Michigan State Board of Education Meeting May 7, 2019: Michael Rice Interview


>>GOOD MORNING.>>GOOD MORNING.>>GOOD MORNING.>>THE TIME IS NOW 9:43 A.M. AND A QUORUM OF THE BOARD IS PRESENT. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION SPECIAL MEETING OF MAY 7TH, 2019 IS CALLED TO ORDER. FIRST ITEM ON THE AGENDA IS THE APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA AND ORDER OF PRIORITY. MAY I PLEASE HAVE A MOTION?>>SO MOVED.>>SUPPORT.>>IT’S BEEN MOVED AND SUPPORTED, ANY DISCUSSION? ALL THOSE IN FAVOR, PLEASE SAY AYE.>>AYE.>>ALL THOSE OPPOSED, NAY. MOTION CARRIES. MARILYN, PLEASE INTRODUCE THE MEMBERS OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.>>CERTAINLY, YOU’VE JUST BEEN LISTENING TO CASANDRA ULBRICH, SHE’S THE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, AND SHE RESIDES IN ROCHESTER HILLS. AS WE GO AROUND THE TABLE, THE BOARD’S VICE PRESIDENT IS PAMELA PUGH. SHE RESIDES IN SAGINAW, THE BOARD SECRETARY, MICHELLE FECTEAU, RESIDES IN DETROIT. NIKKI SNYDER, BOARD MEMBER FROM DEXTER. TIFFANY TILLEY IS A BOARD MEMBER FROM SOUTHFIELD. SHE’S THE BOARD’S NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STATE BOARDS OF EDUCATION REP. ACROSS THE TABLE, JUDY PRITCHETT, BOARD MEMBER FROM WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP. LUPE RAMOS-MONTIGNY, BOARD MEMBER FROM GRAND RAPIDS, TOM MCMILLIN, BOARD MEMBER AND TREASURER OF THE BOARD FROM OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, AND I’M MARILYN SCHNEIDER AND I’M THE STATE BOARD EXECUTIVE, THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU, IF YOU PLAN TO OFFER PUBLIC COMMENT AT TODAY’S MEETING, PLEASE COMPLETE A FORM AND GET IT TO MARILYN. THE FORMS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE TABLE JUST OUTSIDE OF THE BOARD ROOM. WE’RE HERE TODAY TO INTERVIEW THREE FINALIST CANDIDATES FOR THE POSITION OF STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION. THERE ARE 14 QUESTIONS THAT THE BOARD MEMBERS WILL BE ASKING. THE CANDIDATES HAVE RECEIVED THE QUESTIONS AHEAD OF TIME, AND WE HAVE LIMITED THE NUMBER OF QUESTIONS SO THAT IT ALLOWS MORE TIME AT THE END FOR BOARD MEMBERS TO ASK QUESTIONS. HOWEVER, WE’RE GOING TO DO THIS IN A FORMAT THAT ALLOWS TO GET AS MANY QUESTIONS IN AS POSSIBLE. SO EACH BOARD MEMBER HAS NOTE CARDS IN YOUR PACKET. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR THE CANDIDATES, PLEASE WRITE THEM DOWN ON ONE NOTE CARD, ONE NOTE CARD PER CANDIDATE AND THEN PRIORITIZE THE QUESTIONS. YOU WILL TURN THOSE IN TO MARILYN AND THEN WE WILL TRY TO GET AS MANY OF THE QUESTIONS ASKED AS POSSIBLE, FOCUSING ON THE PRIORITY ONE QUESTIONS FIRST. ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT PROCESS? HEARING NONE, THANK YOU. I ALSO WANT TO JUST TAKE A POINT OF PERSONAL PRIVILEGE AND JUST ACKNOWLEDGE THE FACT THAT TODAY IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE PASSING OF BRIAN WHISTON. SO IT FEELS ALMOST FITTING THAT WE ARE HERE TODAY, SELECTING A NEW STATE SUPERINTENDENT, BECAUSE, OBVIOUSLY, THAT IS SOMETHING THAT I THINK BRIAN WOULD HAVE WANTED US TO DO, AND I FEEL LIKE THIS BEING ON THIS DAY, SAYS A LOT AND IT MEANS A LOT. SO I JUST WANTED TO TAKE A MOMENT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT. AS WE MOVE FORWARD THROUGH THE DAY, RAY AND ASSOCIATES WILL BE JOINING US AT THE TABLE AT THE END TO WALK THROUGH THE PROCESS OF HOW WE SELECT THE FINAL CANDIDATE. AND THERE IS A MATRIX THAT I SHARED WITH YOU AHEAD OF TIME AND IT’S ALSO IN YOUR PACKET AND THEY WILL GO OVER THE PROCESS OF HOW WE USE THAT MATRIX FORM. AND THEN THAT WILL HELP LEAD THE DISCUSSION AFTERWARDS AND THEN HOPEFULLY, WE CAN COME TO AN AGREEMENT THIS AFTERNOON.>>THEY DON’T HAVE THE MATRIX.>>OH, I’M SORRY, YOU DO NOT HAVE THE MATRIX YET. THAT WILL BE HANDED OUT LATER. SORRY, MY APOLOGIES. SO IF THERE ARE NO FURTHER QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS, I THINK LET’S BRING IN OUR FIRST CANDIDATE.>>BOARD, YOU REMEMBER DR. MICHAEL RICE.>>GOOD MORNING.>>GOOD MORNING, BOARD.>>WELCOME, SO THANK YOU FOR COMING BACK TODAY, AND SHARING YOUR MORNING WITH US. AS I WAS JUST MENTIONING, WE HAVE ABOUT 14 QUESTIONS WHICH YOU RECEIVED AHEAD OF TIME AND THIS ALLOWS US TIME AT THE END THAT BOARD MEMBERS CAN ASK ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS, AND THE FORMAT IN WHICH WE WILL DO THAT IS THEY WILL WRITE THEM DOWN ON NOTE CARDS AND HAND THEM IN AND PRIORITIZE THEIR QUESTIONS, AND THEN WE’LL TRY TO GET AS MANY ASKED AS POSSIBLE AT THE END WITH A FOCUS ON THE PRIORITY ONE QUESTIONS. SO THERE WILL BE, EXCUSE ME, ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AT THE END.>>OKAY, VERY GOOD.>>SO LET’S GET STARTED. 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, AND HOW CAN THIS BE ACCOMPLISHED IN A LOCAL-CONTROL STATE SUCH AS MICHIGAN?>>WELL, BOARD MEMBERS, GOOD MORNING, I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HERE AGAIN AND TO DIALOGUE WITH YOU. I OFFER YOU NINE WAYS THAT THE STATE, THE DEPARTMENT, THE BOARD, THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT CAN BE HELPFUL TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN LOCALLY IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, GIVEN THAT WE ARE A LOCAL-CONTROL STATE. THE FIRST AREA IS GREATER INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. WE NEED TO INVEST TO A GREATER EXTENT IN PUBLIC EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN. THAT’S NOT JUST MY OPINION, ALTHOUGH IT IS MY OPINION. IT’S THE OPINION OF FOUR STUDIES IN THE LAST THREE YEARS, ACROSS THE AISLE STUDIES, I MIGHT ADD. THIS ISN’T A PARTISAN CONCLUSION. IT’S THE CONCLUSION OF THE SCHOOL FINANCE RESEARCH COLLABORATIVE, WHICH I’M PROUD TO BE A MEMBER OF THE STEERING AND TECHNICAL COMMITTEE. THE SFRC NOTED, AS YOU’RE AWARE, THAT WE’RE UNDERFUNDING ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDENTS, POOR CHILDREN AND SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN IN A PROFOUND WAY, I MIGHT ADD, THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR’S STUDY ON A SPECIAL EDUCATION SAID THAT WE WERE UNDERFUNDING THE NEEDS OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN BY THREE-QUARTERS A BILLION DOLLARS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN SO IT’S AN ACROSS THE AISLE CONCLUSION. WE HAVE TO DO A BETTER JOB WITH RESPECT TO PUBLIC EDUCATION AND THE STATE CAN DO A JOB IN DRUM-BEATING FOR THOSE ADDITIONAL DOLLARS WITH THE STATE LEGISLATURE. MS. FECTEAU AND MS. SNYDER, YOU KNOW FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES, ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES, THAT THIS IS IMPORTANT, THAT DIFFERENT PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT NEEDS, DIFFERENT NEEDS HAVE DIFFERENT COSTS. MR. MCMILLIN, AS AN ACCOUNTANT, YOU’RE AWARE THAT WHILE IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT MONEY, THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT IT ISN’T AT ALL ABOUT MONEY. IT MOST ASSUREDLY IS, IN PART, ABOUT MONEY. AND AS A FORMER TEACHER, I’M WELL AWARE THAT RESOURCES COUNT IN THE CLASSROOM. THE SECOND AREA THAT I OFFER YOU IS GREATER INVESTMENT IN PRE-KINDERGARTEN EDUCATION OR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION. YOU’RE AWARE THAT WE FUND HALF-DAY SLOTS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN AND WE ARE NOT FULLY FUNDING ALL CHILDREN WITH THOSE HALF-DAY SLOTS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. THE SFRC SAID THAT WE NEED A PRE-KINDERGARTEN FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS AND FOUR-YEAR-OLDS, NOT JUST FOR FOUR-YEAR-OLDS AS WE CURRENTLY DO. AND THE SFRC ALSO NOTED FULL-DAY, THREE AND FOUR PRE-KINDERGARTEN, NOT SIMPLY HALF-DAY PRE-KINDERGARTEN AS WE DO FOR FOUR-YEAR-OLDS. MINIMALLY, WE NEED FULL-DAY FOUR-YEAR-OLD PRE-KINDERGARTEN OR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. THE THIRD AREA IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BUSINESS AND EDUCATION. IT’S TIME FOR BUSINESS AND EDUCATION TO PARTNER IN A SIGNIFICANT WAY IN THE STATE. AND I DON’T MEAN COMMITTEE WORK. I MEAN TRUE PARTNERSHIP. I MEAN PARTNERSHIP THAT YIELDS RESULTS, THE WAY THAT PARTNERSHIP HAS YIELDED RESULTS IN MASSACHUSETTS, OVER THE LAST TWO DECADES. THIS IS A PARTNERSHIP BORN OF MUTUAL SELF-INTEREST. BUSINESS IS CONCERNED ABOUT TALENT AND RIGHTFULLY SO. WE, AS EDUCATORS, ARE CONCERNED ABOUT DISCONNECTED AND DISAFFECTED YOUNG PEOPLE AND RIGHTLY SO. AND IN THOSE MUTUAL CONCERNS, IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTNER ON BEHALF OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. SO THAT’S THE THIRD AREA THAT I OFFER YOU TODAY, THE NOTION OF BUSINESS AND EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP. THE FOURTH IS CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS. I MENTIONED THIS LAST TIME. I RE-MENTION IT AGAIN TODAY. WE HAVE TREMENDOUS SHORTAGES IN MANY OF OUR TRADES AND THIS IS A CONCERN, NOT JUST FOR BUSINESS PEOPLE, BUT IT’S A CONCERN FOR LAYPEOPLE AS WELL, ANYBODY WHO’S WANTED TO HAVE CARPENTRY WORK DONE AT THEIR HOME, PLUMBING WORK DONE AT THEIR HOME, ELECTRICAL WORK DONE AT THEIR HOME, REALIZES THAT THEY OFTEN HAVE TO WAIT IN A LINE, AND A LONG LINE, FOR SOMEONE TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THAT SERVICE. WE’RE SIMPLY NOT PROVIDING OR NOT PRODUCING THE NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN THESE AREAS THAT WE SHOULD AND THAT WE NEED TO. AGAIN, THERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PARTNERSHIP HERE WITH BUSINESS. THERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO BETTER BY OUR KIDS WITH RESPECT TO CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION. LITERACY IS A FIFTH AREA THAT I SHARE WITH YOU TODAY. WE NEED A STRONG EARLY LITERACY DRUMBEAT THAT INCLUDES NOT SIMPLY EDUCATORS, BUT BUSINESS PEOPLE, THE STATE LEGISLATURE, THE DEPARTMENT, COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS, UNIONS AND THE LIKE. WE ALL NEED TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS LITERACY DRUMBEAT. IF IT’S IMPORTANT TO MAKE A LAW, IF IT’S IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO HAVE A LAW ABOUT THIRD-GRADE READING, IT’S CERTAINLY IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO HAVE A DRUMBEAT THAT INCLUDES ALL OF US WITH RESPECT TO THIRD GRADE PROFICIENCY IN READING. AND THAT DRUMBEAT, I MIGHT ADD, HAS TO INCLUDE NOT JUST CHILDREN LEARNING TO READ BETTER IN SCHOOLS BUT ALSO CHILDREN READING OUTSIDE OF SCHOOLS: IN THE EVENING, ON THE WEEKENDS, OVER HOLIDAYS, DURING THE SUMMER. THE SUMMER SLIDE IS A REAL THING, IT’S TREMENDOUSLY IMPORTANT AND DEBILITATING THING FOR OUR WORKING CLASS AND POOR CHILDREN WHO HAVE LESS EXPOSURE TO TEXT OVER THE SUMMER. AND WE HAVE TO ADDRESS IT AS A FULL STATE. THE SIXTH AREA I SUGGEST IS OUR ACCOUNTABILITY AND ASSESSMENT SYSTEMS NEED TO BE IMPROVED. WE NEED A LOGICAL, STABLE, SINGLE ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN