SAY. ONE OF MY HIGHEST SCORES WAS IMPACT AND INFLUENCE. AND THAT’S REALLY ABOUT BEING ABLE TO INSPIRE PEOPLE TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. ANOTHER THING THAT I SCORED REALLY HIGH ON WAS ENGAGING THE TEAM. AND AGAIN, WE’VE HAD THAT CONVERSATION. I SCORED RELATIVELY HIGH ON CONCEPTUAL THINKING, THIS ABILITY TO SORT OF– I ALWAYS TALK ABOUT CONNECTING THE DOTS AND CREATING COHERENCE. AND I ALSO SCORED, YOU KNOW, SORT OF ABOVE AVERAGE ON HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE. SO, AGAIN, THAT’S NOT NECESSARILY ERIC TALKING. THAT’S SORT OF WHAT THE RESULTS OF THE ASSESSMENT SUGGEST. I SUPPORT THOSE FOUR THINGS. I THINK THOSE ARE REALLY GOOD THINGS TO MOVE THE WORK. AS FAR AS AREAS FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT… THIS IS MY WIFE TALKING. [ LAUGHTER ] SHE WOULD SAY WORK-LIFE BALANCE. I FAIL AT THAT MISERABLY. SOMETHING I’M DOING BETTER AT OR TRYING TO DO BETTER AT. SO THAT’S AN AREA OF– WHAT’S THAT? AREA OF PROFESSIONAL GROWTH. I’M DOING BETTER, SO THAT WOULD BE ONE. I WOULD SAY ANOTHER AREA OF PROFESSIONAL GROWTH– AGAIN, I SHARED THAT I HAVE AN EXECUTIVE COACH, AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT SHE HAS REALLY ENCOURAGED ME, AND I DO BETTER AT THIS ONE, IS TO CARVE OUT AT LEAST 60 MINUTES A WEEK TO JUST REFLECT. YOU DON’T DO THAT IN EDUCATION. WE JUST DON’T. YOU KNOW, WE’RE ALWAYS MOVING. SO I’M TRYING TO DO BETTER AT THAT. WHEN I DRIVE THROUGHOUT THE STATE, YOU KNOW, I’M IN THE CAR FOR TWO, THREE HOURS, I CAN NORMALLY CARVE OUT THAT TIME TO SORT OF REFLECT. BUT THOSE WOULD BE TWO THINGS THAT, AGAIN, I KNOW THAT I NEED TO WORK ON. AS FAR AS OTHER AREAS OF POTENTIAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, I THINK I MENTIONED THIS A LITTLE BIT EARLIER, AGAIN, IF I’M FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE A PART OF THIS TEAM, I WILL ACTIVELY SOLICIT FEEDBACK FROM THIS TEAM. YOU KNOW, AS A PART OF YOUR DELIBERATION PROCESS, AGAIN, I’M SURE THERE’S GOING TO BE SOME THINGS THAT, YOU KNOW, HERE WAS– THIS WAS A GAP OR THIS WAS A GAP. YOU KNOW, HAVING THAT UNDERSTANDING WOULD BE USEFUL. AS I BECOME MORE ACQUAINTED WITH MICHIGAN, YOU KNOW, THERE MAY BE SOME GAPS. SO UNDERSTANDING WHAT THOSE GAPS ARE AND REALLY, YOU KNOW, SORT OF DIVING INTO GROWING THOSE GAPS WOULD BE USEFUL AS WELL. GIVE ME YOUR QUESTION AGAIN, FIRST OF ALL, TO MAKE SURE I ANSWERED THOSE TWO PIECES. OKAY.>>A FEW OF THE CHANGES THAT YOU’VE MADE, BECAUSE WE’RE AT THE BOTTOM AND WE NEED TURNAROUND. SO I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW SOME OF THE MEASURABLES, SOME OF THE TURNAROUNDS, SOME OF THE MEASURABLES THAT YOU’VE ACHIEVED AS WELL AS THE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATIONS FROM WHERE THEY WERE WHEN YOU STARTED TO FINISH.