Michigan State Board of Education Meeting May 7, 2019: Jeanice Swift Interview


>>AFTERNOON. THE TIME IS NOW 1:51 P.M. AND A QUORUM OF THE BOARD IS PRESENT. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION SPECIAL MEETING OF MAY 7TH, 2019 IS CALLED TO ORDER. THE NEXT ITEM ON OUR AGENDA IS AN INTERVIEW WITH DR. JEANNE SWIFT, PLEASE COME JOIN US. BOARD, YOU REMEMBER DR. JEANNE SWIFT? YOU’RE WELCOME.>>GOOD AFTERNOON.>>GOOD AFTERNOON, HOW ARE YOU?>>GOOD.>>SO WE HAVE ABOUT AN HOUR AND A HALF AND, AS YOU KNOW, WE HAVE ABOUT 14 QUESTIONS THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED AHEAD OF TIME. WE’LL RUN THROUGH THE QUESTIONS. THERE WILL BE NO FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS DURING THAT PERIOD. HOWEVER, AT THE END, WE WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE SOME TIME SO THAT IF ANY OF BOARD MEMBERS HAVE QUESTIONS, WE CAN ASK THEM AND THE WAY THAT THEY WILL DO THAT IS THEY WILL WRITE THEM DOWN ON A NOTE CARD, HAND THEM TO MARILYN, AND AT THE END WE’LL GO THROUGH AS MANY OF THE QUESTIONS AS WE CAN. HOPEFULLY, SO FAR, TIME ALLOTTING, WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO GET THROUGH ALL OF OUR FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS AS WELL, AND I WILL PERIODICALLY, LIKE LAST TIME, GIVE YOU AN UPDATE ON WHERE WE ARE WITH TIME. SO, WITH THAT, WE’LL JUMP RIGHT IN AND HERE’S YOUR FIRST QUESTION. ACCORDING TO THE NATION’S REPORT CARD, MICHIGAN CONTINUES TO LAG BEHIND OTHER STATES. WHAT CHANGES MUST THE STATE MAKE TO REVERSE THIS TREND AND COMPETE WITH STATES SUCH AS MASSACHUSETTS? HOW CAN THIS BE ACCOMPLISHED IN A LOCAL CONTROL STATE SUCH AS MICHIGAN?>>THANK YOU, WELL, IT’S GREAT TO BE HERE TODAY, THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME. CERTAINLY, WE’RE AT A CROSSROADS IN MICHIGAN AS WE’VE TALKED ABOUT QUITE A BIT, AND IT IS TIME FOR EFFECTIVE CHANGE, AND THERE ARE SEVERAL CORNERSTONES THAT I THINK WOULD- SHOULD BE CHARACTERISTIC OF A PLAN MOVING FORWARD. FIRST OF ALL THAT WE WOULD EXPAND ACCESS FOR THREE AND FOUR-YEAR-OLD EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ACROSS THE STATE AND DO THAT VIGOROUSLY. ALSO ADDED IN WITH THAT WOULD BE EXPANDED ENROLLMENT INTO YOUNG FIVES. WE CAN’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THAT EARLY CHILDHOOD ON RAMP AND QUALITY EARLY CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCE. ON THE OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM, PLUGGING INTO CAREER PATHWAYS PROGRAMS, SO THAT WE ARE DIRECTLY CONNECTED WITH BUSINESS AND WITH DEVELOPING THOSE SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES THAT STUDENTS NEED, REALLY INCREASES STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND IS A POWERFUL TOOL TO INCREASE OUR BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS IN BETWEEN THAT EARLY CHILDHOOD AND THE CAREER PATHWAY EXPERIENCE. FUNDAMENTAL TO OUR CHANGE MUST BE A FOCUS ON QUALITY INSTRUCTION EVERY DAY IN EVERY CLASSROOM ALONGSIDE REAL HIGH QUALITY PROGRAMMING THAT ENGAGES STUDENTS, EXCITES TEACHERS, AND SPARKS IMPROVEMENT. I WOULD BE REMISS IF I DIDN’T ADD IN, OF COURSE, DOING EXPLICIT WORK AROUND ATTRACTING AND RETAINING HIGH QUALITY TEACHERS IN MICHIGAN AND ENSURING THAT THE TEACHING PROFESSION IS ELEVATED AND THAT OUR TEACHERS ARE SUPPORTED AND WELL-TRAINED, HIGHLY ESTEEMED, AND APPROPRIATELY COMPENSATED, SO WE’VE GOT WORK TO DO THERE. THE FIFTH AREA I WOULD HIGHLIGHT IS A REAL NEED FOR GETTING OUR FUNDING RIGHT. WE APPRECIATE, AS I SHARED LAST TIME, THE STEPS THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS TAKEN WITH THE WEIGHTED FUNDING APPROACH BECAUSE WE KNOW IT COSTS MORE TO EDUCATE SOME STUDENTS THAN OTHERS. IT COSTS MORE IN SOME AREAS OF THE STATE THAN IN OTHERS SO GETTING FUNDING RIGHT SO THAT WE CAN DO ALL OF THOSE OTHER AREAS IS KEY AND CRITICAL TO MOVING THE STATE FORWARD.>>GOOD AFTERNOON.>>GOOD AFTERNOON.>>WHAT HAVE YOU DONE IN YOUR CURRENT OR PRIOR ROLES TO CLOSE ACHIEVEMENT GAPS? AS MICHIGAN STATE SUPERINTENDENT WHAT POLICIES WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IMPLEMENTING THAT WILL HELP CLOSE THESE GAPS AGAIN KEEPING IN MIND MICHIGAN IS A LOCAL CONTROL STATE?>>SO CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT DISPARITIES IS THE HEART OF THE WORK WE DO AND I WOULD SHARE THAT IN EVERY ROLE FROM CLASSROOM TEACHER TO SUPERINTENDENT. I’VE BEEN ABLE TO WORK AND HAVE DIRECT IMPACT ON INCREASING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL STUDENTS AND IMPROVING PERFORMANCE OUTCOMES FOR STUDENTS, SO I’LL SHARE TWO OR THREE EXAMPLES. LAST TIME I SHARED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MATH ACHIEVEMENT IN A MIDDLE SCHOOL WHERE I WAS FORTUNATE TO GET TO BE THE PRINCIPAL, I’D LIKE TO FOCUS IN THIS TIME A LITTLE BIT MORE ON OUR INTENTIONAL WORK TO REDUCE DISPARITIES AROUND OUT-OF-SCHOOL SUSPENSION AND THE REASON I WANT TO SPEND A LITTLE TIME ON THAT IS BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IT STRIKES AT THE HEART OF OUR WORK TO RECOGNIZE– YOU KNOW, WE UNDERSTAND THAT, AS EDUCATORS, WE MUST RECOGNIZE OUR OWN ROLE IN FOSTERING AND PERPETUATING INEQUALITIES THAT IMPACT STUDENTS, AND WE’VE DONE THAT WITH REGARD TO OUT-OF-SCHOOL SUSPENSION. WE RECOGNIZE THE DATA THAT SHOWS VERY CLEARLY OVER DECADES THAT IF STUDENTS ARE SUSPENDED IN MIDDLE SCHOOL OR HIGH SCHOOL, THEY’RE THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO ENGAGE WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THAT YEAR FOLLOWING THEIR SUSPENSION, SO WE BEGAN A CONVERSATION. WE SUSTAINED THAT CONVERSATION OVER SEVEN YEARS IN OUR WORK TO RECOGNIZE OUR OWN ROLE IN PERPETUATING SYSTEMS THAT HAVE BIAS AND TO UNPACK THAT BIAS AND GET AT FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES. SO WE’VE DONE THAT THROUGH WORKING ON RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AND LEADERS AND PARENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS. WE’VE USED A BIG EFFORT AROUND RESTORATIVE PRACTICE IN AND BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, SO THAT WE ARE MOVING OURSELVES AWAY FROM THAT, PUSHING OUT OF STUDENTS TO KEEPING STUDENTS INSIDE OUR TENT AND WORKING ON RELATIONSHIPS. SO OVER THE YEARS WE’VE DEMONSTRATED AND HELD ON TO A 48%– ALMOST BY HALF– THE REDUCTION AT MIDDLE SCHOOL AND OUR REDUCTION IN OUT-OF-SCHOOL SUSPENSION RATES AT HIGH SCHOOL IS MORE THAN 2/3, 67% REDUCTION. IT’S ONE THING TO GET TO THAT POINT, IT’S ANOTHER THING TO SUSTAIN IT OVER TIME. WHEN WE’RE ABLE TO SUSTAIN IT IN AN ORGANIZATION, THAT SAYS TO ME THAT OUR BEHAVIORS ARE CHANGING AND THAT OUR ATTITUDES ARE CHANGING AND HOPEFULLY THAT THE VERY DNA OF THE ORGANIZATION IS CHANGING SO THAT WE’RE ABLE TO DO A BETTER JOB FOR STUDENTS. A SECOND EXAMPLE, I WAS– WOULD LIKE TO TOUCH ON IS MORE A SYSTEMS DESIGN WHERE WE VERY INTENTIONALLY PUT HIGH QUALITY PROGRAMMING INTO OUR NEEDIEST NEIGHBORHOODS AND COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE CITY. SO WHEN OUR COMMUNITY ASKED FOR INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE IT WAS THE NUMBER ONE REQUEST ACROSS 80-SOME MEETINGS THAT I HAD INITIALLY IN THE FALL OF 2013, SO IT WAS CLEAR THAT THE COMMUNITY WANTED THE PROGRAMMING. WHEN WE LOOKED AT WHERE TO PLACE THAT IN THE CITY WE PLACED IT RIGHT INTO OUR NEEDIEST COMMUNITY AND OUR NEEDIEST AREA ACCORDING TO DEMOGRAPHICS AND FOR EXAMPLE, INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE AT LITTLE MITCHELL ELEMENTARY, IF I COULD TAKE YOU TO MITCHELL ELEMENTARY TODAY, YOU WOULD SEE A SCHOOL THAT’S THRIVING. MITCHELL HAS ALWAYS HAD A HEART FOR STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN STRONG INSTRUCTION BUT WE BROUGHT IN AN INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE TO REALLY PRESS THE RESET BUTTON AROUND PROVIDING FIRST-CLASS PROGRAMMING IN OUR AREAS OF MOST NEED. SO MITCHELL RUNS AROUND 80%, GIVE OR TAKE, FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH, IT IS A SCHOOL THAT IS AROUND 75 TO 80% STUDENTS OF COLOR, INCLUDING IMMIGRANT STUDENTS AND STUDENTS FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD. OVER THE PREVIOUS FOUR YEARS OF IMPLEMENTING IB THAT SCHOOL THAT WAS AT 200 AND SOMETHING IN ENROLLMENT AND HAD NOT MOVED IN ENROLLMENT FOR TWO DECADES IS NOW ABOVE 450 OR RIGHT AROUND 450 STUDENTS, SO IT’S DOUBLED IN SIZE, WE’VE HAD TO ADD ON TO THE SCHOOL THREE TIMES IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS AND THEY’RE GOING TO NEED MORE SPACE YET. SO THAT KIND OF SUCCESS AND ALL OF THAT IS WONDERFUL BUT AT THE HEART OF IT IS THAT THEIR GROWTH RATES, THE RATE ON READING, WRITING AND MATH ACHIEVEMENT, THEIR GROWTH RATES ARE THE HIGHEST IN THE DISTRICT. SO THEIR ACHIEVEMENT LEVELS, WE’LL CONTINUE TO WORK ON THOSE AS WE GO, BUT HOW YOU GET TO ACHIEVEMENT OUTCOMES IS THROUGH HIGH RATES OF GROWTH. SO STUDENTS ARE GROWING AT REALLY HIGH RATES. I WOULD SHARE BOTH OF THOSE EXAMPLES AS SALIENT EXAMPLES OF WORKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN CLOSING OPPORTUNITY DISPARITIES AND IN CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT OUTCOMES AT THE SCHOOL LEVEL AND AT THE SYSTEM’S LEVEL.