AND A LOGICAL STABLE STATE ASSESSMENT SYSTEM, RELIABLE, VALID, AND ONE THAT’S USEFUL FOR OUR EDUCATORS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING IS A SEVENTH AREA AND I CAN JUST HEAR SOME OF THE GROANS FROM PEOPLE: OH, COME ON, ARE YOU KIDDING ME, DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WE ALREADY DO IN PUBLIC EDUCATION, AND YOU’RE GOING TO HEAP THAT ON IT? I GET IT, I UNDERSTAND. WE DO, ON THE ONE HAND, TOO MUCH IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. ON THE OTHER HAND, ONE COULD EASILY ARGUE, I WOULD EASILY ARGUE THAT WE DON’T DO ENOUGH. AND THE REALITY IS MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS ARE ROLLING INTO OUR SCHOOLS. AND THOSE AREN’T– THAT’S NOT A CONCERN OF URBAN EDUCATORS, ALTHOUGH IT IS. IT’S A CONCERN OF RURAL AND SUBURBAN EDUCATORS ALSO, AND IT’S NOT SIMPLY ABOUT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. IT’S ALSO ABOUT OUR PARENTS, OUR GRANDPARENTS AND OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS, OUR STAFF MEMBERS AS WELL. SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING IS AN ISSUE. WE HAVE TO MEET IT HEAD-ON IN THIS STATE. CONGRESS IS JUST BEGINNING TO RECOGNIZE THIS NEED BUT ISN’T BY ANY MEANS ADDRESSING IT TO THE FASHION THAT IT NEEDS TO. AND WE ARE CONSTANTLY WORKING THROUGH MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES AND SOCIO-EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES WITH OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AND IN SOME CASES, OUR ADULTS IN OUR SCHOOLS. AND AGAIN, NOT AN URBAN ISSUE. AN URBAN, RURAL AND SUBURBAN ISSUE AS WELL. THE EIGHTH AREA THAT I CAN SUGGEST TO YOU IS ADULT EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAMS. SIMPLY BECAUSE A PERSON DOESN’T GRADUATE ON TIME, WHATEVER THAT MEANS, BECAUSE CHILDREN BLOOM ON THEIR OWN TIMETABLES, SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY DON’T BLOOM ON OUR TIMETABLES, DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEY’RE THROWAWAYS, DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEY’RE EXPENDABLE, DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEY DON’T HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE PRODUCTIVE, STRONG LIVES, INDEPENDENT LIVES, LIVES THAT THEY CAN CONTRIBUTE AND HELP IMPROVE A SOCIETY, HELP BE SELF-SUFFICIENT IN THEIR LIVES. CRITICAL THAT WE IMPROVE OUR ADULT EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAMS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. WHEN WE, AS A STATE, DON’T GRADUATE A SIXTH OF OUR PEOPLE, IT SEEMS TO ME THAT WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP WORKING WITH THAT OTHER SIXTH UNTIL THEY ARE FULLY SELF-ACTUALIZED, AND BY EXTENSION, ABLE TO BE INDEPENDENT AND NOT DEPENDENT UPON US TO SUPPORT THEM IN ADULTHOOD. AND THEN THE NINTH AREA THAT I SUGGEST THAT THE STATE CAN HAVE AN IMPORTANT IMPACT, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT WE’RE A LOCAL-CONTROL STATE, IS THE NOTION OF REBUILDING OUR PROFESSION. GREATER RESPECT, BETTER PAY AND MORE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. THE REALITY IS IS THAT THE BEST WAY TO IMPROVE PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN IS TO IMPROVE OUR PROFESSION. AND WE HAVE ISSUES OF QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. IT’S AN OUTRAGE THAT WE CELEBRATE WHEN THE LARGEST DISTRICT IN THE STATE ONLY HAS SEVERAL DOZEN VACANCIES IN IT. THAT SHOULDN’T BE, THAT SHOULDN’T BE. THAT WOULD BE UNACCEPTABLE IN A WEALTHY SUBURBAN DISTRICT. IT’S UNACCEPTABLE IN DETROIT. IT’S NOT ACCEPTABLE THAT WE HAVE SHORTAGES OF TEACHERS IN OUR STATE. WE CAN DO BETTER. WE HAVE TO PAY OUR STAFF BETTER. WE’RE IN A COMPETITION FOR TALENT. WE HAVE TO PAY OUR STAFF BETTER. WE HAVE TO PROFESSIONALLY DEVELOP OUR STAFF BETTER. I’M NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT OUR ENTRY-LEVEL STAFF, ALTHOUGH THAT’S IMPORTANT. I’M TALKING ABOUT OUR VETERAN STAFF MEMBERS. WE HAVE TO HAVE GREATER INPUT FROM OUR STAFF. WE HAVE A TEACHER ADVISORY COUNCIL IN MY DISTRICT. I MEET WITH THAT TEACHER ADVISORY COUNCIL MONTHLY, REPRESENTATIVE FROM EACH OF OUR 26 SCHOOLS MEETING WITH ME TO TALK ABOUT WAYS TO IMPROVE THE DISTRICT, ON A REGULAR BASIS, TEACHER VOICE IS IMPORTANT. WE RAISED, THIS SCHOOL YEAR, OUR ENTRY-LEVEL SALARY TO $40,000 A YEAR. THAT MAY NOT SEEM LIKE A BIG DEAL ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE STATE. ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE STATE, THAT’S THE THING. AND WE’RE THE HIGHEST-PAID DISTRICT IN OUR COUNTY AT $40,000 FOR AN ENTRY-LEVEL TEACHER. OUR TEACHERS DESERVE MORE THAN THAT BUT THAT HELPS US IN RECRUITMENT FOR STAFF. WE HAVE 600 SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THE STATE, 300 CHARTER SCHOOLS IN THE STATE AND WE’RE ALL COMPETING FOR A DIMINISHED POOL OF EDUCATORS. IT’S AN EXISTENTIAL ISSUE FOR US IN THE PROFESSION. SO THOSE ARE NINE AREAS THAT I CAN SUGGEST THAT THE STATE CAN HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF LOCAL OUTCOMES FOR LOCAL SCHOOL CHILDREN IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN.>>GOOD MORNING.>>MORNING.>>SO I WILL ASK THE SECOND QUESTION AND IS 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?>>SURE, WELL, I MENTIONED IN MY FIRST INTERVIEW WE BELIEVE IN LONG-TERM GOALS. IN KALAMAZOO, THE BOARD AND I ESTABLISHED LONG TERM GOALS, JANUARY OF 2009, FIVE LONG TERM GOALS: THE IMPROVEMENT OF READING, MATH, WRITING, ADVANCED PLACEMENT PARTICIPATION AND SUCCESS, AND GRADUATION RATES. WE’RE INTERESTED IN THE FIRST THREE EARLY AND OFTEN. WE’RE INTERESTED IN THE FOURTH IN HIGH SCHOOL BECAUSE WE’RE PREPARING YOUNG PEOPLE FOR COLLEGE AND THE BEST WAY TO KNOW THAT THEY’RE READY FOR COLLEGE IS THAT THEY CAN DO COLLEGE WORK BEFORE THEY LEAVE HIGH SCHOOL. AND THEN ULTIMATELY, THE GRADUATION OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE FROM HIGH SCHOOL. WE’VE IMPROVED OUR OUTCOMES IN ALL FIVE OF THOSE MAJOR LONG TERM GOAL AREAS, NO EXCEPTIONS, IN THE LAST DECADE. NOW WE’VE CHANGED SUB GOALS AND WE’VE CHANGED METRICS. I MIGHT ADD THE STATE HAS CHANGED METRICS AS WELL. WE’VE HAD TO CHANGE SUB GOALS AND METRICS AS THE STATE HAS CHANGED SUB GOALS AND METRICS. THAT SAID THOUGH, WE’VE CONTINUED TO MAKE PROGRESS, AGAIN, IN ALL FIVE GOAL AREAS. LET ME JUST REVIEW THIS BRIEFLY. WE ALSO ADDED TWO GOALS, MORE QUANTITATIVE IN NATURE IN 2016. I CAN REVIEW THOSE IF YOU HAVE AN INTEREST IN THEM. THEY’RE NOT SO MUCH ABOUT STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. THEY’RE ABOUT THE IMPROVEMENT OF DISTRICT CUSTOMER SERVICE AND MARKETING, ON THE ONE HAND, AND ON THE OTHER HAND, THE CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT OF CAREER AWARENESS EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN OUR MIDDLE YEARS OF EDUCATION. AND WE DEFINE THAT AS GRADES 4 THROUGH 10. SO WITH RESPECT TO EACH OF THE FIRST FIVE METRICS, WE’VE GENERATED HIGHER STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. WE SIGNIFICANTLY RAISED STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AS MEASURED BY LOW BAR AND HIGH BAR MEAP TESTS IN READING, WRITING AND MATH BEFORE 2014. WE’VE RAISED READING AND MATH ACHIEVEMENT ON THE NATIONAL NWEA MAP TESTS FROM 2015 TO 2018 AND LOWERED THE GAP WITH THE NATIONAL AVERAGES WITH RESPECT TO NWEA MAP. WE’VE RAISED M-STEP MATH SCORES SINCE 2016 AND NARROWED THE GAP IN BOTH MATH AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS WITH THE STATE. RECALL, BOARD, THAT WE’RE 20% POORER THAN THE STATE AS A WHOLE IN TERMS OF FREE AND REDUCED PRICE LUNCH PERCENTAGE. WE’RE APPROXIMATELY 70%, 71% FREE OR REDUCED-PRICE LUNCH ELIGIBLE. THE STATE IS APPROXIMATELY 50% FREE OR REDUCED-PRICE LUNCH ELIGIBLE. OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ON AVERAGE ARE POORER THAN THE STATE’S YOUNG PEOPLE AS A WHOLE. THAT SAID, ON M-STEP, WE’VE INCREASED MATH ACHIEVEMENT SINCE 2016 IN ALL GRADES, THREE THROUGH EIGHT, NO EXCEPTIONS, AND WE’VE REDUCED THE GAP WITH THE STATES SINCE 2016 IN ALL GRADES, NO EXCEPTION, GRADES THREE THROUGH EIGHT. WE’VE INCREASED READING ACHIEVEMENT SINCE 2016 IN READING IN GRADES THREE THROUGH FOUR AND WE’VE NARROWED THE GAP WITH THE STATE IN ALL GRADES BUT ONE IN GRADES THREE THROUGH EIGHT. SO THAT IS M-STEP. WITH RESPECT TO NWEA MAP, A NATIONAL TEST GIVEN TO MILLIONS OF STUDENTS ANNUALLY, NATIONAL TEST, MILLIONS OF STUDENTS ANNUALLY, A STABLE METRIC. AND I’M GOING TO COME BACK TO THAT NOTION OF A STABLE METRIC LATER THIS MORNING. IN THE LAST THREE YEARS, WE’VE INCREASED READING ACHIEVEMENT BY SEVEN PERCENTAGE POINTS K-8 AND MATH ACHIEVEMENT BY FOUR PERCENTAGE POINTS AND HAVE REDUCED THE GAP WITH THE NATION IN BOTH AREAS. WE DO THIS TESTING K-8. I KNOW THAT THERE ARE SOME THAT WOULD PREFER THAT WE NOT DO IT K AND ONE, I GET THAT. THERE’S SOME THAT WOULD ARGUE NOT FOR K-2, I UNDERSTAND THAT, I RECEIVE THAT, BUT I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT WE’RE TRYING TO IMPROVE WHAT WE DO FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AND IN EARLY AGE. AND WE HAVE TO HAVE A SENSE OF WHERE THEY ARE AND A DISPASSIONATE OBJECTIVE SENSE OF WHERE THEY ARE. YOU CAN’T REALLY IMPROVE UNLESS YOU RAISE TO CONSCIOUSNESS WHERE YOU ARE FOR INDIVIDUAL YOUNG PEOPLE AS CLASSROOMS, AS SCHOOLS AND AS DISTRICTS. ADVANCED PLACEMENT PARTICIPATION AND SUCCESS, I SHARED WITH YOU LAST TIME, WHEN I CAME TO THE DISTRICT, I ASKED MY STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCIL, I MEET WITH THREE STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCILS A MONTH. I ASKED A STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCIL OF 20 STUDENTS, RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU ARE TAKING AN AP CLASS. ONE CHILD RAISED HIS HAND. I ASK IT AT GRADUATIONS NOW, A SEA OF CHILDREN RAISE THEIR HAND. EVERY SINGLE YEAR, NO EXCEPTIONS, IN A DECADE. IN ONE DECADE, WE’VE RAISED THE NUMBER OF KIDS TAKING AP COURSES BY 156%. THE NUMBER OF AP COURSES THAT THEY TAKE HAS INCREASED BY 226% DURING THE SAME DECADE. SOME PEOPLE HAVE SAID OKAY, WELL, THIS IS A WHITE MIDDLE CLASS PHENOMENON, RIGHT? THIS IS ALL YOU’RE DOING, IS RIDING THE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT OF WHITE MIDDLE CLASS KIDS. ACTUALLY, WITH RESPECT TO AP, NOT AT ALL, NOT VAGUELY THE CASE. IN FACT, FOR TRADITIONALLY UNDERREPRESENTED POPULATIONS, AFRICAN-AMERICAN, ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED, AND LATINOS, THE INCREASE IN ADVANCED PLACEMENT PARTICIPATION IS GREATER THAN FOR WHITE MIDDLE CLASS STUDENTS. FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDENTS, THE INCREASE IN ADVANCED PLACEMENT PARTICIPATION IN THE LAST DECADE IS 313%. FOR ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS, IT’S 402%. AND FOR LATINO STUDENTS, IT’S 1,212%. NOW I CONCEDE, THAT IN SOME CASES, THOSE ARE OFF SMALL BASES, I GET THIS. BUT YOU CAN’T BUILD A BETTER PAST, AND I CAN’T BE RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPROVING UPON A PAST THAT WASN’T ALWAYS AS PRETTY AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. YOU CAN BUILD A BETTER PRESENT AND FUTURE AND THAT’S WHAT WE’RE DOING WITH RESPECT TO ADVANCED PLACEMENT PARTICIPATION AND SUCCESS IN THE DISTRICT AND MORE BROADLY, WITH RESPECT TO STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. IN ADDITION, IN ADDITION, 10 YEARS IN A ROW, BOARD, OF INCREASING THE NUMBER OF TESTS AT THE END OF THE YEAR TO GET COLLEGE CREDIT. WE REQUIRE CHILDREN, IF YOU TAKE AN AP COURSE, YOU TAKE THE AP TEST AT THE END OF THE YEAR. WHY? BECAUSE WE WANT PROOF THAT THAT WAS AN AP COURSE AND THE BEST PROOF THAT IT WAS AN AP COURSE IS THAT CHILDREN CAN DO AP WORK AT THE END OF THE YEAR. 10 YEARS IN A ROW, OF KIDS, MORE KIDS EARNING COLLEGE CREDIT AT THE END OF THE YEAR ON THOSE END OF YOUR TESTS THAN THE YEAR BEFORE, 10 YEARS IN A ROW, 296% INCREASE DURING THAT 10-YEAR PERIOD OF TIME. AND FINALLY, WITH RESPECT TO THE PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN, EARNING COLLEGE CREDIT, SIX YEARS IN A ROW OF THAT PERCENTAGE AT THE END OF THE YEAR INCREASING, GONE UP FROM 34% TO 49% IN THE LAST SIX YEARS. NOW, I’M NOT SUGGESTING WE’VE ARRIVED, BUT I AM SUGGESTING WE’VE IMPROVED. WITH RESPECT TO GRADUATION RATES. PRESIDENT OBAMA VISITED US, AS I TOLD YOU LAST TIME, 2010, FOR WINNING THE FIRST ANNUAL RACE TO THE TOP COMMENCEMENT CHALLENGE. HE SPOKE AT THE KALAMAZOO CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION. AT THAT TIME, OUR GRADUATION RATE IN THE DISTRICT WAS 63.1%. 