>>LET ME GIVE A COUPLE OF EXAMPLES, AND AS WE CONCLUDE, I’LL ACTUALLY GIVE YOU A HARD COPY THAT YOU CAN SEE SOME VERY CONCRETE EXAMPLES. AS A HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL– AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE I’M GIVING YOU SOME ACCURATE NUMBERS. I THINK THE GRADUATION RATE WAS ABOUT 40%, AND BY THE TIME I LEFT I THINK WE WERE AT ABOUT 85%. AS– AND AGAIN, RECOGNIZE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, YOU KNOW, I DIDN’T NECESSARILY OWN– I DIDN’T WORK IN THOSE DISTRICTS. WE WORKED WITH CHARLOTTE AND MECKLENBURG SCHOOLS. AND SORT OF THE CLUSTER OF SCHOOLS THAT WE WORKED WITH, I THINK THE HIGH SCHOOL HAD A GRADUATION RATE OF ABOUT 50%. IN THREE YEARS, I THINK IT HAD MOVED UP– ACTUALLY FIVE YEARS– IT HAD MOVED UP TO ABOUT 85%. AND AGAIN, I’LL GIVE YOU LITERALLY THE ACTUAL CONCRETE NUMBERS IN THE DOCUMENT ACTUALLY THAT YOU HAVE. SO THOSE WOULD BE A COUPLE OF VERY CONCRETE NUMBERS. IN CINCINNATI OVERALL– AND AGAIN, I CAN’T GIVE YOU THE EXACT NUMBER– IN CINCINNATI OVERALL, I THINK OUR GRADUATION RATE WHEN I WENT TO CENTRAL OFFICE WAS SOMEWHERE IN THE LOW 60s. AND I THINK IT ENDED UP BY THE TIME I LEFT WAS PROBABLY SOMEWHERE ABOUT 80, 85%. 80, 85%. AGAIN, DON’T HOLD ME TO THAT NUMBER EXACTLY. WHAT I WILL SAY– AND THIS IS BY NO MEANS TO PUSH BACK ON THE GRADUATION RATE– FOR ME, THE GRADUATION RATE, IT SAYS ONE THING. BUT QUITE HONESTLY, AS A HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, THE GRADUATION RATE DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN THE KIDS LEARNED. THERE’RE MORE THAN ENOUGH WAYS TO GET A DIPLOMA AND NOT NECESSARILY HAVING LEARNED CONTENT AT THE LEVEL THAT YOU NEEDED TO LEARN CONTENT. I’M A– YOU TALK ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY, I ACTUALLY THINK NAEP RESULTS, I THINK SAT AND ACT RESULTS PROVIDE A MUCH RICHER APPRECIATION FOR WHAT’S TAKING PLACE AS FAR AS KIDS LEARNING. BECAUSE NOW YOU’RE LOOKING AT SORT OF A NATIONAL MEASURE IN WHETHER KIDS ARE ACTUALLY READY TO GO TO COLLEGE, I THINK, HAS A STRONGER MEANING THAN WHETHER THEY ACTUALLY GOT A DIPLOMA. BECAUSE THAT DIPLOMA, YOU KNOW, MAY NOT HAVE AS MUCH VALUE AS WE THINK IT ALWAYS HAS. ALTHOUGH IT’S IMPORTANT.>>OKAY, JUDY?>>YES, CAN YOU DISCUSS YOUR EXPERIENCES– EXPERIENCE IN CREATING, IMPLEMENTING AND/OR OVERSEEING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES RELATED TO SCHOOL AND STUDENT SAFETY?