>>OKAY, NUMBER THREE.>>MICHIGAN STUDENT ENROLLMENT HAS BEEN STEADILY DECLINING FOR OVER A DECADE. AND RECENT PREDICTIONS SUGGEST THAT THIS DECLINE WILL CONTINUE FOR YEARS, WHAT DOES MICHIGAN NEED TO DO TO ADJUST FOR THIS DECLINE?>>THANK YOU. STUDENT ENROLLMENT IS JUST LIKE BLOOD PRESSURE. GETTING YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKED WHEN YOU GO FOR A CHECK-UP AT THE DOCTORS. STUDENT ENROLLMENT IS JUST A FUNDAMENTAL INDICATOR OF SUCCESS, SUCCESS IN A SCHOOL, SUCCESS IN A DISTRICT, SUCCESS ACROSS THE STATE AND SO WE KEEP AN EYE ON ENROLLMENT AND I’VE BEEN DOWN THAT PATH WHEN I ARRIVED IN ANN ARBOR IN 2013 VERY SURPRISINGLY, WE LOST OVER 200 STUDENTS THAT FIRST YEAR THAT I ARRIVED, THAT WAS A RESULT OF SYSTEMIC REDUCTIONS WITH THE SYSTEM IT HAD TO MAKE BECAUSE OF BUDGET REDUCTIONS IN THE STATE. SO WE KNEW WE HAD WORK TO DO TO TURN THAT ENROLLMENT TRAJECTORY AROUND, YOU KNOW AS WELL AS I DO THAT ONCE ENROLLMENT PERPETUATES ON A DOWNWARD TREND THAT’S A SPIRAL, THAT SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS HAVE A HARD TIME RECOVERING FROM. SO WE TOOK THAT AS A VERY SERIOUS SIGN EARLY ON. GOT OUT IN THE COMMUNITY ON A LISTEN AND LEARN, DID APPROXIMATELY 80 TO 90 MEETINGS WITH ALL CONSTITUENTS ACROSS THE COMMUNITY BETWEEN THE FIRST OF SEPTEMBER AND WINTER BREAK IN DECEMBER, WE LISTENED CLOSELY AND HEARD WHAT THE COMMUNITY WANTED FROM THEIR SCHOOLS THAT THEY FELT LIKE THEY WEREN’T GETTING AND WE BEGAN A SYSTEMIC PROCESS TO ATTEND TO THOSE NEEDS THAT CAME UP IN THOSE MEETINGS, WE HEARD FOLKS SAY THAT THEY WANTED DIFFERENT PROGRAMMING, WE HEARD THEM SAY THAT THEY WANTED BETTER RESPONSIVENESS AND PROBLEM-SOLVING FROM US. WHEN THINGS WEREN’T GOING WELL AT SCHOOL, WE HEARD THEM SAY THAT THEY FELT LIKE THERE WERE INEQUITIES IN OUR SYSTEM THAT WE WERE ALLOWING TO CONTINUE AND THAT WE NEEDED TO GET IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. SO WE GOT BUSY AND IN THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS, YEAR-OVER-YEAR, WE’VE INCREASED ENROLLMENT ANYWHERE FROM 200 STUDENTS TO 350 STUDENTS EVERY SINGLE YEAR OVER FIVE YEARS. OUR COMMUNITY IS NOT REALLY GROWING IN NUMBERS OF SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN BUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IS THAT STUDENTS ARE CHOOSING AGAIN THEIR PUBLIC SCHOOL OPTION AND THAT’S THE VISION THAT I WOULD HAVE ACROSS MICHIGAN IN TERMS OF THE ENROLLMENT DECLINE AND ADJUSTMENTS WE NEED TO MAKE. WE WANT PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO BE THE FIRST QUALITY OPTION IN EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD AND FOR EVERY FAMILY. SO JUST A LITTLE BIT ABOUT STUDENT ENROLLMENT.>>THANK YOU, QUESTION NUMBER FOUR. PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND INCLUDE IN YOUR RESPONSE HOW YOU WOULD LEAD THE DEPARTMENT IN DEVELOPING A SYSTEMIC APPROACH TO CTE THAT INCLUDES ACCESS FOR ALL INTERESTED STUDENTS?>>I THINK IT IS SUCH A TREMENDOUSLY EXCITING TIME IN CAREER TECH ED PARTICULARLY WITH THE ADVANCEMENTS OF TECHNOLOGY AND ALL THE EXCITING FIELDS THAT ARE OPENING UP. AND IN EVERY ROLE I’VE HAD WE’VE DONE WORK ON CAREER TECH ED. I REMEMBER AS A MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER TAKING AN OLD– YOU REMEMBER, THESE HOME EC LAB AND TRANSFORMING IT NOT BECAUSE I WANTED TO GET RID OF HOME EC BUT BECAUSE OUR TEACHER WAS RETIRING AND I COULDN’T FIND A TEACHER FOR THAT SUBJECT. THEY DON’T MAKE THEM WIDELY ANYMORE. AND SO WE PUT IN PROJECT LEAD THE WAY AND I REMEMBER FROM THAT FIRST EXPERIENCE IN HIRING TWO YOUNG TEACHERS WHO WERE CERTIFIED IN PROJECT LEAD THE WAY AND HOW THAT WAS JUST SUCH A GREAT STIMULUS FOR CONNECTING THE LOCAL BUSINESSES AND ENGAGING OUR STUDENTS. AND SO BEGINNING THAT FALL, STUDENTS WERE OUT IN THE HALLWAYS RUNNING THEIR CARS DOWN THE HALLWAYS AND IN THE BACK FIELD, LAUNCHING THEIR ROCKETS. AND THE CUSTODIAN HAD A LOT OF EXTRA WORK TO DO AND YET IT WAS AN EXCITING TIME. AND THAT TREND HAS CONTINUED THROUGHOUT EVERY ROLE THAT I’VE HELD. IN MY CURRENT ROLE WE HAVE OUR LONG-TERM CAREER IN TECH ED PROGRAMMING LIKE OUR HOME BUILDING PROGRAM, I THINK THEY’RE BUILDING THIS YEAR, THERE ARE 48 HOME– THEY BUILD A HOME EVERY YEAR. AND SO THOSE ARE EXCITING PROGRAMS BUT WHAT’S EVEN MORE EXCITING TO ME ARE SEEING THE NEW MAGNET STYLE PROGRAMS. WE HAVE A PUBLIC POLICY MAGNET AND WE HAVE IN THAT PUBLIC POLICY MAGNET STUDENTS GET ANCHORED INTO THEIR PASSION AROUND SOCIAL JUSTICE AND CAUSES THAT THEY CARE ABOUT AND THEY WORK IN INTERNSHIPS AND THEY LEARN HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD. OUR ENGINEERING MAGNETS, THEY’RE USING 3D PRINTERS. I KNOW THAT’S COMMON ACROSS OUR STATE AND YET IT’S SO EXCITING TO SEE STUDENTS REALLY DOING AND LEARNING AND PLUGGING INTO REAL TIME, RELEVANT REAL WORLD LEARNING. I THINK IT WORKS WELL ON BOTH ENDS OF THE EQUATION THAT STUDENTS ARE MORE ENGAGED IN THEIR LEARNING WHEN THEY GET TO TAP INTO A PASSION. AND STUDENTS THAT MIGHT NOT FIND THAT PASSION IN A TRADITIONAL ENGLISH OR MATH CLASSROOM MAY VERY WELL SPARK A PASSION OVER IN ONE OF THOSE MAGNETS. I ALSO THINK IT’S TREMENDOUSLY EXCITING ON THE BUSINESS SIDE WHEN WE’RE ABLE TO WORK WITH CORPORATIONS, I MENTIONED TOYOTA CORPORATION LAST TIME. AND THERE ARE MANY OTHERS IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT WE WORK DIRECTLY WITH BUT LISTENING TO THEM ABOUT WHAT ARE THE SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES THAT THEY NEED RIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, ENSURING THAT WE’RE BUILDING THOSE CAREER IN TECH ED PROGRAMS TO HAVE THAT ENGINE THAT DIRECTLY DRIVES MICHIGAN BUSINESS AND MICHIGAN ECONOMY, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. ONE WAY THAT I WOULD HOPE TO FOSTER ACCESS FOR EVERY STUDENT IN THE STATE, IS YOU PROBABLY RECOGNIZE NOT A LOT OF FOLKS DO, THAT THERE ARE 20 ISDS WHERE THERE IS NO TECH ED FUNDING, I HAPPEN TO LIVE AND WORK IN ONE OF THOSE AND SO, IN A WAY WHERE WE MIGHT PARTNER AND NETWORK WITH COMMUNITY COLLEGE PROGRAMMING AND THAT’S WHAT WE’RE REALLY TAPPING INTO NOW BECAUSE THAT IS BOTH A QUALITY MODEL AND IT’S A COST-EFFICIENT MODEL. FOR EXAMPLE WASHTENAW COMMUNITY COLLEGE IT’S JUST VERY NEAR OUR HIGH SCHOOLS AND THEY OFFER QUALITY CAREER TECH PROGRAMS THAT WE CAN MOVE OUR STUDENTS TOWARD, GET THEM INTO AND NOT 11TH AND 12TH GRADE YEAR AND WE’RE WORKING ON DEEPENING THOSE PARTNERSHIPS. JUST AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE QUALITY THAT’S THERE YOU MAY NOT HAVE HEARD WASHTENAW COMMUNITY COLLEGE NAMED A NATIONAL CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN NURSING IN 2018. AND SO JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF MANY WHERE WE DON’T NECESSARILY IN PUBLIC SCHOOL HAVE TO BUILD IT FROM SCRATCH. WE CAN PLUG INTO PARTNERS AND THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT WOULD I HOPE TO BRING. AT THE END OF THE DAY, CAREER IN TECH ED PROGRAMMING WE SEE THAT STUDENTS WILL ENTER THEIR CAREERS AND MOST OF THEM WILL STAIR-STEP INTO A CAREER OVER A LIFETIME. AND WE’VE RECOGNIZED THAT CAREER IN TECH ED PROVIDES A TREMENDOUS PATHWAY FOR DOING THAT SORT OF THING. THANK YOU.>>WHAT IF ANY CHANGES, WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO MICHIGAN SCHOOL CHOICE POLICIES? HOW WOULD YOU LEAD THE DEPARTMENT AND WORK WITH THE LEGISLATURE TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT ALL SCHOOLS IN MICHIGAN THAT ARE SUPPORTED BY PUBLIC TAXES ARE HELD TO THE SAME TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS?>>THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION. SCHOOL CHOICE IS A TOPIC THAT I HAVE A LOT OF THOUGHTS ABOUT. THE FIRST THOUGHT IS FIRST THINGS FIRST. AND I BELIEVE THAT IS THAT WE NEED TO DO OUR WORK ALL OF US, ACROSS THE STATE TO ENSURE THAT THE FIRST TOP QUALITY CHOICE FOR EVERY CHILD AND EVERY FAMILY IS THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL. I THINK THAT’S FUNDAMENTAL AND HAS TO COME FIRST. THAT BEING SAID THOUGH, WE KNOW THAT FAMILIES ARE ACCUSTOMED TO HAVING CHOICE ABOUT ALMOST EVERYTHING IN THEIR LIVES AND EVERYTHING ABOUT THEIR CHILD. AND SO WE RECOGNIZE THAT FAMILIES WANT CHOICES IN WHERE AND HOW AND IN WHAT SORT OF PROGRAMS THEIR CHILDREN ARE EDUCATED. FOR EXAMPLE, WE’VE WORKED IN– AND I KNOW DISTRICTS ACROSS THE STATE– I HAD THE GREAT OPPORTUNITY LAST– END OF LAST WEEK TO BE AT THE WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP FORUM AND SEE AVON CANOLE FROM HERE AND HEAR HER TALK ABOUT CAREER PATHWAYS IN LANSING, AND THEIR WORK TO ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE DIFFERENTIATED MANY CHOICES WITHIN THEIR DISTRICT, THAT’S VERY SIMILAR TO THE WORK THAT WE’VE DONE, IS TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR FAMILIES HAVE WIDE CHOICES FROM WITHIN THE DISTRICT AND TO ALLOW THEM IN THEIR SPACE TO MAKE THOSE CHOICES. AND OUR STUDENTS REGULARLY CHOOSE FROM AMONG OUR FIVE HIGH SCHOOLS AND WE DIFFERENTIATE THOSE HIGH SCHOOLS BY PROGRAMMING IN MANY WAYS. SO WE UNDERSTAND THAT IDEA OF COMPETITION AND WE DON’T RESIST THAT IDEA AT ALL. WE WANNA WORK HARD SO THAT THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE IS THE BEST CHOICE, AND SO THAT STUDENTS ARE BEING FORCED INTO CHOICES BECAUSE THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE IS NOT QUITE AS ROBUST AS IT SHOULD BE. THE TRUTH IS– AND I FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT THIS, PARENTS OF MEANS HAVE ALWAYS HAD CHOICE IN WHERE THEIR CHILDREN ARE EDUCATED BECAUSE THEY WERE ABLE TO CHOOSE A NEIGHBORHOOD AND BUY A HOME IN ORDER TO GET INTO WHAT WERE CONSIDERED THE BEST SCHOOLS. OUR WORK HAS BEEN TO TURN THAT WHOLE IDEA ON ITS EAR BY ENSURING THAT WE’RE PUTTING TOP QUALITY PROGRAMMING INTO WHAT MAY BE CONSIDERED THE NEEDIEST OF NEIGHBORHOODS. I’M NOT SURE THAT EVERYONE REALIZES THAT ONE IN FOUR OF OUR MICHIGAN STUDENTS ACCORDING TO THE MOST RECENT DATA THAT I’VE SEEN– ONE IN FOUR OF OUR MICHIGAN STUDENTS CURRENTLY CHOOSE A SCHOOL OTHER THAN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL AND ABOUT 15% OF MICHIGAN STUDENTS CROSS DISTRICT BOUNDARIES TO ATTEND THEIR SCHOOL OF CHOICE EVERY DAY. SO I THINK THAT AS WE THINK ABOUT SCHOOLS OF CHOICE THIS IS A PHENOMENA THAT’S WITH US, REGARDLESS OF PERSONAL OPINIONS ABOUT IT, IF I HAD A MAGIC WAND TO LEVERAGE ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY I WOULD HOPE THAT ALL SCHOOLS COULD REPORT AND BE OVERSEEN AND BE AUTHORIZED BY THEIR LOCAL DISTRICT WHETHER THAT’S THE LOCAL DISTRICT OR THE ISD. THIS IDEA IS NOT SO FAR-FETCHED, I CAME FROM A STATE WHERE ALL SCHOOLS WERE AUTHORIZED AND OVERSEEN BY THE LOCAL DISTRICT. AND IN THAT PATTERN AND IT WAS VERY NATURAL THEN WHEN WE REPORTED OUR PUBLIC SCHOOL DATA TO REPORT ALL OF THE DATA ON SCHOOLS IN THE SAME WAY, IT JUST FELT A LOT BETTER IN TERMS OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY. THE LAST THING I WANNA SHARE ON THE SCHOOLS OF CHOICES, THIS IDEA THAT CHOICE SHOULD NOT BE FORCED BECAUSE OF A FUNDAMENTAL AND CHRONIC LACK OF FUNDING FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS. AND I THINK AT SOME POINTS AND I’M JUST BEING FRANK WITH YOU ALL TODAY AND I THINK THAT AT SOME POINTS ALONG OUR JOURNEY, WE’VE TRIED TO USE CHOICE AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR APPROPRIATE AND ADEQUATE FUNDING AND SUPPORT FOR SCHOOLS. AND I JUST WANT TO BE CLEAR THAT CHOICE DOESN’T SOLVE A CHRONIC UNDERFUNDING OR UNDER SUPPORT OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE STATE. AND I FEEL LIKE THAT’S AN IMPORTANT POINT THAT’S WORTH CONSIDERING. SO I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK ON THE SCHOOL CHOICE TODAY.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>NUMBER SIX. THE MICHIGAN LEGISLATURE PASSED A 3RD GRADE READING BILL WHICH INCLUDES RETAINING STUDENTS WHO FAILED TO ADEQUATELY PASS A STANDARDIZED TEST. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS LAW AND HOW CAN THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ASSIST LOCAL DISTRICTS WITH THE IMPACT OF THIS LAW?>>THANK YOU. WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A LITERACY CRISIS IN MICHIGAN. WE KNOW THAT, WE KNOW THE DATA. IT’S WORTH NOTING THAT THIS IS MY SECOND TIME TO IMPLEMENT 3RD GRADE READING LAW BECAUSE FIVE– FOUR YEARS BEFORE I LEFT COLORADO, WE HAD A VERY SIMILAR LAW ENACTED THERE. SO WHEN THIS LAW CAME DOWN, I FELT LIKE IT WAS DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN. AND YET, I WAS HOPING TO GET SOME THINGS RIGHT. I WILL NOTE DISTINCT DIFFERENCES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF VERY SIMILAR LAWS WAS THAT IN MY FIRST TIME IN DOING THAT, THERE WAS A LOT MORE FUNDAMENTAL SUPPORT FOR TRAINING OF TEACHERS, INTERVENTIONISTS TO HELP WITH READING, LITERACY MATERIALS. SO, I DO– WHENEVER I GET A CHANCE WITH OUR LEGISLATORS, OFFER THAT COMPARISON IS THAT, WE ALL BELIEVE IN THE IMPORTANCE OF EVERY CHILD READING BY 3RD GRADE. AND YET IN ORDER FOR THAT TO HAPPEN, WE KNOW THAT WORK BEGINS IN THE VERY EARLIEST DAYS OF LIFE AND THAT READING BY 3RD GRADE IS IN EARLY ENDEAVOR. NEIL DUKE AS YOU KNOW A READING RESEARCHER AND EXPERT OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HAS TERMED OUR CRISIS IN EARLY LITERACY A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS. AND I THINK THAT THAT IS A VERY APPROPRIATE WAY TO CHARACTERIZE IT. WHEN WE THINK ABOUT IN REGARDLESS OF WHICH YEAR OF NAPE YOU’RE LOOKING AT, IT’S 40 SOMETHING IS WHERE WE FALL IN THE COUNTRY IN TERMS OF WHERE OUR 4TH GRADERS ARE READING AND IF YOU LOOKED AT OUR M-STEP DATA, AS YOU WELL KNOW, FEWER THAN 50% OF OUR 3RD GRADERS READING AT GRADE LEVEL. THE REASON IT’S A PUBLIC HEALTH AND A PUBLIC CRISIS IN MICHIGAN IS WE KNOW THAT WHEN STUDENTS FALL BEHIND IN THEIR EARLY LITERACY IT IS VERY CHALLENGING FOR THEM TO GET CAUGHT UP, AND THEY FALL EXPONENTIALLY BEHIND IN THE LEARNING THAT’S SUPPOSED TO OCCUR AT VERY RAPID RATES 3RD, 4TH AND 5TH BECAUSE OF AN INABILITY TO ACCESS TEXT AT GRADE LEVEL, IT PROFOUNDLY IMPACTS ALL OF THEIR DEVELOPMENT. YOU KNOW THAT STUDENTS NOT READING ON GRADE LEVEL ARE FOUR TIMES MORE LIKELY TO NOT GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL. THAT’S JUST SIMPLY THE FACT BEHIND IT. CONVERSELY, AS LITERACY RATES GO UP, THEY’RE A REAL ECONOMIC DRIVER IN A COMMUNITY. WE HAVE RESEARCH, YOU’VE SEEN IT, THAT SUPPORTS THAT AS LITERACY RATES GO UP, WAGES IN A COMMUNITY GOES UP. THE ECONOMIC INDICATORS IN A COMMUNITY ACROSS THE STATE WILL IMPROVE, I’M VERY EXCITED IN TERMS OF HOW THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CAN SUPPORT SCHOOLS IN IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS LAW AND VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE MICHIGAN LITERACY ESSENTIALS. IF I HAD MY IPAD OVER HERE NOW I WOULD POP THEM UP. I HAVE THEM ON MY IBOOKS AND KEEP THEM CLOSE BECAUSE THE BREAKTHROUGH ON THE LITERACY ESSENTIALS IS THAT IT’S A SMALL SET OF WHAT WE KNOW ARE RESEARCH PROVEN PRACTICES TO BE USED IN CLASSROOMS. AND THE USE OF THOSE PRACTICES, THE FAITHFUL IMPLEMENTATION WITH FIDELITY OF STRONG LITERACY PRACTICES EARLY ON, WILL MAKE AND DOES MAKE A PROFOUND DIFFERENCE IN READING LEVELS. SO WHEN WE TALKED ABOUT THE CRISIS THAT WE’RE IN, I DO WANT TO NOTE THAT THERE IS HOPE. BUT IT’S AROUND BRINGING THOSE PRACTICES INTO CLASSROOMS AND SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES. READING ON GRADE LEVEL ISN’T JUST A SCHOOL ISSUE, IT’S A COMMUNITY ISSUE. SO LEVERAGING THOSE PARTNERS IN THE COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT. I WOULD BE REMISS IF I DIDN’T TOUCH ON THE TOPIC OF REMEDIATION AND IN HOLDING STUDENTS BACK IN 3RD GRADE. VERY FRANKLY WE ALL UNDERSTAND AND I FEEL VERY STRONGLY THAT IS NOT AN EFFECTIVE SUPPORT FOR A CHILD. I HOPE AND WISH THAT OUR LAW OVER THE COMING MONTHS AND YEARS WOULD BE CHARACTERIZED FAR MORE BY EARLY SUPPORTS FOR LITERACY ACROSS OUR SYSTEM AND MUCH LESS ABOUT RETENTION, THANK YOU.>>WE ARE AT NUMBER SEVEN. WE CONTINUE TO HEAR FROM DISTRICTS THAT THEY STRUGGLE TO FIND THE CERTIFIED TEACHERS TO HIRE FOR EXISTING VACANCIES. IF YOU ARE HIRED AS THE NEXT STATE SUPERINTENDENT, WHAT ACTIONABLE– I WILL REPEAT THAT, WHAT ACTIONABLE STEPS WOULD YOU TAKE TO INCREASE TEACHER ATTRACTION AND IMPROVE TEACHER RETENTION IN MICHIGAN?