63.1%. EIGHT YEARS LATER, IT’S 12 PERCENTAGE POINTS HIGHER, IT’S 75%, FOUR-YEAR GRADUATION RATE. FIVE-YEAR GRADUATION RATE IS ABOVE 80%. WE’RE 2.5 PERCENTAGE POINTS BELOW THE STATE IN TERMS OF FIVE-YEAR GRADUATION RATE. WE’RE CATCHING UP TO THE STATE IN TERMS OF FIVE-YEAR GRADUATION RATE. I ALSO MENTIONED THAT IN 2013, WE SAW THAT OUR AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE FOUR-YEAR GRADUATION RATE WAS 46.7%. AND I TOLD YOU, TWO WEEKS AGO, I TELL YOU NOW THAT WAS UNACCEPTABLE. FIVE YEARS LATER, LAST SUMMER, OUR GRADUATION RATE WHICH THE STATE JUST ANNOUNCED SIX WEEKS AGO, EIGHT WEEKS AGO, OUR GRADUATION RATE FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALES HAD INCREASED TO 61.5%, 15 PERCENTAGE POINT INCREASE FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALES IN FIVE YEARS, 15 PERCENTAGE POINT INCREASE FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE FOUR-YEAR GRADUATION RATE IN A FIVE-YEAR PERIOD OF TIME. FIVE-YEAR GRADUATION RATE WAS 66.5%, 0.7 OF A PERCENTAGE POINT BEHIND THE STATE’S, FIVE-YEAR AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE GRADUATION RATE. SO AGAIN, I’M NOT SUGGESTING WE’VE ARRIVED. I AM SUGGESTING WE’RE IMPROVING AND SIGNIFICANTLY. I’D LIKE TO SHARE TWO OTHER THOUGHTS. FIRST OF ALL, IT IS TRUE MICHIGAN’S A LOCAL-CONTROL STATE, I GET THIS, BUT THE STATE AND MORE SPECIFICALLY, THE DEPARTMENT CAN DO SO MUCH IN TERMS OF BEING A DRUM-BEATER, A CONVENER AROUND EARLY LITERACY, NUMBER ONE, AROUND CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION, NUMBER TWO, ADULT EDUCATION, NUMBER THREE, THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PROFESSION, NUMBER FOUR, RAISING UP THE PROFESSION– THE PROFESSION HAS BEEN DENIGRATED. IT HAS BEEN CHIPPED AWAY AT OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS. IT’S UNACCEPTABLE AND WE NEED TO ALL RAISE UP THE PROFESSION. NOT TO SAY THAT EDUCATORS ARE PERFECT. AND I, CERTAINLY, AM NOT PERFECT EITHER, BUT WE CAN IMPROVE WHAT WE DO, AND IMPROVING HOW WE DO WHAT WE DO IN SUPPORT OF CHILDREN ISN’T DONE IN DENIGRATION OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DAILY, WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN CLASSROOMS. AND THEN I SHARE WITH YOU JUST ONE OTHER THOUGHT. YOU MAY OR MAY NOT WISH TO CONSIDER THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTORING IN YOUNG PEOPLE’S LIVES, PARTICULARLY YOUNG MEN’S LIVES. FOUR YEARS AGO, I ASKED STAFF AND COMMUNITY JOIN ME IN MENTORING ONCE A WEEK, ONCE A WEEK, A LUNCH A WEEK WITH SOME YOUNG PEOPLE, NOT A BIG DEAL. LAST YEAR, 413 MENTORS MENTORED 1,168 YOUNG PEOPLE IN 9,572 WEEKLY MENTORING SESSIONS. BASICALLY, A LUNCH A WEEK WITH YOUNG PEOPLE. THIS PAST WEEK, WE PASSED 10,000 WEEKLY MENTORING SESSIONS THIS SCHOOL YEAR, IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT WE’VE HAD 12 SNOW DAYS OR ICE DAYS OR POLAR VORTEX DAYS OR WHATEVER THOSE DAYS WERE THAT WE’VE EXPERIENCED. THAT’S A BIG DEAL, AND I THINK IT’S NOTEWORTHY, I THINK IT’S NOTEWORTHY IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT YOUR DECISION IS TODAY. AND FINALLY, I’D LIKE TO GIVE A SHOUT OUT TO KWEILYN, DRE SHAUN AND GROAN GROAN, MY MENTEES. IF YOU’RE WATCHING THIS, YOU SHOULD BE IN CLASS. JUST SAYING. THANK YOU.>>OKAY, SO 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?>>THEY SAY THAT FOR A HAMMER, EVERYTHING LOOKS LIKE A NAIL. AND FOR AN EDUCATOR, THE SOLUTION TO MANY ISSUES, UNSURPRISINGLY, IS EDUCATION, RIGHTLY OR NOT. SO I VIEW YOUR QUESTION THROUGH THE LENS OF AN EDUCATOR, THROUGH THE LENS OF SOMEONE WHO STARTED HIS CAREER AS A HIGH SCHOOL FRENCH TEACHER IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. PUBLIC SCHOOLS, A PERSON WHO COACHED, CONTINUES TO MENTOR, WAS A BIG BROTHER WHOSE LITTLE BROTHER, WHOSE LITTLE BROTHER, I MENTIONED LAST TIME, IS 48, NOT JUST A DAD BUT A GRANDFATHER. SOMEHOW, HE BEAT ME TO BEING A GRANDFATHER. I DON’T KNOW HOW THAT HAPPENED, NEED TO ASK MY GIRLS ABOUT THAT. WE NEED TO IMPROVE OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS FIRST AND FOREMOST. THE REALITY IS IS THAT BUSINESSES WANT TALENT AND WHEN THEY LOOK TO RELOCATE TO A DIFFERENT JURISDICTION, TO ANOTHER STATE, THEY’RE LOOKING FOR TALENT PIPELINES. GREAT EXAMPLE OF THAT WAS AMAZON. AMAZON WENT LOOKING FOR TWO NEW PLACES TO HAVE THEIR MEGA HEADQUARTERS AND THEY CHOSE WASHINGTON D.C., METRO WASHINGTON D.C. AREA, METRO NEW YORK AREA, INTERESTING. I WOULDN’T NECESSARILY HAVE THOUGHT THAT THAT MADE THE BEST SENSE. YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT VERY CROWDED AREAS. DO PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE IN VERY CROWDED AREAS? YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT VERY EXPENSIVE AREAS. DO PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE IN VERY EXPENSIVE AREAS? AND MIND YOU, MY WIFE AND I HAVE LIVED IN BOTH AND WE ENJOYED THEM BOTH BUT I WOULDN’T HAVE THOUGHT THAT BUSINESSES WOULD HAVE MADE THOSE DECISIONS AND WHEN AMAZON CAME OUT WITH THEIR DISCUSSION OF WHY THEY MADE THAT INITIAL DECISION– AND THEY, OF COURSE, HAD TO I THINK, WALK BACK THE NEW YORK PORTION OF THAT DECISION BECAUSE OF COMMUNITY BACKLASH– BUT WHEN THEY DISCUSSED THAT DECISION, THEY TALKED ABOUT IT IN TERMS OF TALENT PIPELINES. AND WHERE DOES YOUR TALENT COME FROM? PEOPLE AREN’T SMARTER IN NEW YORK AND DC AND MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA THAN PEOPLE IN MICHIGAN. IT’S A FUNCTION OF THEIR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS. THEY POUR MORE INTO AND THEY GET MORE OUT OF, AND WE NEED TO POUR MORE INTO OUR CHILDREN AND TO GET MORE OUT OF OUR CHILDREN, AT WHICH POINT, WE, AS A STATE, IT SEEMS TO ME, HAVE A BETTER NARRATIVE, AN EASIER NARRATIVE, A MORE COMPELLING NARRATIVE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO RELOCATE BUSINESSES HERE. NOW, THAT DOESN’T STOP THE NEXT HENRY FORD FROM CREATING SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY IN MICHIGAN, A NATIVE MICHIGANDER, AND THAT’S TERRIFIC. BUT THAT’S A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT FROM BEING ATTRACTIVE FOR PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF THE STATE. AND THAT’S THE WAY I READ OR PERCEIVED YOUR QUESTION. WE’VE GOT APPROXIMATELY 600 DISTRICTS, 300 CHARTER SCHOOLS, 900 LEAs. MARYLAND HAS 24 LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS. WE HAVE 900 IN A FASHION, 600 LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS, 300 CHARTER SCHOOLS, 900 LEAs. MARYLAND, 24. I’M NOT ADVOCATING FOR A COUNTY SYSTEM OF EDUCATION. I AM SAYING, THOUGH, THAT WE CAN DO WHAT WE DO MORE EFFICIENTLY. AND IF WE CONTINUE TO DECLINE IN ENROLLMENT, WE MAY HAVE TO BEGIN TO CONSIDER, ADDITIONALLY, CONSOLIDATIONS OR MERGERS OF DISTRICTS, OUT OF NECESSITY. WE’RE BURNING AN AWFUL LOT OF MONEY ON OVERHEAD AT THE EXPENSE OF CLASSROOMS, AT THE EXPENSE OF WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT FOR CHILDREN IN CLASSROOMS. AND I UNDERSTAND THIS IS A POLITICALLY-COMPLICATED ISSUE. I UNDERSTAND THAT IT’S FRAUGHT WITH CHALLENGES. I UNDERSTAND THAT IT HAS TO BE DONE CAREFULLY. IT HAS TO BE DONE SENSITIVELY. IT HAS TO BE DONE WITH LOCAL INVOLVEMENT AND LOCAL INPUT, BUT THE REALITY IS THAT WHEN YOU HAVE 900 LOCAL ENTITIES TO EDUCATE 1.5 MILLION SCHOOLCHILDREN, IT’S THOSE SCHOOLCHILDREN, IN A NUMBER OF CASES, THAT ARE LOSING OUT BECAUSE FINITE RESOURCES AREN’T GOING TO THEM IN CLASSROOMS. JUST A THOUGHT.>>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.>>YOU MAY RECALL, LAST TIME I HAD SEVEN MAJOR AREAS OF FOCUS AND CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION WAS ONE OF THOSE. IN OUR COUNTY, OUR CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS ARE CALLED EDUCATION FOR EMPLOYMENT OR EDUCATION FOR THE ARTS. WE HAVE HUNDREDS OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEM EVERY YEAR, JUST FROM KALAMAZOO PUBLIC SCHOOLS, LET ALONE KRESA-WIDE. I SERVED FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS ON THE SUPERINTENDENT’S EFE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, EDUCATION FOR EMPLOYMENT OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE. I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND EXPANSION, AND IN SOME CASES, TAKING DOWN PROGRAMS THAT PERHAPS WEREN’T AS WELL SUBSCRIBED AS THEY OUGHT TO BE. WE BEGAN WITH THE KALAMAZOO VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, FOUR YEARS AGO, AN EARLY MIDDLE COLLEGE PROGRAM. WE HAVE SEVERAL DOZEN OF OUR YOUNGSTERS IN EARLY MIDDLE COLLEGE PROGRAMS. THOSE ARE PROGRAMS IN WHICH CHILDREN CAN EARN HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT AND COLLEGE CREDIT AT THE SAME TIME. OUR BOARD IN 2015 APPROVED EIGHT OF THOSE PROGRAMS. THE NEXT YEAR, EXPANDED TO 35 OF THOSE PROGRAMS. CHILDREN CAN EARN NOT JUST A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, BUT THEY CAN ALSO EARN COLLEGE CREDIT AND A CERTIFICATE, A CERTIFICATE OF ACHIEVEMENT OR AN ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE. THAT’S A BIG DEAL, IT’S A BIG DEAL FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, AND THESE ARE ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY IN TRADES AREAS, IN CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM AREAS. SO EARLY MIDDLE COLLEGE IS IMPORTANT, AND THAT’S PART OF MY EXPERIENCE BASE. MOST RECENTLY, IN THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF, WE HAVE WORKED IN OUR RESA TO RETHINK SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAMMING. AND WE’VE DONE THIS WITH THE INVOLVEMENT OF BUSINESS, WE’VE DONE IT WITH THE INVOLVEMENT OF EDUCATORS, WITH THE INVOLVEMENT OF OUR TEACHERS, WITH THE INVOLVEMENT OF OUR STUDENTS, AND IN SOME CASES, OUR PARENTS AS WELL. AND WE ARE QUITE POSSIBLY, WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF A MAJOR CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION MILLAGE FOR OUR RESA. YOU KNOW, WHAT ONE RESA HAS, ANOTHER RESA NEEDS. WHAT ONE RESA HAS AND NEEDS, ANOTHER RESA MAY NOT NEED AT ALL. SO I’M NOT SUGGESTING THAT WE NEED WHAT INGHAM ISD HAS. I AM SUGGESTING OUR KIDS NEED MORE OF THESE OFFERINGS. AND WE’RE WORKING ON BUILDING ADDITIONAL OFFERINGS BEYOND THE OFFERINGS THAT SERVE OUR CURRENT STUDENTS. OUR CHILDREN ARE WELL SERVED BY OUR CURRENT EFE OFFERINGS, BUT THEY ARE NOT FULLY SERVED BY THOSE EFE OFFERINGS. THEY’RE IN LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND ONE OF THE CHALLENGES WE’VE HAD IS HAVING YOUNG PEOPLE CROSS SCHOOL DISTRICTS WHO GO TO CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN A NEIGHBORING SCHOOL DISTRICT. SO OUR YOUNGSTERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO TAKE A PROGRAM IN ROBOTICS OR AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR IN ONE OF OUR LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS THAN THEY ARE TO GO TO SCHOOLCRAFT TO AN AVIATION PROGRAM. IT’S NOT TO SAY THAT THEY AREN’T HIGH FLYERS LIKE THE KIDS IN SCHOOLCRAFT. THEY’RE JUST NOT GOING TO GO TO A NEIGHBORING HIGH SCHOOL. NOW, THAT’S DIFFERENT FROM A CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION CENTER, WHICH IS PERCEIVED IN SOME FASHION AS NEUTRAL TERRITORY FOR A WIDE RANGE OF SCHOOLS OR SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN A COUNTY. THAT’S CONCEIVABLE, MORE LIKELY THAN GOING INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S HIGH SCHOOL IN SOMEONE ELSE’S COMMUNITY, WHICH MAY HAVE A VERY DIFFERENT CULTURE AND MAY HAVE A CULTURE THAT’S A LITTLE CHALLENGING FOR SOME OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. SO THOSE ARE SOME OF THE IDEAS AND THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCES WITH RESPECT TO CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION.>>WHAT, IF ANY, CHANGES WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO MICHIGAN’S 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?>>WELL, I’M A STRONG PROPONENT OF CHOICE IN A VARIETY OF FORMS, PARTICULARLY IN DISTRICT CHOICE. WE HAVE EIGHT MAGNET SCHOOLS WITHIN OUR DISTRICT. AT THE ELEMENTARY LEVEL, TWO MAGNET SCHOOLS. AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL, WE HAVE A MIDDLE SCHOOL ALTERNATIVE LEARNING PROGRAM, TWO HIGH SCHOOL ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS. IN MY 12 YEARS, WE’VE CREATED EL SOL ELEMENTARY, A DUAL LANGUAGE SCHOOL, SPANISH/ENGLISH, IN THE DISTRICT– 2008. WE CREATED A MIDDLE SCHOOL ALTERNATIVE LEARNING PROGRAM, 2008. WE CREATED KILP, KALAMAZOO INNOVATIVE LEARNING PROGRAM, A PREDOMINANTLY ONLINE SECOND ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL THREE YEARS AGO. AS A FORMER WORLD LANGUAGE TEACHER, I’M PARTICULARLY PROUD OF THE CREATION OF EL SOL, WHICH IS NOW 330 CHILDREN, IT HAS A WAITING LIST TO GET IN FOR KINDERGARTEN, OFTEN, EACH SCHOOL YEAR. I’M ALSO A STRONG PROPONENT OF CHOICES, OF PARENTS HAVING OTHER CHOICES, INCLUDING THE CHOICE TO HOMESCHOOL THEIR CHILDREN OR TO GO TO PRIVATE OR PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS. I BELIEVE IN ALL OF THESE CHOICES, BUT I DON’T SUPPORT PUBLIC FUNDS FOR THOSE PRIVATE CHOICES. I TOLERATE INTRA-DISTRICT AND INTER-DISTRICT CHOICE. THESE TRAINS LEFT THE STATION IN MICHIGAN LONG AGO. I BELIEVE THAT THEY’VE CREATED SUBSTANTIAL INEFFICIENCY, IF ONLY IN TRANSPORTATION AND INSTABILITY IN MANY OF OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS. BUT AGAIN, THESE TRAINS LEFT THE STATION LONG AGO IN MICHIGAN. I VIEW THEM AS LARGELY DECIDED AREAS OF POLICY. I’M SUPPORTIVE OF CHARTER SCHOOLS, AS LONG AS THEY HAVE THE SAME TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS AS TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS DO, SPECIFICALLY, CHARTER SCHOOLS SHOULD HAVE TO SHARE THE SAME FINANCIAL DATA THAT TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS DO. I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS CHANGE. ADDITIONALLY, A MORE EXTENDED DISCUSSION PROBABLY SHOULD TAKE PLACE ABOUT WHETHER CHARTER SCHOOLS SHOULD CONTRIBUTE TO MPSERS. I’M SUPPORTIVE OF CYBER SCHOOLS, BUT BELIEVE THAT THE FOUNDATION ALLOWANCES OF CYBER SCHOOLS SHOULD BE LESS THAN THAT OF TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS. AFTER ALL, CYBER SCHOOLS DO NOT HAVE THE SAME BRICK-AND-MORTAR COSTS THAT TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS DO. I WAS NOT SUPPORTIVE OF LIFTING THE CYBER SCHOOL CAP, BUT AGAIN, THAT TRAIN HAS LEFT THE STATION IN MICHIGAN, AND I VIEW IT LARGELY AS SETTLED POLICY. I WOULD RECOMMEND THE REDUCTION IN FOUNDATION ALLOWANCE OF CYBER SCHOOLS, CONSISTENT WITH, I MIGHT ADD, THE POSITION OF OUR PREVIOUS GOVERNOR.>>THANK YOU.>>THE MICHIGAN LEGISLATURE PASSED A THIRD GRADE READING BILL WHICH INCLUDES RETAINING STUDENTS WHO FAIL TO ADEQUATELY PASS A STANDARDIZED TEST. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS LAW, AND HOW CAN THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ASSIST LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS WITH THE IMPACT OF THIS LAW?>>I OPPOSED THE THIRD GRADE READING LAW, AND I STILL DO. IT’S BASED ON A FALSE PREMISE, AND THAT FALSE PREMISE IS, “THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE “UNTIL READING IMPROVES.” RESEARCH IS NOT SUPPORTIVE OF RETENTION AS A WAY TO IMPROVE READING LEVELS. WHILE RETENTION DOESN’T TEND TO HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON READING LEVELS, IT CAN HAVE THE UNINTENDED AND UNHAPPY CONSEQUENCE OR CONSEQUENCES OF CREATING STIGMA OR EMBARRASSMENT OR A DIMINISHED SENSE OF SELF. BUT WE HAVE TO IMPROVE READING IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. I APPRECIATE THE INTERVENTIONS IN THE LAW. I THINK THAT THEY ARE WELL THOUGHT THROUGH. THEY AREN’T FUNDED, BUT THEY ARE MINIMALLY INCLUDED, AND THEY WEREN’T IN THE INITIAL INCARNATION OF THIS, THE INITIAL BILLS AROUND THIRD GRADE READING. I ALSO APPRECIATE THE OPT-OUT FLEXIBILITY FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS AND SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN. THE LAW IS LESS SEVERE THAN PREVIOUS VERSIONS WERE. THAT SAID, IT’S STILL FAR TOO PUNITIVE AND IT COMES WITH FAR TOO RESOURCES. ON THE FRONT END, PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE STATE ARE UNDERFUNDED, PARTICULARLY THE MORE THEY TEACH CHILDREN WITH CHALLENGES, THE MORE THEY TEACH CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS, ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER CHALLENGES OR POVERTY. ON THE BACK END, OUR SCHOOLS ARE VILIFIED FOR THE CONSEQUENCE, IN PART, OF THE UNDERFUNDING. THIRD GRADE READING LAW IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THIS PHENOMENON. IT’S NOT BY INTENT, BUT IT’S BY EFFECT. AND I THINK THAT THAT’S THE IMPORTANT THING. I DON’T THINK, BY ANY MEANS, THE CRAFTERS OF THE BILL WERE LOOKING TO VILIFY. BUT I DO THINK THAT’S AN UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE OF THIS LAW. WE OUGHT TO BE FOCUSING ON THE BEST INTERESTS OF CHILDREN, AND THAT MEANS IMPROVING READING IN RESEARCH-BASED WAYS AND NOT SIMPLY DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR, NOT SIMPLY DURING THE 1,098 HOURS THAT CHILDREN ARE IN SCHOOL. 1,098 OF 8,760 HOURS DURING A YEAR IS 12.5%, BOARD. SCHOOLS HAVE CHILDREN LESS THAN 13% OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. RICHARD ALLINGTON, A MAJOR RESEARCHER IN LITERACY, SAID THAT WORKING CLASS AND POOR CHILDREN, ON THE ONE HAND, MIDDLE CLASS CHILDREN ON THE OTHER, GROW AT ROUGHLY THE SAME LEVELS DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR IN THEIR READING. THAT’S THE GOOD NEWS. THE BAD NEWS IS THAT GIVEN DIMINISHED EXPOSURE OF WORKING CLASS AND POOR CHILDREN DURING THE SUMMER, WORKING CLASS AND POOR CHILDREN ARE MORE LIKELY TO SUFFER SUMMER SLIDE IN THEIR READING LEVELS THAN ARE MIDDLE CLASS STUDENTS. SO WHAT HAPPENS OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS? OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS, THE TWO GROW ROUGHLY THE SAME DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR, BUT A GAP OPENS UP OR WIDENS IN THE SUMMER FOR WORKING CLASS AND POOR CHILDREN, AND YOU MAGNIFY THAT OVER A SERIES OF SUMMERS. AND YOU END UP WITH CHILDREN GOING INTO NINTH GRADE, GOING INTO HIGH SCHOOL, THREE AND FOUR AND FIVE GRADE LEVELS BEHIND. SO WE HAVE TO BE ABOUT NOT ONLY IMPROVING INSTRUCTION DURING SCHOOL, CRITICAL, WE HAVE TO BE ABOUT DRUM-BEATING AROUND READING OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL. OUR SUMMERS IN MICHIGAN IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS CAN BE 11, 11 1/2 WEEKS LONG. THAT’S AN AWFUL LOT OF TIME FOR SUMMER SLIDE TO CREEP IN. OUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CAN BE A MAJOR DRUM BEATER AND CONVENER AROUND READING. IT CAN BRING TOGETHER RESOURCES AROUND READING. I MENTIONED EARLIER IN THIS INTERVIEW, IF THIS IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO PASS A LAW ON, IT OUGHT TO BE IMPORTANT ENOUGH FOR THE STATE LEGISLATURE, FOR OUR GOVERNOR, FOR OUR BUSINESSES TO RALLY AROUND WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND HELP US, COLLECTIVELY, RAISE UP READING IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN AS A FOUNDATIONAL SKILL, WITHOUT WHICH OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AREN’T GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL, WITH WHICH, THEY ABSOLUTELY WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. I’LL MENTION ONE OTHER THOUGHT WITH RESPECT TO THE STATE BOARD, BEYOND DRUM-BEATER, BEYOND CONVENER, BEYOND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPER, BEYOND CURRICULUM DEVELOPER, BEYOND CONTENT EXPECTATION DEVELOPER– I’LL MENTION ONE OTHER THOUGHT. THE READING NOW NETWORK, WHICH WAS BEGUN ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE STATE, REGION 3 UP BY OTTAWA AND MUSKEGON AND KENT, AND THEN COMING DOWN TO REGION 7, KALAMAZOO, BERRIEN, BRANCH, CALHOUN, THE READING NOW NETWORK, OF WHICH I’M PROUD TO BE PART OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL, THE READING NOW NETWORK HAS PULLED TOGETHER EDUCATORS TO SHARE AND LOOK AT BEST PRACTICES. THEY’RE PUSHING THE LITERACY ESSENTIALS WHICH, I THINK, THE DEPARTMENT IS PUSHING AND PUSHING WELL. READING NOW NETWORK IS SAYING WHAT’S WORKING IN SCHOOLS THAT ARE OUTPERFORMING THEIR SOCIOECONOMIC PEERS? AND HOW CAN WE GO ABOUT SPREADING THAT TO OTHER SCHOOLS? IT’S