>>I THINK WHEN WE TALK ABOUT STUDENT SAFETY, I THINK WE ALWAYS HAVE TO LOOK AT IT, AT LEAST FOR ME, SORT OF PROACTIVELY. I THINK WHAT WE’RE SOMETIMES NOW DOING IS REACTING. SO I THINK FROM A PROACTIVE STANDPOINT, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT A STUDENT WHO HAS ENGAGED IN SOME SORT OF TERRIFIC OR TRAGIC BEHAVIOR, THERE WERE PROBABLY SIGNS. WE PROBABLY COULD’VE KNOWN THAT. SO I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE TO DO IS TRY TO CREATE THE CULTURE IN WHICH STUDENTS HAVE AT LEAST ONE ADULT IN EACH BUILDING THAT THEY CAN GO AND CONNECT TO. I THINK TEACHERS OR STAFF MEMBERS HAVE TO KNOW KIDS AND HAVE STRONG ENOUGH RELATIONSHIPS WITH KIDS SO THAT THEY CAN IDENTIFY, “YOU KNOW WHAT? “THERE’S SOMETHING SEEMS TO BE “GOING ON HERE.” AND THAT THAT STUDENT IS COMFORTABLE ENOUGH TO HAVE THAT CONVERSATION. AND THAT WE HAVE RESOURCES INSIDE OF THE SCHOOLHOUSE IN THAT COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTER CONCEPT, THAT YOU KNOW WHAT? I NEED SOMEBODY TO WATCH MY CLASS FOR FIVE MINUTES BECAUSE I’M GOING TO TAKE LITTLE JOY AND WE’RE GOING TO WALK DOWN TO THE COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS OFFICE, WE’RE GOING TO WALK DOWN TO THE MENTAL HEALTH OFFICE, WE’RE GOING TO WALK DOWN TO WHATEVER SOCIAL AGENCY THAT WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO BRING INTO THE SCHOOLHOUSE SO THAT WE CAN ADDRESS WHAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE GOING ON WITH JOY TODAY. I– SO I THINK THOSE ARE THE SORT OF THINGS THAT I THINK ARE MOST IMPORTANT IN THE WORK THAT WE’RE DOING IN GEORGIA NOW. AND I SHARED THIS. WE ASK EACH SCHOOL TO IDENTIFY FOUR PRIORITIES. ONE PRIORITY AROUND CLIMATE AND CULTURE. ANOTHER PRI– TWO ACADEMIC PRIORITIES, AND THEN A FOURTH PRIORITY AROUND NON-ACADEMICS. 90% OF THE SCHOOLS THAT WE PARTNER WITH IDENTIFY MENTAL OR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH AS THEIR FOURTH PRIORITY. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR US? WELL, WE DIDN’T CREATE– WE ACTUALLY CREATED A HEALTH AND WELLNESS INITIATIVE. AND MENTAL HEALTH AND NUTRITION WAS NUMBER TWO. SO THOSE ARE THE TWO THINGS THAT WE ACTUALLY FOCUS ON. SO WE’RE PARTNERING WITH THE NATIONAL ASSOC– NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF MENTAL ILLNESS. AND ACTUALLY, I THINK WE JUST GOT A GRANT TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL MENTAL HEATH SUPPORT IN THAT AREA. WE ACTUALLY PARTNER WITH NO KIDS HUNGRY, IF YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH THAT ORGANIZATION, TO PROVIDE, YOU KNOW, NUTRITION AND FOOD SERVICES. SO I THINK THOSE ARE THE SORT OF PROACTIVE THINGS THAT WE ALWAYS HAVE TO BE CONSCIOUS OF, YOU KNOW, RESTORATIVE PRACTICES, PBIS, ALWAYS FOCUSING ON CLIMATE AND CULTURE. WE ACTUALLY CREATED A DATA DASHBOARD SO THAT ON A WEEKLY BASIS, WE KNOW WHAT STUDENT ATTENDANCE LOOKS LIKE, WE KNOW WHAT TEACHER ATTENDANCE LOOKS LIKE. ACTUALLY, MONTHLY. WE