>>THANK YOU. A QUALITY TEACHER IN FRONT OF A CHILD ON EVERY DAY OF SCHOOL IS THE NUMBER ONE STRATEGY TO POSITIVELY IMPACT STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT FOR MAKING ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN CLOSING DISPARITIES AND GAPS IN OPPORTUNITIES AND IN OUTCOMES FOR OUR STUDENTS. I BELIEVE THAT TEACHING IS THE NUMBER ONE PROFESSION– MY COLLEAGUE, [INDISTINCT] FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SCHOOL OF ED SAYS IT THIS WAY, TEACHING IS THE NUMBER ONE PROFESSION THAT ENABLES ALL OTHER PROFESSIONS. AND YET, WHEN WE THINK ABOUT– WE JUST FINISHED OUR RECRUITMENT EFFORTS– WE’RE NOT FINISHED. WE’RE NEVER FINISHED. BUT WE JUST FINISHED OUR TOUR OF RECRUITMENT. AND ALMOST WITHOUT EXCEPTION, SMALLER CLASSES GRADUATING IN EVERY ONE OF THOSE HIGHER ED INSTITUTIONS. AND WE VISIT MANY, MANY OF THEM. SO WE KNOW WE’VE GOT A PROBLEM WITH AN AGING WORKFORCE AND WITH NOT ENOUGH TEACHERS TO GO AROUND, AND PARTICULARLY NOT ENOUGH QUALITY TEACHERS. SO FUNDAMENTAL STEPS THAT I WOULD TAKE– I WAS VERY INTERESTED TO READ RECENTLY A SURVEY AND I UNDERSTAND WE’RE IN PROGRESS ON ONE IN MICHIGAN, AS WELL, BUT A SURVEY OF TEACHERS SAYING, WHAT COULD WE DO TO RETAIN YOU IN THE PROFESSION? AND I LOVED HEARING SOME. AND THIS ONE WAS OUT OF COLORADO. THERE ARE MANY OUT THERE. I LOVED NUMBER ONE, WHICH WAS TO REDUCE THE COSTS OF BECOMING A TEACHER AND THE BARRIERS IN THE PROCESS TO BECOMING A TEACHER. SO WE’RE HAVING THOSE CONVERSATIONS IN OUR COMMUNITY AND WITH THE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION IN OUR LOCAL UNIVERSITY ABOUT HOW TO REDUCE THE IMPACT OF STUDENT LOANS, STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS, SPONSORING STUDENTS IN THE SCHOOL OF ED WHO ARE IN NEED, TO ENSURE THAT WE’RE REMOVING BARRIERS. ANOTHER IDEA I SAW COMING DIRECTLY FROM TEACHERS IS THAT TEACHERS NEED MORE SUPPORT IN THE CLASSROOM, SUPPORTS LIKE QUALITY PARAPROFESSIONALS TO SUPPORT THEM WITH THE CHALLENGES THAT THEY EXPERIENCE IN THE CLASSROOM. OPPORTUNITIES FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT WHETHER THAT’S LEARNING A NEW PROGRAM, GETTING A TRAINING THAT THEY’RE EXCITED ABOUT. WE OWE OUR TEACHERS THAT ABILITY TO BE HIGHLY TRAINED AND TO FEEL THAT THEY’RE DEVELOPING THE PROFESSION OVER THE COURSE OF THEIR CAREER. AN INTERESTING PIECE THAT I SAW IN THAT SURVEY WAS THAT THEY WANTED TO HAVE POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE AND COMPETENT SCHOOL LEADERSHIP, SO THAT TEACHING IN THEIR SCHOOL WAS A BETTER EXPERIENCE FOR THEM ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS. AND I RECOGNIZE THAT AND IDENTIFY THAT WITH THAT. AND THEN WE ALL, I BELIEVE, KNOW THAT STRONG NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB OF PREPARING OUR TEACHERS PRE-SERVICE FOR THE REALITIES AND THE CHALLENGES THAT THEY WILL FACE IN THE CLASSROOM BECAUSE WE ARE LOSING SOME TEACHERS BECAUSE THEY DON’T FEEL ADEQUATELY PREPARED. AN EXAMPLE OF THAT IS THEIR PREPARATION AROUND MEETING THE NEEDS OF SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS. THERE ARE MANY TIMES WE’LL HAVE ONE COURSE OR MAYBE TWO COURSES IN THAT AREA. SO THEY’RE NOT WELL PREPARED. AND BY AND LARGE, CERTAINLY, WE NEED TO WORK ON THAT, WE’VE BEEN WORKING LIKE DISTRICTS ACROSS THE STATE, GRAND RAPIDS AND OTHERS, TO DEVELOP A GROW YOUR OWN TEACHER PROGRAM. AND WE HAVE TWO PATHWAYS ON THAT. THE PROBABLY THE ONE YOU’RE MORE FAMILIAR WITH IS WORKING WITH OUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO FIND THOSE WHO HAVE AN ATTRACTION AND A PASSION TO TEACHING AND GETTING THEM INTO TEACHER CADET PROGRAMS. WE’RE PARTNERING NOW WITH WASHTENAW, WITH UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, WITH EASTERN IN EARLY CONVERSATIONS ABOUT MOVING OUR STUDENTS RIGHT FROM THEIR HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE INTO A TEACHER ED PREP PROGRAM AND SUPPORTING THEM THROUGH THAT PROCESS. A LESSER KNOWN PATHWAY OF GROWING YOUR OWN THAT I’M TREMENDOUSLY EXCITED ABOUT GROWING OUR OWN FROM WITHIN OUR ORGANIZATION AMONG FOLKS WHO WORK IN OTHER ROLES. SO OUR PARAPROFESSIONALS, OUR OFFICE PROFESSIONALS. WHAT I LOVE ABOUT GROWING TEACHERS FROM WITHIN ALL OF OUR EMPLOYEE RANKS IS THEY’RE ALREADY IN OUR COMMUNITY. THEY KNOW US, THEY KNOW OUR CHILDREN. THEY’RE ALREADY WORKING IN THE SCHOOLS, THEY OBVIOUSLY HAVE A COMMITMENT TO SCHOOLS AND TO CHILDREN. AND I JUST– I WANT TO GIVE A SHOUT OUT TO SHARONDA JONES WHO IS TEACHING RIGHT NOW TODAY 3RD GRADE AT HAYS LEE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND SHE IS THE FIRST GRADUATE IN OUR GROW YOUR OWN– FROM OUR PARAPRO AND OTHER RANKS. AND SHE JUST GOT HER JOB ABOUT A MONTH AGO, AND SHE’S TEACHING 3RD GRADE. AND SHARONDA WAS AN OFFICE PROFESSIONAL IN A MIDDLE SCHOOL FOR MANY YEARS AND DECIDED SHE WANTED TO DEEPEN AND MOVE HER COMMITMENT INTO THE TEACHING RANKS. WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT REPRESENTATIVES IN ALL OF OUR JOB AREAS APART FROM TEACHERS BY AND LARGE THEY BETTER REPRESENT THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF OUR STUDENTS. THEY ARE DEEPLY COMMITTED TO STUDENTS. AND IF WE CAN SUPPORT THEM AND MOVE THEM OVER, WHAT WE’RE FINDING IS IT’S PERHAPS SUPPORTING THEM THROUGH THEIR STUDENT TEACHING EXPERIENCE. IT’S HELPING THEM TO MAKE THOSE ARRANGEMENTS. IT’S NOT WHERE THE GROW-YOUR-OWN FROM TEACHER CADETS IS SO EXCITING, THAT’S A FIVE YEAR, SIX YEAR PROCESS. WHAT I LOVE ABOUT WORKING WITH PARA EDUCATORS AND OFFICE PROFESSIONALS AND RECENTLY HAD CONTACT FROM SOMEONE WHO WORKS IN OUR ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT, WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THOSE FOLKS IS THEIR PATH SOMETIMES IS NOT VERY LONG. IT’S JUST THAT THEY NEED A LITTLE SUPPORT TO MAKE THOSE CONNECTIONS. I’M VERY INTERESTED IN NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFICATION, PATHWAYS FOR TEACHERS AND SUPPORTING THEM IN THAT WAY. THERE ARE MANY STATES THAT SUPPORT THAT AT THE STATE LEVEL AND I WOULD LOVE TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT. AND I GUESS THE LAST THING I WANT TO SHARE ABOUT ATTRACTING AND RETAINING TALENT INTO OUR TEACHING FORCE IS ALL THAT WE’VE TALKED ABOUT TODAY MOVES US TOWARD THAT THAT GOAL OF BEING ABLE TO HAVE A SUPPLY IN A CHAIN OF STRONG FOLKS, AND THAT IS, MAKING P12 EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN A LEARNING PROPOSITION. IT’S HARD TO RECRUIT FROM BEYOND THE STATE WHEN YOU’RE RANKED LOW IN THE COUNTRY. AND SO I FEEL LIKE ALL OF THIS WORKS TOGETHER IN A RISING TIDE AND IT REALLY WILL LIFT THAT OPPORTUNITY TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN TEACHERS.>>THANK YOU.>>THE REVOLVING DOOR OF EDUCATION REFORM SEEMS TO BE A CONSTANT IN MICHIGAN THESE ONGOING REFORMS CHANGE THE EDUCATION TARGETS AND DIRECTIONS FOR OUR SCHOOLS, DISTRICTS, AND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AS WELL AS IMPEDE OUR ABILITY TO CREATE CONTINUITY OF FOCUS EFFORTS AND ACTIONS. WHAT ROLE DO YOU SEE THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT TAKING TO STOP THIS CHURNING OF CHANGE?>>THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION. I REALLY APPRECIATE THAT YOU ALL ARE GIVING THIS THOUGHT. WE NEED CONSISTENCY AND CONSTANCY IN OUR GAME PLAN FOR P12 EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN. WE ARE ALL HUNGRY FOR THAT. WE CANNOT EXPECT TEACHERS AND DISTRICTS AND SCHOOLS AND LEADERS TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE THEIR PROGRESS WHEN THEY’RE IN A TSUNAMI OF EDUCATION OF REFORMS. SO I FEEL LIKE THE ROLE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT, THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT, IS TO PROVIDE LEADERSHIP IN THAT ENDEAVOR AND TO SUPPORT EDUCATORS AND SUPPORT THE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR AND THE STATE BOARD IN ARTICULATING A VISION THAT WE CAN ALL ANCHOR INTO AND STAY WITH. I LOVED THAT LAUNCH MICHIGAN– YOU ALL ARE FAMILIAR WITH THAT ENDEAVOR. I LOVED SOME OF THE THINGS THEY OFFERED ON THIS TOPIC. AND ONE OF THOSE WAS DEVELOPING A PLAYBOOK ABOUT INSTRUCTION THAT ENDURES BEYOND A POLITICAL WIND OR AN ELECTION CYCLE. AND SO, GETTING ON A PATH TO SUPPORT RESEARCH DRIVEN STRATEGIES IN CLASSROOMS AND IN SCHOOLS AND STAYING ON THAT PATH. YOU KNOW THEY SAY IT TAKES THREE TO FIVE YEARS TO REALLY BEGIN TO SEE THE FRUITS OF OUR LABOR IN TERMS OF MAKING CHANGE AND IMPROVING OUTCOMES FOR STUDENTS. SO WE NEED TO ANCHOR IN TO RESEARCH-BASED STRATEGIES, STAY THE COURSE ON THAT AND I BELIEVE THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT’S JOB IS TO ELEVATE PUBLIC AWARENESS AROUND THE PROGRAM AND THE PLAN THAT’S IN PLACE AND RALLY ALL STAKEHOLDERS AROUND THAT, REMINDING FOLKS OF WHERE WE ARE IN THE PROCESS, THE IMPROVEMENTS THAT WE’RE SEEING ALONG THE WAY, AND AREAS WHERE WE’VE NOT SEEN IMPROVEMENTS AND WE NEED TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS. I THINK THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT ARTICULATING THAT NARRATIVE, HELPS TO ANCHOR ON THOSE WAVES INSTEAD OF RAISING A NEW WAVE OF SCHOOL REFORM THAT THEN INSPIRES CONFUSION RATHER THAN FOCUS ON OUTCOMES. THANK YOU.>>SO, WE ARE ABOUT HALF WAY THROUGH AND WE’RE ON QUESTION NUMBER NINE, HALFWAY THROUGH ON OUR TIME, SORRY.>>ON OUR TIME, EXCUSE ME, ON OUR TIME FOR EVERYTHING?>>YEAH. ABOUT 45 MINUTES IN.>>OKAY.>>YEP. SO ABOUT ANOTHER 45 MINUTES AGO.>>IS THAT WHERE YOU WANTED TO BE?>>WE ARE GREAT. YES, NUMBER NINE, IT IS BECOMING MORE COMMONPLACE FOR PARENTS TO CHOOSE TO OPT THEIR CHILDREN OUT OF VARIOUS EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS SUCH AS STANDARDIZED TESTING. AS STATE SUPERINTENDENT, HOW WOULD YOU BALANCE THE RIGHTS OF PARENTS VERSUS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STATE IN REGARD TO COMPLIANCE?