EDUCATORS TALKING TO EDUCATORS AND PUSHING ON EDUCATORS, BECAUSE IF I’M A THIRD GRADE TEACHER, WHO IS MOST COMPELLING TO ME? IT’S SOMEONE WHO’S DOING MY JOB IN A SCHOOL WITH MY KIDS OR KIDS WHO ARE SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO MY CHILDREN. SO I THINK THE LAW HAS ITS CHALLENGES. NOTWITHSTANDING THE LAW, DR. PRITCHETT, I THINK WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO IMPROVE WHAT WE DO FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. LAW OR NOT, WE SHOULD BE IMPROVING READING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, AND IT’S AROUND COLLABORATION, IT’S AROUND REGIONAL NETWORKS, LIKE THE READING NOW NETWORK, WHICH OUR STATE DEPARTMENT CAN FACILITATE. IT’S AROUND THE DRUMBEAT OF ALL CHILDREN READING, NOT SOME CHILDREN, BUT ALL CHILDREN. AND I’LL LEAVE YOU WITH ONE THOUGHT. AUGUST 1ST, 2017 WE HOSTED A CONFERENCE AT WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY. IT WAS A STATEWIDE CONFERENCE AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, MDE, WAS ONE OF OUR PARTNERS IN THIS CONFERENCE. THE CONFERENCE WAS ENTITLED “MIRRORS OF ME: “CHILDREN SEEING THEMSELVES “IN THEIR LITERATURE.” WHITE CHILDREN SEE THEMSELVES IN THEIR LITERATURE ALL THE TIME. AFTER ALL, CHILDREN’S LITERATURE HAS BEEN, HISTORICALLY, ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY WHITE. A 2015 STUDY NOTED THAT APPROXIMATELY 14% OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE HAD A CHARACTER OF COLOR IN IT– 14%. CHILDREN NEED TO SEE THEMSELVES IN THEIR LITERATURE– NOT SOME CHILDREN, BUT ALL CHILDREN. AND SO WE HAD THIS CONFERENCE ON DIVERSITY OF LITERATURE WITH MDE, MASA, MASB, MASSP, MIDDLE CITIES, READING NOW NETWORK AND KRESA. AND THIS WAS AN EFFORT TO SHINE A LIGHT WITH EDUCATORS THROUGHOUT THE STATE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE. IF YOU ARE EDUCATING CHILDREN OF COLOR, THEY OUGHT TO SEE THEMSELVES PERIODICALLY IN THEIR LITERATURE. THEY OUGHT TO SEE HEROES THAT LOOK LIKE THEM, PERIODICALLY, IN THEIR LITERATURE. IT’S NOT UNREASONABLE TO EXPECT THAT OUR LITERATURE THAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE READ IS AS RAINBOW AS OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE.>>I JUST– I THINK WE’RE WELL OVER HALF OUR TIME, RIGHT? WE’RE NOT AT QUESTION SEVEN YET, AND THAT’S THE FORMAL QUESTIONS. SO I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THERE’S TIME ENOUGH FOR US TO ALL ASK INFORMAL QUESTIONS, SO I JUST WANTED TO–>>I’LL PICK IT UP.>>INJECT THAT.>>WE’RE AT 10:30. YES, WE’RE ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH.>>THANK YOU.>>OKAY, NUMBER SEVEN. WE CONTINUE TO HEAR FROM DISTRICTS THAT THEY STRUGGLE TO FIND CERTIFIED TEACHERS TO HIRE FOR EXISTING VACANCIES. IF YOU ARE HIRED AS THE NEXT SUPERINTENDENT, WHAT ACTIONABLE STEPS WOULD YOU TAKE TO INCREASE TEACHER ATTRACTION AND IMPROVE TEACHER RETENTION IN MICHIGAN?>>THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION. SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT THERE IS NO TEACHER SHORTAGE. I DO. I BELIEVE THERE IS A TEACHER SHORTAGE. I THINK IT’S A– WE’RE AT AN EXISTENTIAL MOMENT FOR THE PROFESSION IN THE STATE. IT’S IN POCKETS, IT’S MORE ACUTE IN CERTAIN AREAS, IT’S MORE ACUTE AT CERTAIN LEVELS. IT’S MORE ACUTE IN CERTAIN DISCIPLINES. YOU KNOW THE SHORTAGE AREAS IN THE STATE AS WELL AS I DO, BUT THOSE SHORTAGE AREAS ARE GROWING, AND OUR STATE TEACHER COLLEGE PREP PROGRAMS ARE DIMINISHING IN THEIR NUMBERS– 30, 40, 50% DECLINE. WE HAVE TO DO BETTER. WE HAVE TO INCENTIVIZE THE CREATION OF TEACHERS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, AND WHAT I MEAN BY THAT IS THAT WE HAVE TO INCENTIVIZE UNIVERSITIES TO PRODUCE MORE OF WHAT WE NEED. IF WE NEED MORE SCIENCE TEACHERS, AND WE DO, IF WE NEED MORE MATH TEACHERS, AND WE DO, IF WE NEED MORE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS, AND WE DO, MORE BILINGUAL EDUCATION TEACHERS, MORE WORLD LANGUAGE TEACHERS, MORE ESL TEACHERS, AND WE DO, WE NEED TO INCENTIVIZE THE PRODUCTION OF THOSE SPECIFIC AREAS MORE SUBSTANTIALLY THAN THE PRODUCTION OF OTHER AREAS. CRITICAL THAT WE DO THIS. AND THAT CAN BE DONE WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND WITH THE STATE LEGISLATURE. SOME OF THIS IS GENERALLY ABOUT PAY. SOME OF THIS IS ABOUT BENEFITS, BUT FAR MORE OF THIS IS ABOUT THE WAY IN WHICH THE PROFESSION SEES ITSELF AND FEELS TREATED AND RESPECTED. 25% OF EDUCATORS IN A RECENT SURVEY IN THE STATE WOULD RECOMMEND TO THEIR CHILDREN GOING INTO PUBLIC EDUCATION. THAT’S A CANARY IN A COAL MINE, BOARD. THAT’S A MOMENT FOR US TO REFLECT. YOU KNOW, ARSENIO HALL WOULD SAY, “THAT’S ONE OF THOSE THINGS “THAT MAKE YOU GO, ‘HMM.'”>>EXCUSE ME. MY QUESTION WAS WHAT WOULD YOU TAKE TO INCREASE– YOU, YOU.>>RIGHT, SO WHAT I WOULD DO IS I WOULD ADVOCATE FOR BETTER PAY FOR OUR STAFF. I WOULD ADVOCATE FOR MORE PAY IN SHORTAGE AREAS IN THE STATE, FOR THOSE AREAS WHERE WE STRUGGLE TO GET MATH TEACHERS OR SCIENCE TEACHERS, WHERE WE STRUGGLE TO GET ESL TEACHERS OR BILINGUAL EDUCATION OR WORLD LANGUAGE TEACHERS OR SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS. I’D ADVOCATE FOR MORE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR INCOMING TEACHERS SO THAT THE TURNOVER OF NEW TEACHERS WASN’T SO PROFOUND. WE PARTNERED WITH THE NEW TEACHER CENTER OUT OF CALIFORNIA, RECENTLY WITH THE HELP OF A SMALL STATE GRANT AND TRAINED UP 55 MENTOR TEACHERS, VETERAN TEACHERS IN OUR DISTRICT SO THAT THOSE 55 MENTOR TEACHERS CAN POUR MORE SUBSTANTIALLY INTO OUR NEW TEACHERS. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR NEW TEACHERS HAVE ALL THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT THAT THEY HAVE, AND THAT THEY HAVE CONDITIONS THAT ARE LARGELY CONDUCIVE TO SUCCESS IN OUR SCHOOLS. SO THOSE ARE A NUMBER OF THE THINGS THAT I WOULD DO BUT I WOULD ALSO CONVENE A GROUP, STATEWIDE ON THIS ISSUE. THE REALITY IS THAT WE ARE CLOSE TO A POINT IN THIS STATE WHERE THE FORM OF PUBLIC EDUCATION THAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE RECEIVE IS GOING TO BE AFFECTED BY THE TEACHER SHORTAGE, NOT BECAUSE THE FORM NEEDS TO BE CHANGED, BUT RATHER BECAUSE WE’RE NOT ABLE TO GET THE REQUISITE NUMBER OF TEACHERS IN PARTICULAR AREAS IN OUR STATE. IT’S AN EXISTENTIAL MOMENT, AND I THINK IT CALLS FOR A LARGE BODY CONVENING ON THIS, FROM THE GOVERNOR ON DOWN. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>MIKE, THE– OR MICHAEL, 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?>>WELL, JUST A NOTE, I’M NOT FOR CHANGE FOR CHANGE’S SAKE. THERE’S A LOT OF CHANGE THAT TAKES US BACKWARD AND I’M CERTAINLY NOT FOR CHURN, EITHER. THAT SAID, I’M REMINDED THAT RALPH WALDO EMERSON FAMOUSLY SAID, “FOOLISH “CONSISTENCY IS THE HOBGOBLIN “OF LITTLE MINDS.” I DON’T THINK THAT WE CAN SIMPLY STAY WHERE WE ARE AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT WHERE WE ARE. WE’RE IN THE BOTTOM THIRD IN STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT NATIONALLY, SO I DON’T THINK THAT THE GOAL OUGHT TO BE STANDING PAT AT THIS MOMENT IN OUR STATE’S HISTORY. I OFFER YOU THREE IDEAS WHERE I THINK THE STATE HAS TO MOVE AND THE DEPARTMENT, PARTICULARLY, HAS TO MOVE. THE FIRST IS OUR STATE ASSESSMENTS, M-STEP. THEY HAVE PERCEIVED ISSUES OF RELIABILITY, VALIDITY AND COMPARISON ACROSS YEARS, LET ALONE COMPARISON ACROSS SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS. THEY HAVE ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH THEIR PROFICIENCY BARS OR SCORES. THIS ISN’T SIMPLY MY OPINION, ALTHOUGH IT IS MY OPINION. IT’S ALSO THE OPINION OF MANY EDUCATORS ACROSS THE STATE. I DON’T RECALL A TEST IN MY CAREER THAT HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF SO MUCH RELATIVE CONTENTION AMONG EDUCATORS. AND I’M NOT TALKING SIMPLY ABOUT THE LENGTH, ALTHOUGH THAT HAS BEEN THE SOURCE OF ANGST FOR A NUMBER OF OUR EDUCATORS. I’M TALKING ABOUT WITH RESPECT TO THE RESULTS. YOUR SCIENCE RESULTS WERE SET ASIDE LAST YEAR. YOUR FIFTH AND EIGHTH GRADE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS RESULTS DROPPED FIVE PERCENTAGE POINTS STATEWIDE. WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN WITH FIFTH AND EIGHTH GRADE INSTRUCTION, DO WE THINK, THAT GENERATED A DECLINE IN STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT OF FIVE PERCENTAGE POINTS IN EACH OF FIFTH AND EIGHTH GRADE? IT’S A LOCAL CONTROL STATE, AS YOU POINTED OUT IN BOTH YOUR FIRST AND SECOND QUESTIONS. THERE’S NOTHING THAT LINKS ALL DISTRICTS IN THE STATE IN TERMS OF HOW THEY INSTRUCT YOUNG PEOPLE IN FIFTH AND EIGHTH GRADE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE TEST. THE TEST CHANGED, THE RESULTS PLUMMETED. AND SO YOU’RE NOT ABLE TO COMPARE, NOT IN MY VIEW, ANYWAY, YOUR 2017 RESULTS TO YOUR 2018 RESULTS IN FIFTH AND EIGHTH GRADE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS. THE PERFORMANCE TASK WAS REMOVED, IT CHANGED THE FORM OF THE TEST, IT CHANGED THE OUTCOME OF THE TEST, IT CREATED ISSUES OF COMPARABILITY, NOT JUST ACROSS YEARS, BUT ACROSS SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS AS WELL. I THINK, AT A MINIMUM, THE DEPARTMENT HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO REVIEW STRONGLY M-STEP, MOVING FORWARD. SO THAT’S ONE THING. THE SECOND THING IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM. I KNOW WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT A LITTLE BIT MORE IN A MOMENT, BUT YOU CAN’T HAVE TWO ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS. YOU’VE GOT A GREAT– YOU’VE GOT THE BEST ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM THAT YOU’VE HAD SINCE I’VE BEEN BACK IN THE STATE IN 12 YEARS, AND I APPRECIATE THE WORK THAT YOU DID ON IT. A THROUGH F AS AN OVERLAY IS CHARITABLY AWKWARD, LESS CHARITABLY A MISFIT. SOME KIND OF WAY, AS A STATE, WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE PEACE WITH THAT AND HAVE A SINGLE ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM IN THE STATE. SO THERE’S AN EXAMPLE WHERE I DON’T THINK WE CAN STAY STUCK ON WHERE WE ARE. AND THEN THE THIRD THING IS WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO RETHINK HOW WE DEVELOP OUR PIPELINES INTO OUR PROFESSION. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE’RE DOING NEXT YEAR IS WE’RE CREATING YOUNG EDUCATOR SOCIETIES AT OUR TWO LARGEST HIGH SCHOOLS. SO WE’RE GOING TO BASICALLY BE ENCOURAGING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE IN HIGH SCHOOL TO CONSIDER CAREERS IN COLLEGE. WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO THAT ACROSS THE STATE. AND YOU CAN SAY, “WELL, “A NINTH GRADER ISN’T GOING TO “BE A TEACHER ANYTIME SOON.” I RESPECT THAT, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, YOU PLANT SEEDS NOW FOR TREES LATER. AND WE HAVE TO BE ABOUT A VARIETY OF EFFORTS TO IMPROVE THE PROFESSION. THE PROFESSION WAS DIMINISHED OVER THE LAST DECADE. THE PROFESSION NEEDS TO BE REBUILT OVER THE NEXT DECADE. SO THOSE ARE THREE AREAS WHERE I’M NOT NECESSARILY INTERESTED IN CHANGE FOR CHANGE’S SAKE, BUT I’M CERTAINLY NOT INTERESTED IN STAYING PUT WHERE WE ARE ON THOSE THREE AREAS, SPECIFICALLY.