KNOW WHAT ALL THE DISCIPLINE PIECES LOOK LIKE SO THAT IF THE DATA STARTS TELLING US SOMETHING ABOUT A GRADE LEVEL, SOMETHING ABOUT A SUBSET OF KIDS, WE NOW CAN GO AND PULL RESOURCES TO ADDRESS THAT. BECAUSE WE ARE ACTUALLY LOOKING AT THE DATA LITERALLY, YOU KNOW, IF NOT DAILY, ON A WEEKLY BASIS SO WE CAN REALLOCATE RESOURCES TO SUPPORT THAT. SO I THINK THOSE ARE THE SORT OF THINGS THAT WE HAVE TO DO. IT’S VERY PROACTIVE VERSUS WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN, AND THEN WE, YOU KNOW, ALL HANDS ON DECK TO DO SOMETHING AFTER THE FACT. SO I THINK THOSE ARE REALLY THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECES.>>THANK YOU.>>OKAY, THE NEXT QUESTION. WHAT WILL PUBLIC EDUCATION BE LIKE IN THE FUTURE?>>OOH! I’LL PIGGYBACK ON THE CONVERSATION AROUND THE NON-ACADEMIC PIECES. I THINK WE– AND I THINK WE’VE GOTTEN THERE. I THINK WE’VE GOTTEN THERE. I THINK FOR MANY YEARS IN THE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, WE ANCHORED ON TESTING, WE ANCHORED ON TEACHER EVALUATION, WE ANCHORED ON THE QUALITY OF TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS. AND THOSE THINGS ARE IMPORTANT. WHAT WE DID NOT DO IS HONOR THE FACT THAT KIDS WALK INTO THE SCHOOLHOUSE WITH CHALLENGES THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SCHOOL. AND WE HAVE TO HONOR THAT. SO I THINK WE WILL CONTINUE THIS MOVEMENT TOWARD HONORING, AGAIN, CALL IT THE WHOLE CHILD, CALL IT WRAPAROUND SERVICES, NON-AC– YOU KNOW, WHATEVER THE TERMINOLOGY IS. BUT I THINK SCHOOLS WILL INCREASINGLY HONOR OF THE FACT THAT IT HAS TO PLAY A ROLE IN THOSE NON-ACADEMIC PIECES. I THINK WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO SEE WORK AROUND BLENDED LEARNING OR SOME SORT OF VIRTUAL LEARNING. QUITE HONESTLY, IF YOU TAKE A COLLEGE COUR– IF YOU’RE A COLLEGE STUDENT TODAY, ALMOST 50% OF YOUR CLASSES ARE SOME SORT OF BLENDED OR ONLINE CLASSES. I THINK WE’RE HEADING IN THAT DIRECTION. SO I THINK THAT’S SOMETHING ELSE THAT WE’RE GOING TO SEE. I THINK WE’RE GOING TO SEE MORE IN TERMS OF INTERNSHIPS. YOU KNOW, TALKED ABOUT CHARLOTTE. WE ACTUALLY DID SOME WORK IN– WHERE I CREATED LIKE A PROPOSAL RECOMMENDATION ON HOW THEY COULD LEVERAGE STUDENTS’ JUNIORS AND SENIOR YEARS. IT WAS REALLY SORT OF HOW WE REDESIGNED VOCATIONAL ED SO THAT, YOU KNOW, WHAT WE KNEW AS VOCATIONAL ED 20, 30 YEARS AGO AND QUITE HONESTLY WHAT WE KNOW AS CAREER TECH TODAY MAY LOOK DIFFERENT 20 YEARS FROM NOW. IF YOU WANT TO GET INTO BANKING, WHAT’S THE GREATEST WAY TO LEARN ABOUT BANKING? YOUR JUNIOR AND SENIOR YEAR TO SPEND ONE OR TWO DAYS A WEEK WORKING IN A BANK. YOU KNOW, THAT SORT OF INTERNSHIP CONCEPT. AND IT’S NOT JUST DURING THE SUMMER, BUT IT’S ACTUALLY DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR AS WELL. SO I THINK WE’LL SEE A LOT MORE OF THAT. I THINK THOSE WOULD BE JUST SOME EXAMPLES ON WHAT SCHOOLS AND WHAT PUBLIC EDUCATION WILL LOOK LIKE IN THE FUTURE.