>>THANK YOU. I APPRECIATE THAT YOU ASKED THIS QUESTION. I LOVE YOUR EXAMPLE OF ASSESSMENTS AND I WOULD SEE YOU AND RAISE YOU ONE WITH THE EXAMPLE, RECENTLY, OF VACCINATIONS. JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE WHERE WE’RE IN THE POSITION OF BALANCING A PARENT WHO WANTS TO DO THE VERY BEST FOR THEIR OWN CHILD AND THE RESPONSIBILITY THAT WE HAVE TO ENSURE THAT WE’RE RUNNING A SYSTEM THAT SUPPORTS ALL STUDENTS. I HAVE FOUND THAT CLEARLY STATING A STRONG RATIONALE BEHIND THE NEED THAT WE HAVE, WHETHER THAT’S FOR ASSESSMENTS AND YOU DON’T THINK THAT YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO HAVE THEM, OR WHETHER THAT’S AROUND VACCINATIONS OR OTHER– THERE ARE OTHER TOPICS CERTAINLY BUT STATING AND CLARIFYING A STRONG RATIONALE– AND I DON’T MEAN THAT WE HAVE NOT DONE THAT. WE CERTAINLY HAVE. BUT IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO REPEAT THAT RATIONALE, TO LISTEN TO WHAT THE CONCERNS ARE, AND ENSURE THAT WE’RE ATTENDING TO THOSE CONCERNS. SO YOU WILL SEE THAT WE OFTEN, LIKE MANY DISTRICTS ACROSS THE STATE, WILL USE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION DOCUMENTS, WILL USE PARTNERS FROM THE COMMUNITY WHO WILL SPEAK FROM AN EXPERT ROLE TO SAY YEP, THIS IS THE RIGHT RATIONALE. THIS IS THE THE RIGHT APPROACH TO TAKE. IT IS, I WILL POINT OUT, AND YOU ALL ARE AWARE OF THIS, I’M SURE, IT IS FUNDAMENTALLY EASIER TO STATE THE RATIONALE WHEN WE HAVE STRONG PROGRAMMING IN PLACE. SO, I’LL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE. I FOUND THAT IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER TO STATE A RATIONALE AROUND ASSESSMENT. WITH PSAT THAN IT HAD BEEN WITH M-STEP. JUST THE HONEST TRUTH, BECAUSE I COULD STATE THAT RATIONALE TO PARENTS THAT THIS WILL GIVE YOU A NATIONAL METRIC, SO YOU CAN SEE HOW YOU’RE DOING AGAINST THE COUSINS IN NEW YORK OR WHEREVER. AND THIS WILL ALSO GIVE YOU– WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THAT THAT OUR ABILITY NOW, IS IT WILL GIVE YOU A YEAR OVER YEAR INDICATOR OF WHERE YOUR CHILD IS MOVING TOWARD THE GOAL. THAT’S SAT COMING UP, I LOVE THAT IT’S CONNECTED AND WITH KHAN ACADEMY AND THAT STUDENTS ARE ABLE TO GET A PERSONALIZED PROFILE TO ATTEND TO THEIR AREAS OF NEED, I WON’T COMMENT ON MY AGE. BUT YOU KNOW, IN MY DAY, YOU HAD TO BUY THE WHOLE BOOK AND WORK THROUGH ALL THE QUESTIONS, YOU KNOW, AND SOME FOLKS ARE TOO YOUNG TO REMEMBER THOSE DAYS. BUT I LOVE THE KHAN ACADEMY APPROACH BECAUSE HERE ARE THE AREAS WHERE YOU NEED HELP AND YOU CAN PLUG INTO THAT IMMEDIATELY. SO SAVING THAT RATIONALE WHENEVER POSSIBLE AT THE STATE LEVEL AND AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, MAKING SURE THAT THAT RATIONALE IS AS STRONG AS IT CAN BE AND DOING OUR PART AS A STATE TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR SYSTEM IS WELL ALIGNED, SO THAT OUR RATIONALE IS STRONG AND SECURE, I FIND THAT PARENTS, BY AND LARGE, ARE REASONABLE PEOPLE WHO WANT THE BEST FOR THEIR CHILD. AND IF WE CAN STATE THAT RATIONALE IN A WAY THAT MAKES SENSE, WE’RE GOING TO GET 95%. IN THE END, THAT’S A GOOD DAY. THANK YOU.>>OKAY, THE NEXT QUESTION. PLEASE DISCUSS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTING TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM AND AT THE SCHOOL OR DISTRICT LEVEL. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING TECHNOLOGY FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING? WHAT ABOUT FOR TAKING STANDARDIZED TESTS?>>THANK YOU, I APPRECIATE YOU ASKING THE QUESTION ABOUT TECHNOLOGY. WHEN I FIRST STARTED TEACHING, WE WERE JUST– AND EVER SINCE THEN THE THREE DECADES WE’VE BEEN IMPLEMENTING TECHNOLOGY THIS WHOLE TIME AND I FLASHED BACK TO AN EARLY TIME IN MY TEACHING CAREER WHERE WE WERE JUST STARTING TO DO GRADE BOOK AND A FEW ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS THROUGH TECHNOLOGY. AND I REMEMBER IN THOSE DAYS, WE WOULD PUT THE INFORMATION IN, WE CAN GET UP AND GO MAKE A SANDWICH OR TAKE A BREAK OR TAKE A WALK BECAUSE THAT’S HOW LONG IT WOULD TAKE TO GET OUR GRADES AVERAGED OR WHATEVER AND COME BACK AND PICK IT UP. AND I FLASH FORWARD TO NOW, WHERE A CHILD SITS FOR NWEA AND IMMEDIATELY YOU WALK THEM FROM THE LIBRARY BACK TO THE CLASSROOM AND IMMEDIATELY THAT CHILD’S DATA IS AVAILABLE ON AN INTELLIGENT ASSESSMENT. HOW AWESOME IS THAT IN TERMS OF MEETING A CHILD’S NEEDS AND BE ABLE TO GROUP STUDENTS AND BEING ABLE– OF COURSE THERE’S NOTHING BETTER THAN THE EYES AND THE OVERSIGHT OF A MASTER TEACHER BUT BEING ABLE TO HAVE ALL OF THAT ASSESSMENT WORK JUST INSTANTLY DONE, SO THAT YOU CAN LEVERAGE THAT ALONG WITH THE TEACHER. THE ONE THING WE BELIEVE STRONGLY ABOUT TECHNOLOGY IS THAT, TECHNOLOGY MUST BE USED IN THE CLASSROOM IN SUPPORT OF TEACHING AND LEARNING, NOT AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR QUALITY TEACHING AND LEARNING. SO WE’VE AVOIDED– I’M NOT BEING CRITICAL OF THESE EFFORTS– BUT WE’VE HAVE AVOIDED THAT SHINY THING OF ONE-ON-ONE IMPLEMENTATIONS, WE AVOIDED THAT BECAUSE WE FEEL LIKE TECHNOLOGY COMES SECOND IN A THOUGHTFUL LESSON PLAN DELIVERED BY A QUALITY TEACHER. AND CERTAINLY TECHNOLOGY CAN BE MAGIC. IT CAN INCREASE STUDENT ENGAGEMENT, IT CAN GET TEACHERS EXCITED, AND IT OPENS THAT 3RD DOOR OF THE CLASSROOM TO THE WORLD IN WAYS WE COULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED THREE DECADES AGO WHEN I WAS MAKING A SANDWICH WHILE WAITING ON MY COMPUTATIONS TO COME OUT. IT’S A NEW DAY. AND YET AT THE END OF THIS NEW DAY, THE TEACHER WITH A QUALITY PLAN AND TECHNOLOGY IN SERVICE TO THAT PLAN. I THINK TAKING ASSESSMENTS ON TECH BASED DEVICES IS THE REALITY OF OUR WORLD. AND I THINK IT IS OUR JOB TO PREPARE CHILDREN FOR THAT REALITY. SO AND WE KNOW THAT THAT SCORES TAKE A DIP WHEN STUDENTS ARE LEARNING HOW TO DO THAT IN A TECH BASED ENVIRONMENT AND YET IT’S AN IMPORTANT SERVICE TO CHILDREN TO ENSURE THEY KNOW HOW TO DO THAT. THANK YOU.>>QUESTION 11, IT’S ACTUALLY THREE QUESTIONS IN ONE.>>YES.>>MICHIGAN IS ONE OF THE FEW STATES THAT SUPPORTS SPECIAL-NEEDS STUDENTS FROM BIRTH TO AGE 26. AND IS ALSO CHALLENGED WITH INADEQUATE RESOURCES FROM FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO MAINTAIN CURRENT PROGRAMS AND MEET THE INCREASING NEEDS OF STUDENTS IDENTIFIED WITH DISABILITIES. HOW WOULD YOU LEAD THE DEPARTMENT IN MAKING CERTAIN THESE CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS WILL SEE THE SERVICES THEY REQUIRE AND HAVE BETTER OPPORTUNITIES? THAT’S ONE QUESTION. WHAT SHOULD THE DEPARTMENT’S ROLE BE IN IMPROVING SPECIAL– THE SPECIAL EDUCATION COMPLAINT DUE PROCESS PROCEDURES? AND WITH THAT THOUGHT, WOULD YOU SUPPORT REINSTATING A PARENT’S RIGHT TO APPEAL A DECISION MADE BY MDE’S OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION? WHY OR WHY NOT? YOU GET THEM ALL?>>I DO, THANKS. I APPRECIATE HAVING HAPPEN, THANK YOU. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN TREMENDOUSLY PROUD THAT MICHIGAN PROVIDES EDUCATION FOR SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS FROM ZERO TO 26. I THINK THAT IS A VERY BIG DEAL AND I’M VERY PROUD OF THAT, I FEEL LIKE IT’S THE BEST WAY TO ENSURE THAT OUR STUDENTS GET THAT BRIDGE OVER INTO A LIFE SITUATION AND GOING THROUGH 26 MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE, PARTICULARLY FOR OUR MOST IMPACTED STUDENTS. I BELIEVE WE HAVE A ROLE IN IMPROVING OUR OUTCOMES IN SPECIAL EDUCATION. AND THERE ARE FIVE AREAS WHERE I WOULD DRILL IN AND I DON’T MEAN IN MY ANSWER TO PRETEND THAT OTHER BRIGHT PEOPLE AREN’T ALREADY LOOKING AT THIS. BUT I’M SHARING WITH YOU– IT’S WHERE I WOULD START IN CONVERSATION. AND THE FIRST ONE IS HOW WELL ARE WE ENSURING THAT WHEN THERE IS A NEED, WE HAVE PROCESSES IN PLACE SO THAT STUDENTS GET ATTENTION EARLY? THAT THAT PROCESS GOES SMOOTHLY FOR IDENTIFICATION OR NOT AND GETTING THOSE SUPPORTS IN PLACE. WE TOO OFTEN HEAR HORROR STORIES AS YOU DO AND I DO ABOUT THAT PROCESS NOT ALWAYS GOING AS IT SHOULD. THE SECOND AREA THAT I WOULD WANT TO DRILL INTO IS WHAT QUALITY INTERVENTIONS AND SUPPORTS DO WE HAVE IN OUR TOOLBOX TO MEET THE NEEDS OF STUDENTS? FAR TOO OFTEN WE’RE AT THAT IEP TABLE OR AT A PROBLEM-SOLVING TABLE AND WE KNOW THE NEED THAT THE STUDENT HAS BUT WE MAY NOT HAVE A FULL SET OF TOOLS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE RIGHT INTERVENTION IS IN PLACE. SO THAT’S A SECOND AREA. A THIRD AREA IS TO ENSURE THAT THOSE SUPPORTS AND SERVICES FOR STUDENTS ARE DELIVERED CONSISTENTLY WITHOUT INTERRUPTION, THAT THEY’RE NOT MISSING SPEECH BECAUSE WE’RE SHORT OF SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS. THOSE KINDS OF THINGS SIMPLY MUST NOT HAPPEN. SO KEEPING AN EYE ON THAT METRIC OF ALL THOSE PRESCRIBED SUPPORTS BEING DELIVERED CONSISTENTLY. YOU AND I KNOW THAT THE AREAS WHERE THEY ARE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE A GAP ARE AREAS IMPACTED BY POVERTY, IMPACTED BY TEACHER AND PROFESSIONAL SHORTAGES AND THOSE ARE THE VERY STUDENTS WHO NEED THEM. AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY GET