>>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?>>WELL, IT’S A TRICKY BALANCE. IT’S TRICKY BECAUSE ESSA REQUIRES US TO TEST 95% OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, NOT SIMPLY BROADLY-WRIT, BUT IN EACH SUBCATEGORY. SO THAT’S A CHALLENGE. WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO DO THAT. IN THE ABSENCE OF THAT, WE COULD LOSE FEDERAL DOLLARS. THAT’S A PROBLEM. WE DON’T WANT TO LOSE THOSE FEDERAL DOLLARS. AT THE SAME TIME, PARENTS ARE OUR KIDS’ FIRST TEACHERS. THEY’RE OUR KIDS’ FIRST TEACHERS, THEY’RE OUR KIDS’ MOST IMPORTANT TEACHERS. AND IF PARENTS BELIEVE THAT A STATE TEST IS NOT RIGHT FOR THEIR CHILD, THEY OUGHT TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO OPT OUT. AND I KNOW THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE AT THE STATE LEVEL THAT DO NOT WANT TO HEAR THAT. QUITE FRANKLY, THERE ARE PEOPLE AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL THAT DON’T WANT TO HEAR THAT. BUT PARENTS, STRICTLY SPEAKING, AS FIRST TEACHERS, OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THE DECISION ABOUT WHAT’S BEST FOR THEIR CHILDREN WITH RESPECT TO STATE TESTING, STANDARDIZED OR NOT. FOR THAT MATTER, THEY OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THAT DECISION ABOUT CERTAIN FORMS OF LOCAL TESTING AS WELL.>>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?>>SURE. WELL, OUR TEACHERS, PARTICULARLY OUR YOUNGER TEACHERS, USE A LOT OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM. WE’VE IMPLEMENTED CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS THROUGHOUT THE DISTRICT. WE HAVE MORE THAN 14,000 DESKTOP OR LAPTOP OR CHROMEBOOKS WITHIN OUR DISTRICT. OUR KIDS ARE CONSTANTLY ON TECHNOLOGY FOR A WIDE RANGE OF PURPOSES. OUR TEACHERS HELP OUR YOUNG PEOPLE LEARN TO RESEARCH, PARTICULARLY IN SCIENCES AND SOCIAL STUDIES ONLINE. WE HAVE COURSES THAT ARE PRIMARILY TECHNOLOGICALLY-BASED. WE HAVE ROBOTICS AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL, COMPUTER APPLICATIONS AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL. WE HAVE COURSES AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL WHICH ARE PREDOMINANTLY TECHNOLOGICALLY-BASED. COMPUTER-ASSISTED DESIGN, FOR EXAMPLE, IS– COMES IMMEDIATELY TO MIND. WE’VE BEGUN A PILOT SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING PROGRAM IN TWO OF OUR 17 ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. THAT’S ONLINE. A COUPLE OF MINUTES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAY, A COUPLE OF MINUTES AT THE END OF THE DAY. SOME OF OUR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IS DONE ONLINE– BLOOD-BORNE PATHOGENS AND ALICE TRAINING. ALICE IS ALERT, LOCKDOWN, INFORM, COUNTER, EVACUATE TRAINING. SOME OF THAT TRAINING IS DONE ONLINE. WE HAVE ONLINE CREDIT-BEARING COURSES. I MENTIONED EARLIER WE HAVE KILP, KALAMAZOO INNOVATIVE LEARNING PROGRAM. THAT’S OUR SECOND ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL. THAT’S PRIMARILY– NOT EXCLUSIVELY, BUT PRIMARILY ONLINE. WHEN I WAS A SUPERINTENDENT IN NEW JERSEY, WE HAD DISTANCE LEARNING SO OUR KIDS COULD– IN CLIFTON HIGH SCHOOL, THEY COULD GO TO A CLASSROOM AND LEARN A SUBJECT IN A DIFFERENT– TAUGHT BY A TEACHER IN A DIFFERENT PART OF NEW JERSEY. SO DISTANCE LEARNING IS A PART OF THE ADVANTAGES OR THE BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY. THERE ARE A FEW DISADVANTAGES AS WELL, AND YOU’RE TALKING TO SOMEONE WHO’S PRETTY OLD SCHOOL. I MEAN, YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT OLD SCHOOL HIGH-TOP CONVERSE AND THE LIKE. SO, FIRST, STUDENTS CAN LOSE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DEVELOP THEIR SOCIAL SKILLS IF THEY ARE SO MIRED IN TECHNOLOGY. I’VE HAD CHILDREN– I’VE GONE UP TO CHILDREN AND SAID, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” AND THEY SAY, “I’M TALKING.” YOU’RE TALKING? “I’M TALKING TO MY FRIEND.” WELL, THEY’RE TALKING TO THEIR FRIEND WITH THEIR TWO THUMBS, OKAY, ON THEIR PHONE. THAT’S A CONVERSATION NOW. THUMB TALK IS WHAT IT IS. SO I’M CONCERNED THAT OFTENTIMES OUR CHILDREN BECOME SO SELF-ABSORBED IN THEIR TECHNOLOGY THAT THEY AREN’T DEVELOPING THE SOCIAL SKILLS THAT THEY NEED TO DEVELOP. THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL SKILLS IS AWKWARD. YOU HAVE TO BUMP AROUND, BUT THE WAY TO LEARN IT, UNSURPRISINGLY, IS THROUGH PRACTICE, AND YOU DON’T PRACTICE SO MUCH ONLINE. THERE’S TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN FROM ONE ANOTHER. IT IS TRUE THAT TECHNOLOGY IS CATCHING UP IN CERTAIN WAYS WITH RESPECT TO THIS AREA, SKYPE AND ZOOM AND CHAT ROOMS AND THE LIKE. I DON’T THINK WE’VE FIGURED OUT FULLY HOW TO RECREATE THE SORT OF SOCIAL SETTINGS THAT BENEFIT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR DEVELOPMENT. AND WITH RESPECT TO TESTING, I’D SIMPLY SAY THAT FOR MULTIPLE CHOICE TESTS, OUR KIDS ARE ON TECHNOLOGY AT A VERY YOUNG AGE. THERE IS STILL SOMEWHAT OF A DIGITAL DIVIDE, BUT IT IS FAR LESS SEVERE THAN IT USED TO BE. FOR MULTIPLE CHOICE TESTING, I VIEW THIS AS A NON-ISSUE. KIDS ARE VERY COMFORTABLE ONLINE. FOR ESSAY TESTS ONLINE, PARTICULARLY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, WE MAY BE INADVERTENTLY MEASURING KEYBOARDING JUST AS MUCH AS WE ARE MEASURING THE TEACHING, THE LEARNING OF THE GIVEN DISCIPLINE. AND THAT GIVES ME GREAT PAUSE, THAT KIDS ARE SEARCHING FOR THE E RATHER THAN WORKING ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR THOUGHTS. AND THERE’S A WHOLE LITERATURE, A WHOLE BODY OF RESEARCH THAT SHOWS THAT IF YOU DON’T DO SOMETHING QUICKLY ENOUGH, YOU FORGET WHERE YOU ARE AND YOU KIND OF HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING TO GATHER YOUR THOUGHTS, AND THAT BECOMES A CHALLENGE ON A TEST. I WOULDN’T WANT TO SEE THAT. THAT’S WHY WE WANT KIDS TO DEVELOP GREATER FLUENCY IN READING, NUMBER ONE, AND NUMBER TWO, THAT’S WHY YOU’D WANT KIDS TO HAVE A FLUENCY IN WRITING AS WELL. IF THEY DON’T HAVE A FLUENCY WITH RESPECT TO KEYBOARDING AND THEY’RE EXPECTED TO WRITE, THAT CAN BE AN ISSUE IN TERMS OF THE EXPRESSION OF THEIR THOUGHTS. IN OTHER WORDS, THE TEST MIGHT NOT BE MANIFESTING THE STRENGTH OF THEIR LEARNING AROUND A WRITTEN ESSAY, BUT RATHER THE STRENGTH OF THEIR KEYBOARDING.>>OKAY.>>YOU BET.>>SO 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 THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO MAINTAIN CURRENT PROGRAMS AND MEET THE INCREASING NEEDS OF STUDENTS IDENTIFIED WITH DISABILITIES. SO QUESTION IS HOW WOULD YOU LEAD THE DEPARTMENT IN MAKING CERTAIN THESE CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS RECEIVE SERVICES THEY REQUIRE AND THAT THEY HAVE BETTER OUTCOMES OR BETTER OPPORTUNITIES ONCE THEY LEAVE THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM? THERE’S A COUPLE OTHER QUESTIONS AFTER THAT, SO I CAN REPEAT IT. WHAT SHOULD THE DEPARTMENT’S ROLE– WHAT’S THE DEPARTMENT’S TOLE IN IMPROVING SPECIAL EDUCATION COMPLAINT DUE PROCESS PROCEDURES, AND WOULD YOU SUPPORT REINSTATING A PARENT’S RIGHT TO APPEAL A DECISION MADE BY MDE’S OFFICE OF SPECIAL ED? SO DID YOU GET ALL THAT?>>IT’S A MOUTHFUL.>>IT IS– I’M SORRY.>>AND IN 180 SECONDS, LET’S ROCK AND ROLL. OKAY, SO WE HAVE 1,600-PLUS SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN IN KALAMAZOO. WE HAVE SEVERAL DOZEN WHO ARE IN TRANSITION SERVICES, OR– IN OUR DISTRICT OR EDUCATED BY THE YOUNG ADULT PROGRAM IN OUR RESA. WE BELIEVE STRONGLY THAT OUR CHILDREN 18 TO 26 SHOULD DEVELOP EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS, SHOULD DEVELOP SELF SUFFICIENCY SKILLS, SELF-ACTUALIZATION SKILLS, INDEPENDENT LIVING SKILLS. AND OUR KIDS HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS WITH THE VERY SAME RANGE THAT YOU SEE ACROSS THE STATE. SEEMS TO ME THAT THE IMPROVEMENT OF 18 TO 26 IS IN PART A RESOURCE ISSUE. THAT’S ADDRESSED BY SFRC, IT’S ADDRESSED IN THE GOVERNOR’S BUDGET, I BELIEVE, TO THE TUNE OF $120 MILLION. OF COURSE, THE GOVERNOR PROPOSES THAT THE STATE LEGISLATURE DISPOSES, BUT NONETHELESS, IT’S ACKNOWLEDGED, I BELIEVE, IN THE GOVERNOR’S BUDGET. IN 2007, WE HELPED TO PASS THE WOODSEDGE LEARNING CENTER IN KRESA. IN 2015, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STATE’S TRANSPORTATION MILLAGE, WE PASSED A SPECIAL EDUCATION MILLAGE IN OUR RESA TO DEAL WITH UNDERFUNDING OF SPECIAL EDUCATION, SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS’ NEEDS. WITH RESPECT TO THE DEPARTMENT, THE DEPARTMENT REALLY DOES NEED TO STREAMLINE ITS PROCESSES, AND IT WOULD DO WELL NOT TO CONSIDER A STATE APPEAL OR AN APPEAL TO THE STATE UNTIL THAT APPEAL WAS FULLY VETTED AT THE LOCAL DISTRICT LEVEL AND AT THE RESA LEVEL. I LIKEN THIS TO A PARENT CALLING A PRINCIPAL ABOUT A TEACHER, PRINCIPAL SAYS, “HAVE YOU HAD THE CONVERSATION “WITH THE TEACHER?” AND IF THE ANSWER IS NO, THE PARENT NEEDS TO FIRST ADDRESS THAT ISSUE WITH THE TEACHER, THEN WITH THE PRINCIPAL, AND IF NEED BE, WALK THAT UP WITHIN CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION. I LIKEN IT TO OUR FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM AS WELL. THE SUPREME COURT, AS A RULE, DOESN’T HEAR CASES THAT HAVEN’T BEEN HEARD FIRST AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL BY THE FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT AND THEN THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT. SIMILARLY, I BELIEVE THAT THOSE STATE APPEALS SHOULD BE FIRST HEARD AT THE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT LEVEL THEN AT THE RESA LEVEL, AND THEN FINALLY, AT THE STATE LEVEL. WE HAVE THE RELATIONSHIPS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, NUMBER ONE. WE HAVE MORE RESOURCES THAN THE STATE DOES, NUMBER TWO. WE NEED THE RELATIONSHIPS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, NUMBER THREE, TO WORK WITH OUR PARENTS. AND WHEN YOU HEAR A COMPLAINT AT THE STATE LEVEL BEFORE IT HAS BEEN VETTED AND/OR ATTEMPTED TO BE MEDIATED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, YOU CREATE A RUB IN THE RELATIONSHIP THAT IS OFTEN HARD TO GET OVER ONCE SOMETHING HAS BEEN ELEVATED TO THE STATE LEVEL. SO I WOULD RECOMMEND A THREE-TIERED SYSTEM WITH RESPECT TO COMPLAINTS. THAT SAID, PARENTS, AGAIN, FIRST TEACHERS. THEY OUGHT TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPEAL A DECISION OF OSC. I WANT TO BE CLEAR, A DECISION OF OSC. BUT THAT WOULD BE IN THE CONTEXT OF A TIERED SYSTEM. THAT WOULD NOT BE IN THE CONTEXT OF SOMETHING THAT STARTS HERE AND THEN GETS APPEALED. THAT WOULD BE IN THE CONTEXT OF SOMETHING THAT GOT WALKED UP AND THEN COULD SUBSEQUENTLY BE APPEALED.>>QUESTION NUMBER 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?