>>THANK YOU.>>SO WE ARE ESSENTIALLY OUT OF TIME. SO I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT POSITION AND FOR COMING ALL THE WAY TO MICHIGAN TO SIT THROUGH THE INTERVIEW. IF YOU HAVE ANY LAST COMMENTS THAT YOU’D LIKE TO MAKE, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DO SO.>>I’LL TAKE JUST A COUPLE OF MINUTES HERE, BECAUSE I DO WANT TO HONOR YOUR TIME. YOU’VE GOT A DOCUMENT, AND YOU WILL NOTICE– IF YOU’LL GO TO PAGE 20. AND I’M NOT GOING TO WALK THROUGH ALL– AGAIN, IT’S YOUR DOCUMENT, BUT FROM PAGES 20 TO 25 IT SORT OF TAKES THIS ROAD MAP CONCEPT AND SORT OF BEGINS TO MOVE TOWARD A LITTLE BIT MORE OF A CONCRETE PLAN. ON 20– PAGE 21, THAT’S MICHIGAN’S DATA OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS. AND YOU CAN START SEEING, YOU KNOW, A LITTLE BIT OF A TREND IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. ON PAGE 22, YOU CAN– AGAIN, THAT’S THE 2017 NAEP RESULTS. ON PAGE 23, WE IDENTIFIED, YOU KNOW, FIVE STATES THAT WERE– THAT HAD SIMILAR DEMOGRAPHICS AS MICHIGAN. SO THOSE ARE THE FIVE STATES THAT ARE IDENTIFIED ON PAGE 23. ON PAGE 24, YOU CAN LOOK AT SORT OF THE RANKINGS COMPARED TO MICHIGAN OF THOSE STATES. WHEN YOU LOOK AT INDIANA, WHEN YOU LOOK AT EVEN OHIO OR PENNSYLVANIA, DEMOGRAPHICALLY THEY’RE VERY SIMILAR TO MICHIGAN. DEMOGRAPHICALLY, EXCEPTIONALLY SIMILAR. BUT FROM A RANKING STANDPOINT, YOU CAN SEE THE VARIANCE IN THOSE RANKINGS. PAGE 25 STARTS TO MOVE TOWARD SORT OF HOW DO YOU TAKE THE 10 FOR 10 PLAN, AND HOW DO YOU START ACTUALIZING IT, HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY START MOVING THIS VISION TOWARD EXECUTION? AGAIN, I’M NOT GOING TO WALK THROUGH ALL OF THOSE PIECES ON PAGE 25. ON PAGE 26, YOU’VE HEARD ME TALK ABOUT THE FOUR LEVERS AND THOSE DISTRICT CONDITIONS. THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE SEEING THERE. ON PAGE 28 IS THE BEGINNING OF THE CROSSWALK THAT I TALKED ABOUT EARLIER. THE DISTRICT CONDITIONS ARE ON THE LEFT, AND YOU CAN SEE THE OTHER THREE ENTITIES MOVING TOWARD THE RIGHT. AGAIN, I’M NOT GOING TO WALK THROUGH THOSE PIECES. ON PAGE 31, YOU HEARD ME TALK ABOUT THE HEALTH AND WELLNESS INITIATIVE THAT WE ACTUALLY LITERALLY ARE IN PLACE NOW. I THINK SOMETHING VERY SIMILAR COULD BE REPLICATED HERE IN MICHIGAN. AND YOU CAN SEE WHAT THOSE FOCUS AREAS ARE. PAGE 32, YOU KNOW, THIS IDEA OF COLLECTIVE IMPACT. THESE ARE ORGANIZATIONS HERE IN MICHIGAN THAT I THINK WOULD BE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO BRING TO THE TABLE. PAGE 33, IN GEORGIA WE HAVE SOMETHING