THEM. THE FOURTH AREA IS HOW CLOSELY ARE WE MONITORING THE OUTCOMES OF SUPPORTS AND INTERVENTIONS? AND WHAT WE’RE DOING FOR STUDENTS AS A PART OF THEIR PLAN? A PLAN FOR A CHILD SHOULD NOT BE, AS WE ALL KNOW, A LIFE SENTENCE. IF WE’RE NOT GETTING THE RESULTS IN A PRESCRIBED AMOUNT OF TIME, WE NEED TO BRING FOLKS BACK TO THE TABLE AND MAKE ADJUSTMENTS, WHETHER THOSE ADJUSTMENTS ARE IN THE LEVEL OF INTENSITY, THE FREQUENCY WITH WHICH WE PROVIDE THE SUPPORT OR THE KIND OF SUPPORT WE PROVIDE, WE NEED TO GET BACK TO THE TABLE AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE. THE 5TH AREA THAT I WOULD WANT TO SCRUTINIZE AND IT LEADS OVER TO QUESTION NUMBER TWO IS WHEN ANY OF THOSE STEPS, ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR GETS DISRUPTED OR ISN’T GOING QUITE RIGHT, WHETHER THAT’S AT THE SCHOOL LEVEL, AT THE DISTRICT LEVEL, AT THE STATE LEVEL, WHAT ARE OUR EFFECTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESSES TO GET INTO THAT AND GET IT FIXED? AND THEN THAT LEADS INTO QUESTION TWO AND THE DEPARTMENT’S ROLE IN IMPROVING THE COMPLAINT AND DUE PROCESS PROCEDURES. AND WE KNOW THAT WE MUST MAKE IMPROVEMENTS. YOU ALL HAVE HEARD THAT AS A PATTERN, AND I APPRECIATE THAT THAT IS A PATTERN. WE’VE GOT TO GET IN AND ANALYZE, WHERE ARE THE GAPS IN PROCESS OCCURRING? AND TO CLOSE THOSE GAPS IN THE PROCESS. I ALMOST BROUGHT WITH ME TODAY, BUT IT WEIGHS TOO MUCH. WE’RE JUST GETTING READY TO PUBLISH THE RESULTS OF A SIMILAR PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATION IN OUR DISTRICT, COMING OUT OF THE EXACT SAME QUESTIONS. AND WE’VE BEEN ON THIS WITH BOTH AN EXTERNAL EVALUATOR, WHICH HAS BEEN VERY HELPFUL, AND WITH A DEEP DIVE INTERNALLY. WE’VE SURVEYED PARENTS. WE’VE DONE FOCUS GROUPS AND SURVEYS WITH STAFF, WITH GENERAL ED STAFF, WITH SPECIAL ED STAFF, WITH PRINCIPALS AND LEADERS. AND WE ARE GETTING THE RESULTS OF AN ANALYSIS NOW. AND I WILL SHARE WITH YOU, JUST FROM HAVING JUST GONE THROUGH THE PROCESS, AND NOW WE’RE PREPARING TO DEPLOY AN ACTION PLAN, WHICH IS SUCH AN EXCITING DAY. WHAT I WILL SHARE WITH YOU IS, THERE WERE NOT SURPRISES IN WHAT EVERYONE SAID. THERE WERE SMALL SURPRISES, BUT NO BIG SURPRISES. BUT WHAT WE FOUND WAS THAT THE ELEPHANT OF THE PROVISION OF SPECIAL NEEDS IN OUR DISTRICT, IN OUR SYSTEM, EACH PERSON MAYBE HAD THEIR HAND ON A DIFFERENT PART OF THE ELEPHANT. AND WHAT I APPRECIATE ABOUT A COMPREHENSIVE LOOK AND ANALYSIS IS, WE NOW CAN SEE THE ELEPHANT, AND BEGIN THEN TO MAKE SYSTEMIC CHANGES. THE LAST QUESTION. IN SUPPORTING A PARENT’S RIGHT TO APPEAL A DECISION. I WOULD CERTAINLY WANT TO REVIEW, WHAT ARE THE REMEDIES IN PLACE FROM THE VERY FIRST DAY WHEN A PARENT SAYS, “I’M NOT SURE IT’S GOING “PERFECTLY WITH THE SUPPORTS “THAT ARE BEING PROVIDED “FOR MY CHILD, “AND I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS “OR CONCERNS ABOUT THOSE.” I WOULD WANT TO REVIEW THOSE REMEDIES AT EVERY LEVEL OF THE SYSTEM, AND ENSURE THAT THERE ARE ROBUST REMEDIES IN PROCESS. EVEN IF THAT IS AS SIMPLE AS A HELPLINE WHERE FOLKS WHO ARE EXASPERATED CAN CALL AND GET A HUMAN BEING, AND BEGIN TO GET INTO, HOW ARE WE GOING TO FIX THE DISCREPANCY? SO, I AM NOT GIVING YOU A FULL ANSWER AND I DO UNDERSTAND THAT. BUT I WOULD SUPPORT A THOROUGH ANALYSIS AND REVIEW OF THE CURRENT REMEDIES. AND THEN THAT KIND OF 911, WHICH IN THE PAST, I’VE ESTABLISHED, IS EITHER A 911 EMAIL OR 911 HOTLINE TO RAISE THE FLAG. BECAUSE IT’S FRUSTRATING FOR EVERYONE WHEN THOSE CONDITIONS CONTINUE AND THEY’RE NOT FIXED. THANK YOU.>>QUESTION 12. THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS DIRECTLY TO THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION AND IS ALSO CONSIDERED A MEMBER OF THE GOVERNOR’S CABINET. HOW DO YOU ENVISION SERVING IN BOTH OF THESE ROLES? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE IS CONFLICT BETWEEN THE SBE AND THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE?>>BEAUTIFUL. I SHARED THAT I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE WITH 100 WOMEN LEADERS FROM ACROSS MICHIGAN AT THE END OF THE WEEK LAST WEEK. AND ONE OF THE DELIGHTS OF THOSE TWO DAYS TOGETHER WITH FEMALE LEADERS WAS GETTING TO GET BACK INTO THE GALLOP CLIFTON STRENGTHS FINDER RESEARCH. I BET SOME OF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH IT. IT’S A GALLOP TOOL. IT’S BEEN USED WITH MILLIONS OF FOLKS, LIKE LOTS OF OTHER TOOLS. AND IT’S ACTUALLY A TOOL THAT I’VE USED OVER THE YEARS IN MY CURRENT ROLE WITH HIRING. NOT USED IT TO DECIDE WHO TO HIRE, BUT USED IT IN TERMS OF ENSURING BALANCE ON A TEAM, AND ENSURING THAT WHEN THE TEAM RECEIVES TASKS, THAT WE ARE PUTTING THE FOOTBALL IN THE HAND OF THE QUARTERBACK, THE PERSON WHO’S MOST ABLE TO MOVE THAT DOWN THE FIELD. AND SO, I WAS REMINDED LAST WEEK OF MY NUMBER TWO PATTERN IN THE PROFILE. YOU HAVE FIVE TOP THEMES, AND MY NUMBER TWO IS CONNECTEDNESS. AND I HAD FORGOTTEN THAT THAT WAS MY NUMBER TWO, AND FORGOTTEN ABOUT THAT. AND YET, IT CAME BACK TO MIND AS I WAS CONSIDERING THIS QUESTION. PEOPLE STRONG IN CONNECTEDNESS ARE PEOPLE WHO BUILD BRIDGES BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS IN TEAMS. SHOWING THEM HOW TO RELATE TO AND HOW TO CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER. HENCE THE NAME CONNECTEDNESS. SO, I WOULD SAY THAT ONE OF THE THINGS I THINK I’M VERY NATURALLY WIRED TO IS CONNECTING ACROSS DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES, DIFFERENT GROUPS. IT’S SOMETHING THAT I’M VERY NATURAL TO AND I ENJOY DOING. SO, I FIND THAT THAT PLACE OF SERVING ON THE GOVERNOR’S CABINET AND SERVING IN SERVICE WITH AND TO THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION WOULD REALLY BE A NEXUS FOR ME. A PLACE TO CONNECT THE WORK IN A WAY THAT’S POWERFUL AND THAT MATTERS. THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT IT’S ALL HAPPY AND PEOPLE AGREE. AND I LOVE THE CONCEPT OF GETTING THE UNITY, BUT NOT NECESSARILY BEING UNIFORM. PEOPLE CAN HAVE VERY DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON THINGS, BUT CAN COME OUT ON THE SAME PATHWAY. AND SO, I WOULD SEE MY STRENGTHS IN DOING THAT AROUND COMMUNICATION. I WILL TAKE THE TIME FACE TO FACE WITH AS MANY FOLKS AS WE NEED TO VISIT WITH, IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT WE’RE TRULY LISTENING AND HEARING WHERE THE DISCONNECTS MAY BE OCCURRING, CONNECTING IN BOTH DIRECTIONS, AND BRINGING ALL OF US REGULARLY BACK TO THE FOCUS FOR OUR WORK, WHICH IS CHILDREN. AND I FEEL LIKE THAT CLARIFIES A LOT OF THE CONFUSION THAT CAN OCCUR ON MOST DAYS. SO, THANK YOU.>>THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND STATE BOARD CREATED A FEDERALLY APPROVED ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM AND AN ACCOMPANYING PARENT DASHBOARD. DURING THE 2018 LAME-DUCK SESSION, THE LEGISLATURE PASSED A SECOND ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM REFERRED TO AS A THROUGH F, WHICH WILL RESULT IN THE STATE HAVING TWO SEPARATE AND, AT TIMES, CONTRADICTORY ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THESE SYSTEMS? HOW WOULD YOU PLAN TO IMPLEMENT THE A THROUGH F SYSTEM? SHOULD THE A THROUGH F SYSTEM REPLACE THE CURRENT FEDERALLY APPROVED ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN?>>THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION. THE CHINESE PROVERB– SOME CALL IT A CHINESE CURSE– GOES LIKE THIS. MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES. AND I WOULD SAY, WHEN IT COMES TO DUAL, AND IN SOME DAYS, I FEEL, AND YOU FEEL PROBABLY, THAT IT’S DUELING. ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS IS CERTAINLY AN INTERESTING TIME. AND I DO UNDERSTAND THE EASE OF SHORTHAND IN USING AN A THROUGH F METRIC. I UNDERSTAND THAT THAT IS A NATURAL WAY TO THINK ABOUT CLASSES, AND GRADES, AND SCHOOLS. AND YET, WHAT I WORRY ABOUT IS THAT, AS YOU KNOW AND WE UNDERSTAND IN OUR WORK, SCHOOLS ARE MUCH MORE COMPLICATED THAN A SINGLE GRADE OR A SINGLE ONE METRIC. SO I WOULD SHARE WITH YOU THAT I REALLY APPRECIATE THAT THE DEPARTMENT’S ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM ATTEMPTS TO GRAPPLE WITH THE COMPLEXITIES OF SCHOOL QUALITY IN SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT EFFORTS. SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT THAT DASHBOARD AS A PARENT, OR AS A TEACHER, OR ANY STAKEHOLDER IN THE COMMUNITY, YOU SEE A LOT OF ELEMENTS THERE OF HOW THE SCHOOL’S DOING THAT ARE TREMENDOUSLY HELPFUL. HOW ARE THE EFFECTIVENESS RATINGS OF THE TEACHERS? WHAT IS THE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM THAT I’M LOOKING AT? WHAT ARE THE STUDENT– ONE THING I HEAR A LOT ABOUT FROM PARENTS, WHAT ARE THE STUDENT-TEACHER RATIOS LIKE IN THIS SYSTEM? SO, I DO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS THIS– SOMETIMES A NEED, AND IT’S SWEPT THE COUNTRY, TO JUST SAY, “I HAVE AN A SCHOOL” OR “I HAVE A B SCHOOL.” BUT