>>WELL, YOU’RE THE BOARD AND I WOULD WORK, PRIMARILY, WITH YOU. THAT SAID, THE GOVERNOR IS THE TOP ELECTED OFFICIAL IN THE STATE. I WOULD SERVE IN HER CABINET AND YOU WOULD WANT ME TO HAVE A STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH HER. AND I MIGHT ADD, NOT SIMPLY WITH HER, BUT ALSO WITH MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE AND MORE BROADLY, MEMBERS OF STAKEHOLDER GROUPS AND STAKEHOLDER LEADER GROUPS. YOU WOULD WANT THAT. THE QUESTION THOUGH WAS ABOUT MEDIATING TENSION BETWEEN POSITIONS, AND I’D DO MY BEST TO GET TO SOME SORT OF COMMON GROUND BETWEEN THE STATE BOARD AND THE GOVERNOR, RECOGNIZING THAT’S EASIER IN SOME WAYS THAN OTHERS ON SOME ISSUES THAN ON OTHERS. AND I WOULD WORK TO THE BEST THAT I COULD TO GET THE BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME CLOSEST TO THE POSITION OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. I MIGHT ADD, I’D DO THE SAME THING WITH THE STATE LEGISLATURE. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK WE MISS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION IS WE’RE FAR MORE ALIKE THAN WE ARE DIFFERENT. AND THERE ARE FAR MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO COME TOGETHER THAN NOT. WE CAN TUSSLE ON THE MARGINS ABOUT A WHOLE HOST OF DIFFERENT THINGS BUT DO WE REALLY DISAGREE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF KIDS READING AT GRADE LEVEL IN THIRD GRADE OR THAT KIDS OUGHT TO GO OUT INTO A WORLD, HAVING THE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITY TO NAVIGATE THAT WORLD AND TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT? DO WE REALLY DISAGREE THAT ADULTS WHO DIDN’T GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL SHOULD STILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL? WE AGREE ON FAR MORE IN PUBLIC EDUCATION THAN NOT. AND THESE GROUPS THAT EVERY SO OFTEN RUB AGAINST ONE ANOTHER, A STATE BOARD AND A GOVERNOR, A STATE BOARD AND A LEGISLATURE HAVE SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO COME TOGETHER AND WORK TOGETHER TO BUILD MOMENTUM, TO BUILD TRUST, TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS. SO THAT WHEN, INEVITABLY, YOU HAVE THESE BUMPS IN THE ROAD, THEY’RE NOT INCAPACITATING BUMPS BUT RATHER SIMPLE DISAGREEMENTS AMONG PEOPLE WHO HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF WORKING TOGETHER TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES FOR KIDS. I WOULD LIKE TO ADD JUST ONE THING. I HAVE MULTI STATE ADVOCACY EXPERIENCE IN THIS REGARD. IT’S NOT SIMPLY MICHIGAN EXPERIENCE, IT’S NEW JERSEY EXPERIENCE. IT’S NOT JUST MICHIGAN AND NEW JERSEY EXPERIENCE, IT’S EXPERIENCE IN INDIANA. IT’S EXPERIENCE IN WASHINGTON D.C. AS WELL. AND I THINK THAT’S IMPORTANT TO SEE HOW OTHER JURISDICTIONS DO WHAT THEY DO FOR CHILDREN.>>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?>>WELL, H.L. MENCKEN, THE FAMOUS JOURNALIST WHO ONCE SAID, “FOR EVERY “COMPLEX PROBLEM, THERE IS “A SOLUTION THAT IS SIMPLE, “NEAT AND WRONG.” AND AN A THROUGH F ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM IS SIMPLE, NEAT AND WRONG. A SINGLE A THROUGH F GRADE IS FOOLISH. THE A THROUGH F SYSTEM PASSED BY THE STATE LEGISLATURE IS NOT WELL THOUGHT THROUGH. YOU’VE SAID SO. OUR STATE SUPERINTENDENT HAS SAID SO. IT’S NOT WELL THOUGHT THROUGH. IT’S BETTER THAN IT WAS BUT IT’S STILL A MESS. A HUMAN BEING IS COMPLEX AND YOU WOULDN’T DISTILL A HUMAN BEING BY SUMMING UP HIS OR HER PARTS, MY LEFT ELBOW, MY RIGHT KNEE, MY HAIR, MY FOOT AND PUT THAT ALL TOGETHER IN A SINGLE GRADE. SCHOOLS ARE MORE COMPLICATED THAN HUMAN BEINGS. IF YOU WOULDN’T DO THAT FOR A HUMAN BEING, WHY WOULD YOU DO IT FOR SCHOOL? IT’S OVERLY DISTILLED, IT’S OVERLY REDUCTIVE, IT’S OVERLY SIMPLISTIC. IT DOESN’T GET AT THE COMPLEXITY OF SCHOOLS. YOU’VE GOT A PARENT DASHBOARD, IT’S A TERRIFIC PARENT DASHBOARD, GOOD FOR YOU. YOU’VE GOT A BETTER ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM THAN YOU’VE HAD, IN MY VIEW, IN 12 YEARS. GOOD FOR YOU. SEEMS TO ME THAT A THROUGH F, PASSED IN LAME-DUCK SESSION, IS THE SORT OF STUFF YOU GET IN A LAME-DUCK SESSION. IT’S THE STUFF THAT GETS PUT TOGETHER QUICKLY, NOT OVERLY-THOUGHTFULLY. IT LEAVES OUT SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN, IT LEAVES OUT ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION SCHOOLS. IT CAN’T REPLACE YOUR FEDERALLY-APPROVED ESSA ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM UNLESS I MISUNDERSTAND. AND IT OUGHT NOT TO BE A STANDALONE ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM EITHER, QUITE FRANKLY. SO IF LEFT WITH THIS SOLOMON-LIKE CHALLENGE, I WOULD RECOMMEND THAT THERE ARE THREE POSSIBILITIES: ONE, YOU GO BACK TO THE STATE LEGISLATURE, A SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT GROUP THAN PASSED THIS BILL IN LAME-DUCK SESSION AND URGE REPEAL. YOU CAN GO BACK TO THE STATE LEGISLATURE AND URGE AMENDMENT SUCH THAT YOU COULD HAVE AN A THROUGH F SYSTEM THAT SOMEHOW WAS ACCEPTABLE TO USDOE FOR AN ESSA APPROVED FEDERAL ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM OR YOU COULD HAVE TWO SIDE-BY-SIDE ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS THAT GENERATED VERY, VERY DIFFERENT RESULTS IN CERTAIN CASES ABOUT THE VERY SAME SCHOOLS AND LEAVE PEOPLE TO FIGURE OUT WHY YOU WERE LOOKING AT SCHOOLS IN TWO VERY, VERY DIFFERENT WAYS SIDE BY SIDE FROM THE SAME GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY. IF I HAD TO CHOOSE, I WOULD SAY REPEAL IS BETTER THAN AMENDMENT. AMENDMENT IS BETTER THAN TWO STAND– THAN TWO SIDE BY SIDES BUT YOU WON’T HAVE GREAT CHOICES AT THE MOMENT IN THIS REGARD.>>AND WE HAVE A FINAL QUESTION, AND WHILE I’M ASKING THAT QUESTION, IF ANYONE HAS QUESTIONS ON THEIR NOTE CARD, PLEASE HAND THOSE TO MARILYN. THE FINAL QUESTION IS WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU TO BE MICHIGAN’S NEXT STATE SUPERINTENDENT?>>WELL, BOARD, ON THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF BRIAN WHISTON, MAY HE REST IN PEACE, I CAN’T TELL YOU WHOM YOU SHOULD HIRE. YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIGURE THAT OUT, YOU’RE THE BOARD. I CAN TELL YOU THOUGH OR REMIND YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MYSELF. I’M COLLABORATIVE WITH ANYONE OR ANY GROUP, AT ANY TIME THAT WANTS TO IMPROVE OUR CORNER OF THE WORLD FOR CHILDREN. I PARTNER WITH OVER 250 PARTNERS IN KALAMAZOO THAT I MENTIONED IN MY FIRST INTERVIEW, A WIDE RANGE OF PARTNERS FROM A WIDE RANGE OF BACKGROUNDS IN KALAMAZOO. I’M LONG-TERM GOAL ORIENTED. I BELIEVE IN SETTING GOALS AND WORKING TOWARD THOSE GOALS. I DON’T BELIEVE IN AMORPHOUS GOALS. I BELIEVE IN GOALS WITH METRICS. I HAVE A CAREER DEVOTED TO IMPROVING THE LIVES OF CHILDREN. I STARTED AS A HIGH SCHOOL FRENCH TEACHER IN THE WASHINGTON D.C. PUBLIC SCHOOLS, SPEECH AND DEBATE COACH, A MENTOR, A BIG BROTHER AND A SUMMER CAMP COUNSELOR. AND WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE SUMMER CAMP PART, I’M STILL DOING LARGELY THE SAME THINGS THAT I WAS DOING 35 YEARS AGO. I HAVE LARGELY THE SAME VALUES. I HAVEN’T STRAYED FROM MY VALUES, I HAVEN’T STRAYED FROM MY EXPERIENCE AS I AM WHO I WAS 35 YEARS AGO IN A WHOLE HOST OF DIFFERENT WAYS. I HAVE 17 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AS AN URBAN SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT, 12 IN KALAMAZOO AND FIVE IN NEW JERSEY. I HAVE THE LONGEST CURRENT URBAN SUPERINTENDENCY IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. I WAS PRESIDENT OF MIDDLE CITIES EDUCATION ASSOCIATION. I CURRENTLY SERVE ON THE MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS, GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND POLICY COMMITTEE AND THE SCHOOL FINANCE RESEARCH COLLABORATIVE, STEERING AND TECHNICAL COMMITTEE. I HAVE MULTI-STATE LEADERSHIP AND ADVOCACY EXPERIENCE. EVERY DISTRICT, EVERY DISTRICT IN WHICH I HAVE WORKED, NO EXCEPTIONS, HAS SUBSTANTIAL DIVERSITY IN. WASHINGTON D.C. PUBLIC SCHOOLS, FORT WAYNE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS, LANSING SCHOOL DISTRICT RIGHT HERE IN LANSING, CLIFTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS, CLIFTON, NEW JERSEY AND KALAMAZOO PUBLIC SCHOOLS. TO REFRESH, YOUR MEMORY, KALAMAZOO IS 38% AFRICAN-AMERICAN, IS 36% WHITE, 13% LATINO, 11% MULTI-ETHNIC, 2%, A LITTLE BIT LESS THAN, ASIAN-AMERICAN, A LITTLE BIT LESS THAN 1% NATIVE AMERICAN WITH 71% FREE OR REDUCED PRICE LUNCH ELIGIBLE, SOME OF OUR SCHOOLS 90% FREE OR REDUCED-PRICE LUNCH ELIGIBLE, 1,600 PLUS SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN, 1,000 ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS. WE’RE THE HOME OF THE KALAMAZOO PROMISE AND WE’RE PROUD OF IT. IT’S PRETTY NEAT, FREE COLLEGE FOR THOSE KIDS WHO GRADUATE FROM OUR LOCAL PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS. VERY COOL. WE’RE ALSO THE DISTRICT THAT, LAST YEAR, RECORDED THE LARGEST NUMBER OF HOMELESS CHILDREN IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN AT 905. SO WE’RE A MIX, WE’RE A STEW. WE’RE EVERY BIT THE CHALLENGE THAT EXISTS ACROSS THE STATE OF MICHIGAN AND WE’RE IMPROVING OUR EDUCATION FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE IN THOSE CHALLENGING CIRCUMSTANCES FROM WHICH THEY COME EVERY SINGLE DAY. AND TO ADD TO THAT, WE’VE HAD 170 REFUGEE STUDENTS COME TO OUR DISTRICT IN THE LAST THREE YEARS. WE’RE A VERY GENEROUS SCHOOL DISTRICT, A VERY GENEROUS COMMUNITY AND A LOT OF PEOPLE SPONSOR FAMILIES COMING TO THE DISTRICT, AND WE APPRECIATE THAT. BUT THE CHALLENGE IS ONCE THEY’RE HERE, THE STATE GIVES US APPROXIMATELY $90,000 TO EDUCATE OUR MORE THAN 1,000 ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS AND WE GET NOT PENNY ONE FOR REFUGEE STUDENTS. I VOLUNTARILY SHARED THE DOWNSIDES OF MY APPLICATION WITH YOU, BOARD. I’VE SHARED MY DUBIOUS SENSE OF HUMOR, I’VE SHARED THE FACT THAT I’M NO LONGER SIX FOOT FOUR, 240 POUNDS LIKE I WAS WHEN I STARTED MY SUPERINTENDENCY, MY RECEDING HAIRLINE, MY OHIO ROOTS. I’VE ALSO SHARED THAT I’M IMPATIENT WHEN IT COMES TO IMPROVING SCHOOLS FOR CHILDREN. I’VE SHARED THAT I’M ABOUT EQUAL AND STRONG OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL OF OUR CHILDREN, NOT SIMPLY FOR THOSE WHO ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE BORN OF MEANS. ONE OF MY CLOSEST FRIENDS, ONE OF MY CLOSEST FRIENDS IN KALAMAZOO IN THE LAST 12 YEARS WAS DR. CHARLES C. WARFIELD, MAY HE REST IN PEACE, FORMER WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR, ONE OF THE FUNNIEST PEOPLE I EVER MET AND THE HEAD OF THE LOCAL NAACP. SOMEONE ONCE ASKED DR. CHARLES WARFIELD, THEY SAID, “DR. WARFIELD, YOU SEEM ANGRY.” HE SAID, “I HAVE A RIGHT “TO BE ANGRY.” AND I DO TOO, BOARD, AND YOU DO TOO, NOT A DEBILITATING ANGER, NOT AN INCAPACITATING ANGER BUT AN ANGER THAT SAYS WE NEED TO DO BETTER FOR OUR CHILDREN, CAN AND SHOULD AND NEED TO DO BETTER FOR OUR CHILDREN. AS THE EXPRESSION GOES, THAT’S MY STORY AND I’M STICKING TO IT.