CALLED THE GET GEORGIA READING CAMPAIGN. I THINK SOMETHING LIKE THAT COULD BE REPLICATED HERE IN MICHIGAN. ON PAGE 34, IT’S SORT OF HOW WE SUPPORT OUR LOWEST PERFORMING SCHOOLS. AND YOU’VE HEARD ME TALK ABOUT HOW DO WE TAKE THE LEARNING FROM THAT PROCESS AND UTILIZE IT A LITTLE BIT– A LITTLE BIT AS AN INNOVATION LAB AND LEARN FROM THOSE PRACTICES AND DIFFUSE THOSE PRACTICES A LITTLE MORE BROADLY. ON PAGE 35, WE TALKED ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE THOSE LEADING INDICATORS. HOW DO WE KNOW IF WE’RE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND HERE’S SOME OF THOSE INDICATORS THAT COULD BE USED TO DETERMINE ARE WE ACTUALLY MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. WE PRESENTLY USE ALL OF THESE INDICATORS IN OUR WORK NOW ON OUR DATA DASHBOARD. AND THE LAST THING I’LL SIMPLY HIGHLIGHT, IF YOU TURN TO PAGE– ON PAGE 36 YOU HAVE A ONE-PAGER THAT I SORT OF STUCK IN THERE. AND IT’S REALLY JUST MY CLOSING COMMENT HERE. AS MY WONDERFUL WIFE WOULD ALWAYS TELL YOU, I BELIEVE, YOU KNOW, JOBS ARE ABOUT A FIT. IT’S NOT WHETHER IT’S A– YOU KNOW, THIS PERSON HAS THE TECHNICAL SKILL, DOESN’T HAVE THE TECHNICAL SKILL. IT’S REALLY ABOUT– IT’S THE FIT, IS IT THE RIGHT FIT? IT’S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT REALLY INTRIGUES ME ABOUT THIS POSITION. IN THE LEFT COLUMN– AND AGAIN, I TOOK THE LIBERTY TO SUGGEST– THESE ARE SOME OF MICHIGAN’S NEEDS BASED ON EVERYTHING THAT I’VE READ. I THINK THOSE FIVE ITEMS IN THE LEFT COLUMN I THINK ARE ACTUAL. AND THEN I DID A CROSSWALK WITH, YOU KNOW, SORT OF MY EXPERIENCE. I THINK WHAT YOU WILL SEE ON THAT ONE PAGE HANDOUT IS THAT I SEE A POTENTIAL REALLY STRONG MARRIAGE BECAUSE THE FIT IN WHAT I THINK MICHIGAN NEEDS AND WHAT, YOU KNOW, I HAVE EXPERIENCE IN AND WHAT MY BACKGROUND ENTAILS, I THINK THERE’S A REALLY STRONG ALIGNMENT.>>OKAY, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>NEXT ITEM ON THE AGENDA IS PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING. MARILYN, ARE THERE ANY INDIVIDUALS WHO WISH TO ADDRESS THE BOARD AT TODAY’S MEETING?>>I DO NOT HAVE ANY PUBLIC PARTICIPATION FORMS. ARE THERE ANY? I DON’T SEE ANY.>>OKAY, THEN FUTURE MEETING DATES: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24TH WILL BE ANOTHER SPECIAL MEETING WHERE WE’LL DO THREE ADDITIONAL INTERVIEWS. TUESDAY, MAY 7TH WILL BE ANOTHER SPECIAL MEETING AT WHICH TIME WE WILL DO SECOND ROUND INTERVIEWS WITH THE FINALIST CANDIDATES. TUESDAY, MAY 14TH IS OUR REGULAR MEETING, AND THEN WEDNESDAY MAY 22ND IS THE BOARD RETREAT. ARE THERE ANY FINAL COMMENTS FROM BOARD MEMBERS BEFORE WE ADJOURN? ALL RIGHT, THEN IT IS 3:32 AND WE ARE ADJOURNED.

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