I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT SCHOOLS ARE MUCH MORE COMPLEX THAN ONE METRIC. WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT SCHOOL QUALITY AND PERSPECTIVES OF PARENTS AND NEIGHBORHOODS AND COMMUNITIES IS THAT FOLKS, ALMOST WITHOUT EXCEPTION AND YOU KNOW THIS, LOVE THEIR OWN SCHOOL, AND DON’T ALWAYS HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF CONFIDENCE IN SCHOOLS IN GENERAL. AND SO, GETTING AT SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY IS AN IMPORTANT ENDEAVOR THAT WE’RE IN THE MIDST OF. AND I GUESS WHAT I WOULD COMMIT TO, I WOULD BE CONCERNED. BECAUSE THE CURRENT ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAS AUTHORED IS THE ONE THAT’S BEEN APPROVED AS A PART OF OUR ESSA AUTHORIZATION AND APPLICATION AND PROCESS. I WOULD BE CONCERNED TO REPLACE THAT FEDERALLY APPROVED PLAN. BUT I DO UNDERSTAND THE DESIRES OF FOLKS TO HAVE A QUICK SHORTHAND, “IS IT A GOOD PLACE FOR MY CHILD” ANSWER. AND I WOULD JUST SHARE THAT I THINK THE WORK AHEAD WILL LIE IN NAVIGATING– IT’S EASY FOR ME TO SAY, AND IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO ACCOMPLISH– BUT NAVIGATING THE FEDERAL SYSTEM AND NAVIGATING THE STATE SYSTEM AS WE PROCEED ON THIS PATH OF DUAL ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS. AND MY GOAL WOULD BE TO WORK VERY HARD TO ACHIEVE SOME CLARITY IN HOW THESE THINGS WILL INTERPLAY. TO REDUCE CONFUSION THAT FOLKS NATURALLY FEEL. I GET SOME SHORTNESS OF BREATH WHEN I THINK ABOUT TWO ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS. SO, IT WOULD BE ON US TO DO OUR VERY BEST TO REDUCE THAT LEVEL OF CONCERN, TO ACHIEVE SOME KIND OF COHERENCE AND AVOID CONFUSION, WHILE WORKING THROUGH. THIS IS THE STATE OF OUR REALITY AND WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK THROUGH IT. I HAVE THE COURAGE TO WORK THROUGH THAT. I DON’T HAVE A MAGIC WAND OR A MAGIC SOLUTION. THANK YOU.>>SO, WE HAVE ONE ADDITIONAL QUESTION. BUT, IN THE MEANTIME, WHILE YOU ARE ANSWERING THIS QUESTION, MARILYN WILL GO AROUND AND COLLECT ANY POSTCARDS WITH QUESTIONS THAT ANYONE HAS.>>SURE.>>AND SO, YOUR LAST QUESTION IS, WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU TO BE MICHIGAN’S NEXT STATE SUPERINTENDENT?>>THANK YOU. WELL, I THINK REASON NUMBER ONE FOR HIRING ME AS THE NEXT STATE SUPERINTENDENT FOR MICHIGAN IS ABOUT PLUGGING IN IMMEDIATELY TO THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TEAM, TO ENSURE AND SUPPORT AND ENHANCE THE TEAM THAT’S IN PLACE. WE ALL KNOW THAT WE CAN’T BE CONFIDENT OF ACCOMPLISHING THE EXTERNAL WORK UNTIL WE’VE DONE THE INTERNAL WORK. SO I THINK JOB NUMBER ONE IS TO GET IN, FALL IN AMONG THE TEAM. I’VE HAD THE GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO ENHANCE EVERY TEAM I’VE BEEN A PART OF. I AM A CONNECTOR ON THE TEAM. I BELIEVE THERE ARE SMART PEOPLE IN THE ROOM ALREADY, AND THAT IT’S THE JOB OF THE TEAM LEAD TO OPEN UP THOSE POSSIBILITIES. TO SUPPORT TALENTED INDIVIDUALS TO FIND THEIR AREAS OF STRENGTH, AND ENGAGE THOSE AREAS OF STRENGTH VERY STRATEGICALLY ON THE MOST CHALLENGING OBSTACLES THAT WE FACE. SO, JOB NUMBER ONE WOULD BE ABOUT CONNECTING WITH TEAM, BUILDING AND DEVELOPING TEAM FOR HIGH LEVELS OF INTERNAL PERFORMANCE AND EXTERNAL OUTCOMES. I WOULD ALSO SET OUT THAT A REASON TO CHOOSE ME IS AROUND AN ENTRY POSTURE OF LISTENING AND LEARNING. COVEY CALLS THAT HABIT NUMBER 5. AND HE SAYS THAT, MOST PEOPLE LISTEN FOR THE PURPOSE OF REPLYING. AND HABIT NUMBER 5 IS ABOUT LISTENING WITH THE GOAL OF UNDERSTANDING. BECAUSE IF WE CAN ACHIEVE REAL SIGNIFICANT UNDERSTANDING ACROSS OUR STAKEHOLDERS ABOUT OUR CURRENT STATE OF MICHIGAN SCHOOLS, OUR DESIRED STATE, AND THE STEPS WE NEED TO TAKE TO MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION, WE’RE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO ACHIEVE OUR GOALS TOGETHER. SO, A LISTEN AND LEARN ENTRY POSTURE IS AN AREA I WANT TO POINT TO. I WOULD ALSO POINT OUT THAT I BRING A PERSPECTIVE AS A MICHIGAN SUPERINTENDENT FROM BEING INSIDE THE STATE. BUT ALSO BRING A PERSPECTIVE FROM BEYOND THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, WHICH I BELIEVE IS HELPFUL. IN MY PREVIOUS DISTRICT LEADERSHIP ROLE, I WORKED IN A CITY WHERE THE INTERNAL PART OF THE CITY WAS ANCHORED BY HISTORIC LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE, COLORADO COLLEGE, AND THE U.S. OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTER. AND THEN THE DONUT OF THE COMMUNITY WAS ANCHORED BY THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY. PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, IN CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN MILITARY INSTALLATION. IN THAT COMMUNITY, A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY OVER MY 15 YEARS THERE TO WORK WITH FOLKS FROM ALL ACROSS THE SPECTRUM OF ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS ABOUT EVERYTHING. I LEARNED DURING THOSE YEARS AND DURING MY ANN ARBOR YEARS THAT OUR DECISIONS ARE MORE DURABLE AND OUR WORK IS MORE SUSTAINABLE WHEN IT’S THE RESULT OF A MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION FROM FOLKS ALL ALONG THE SPECTRUM. WE GET TO STRONG DECISIONS. AND SO, I DON’T SEE THE CONFLICT AS MUCH AS I SEE GOOD WORK TOWARD REAL AND CONCRETE SOLUTIONS FOR CHILDREN. I WOULD ALSO POINT OUT MY ABILITY TO ARTICULATE A VISION AND EXECUTE A PLAN. I’VE DONE THAT IN EVERY LEADERSHIP ROLE THAT I’VE HELD. AS A MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, OUR SCHOOL, WE, LITERALLY WORKING TOGETHER ON THAT TEAM, TURNED THAT SCHOOL AROUND, AND WAS A NATIONAL AWARD WINNER WITHIN THE FIRST FOUR YEARS THAT WE WERE THERE. AND THAT WAS THE DESIRE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT, WAS TO SEE THAT SCHOOL TURNED AROUND. WE WERE ABLE TO DO THAT. IN ANN ARBOR, MAKE NO MISTAKE– FOLKS HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT ANN ARBOR. BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE, WHEN I WENT THERE, OUR FUND EQUITY WAS AT EIGHT MILLION. THE FIRST DAY ON DUTY, I’LL NEVER FORGET. MY SECRETARY MEETING ME OUT AT A SCHOOL AND SAYING, YOU NEED TO SIGN THESE PAPERS. THEY WERE PAPERS TO BORROW TO MAKE PAYROLL IN OCTOBER. AND I’M SORRY TO GET EMOTIONAL, BUT IT WAS JUST AN INDICATOR OF WHERE WE WERE IN OUR SYSTEM. TODAY, OUR FUND EQUITY IS 18 MILLION. NOGUEIRA USES THIS QUESTION WHERE HE SAYS, ARE WE WHERE WE WANT TO BE? ABSOLUTELY NOT. ARE WE WHERE WE WERE? ABSOLUTELY NOT. SO WHAT I WOULD SAY TO YOU ABOUT MY LEADERSHIP… WE’RE NOT WHERE WE WANT TO BE, BUT WE’RE NOWHERE NEAR WHERE WE WERE. SO ON ALL OF THE METRICS, STUDENT ENROLLMENT, THE FUND EQUITY, MEETING THE NEEDS OF STUDENTS, ENSURING THAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE IN FRONT OF OUR MOST NEEDY STUDENTS, WE’VE NOT ONLY HAD THE CONVERSATION, BUT WE’VE TAKEN ACTION. SO I WANT THE BOARD TO UNDERSTAND THAT JUST BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN CONVERSATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND THAT MODEL DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE FAIL ON ACTION. WITHIN THE FIRST THREE YEARS IN ANN ARBOR, WE HAD REDESIGNED AND RESET FIVE SCHOOL LOCATIONS. THAT ALL FIVE HAD DEMONSTRATED NEED FOR DOING SO. ALL FIVE OF THOSE SCHOOLS ARE DOING BEAUTIFULLY TODAY. AGAIN, NOGUEIRA’S QUESTION, ARE WE WHERE WE WANT TO BE? NO, WE’RE NOT. ARE WE WHERE WE WERE? NO, WE’RE NOT. WE’RE SIGNIFICANTLY DOWN THE ROAD. OUR WORK IN REDUCING SUSPENSIONS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE. THAT WE LOOKED AT OUR OWN PRACTICE AND SAID, WITHOUT INTENTION, WE HAVE PERPETUATED A SYSTEM OF BIAS AND DISCRIMINATION. WE WANT TO CHANGE THE BEHAVIOR. WE WANT TO CHANGE THE OUTCOMES. SO THE OTHER THING I WOULD POINT TO IS, THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT ISSUES IN THE STATE NOW THAT NEED TO BE ATTENDED TO WITH REGARD TO P12 EDUCATION. WE’RE ALL VERY MUCH AWARE OF THAT. I HAVE THE COURAGE AND I’VE DEMONSTRATED THE COURAGE TO DO THE HARD WORK. NOBODY’S A SOLO ACT. I’VE NEVER DONE THAT ALONE. I’VE ALWAYS DONE THAT IN THE COMPANY OF A REALLY STRONG TEAM. AND THAT’S HOW IT WOULD GET DONE IF YOU CHOOSE ME. BUT I WON’T IGNORE DAUNTING CHALLENGES. I WILL TAKE THEM ON HEAD-ON, AND WE WILL WORK OUR WAY THROUGH THEM. I THINK THAT IN OUR INNER CITIES, DETROIT AND FLINT, IN OUR SMALL RURAL DISTRICTS, AND OTHER SMALL DISTRICTS THAT HAVE TREMENDOUS CHALLENGES THAT IT’S JUST ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO OVERCOME, AND ACROSS OUR STATE, FROM MARQUETTE TO MONROE, I BELIEVE PEOPLE ARE HUNGRY FOR LEADERSHIP AND FOR A VISION. AND I BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE ARE READY TO HAVE THE CONVERSATION ABOUT STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, ABOUT THIS MOMENT IN MICHIGAN, ABOUT MAKING EDUCATION WHAT WE KNOW IT CAN BE FOR EVERY CHILD, ON EVERY DAY. OBAMA SAID IT THIS WAY. CHANGE WILL NOT COME IF WE WAIT FOR SOME OTHER PERSON OR SOME OTHER TIME. WE ARE THE ONES WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR. WE ARE THE CHANGE THAT WE SEE. I KNOW, STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, THAT YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE THE CHANGE. I JUST WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND RESPECT AND HONOR THAT YOU’VE GONE THROUGH THIS VERY PUBLIC AND I KNOW CHALLENGING PROCESS, AND YOU’VE DONE IT ADMIRABLY. AND I BELIEVE WE ARE THE CHANGE THAT WE SEE. NO ONE’S COMING TO SAVE US. IT’S OUR JOB TO GET BUSY AND DO THIS WORK. AND YET I BELIEVE THAT TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE THAT DIFFERENCE IN MICHIGAN. I HOPE THAT I HAVEN’T GONE ON TOO LONG, AND I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE WITH YOU TODAY. SO NOW IS LIKE LIGHTNING ROUND, RIGHT?>>WE JUST HAVE A FEW QUESTIONS. AND WE HAVE ABOUT– AT LEAST 10 MINUTES LEFT. SO WE SHOULD HAVE PLENTY OF TIME.>>OKAY, GREAT.>>SO THE FIRST QUESTION IS, CREATIVITY IS EXPECTED TO BE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT IN THE FUTURE. HOW CAN OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM, AS [ INDISTINCT ] SAYS, KILL CREATIVITY LESS SUCCESSFULLY?>>YES. I LOVE THE WAY THAT WAS ASKED. SO, I THINK THAT WE ABSOLUTELY, IF WE’RE NOT CAREFUL WITH TRADITIONAL METHODS, CAN KNOCK THE LOVE OF LEARNING COMPLETELY OUT OF A CHILD. AND WE DON’T INTEND TO, BUT IT SOMETIMES IS AN UNINTENTIONAL OUTCOME OF STUDENTS BEING IN OUR SYSTEM. I’M VERY EXCITED ABOUT PROJECT-BASED LEARNING, AND SEE THAT ALL ACROSS SCHOOLS, ALL ACROSS THE STATE. MAKING LEARNING MEANINGFUL. MAKING IT AUTHENTIC. WHERE STUDENTS AREN’T SOLVING A PROBLEM FOR AN AUDIENCE OF ONE, THE TEACHER, BUT THEY’RE SOLVING A PROBLEM IN THEIR COMMUNITY, IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD. THAT IS A TREMENDOUS MOVE. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? IT’S NOT JUST THE STUDENTS WHO GET MORE CREATIVE. I SEE EDUCATORS BECOMING MUCH MORE CREATIVE ONCE WE UNLEASH THEM TO BE ABLE TO TEACH AND LEARN IN DIFFERENT WAYS, SO, THAT WOULD BE IT.>>SECOND QUESTION. SO, AS YOU KNOW, THE BOARD HAS HEARD SOME FEEDBACK AND CONCERNS ABOUT ANN ARBOR AND ITS HANDLING OF TITLE IX ISSUES. WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADDRESS THOSE ISSUES?>>I APPRECIATE YOU GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES. BECAUSE, CERTAINLY, WHEN THINGS ARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND OUT IN THE MEDIA, PERCEPTIONS AND FACTS CAN GET DISTORTED. I’M NOT SAYING THROUGH ANYONE’S INTENTION, BUT IT JUST HAPPENS. IN THE ANN ARBOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, WE TAKE THE MATTER OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, EXTREMELY SERIOUSLY. WE ABSOLUTELY BEGIN, AS OUR COUNSELORS WILL SAY WITHOUT EXCEPTION, AND ALL OF OUR TEAM BELIEVES, WE BEGIN BY BELIEVING THE STUDENT. WE BEGIN BY HEARING THE STUDENT. WE BEGIN BY BELIEVING THE STUDENT. AND WE ARE FUNDAMENTALLY, VIGILANTLY FOCUSED ON PROTECTING OUR STUDENTS. AND WHEN I REFERENCE PROTECTING OUR STUDENTS, I’M THINKING ABOUT THREE AREAS. FIRST OF ALL, ENSURING THAT THEY ARE SAFE AND NOT AT RISK OF BEING HARMED. SO IF ADJUSTMENTS NEED TO BE MADE WITHIN THE SCHOOL SETTING, EVEN THE USE OF EMERGENCY REMOVAL, WHICH WE REGULARLY USE, WE WILL DO SO IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT A STUDENT IS SAFE. SECONDLY, WE WORK VIGILANTLY TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF STUDENTS. SO THAT THE STUDENT GETS TO CHOOSE WHEN, AND HOW, AND IF, THEY SHARE THEIR STORY. AND OUR COUNSELORS WILL SHARE WITH YOU, IF THEY WERE HERE WITH ME TODAY, WE HAVE AS AN ORGANIZATIONAL AND SYSTEMIC BEHAVIOR THAT THE STUDENT GETS THAT RIGHT, HAS THAT RIGHT, AND ALL OF THE STUDENTS INVOLVED HAVE THAT RIGHT. THAT BEING SAID, ALL OF US ARE MANDATORY REPORTERS. AND SO WE, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, WHEN WE ARE AWARE, WE’LL ALWAYS REPORT. WE REPORT TO CPS IMMEDIATELY, AND WE REPORT TO OUR ANN ARBOR POLICE DEPARTMENT OR WHATEVER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IS APPROPRIATE. WE HAVE TWO SCHOOLS THAT ARE ACTUALLY OUTSIDE THE CITY. THE THIRD AREA WHERE WE VIGILANTLY WORK TO SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS IS WITH THEIR PRIVACY. BECAUSE STUDENTS ARE ENTITLED TO THE RIGHTS OF PRIVACY. SO TALKING ABOUT A SITUATION IN PUBLIC, IN A WAY THAT MIGHT REVEAL THE IDENTITY OF STUDENTS, IS NOT– WE WILL NOT HAVE THAT PRACTICE. IT IS A SLOPPY PRACTICE. WE WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN THAT WAY. SO AT THE END OF THE DAY, I’M PROUD TO SAY, AND WE VIGILANTLY MONITOR, THAT WE FOLLOW ALL OF THE GUIDELINES AND THE LAWS TO PROTECT AND ENSURE THAT OUR STUDENTS ARE SAFE EVERY DAY AT SCHOOL, AND TO ENSURE THAT THEY REMAIN SAFE. AND AT ANY TIME, IF ANYONE IN THE COMMUNITY MAKES ME AWARE, WE WILL ABSOLUTELY HEAR THAT CONCERN AND FOLLOW UP ON IT STRAIGHT AWAY. AND NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE ALL OF THESE BELIEFS, I WANT YOU TO KNOW, MEMBERS OF THE BOARD, I STOOD IN FRONT OF COMMUNITY GROUPS LAST WEEK, BECAUSE I UNDERSTOOD THEIR CONCERNS. AND STOOD IN FRONT OF THEM, FACE TO FACE, TO MAKE SURE THAT THEIR QUESTIONS WERE ANSWERED IN EVERY WAY THAT WE COULD ANSWER THEM, AND TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY NEED WAS MET. WE KNOW THERE’S A LOT OF FOLLOW-UP AND WORK THAT STILL NEEDS TO BE DONE TO ENSURE THAT OUR STUDENTS RECEIVE REAL-TIME EDUCATION IN POSITIVE AND APPROPRIATE RESPECTFUL BEHAVIORS WITH EACH OTHER. WE’LL CONTINUE TO DO THAT WORK. ONE OF OUR HIGH SCHOOLS– ACTUALLY ALL OF OUR HIGH SCHOOLS HAVE FACILITATED SEXUAL BEHAVIOR SYMPOSIA. AND PIONEERS JUST HAD THEIR SECOND ONE. THEY’RE VERY SUCCESSFUL. OUR PARTNERS COME IN FROM THE COMMUNITY. I FEEL LIKE WE’RE DOING THE RIGHT WORK, AND I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY. THANK YOU.>>HOW DOES THE DEPARTMENT SUPPORT QUALITY TEACHERS WHEN SOME TEACHERS ARE FORCED TO ABORT WHAT THEY KNOW IS QUALITY TEACHING, IN ORDER TO FOCUS ON TEACHING TO THE TEST IN ORDER TO REMAIN OPEN?>>SO THANK YOU. THAT CONCERN ABOUT HAVING TO TEACH TO THE TEST, I HOPE IS BEING DIMINISHED THROUGH OUR NEW SET OF STANDARDS. BECAUSE WHAT WE KNOW IS THAT OUR MICHIGAN STATE STANDARDS REQUIRE SIGNIFICANT MORE COGNITIVE LIFT– WE REFER TO IT AS DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE– AT EVERY LEVEL. BEGINNING FROM KINDERGARTEN ALL THE WAY THROUGH. SO I HOPE THAT AS OUR UNITS AND OUR STUDIES ARE ALIGNED DIRECTLY TO STANDARDS, THAT IT NO LONGER FEELS LIKE WE’RE HAVING TO LET GO OF THINGS TO TEACH TO THE TEST. BECAUSE THE TEST THAT IS STANDARDS-BASED AND THE LEARNING THAT IS STANDARDS-BASED, SHOULD BE VERY DIRECTLY CONNECTED ALONG THE SAME EXACT DYNAMICS, THE SAME COMPONENTS.>>OKAY. AND THE FINAL QUESTION. DO YOU THINK YONG ZHAO COULD BE CORRECT WHEN HE SAYS THAT, EDUCATION SYSTEMS NEED TO SPEND LESS TIME FIXING KIDS’ DEFICIENCIES AND MORE TIME FOCUSING ON AREAS KIDS EXCEL AND ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT?>>I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH THAT. I HAD THE GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO MEET HIM, AND I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH THAT. AND I THINK IT TAGS OVER TO THE CLIFTON STRENGTHS FINDER. AND THAT ABILITY OF OUR TEACHERS AND OUR SYSTEMS TO HELP STUDENTS UNDERSTAND THAT EACH OF THEM ARE UNIQUE AND BEAUTIFUL, AND HAVE A UNIQUE SET OF COMPETENCIES AND TALENTS AND SKILLS. AND THAT THE MORE THEY’RE ABLE TO DEVELOP THAT WITHIN THEM, THE MORE SUCCESSFUL THEY WILL BE. STUDENTS IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THEIR STRENGTHS ARE VALUED AND RESPECTED DO BETTER ACROSS THE BOARD THAN STUDENTS THAT ARE TRYING TO FIT A MOLD. AND WE KNOW THAT, AND YET IT’S WORTH A GOOD REMINDER REGULARLY. I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HERE WITH YOU TODAY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORK.>>AND THANK YOU FOR SPENDING YOUR AFTERNOON WITH US. WE APPRECIATE IT.>>VERY GOOD. THANK YOU SO MUCH. TAKE CARE. THANK YOU. [ INDISTINCT CHATTER ]>>SO THE NEXT ITEM ON OUR AGENDA IS PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. AS SOON AS MARILYN GETS BACK IN THE ROOM, WE’LL SEE IF WE HAVE ANY PUBLIC PARTICIPATION FORMS. IF ANYONE DOES WISH TO COMMENT TO THE BOARD TODAY, THERE ARE FORMS AVAILABLE ON THE BACK TABLE JUST OUTSIDE OF THE ROOM. PLEASE FILL ONE OUT AND GET IT TO MARILYN SCHNEIDER. MARILYN, DO WE HAVE ANY FORMS?>>I DON’T BELIEVE THERE ARE ANY. DOES ANYONE HAVE A PUBLIC PARTICIPATION FORM? I DON’T SEE ANY, CASANDRA.>>OKAY, THEN WITH THAT, LET’S TAKE A TEN MINUTE BREAK, AND WE’LL RECONVENE AT ABOUT 25 AFTER.

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