>>THANK YOU, WE HAVE A FEW MINUTES LEFT TO DO SOME QUESTIONS SO I WILL START. AND TO THE BOARD, IF, FOR SOME REASON, I DO NOT GET THE PROPER GIST OF YOUR QUESTION, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CORRECT ME. THESE ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER. I’VE ASKED MARILYN TO JUST SHUFFLE THEM UP AND I HAVE NOT CHANGED THE ORDER SINCE THEN. SO THE FIRST QUESTION IS: CREATIVITY WILL BE EVER MORE CRITICAL IN THE FUTURE. HOW CAN OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM AS–>>YONG ZHAO.>>THANK YOU! AS YONG ZHAO SAYS, KILL CREATIVITY LESS SUCCESSFULLY?>>FAIR ENOUGH, SO CREATIVITY IS IMPORTANT. I THINK THAT WE HAVE TO GET AWAY FROM THE ROTE AND INTO THE MORE EXPRESSIVE, INTO THE MORE CREATIVE. I THINK THAT CHILDREN HAVE TO BE ASKED AND ENCOURAGED TO DO MORE WRITING, MORE FREEFORM WORK, FREEFORM WORK THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE ON THE COMPUTER, FREEFORM WORK THAT INCLUDES WORK IN SMALL GROUPS AND PAIRS. THE WORK THAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE DO WITH RESPECT TO ROBOTICS IS VERY MUCH CREATIVE. THE WORK THAT THEY DO IN FILM AND VIDEOGRAPHY IS VERY MUCH CREATIVE. THE WORK THAT THEY DO IN WRITING AND SELF-EXPRESSION, SPOKEN WORD POETRY IS TREMENDOUSLY CREATIVE. I THINK ALL OF THOSE ARE EXAMPLES OF PLACES THAT WE CAN KILL CREATIVITY MORE SUCCESSFULLY, KILL LESS SUCCESSFULLY, I BEG YOUR PARDON, LESS SUCCESSFULLY, THANK YOU, WITH RESPECT TO YONG ZHAO. THANK YOU.>>WHAT ROLE DO PARENTS PLAY IN EDUCATION?>>PARENTS ARE OUR KIDS’ FIRST TEACHERS, AND THEY HAVE TO BE RESPECTED, THEY HAVE TO BE PARTNERED WITH. AND THAT PARTNERING IS A CHALLENGE. IT’S NOT THE SAME PARTNERING THAT EXISTS FOR A LOWE’S OR A MENARDS OR HOME DEPOT. IT’S PARTNERING WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE VERY VISCERAL AND STRONG INTERESTS IN THEIR YOUNG PEOPLE AND HAVE THE RIGHT TO FIGHT FOR WHAT’S BEST FOR THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE. AND WE HAVE THE RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY TO SHARE OUR FEELINGS AS PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS ABOUT WHAT’S BEST FOR THEM AND YOU HOPE THAT WE END UP ARRIVING AT A MEETING OF THE MINDS. THE BEAUTY OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN IN MANY RESPECTS IS THAT IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE EDUCATION THAT YOUR CHILD IS GETTING AT ONE LOCAL SCHOOL, IN A DISTRICT, YOU CAN GO TO ANOTHER LOCAL SCHOOL IN A DISTRICT OR YOU CAN CROSS DISTRICTS, OR YOU CAN CROSS FORMS OF EDUCATION. SO THERE ARE AN ENORMOUS NUMBER OF CHOICES THAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE AND THAT THEIR PARENTS HAVE BUT WITH RESPECT TO THAT INDIVIDUAL PARENTAGE OR INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL, THEY HAVE TO BE RESPECTED, THEY HAVE TO BE PARTNERED WITH, THEY HAVE TO BE HONORED. BUT THAT NO MORE MEANS 100% AGREEMENT THAN IT DOES BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE, THAN IT DOES BETWEEN SON AND MOM. THERE ARE GOING TO BE DISAGREEMENTS, EVEN WITH CHILDREN’S FIRST TEACHERS.>>IN YOUR PREVIOUS INTERVIEW, YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU WERE, QUOTE, PUSHY. HOW DOES THIS RESULT IN OTHERS, SUCH AS STAKEHOLDERS, UNDERSTANDING AND ADOPTING YOUR VISIONS AND HOW DOES, OR HOW WILL YOU USE PUSHINESS TO CLOSE RACIAL/ETHNIC GAPS AND ACADEMIC OUTCOMES?>>WELL, YEAH, CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITE ADJECTIVE BUT I WON’T WALK AWAY FROM THAT. LET ME SAY THIS: I HAVE MY OPINIONS AND I HAVE A STRONG DETERMINATION ABOUT ME BUT I’M ALSO PARTNERING ON A REGULAR BASIS. A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO– THREE, FOUR YEARS AGO, I WORKED WITH OUR ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL, PHOENIX ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL, OUR FIRST ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL AND I SUGGESTED THAT BECAUSE THEY WERE GROWING, THAT THEY REALLY NEEDED A NEW SPACE AND I SUGGESTED THAT PERHAPS THEY MOVE TO OUR SOUTH WESTNEDGE SCHOOL WHICH WE’VE USED TO SWING SPACE OVER A PERIOD OF TIME WHEN WE DO CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS. THEY HEARD ME AND THEY CAME BACK WITH A DIFFERENT IDEA. WHY DON’T YOU SIMPLY IMPROVE OUR SCHOOL PHYSICALLY SO THAT IT CAN ACCOMMODATE OUR GROWTH ON THE ONE HAND AND THAT IT’S MORE ACCOMMODATING ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS FOR CHILDREN AND STAFF ON THE OTHER? WHY DON’T YOU DO A BOND PROJECT HERE? THEIR IDEA WAS BETTER THAN MY IDEA AND WHAT WE ENDED UP DOING WAS WE ENDED UP RECOMMENDING, IN OUR MOST RECENT BOND, OUR 2018 BOND, AN EXPANSION OF PHOENIX HIGH SCHOOL. IT’S GOING TO INCLUDE FOUR NEW CLASSROOMS, A GYMNASIUM. IT’LL ACCOMMODATE MORE KIDS, IT’LL HAVE AIR CONDITIONING IN IT. IT’LL BE A BETTER SPACE. SO THERE’S AN EXAMPLE OF I WANTED MORE SPACE FOR KIDS SO THAT PHOENIX COULD GROW AND TO BETTER EDUCATE CHILDREN. MY IDEA, SPECIFICALLY, TO GET TO THAT GOAL, WASN’T THE IDEA THAT WE ENDED UP USING. IT WAS RATHER THEIR IDEA TO GET TO THE SAME GOAL.>>BECAUSE I THINK, IN THE LAST PART OF THE QUESTION WAS ABOUT THE USING THE PUSHINESS TO CLOSE THOSE GAPS AND YOU GAVE US SOME REALLY GOOD EXAMPLES LAST TIME AS WELL AS TODAY THAT YOU’VE DONE. HOW DO YOU PUSH THE DEPARTMENT AS A STATE SUPERINTENDENT TO CLOSE THOSE GAPS?>>I THINK THE DEPARTMENT HAS TO HAVE A MIRROR ON ITSELF. THERE HAS TO BE SOME SORT OF METACOGNITION WITH RESPECT TO THE MIRROR. HOW DO PEOPLE VIEW INDIVIDUAL DEPARTMENTS? WHAT DO FOCUS GROUPS SAY? WHAT DOES SURVEY SAY ABOUT THE QUALITY OF SERVICE THAT THEY ARE GETTING FROM INDIVIDUAL DEPARTMENTS, INDIVIDUAL OFFICES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT? I THINK THAT’S REALLY CRITICAL AND I THINK EVERY MAJOR PROGRAM OF SELF IMPROVEMENT BEGINS WITH CONSCIOUSNESS-RAISING. MY NAME IS MICHAEL, I HAVE THIS ISSUE OR I HAVE THIS PROBLEM AND I THINK THAT THE SAME IS TRUE FOR THE DEPARTMENT. YOU HAVE BRILLIANT CUSTOMER SERVICE IN AREAS OF THE DEPARTMENT BUT YOU HAVE OTHER AREAS WHERE IT’S LACKING AND I THINK THAT BEGINS WITH CONSCIOUSNESS-RAISING BY CUSTOMERS IN THE FIELD ABOUT HOW CUSTOMERS FEEL ABOUT THE SERVICE THAT THEY’RE RECEIVING FROM THE DEPARTMENT. DOES THAT HELP? GOOD, THANK YOU.>>YOU HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED AS A SUPERINTENDENT THAT HAS CREATED, QUOTE, FEAR IN THE KALAMAZOO SCHOOLS. THE CHAIN OF COMMAND STARTS WITH YOU AND ENDS WITH YOU, THAT A STRICT, PARTY WILL OCCUR IF YOU ARE HIRED. I’M SORRY, I CAN’T READ– I’M SORRY. HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND TO SUCH COMMENTS ABOUT YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE AND WHOEVER WROTE THAT, I’M SORRY IF I DIDN’T READ THAT CORRECTLY BUT FEEL FREE TO CORRECT ME.>>WE HAVE 2,000 EMPLOYEES IN THE DISTRICT. WE HAVE 13,000 STUDENTS, 20,000 PARENTS, 110,000 RESIDENTS. I KNOW NO ONE WHO IS UNIFORMLY LOVED AS A LEADER. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO LIKE ME, THEY’RE PEOPLE WHO PROBABLY DON’T. I’LL SAY, ADDITIONALLY, THAT 20% OF THE COUNTRY THOUGHT THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS BORN IN KENYA. SO IN ANY POPULATION, YOU’RE GOING TO GET A WIDE RANGE OF PEOPLE WITH A WIDE RANGE OF THOUGHTS. I HAVE A TEACHER ADVISORY COUNCIL. I MEET WITH IT MONTHLY. I HAVE A PARENT ADVISORY COUNCIL. I MEET WITH IT MONTHLY AND I’LL BE MEETING WITH IT AT 6:30 THIS EVENING, BY THE WAY. I HAVE THREE STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCILS WITH WHICH I MEET MONTHLY. I MEET MONTHLY– I HAVE MET MONTHLY FOR YEARS WITH UNION LEADERS. I’VE NOW DIALED THAT BACK SOMEWHAT. I MEET MONTHLY WITH THE TEACHER UNION PRESIDENT. I MENTOR IN OUR ADMINISTRATORS’ UNION PRESIDENTS BUILDING. I’M CONSTANTLY ENGAGED WITH STUDENTS, WITH STAFF, WITH PARENTS OF A WIDE RANGE OF STRIPES. I DON’T THINK YOU CAN LAST 12 MONTHS BY FEAR, LET ALONE 12 YEARS AS AN URBAN SUPERINTENDENT. IT’S JUST NOT POSSIBLE.>>DO YOU HAVE THE COURAGE TO ADVOCATE FOR CHANGE IN POLICY OR STATUTE THAT IS DETRIMENTAL TO STUDENTS OR DISTRICTS?>>I’M SORRY, COULD YOU REPEAT THAT, PLEASE?>>DO YOU HAVE THE COURAGE TO ADVOCATE FOR CHANGE IN POLICY OR STATUTE THAT IS, WHERE I WOULD SAY, YOU FEEL IS DETRIMENTAL TO STUDENTS OR DISTRICTS?>>DO I HAVE THE COURAGE TO ADVOCATE FOR POLICIES THAT ARE DETRIMENTAL TO CHILDREN?>>ADVOCATE FOR CHANGES IN POLICIES THAT YOU FEEL ARE DETRIMENTAL TO STUDENTS OR DISTRICTS.>>WELL, IF THE QUESTIONER COULD GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT THAT MIGHT LOOK LIKE, I’D BE INTERESTED?>>THE RETENTION SECTION OF THE THIRD-GRADE READING BILL.>>WELL, THERE’S A LOT OF FLEXIBILITY IN THAT BILL, AND I THINK THERE’S A LOT OF ROOM FOR MANEUVERING WITHIN THAT LAW. SO I THINK THAT THERE’S A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF OPPORTUNITY FOR A STATE SUPERINTENDENT, A STATE BOARD, WITH RESPECT TO THAT STATE LAW. I’M GOING TO BE CLEAR, I DON’T THINK RETENTION IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN. THAT SAID, I DON’T THINK NOT READING AT OR CLOSE TO GRADE LEVEL BY THE END OF THIRD GRADE IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN EITHER, AND WE NEED TO UP OUR GAME. AND EDUCATORS WHO SIMPLY WANT TO FALL BACK ON THIS IS A BAD LAW ARE NOT GOING TO BE OVERLY COMPELLING. SO I THINK OUR ANSWER HAS TO BE BETTER THAN THIS IS A BAD LAW. I THINK WE NEED TO UP OUR GAME IN ORDER TO GET A LAW THAT IS MORE RESPONSIVE TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. TO THE QUESTION OF COURAGE, I’LL DEFER TO SOMEONE ELSE ABOUT WHETHER I HAVE COURAGE.>>ONE LAST QUESTION AND TOM, I’M GOING TO ASK YOU TO READ YOUR SECOND QUESTION BECAUSE I’M NOT ENTIRELY SURE.>>DO YOU BELIEVE THE EMPLOYABILITY OF SPECIAL-NEEDS STUDENTS IN POST-SECONDARY IS GREATLY IMPROVED WITH HIGHER LEVELS OF READING COMPREHENSION AND LISTENING COMPREHENSION AND DO YOU SUPPORT THE CONTINUATION OF DIRECT EXPLICIT READING INSTRUCTION FOR STUDENTS 18 TO 26?>>I THINK IT’S– I THINK KIDS OUGHT TO SELF ACTUALIZE. AND BY THE TIME THEY’RE 18, THEY’RE NO LONGER KIDS. THEY’RE YOUNG ADULTS. I THINK WE OUGHT TO BE CONSTANTLY WORKING TOWARD THE SELF-ACTUALIZATION OF OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES. AND IF THEY CAN BENEFIT FROM DIRECT INSTRUCTION, IN CERTAIN CASES, GREAT. AND IN OTHER CASES, IF THEY CAN’T, THEN THAT’S FINE TOO. BUT THEY OUGHT TO CONSTANTLY BE WORKING TOWARDS SELF-ACTUALIZATION IN TERMS OF THEIR READING, IN TERMS OF THEIR EMPLOYABILITY, IN TERMS OF THEIR SELF-SUFFICIENCY, IN A WHOLE WIDE RANGE OF AREAS. THAT MAY HAVE APPLICABILITY TO DIRECT INSTRUCTION FOR SOME, MAY NOT FOR OTHERS.>>THAT CONCLUDES OUR QUESTIONS FOR TODAY. DO YOU HAVE ANY FINAL COMMENTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE?>>JUST THAT I AM DELIGHTED THAT THIS IS OVER.>>WE SHARE IN YOUR DELIGHT.>>TRULY DELIGHTED THAT IT IS OVER AND I WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK IN YOUR DECISION. THANK YOU SO MUCH.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH. AND WE’RE GOING TO TAKE ABOUT A 10-MINUTE BREAK.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *