One recommendation from Governor Snyder’s 21st Century Education Commission is to either eliminated Michigan’s State Board of Education or allow the Governor to appoint the members to the board.

According to an article in The Detroit News the elimination of the State Board of Education or the recommendation that the Governor have the ability to appoint the board members is one of nine recommendations that the 21st Century Education Commission will be recommending to the Governor this week.

The recommendations concerning the State Board of Education will not be easy to achieve.  It would require voter approval of a constitutional amendment.  The Commission believes it is needed because as it stands today the Board is not accountable to the Governor, which they say then makes it harder for a Governor, any Governor, to create and implement a cohesive plan to tackle the issues facing education in Michigan today.

Doug Rothwell, CEO of Business Leaders, a corporate group that advocates for improving K-12 schools and investing more in higher education for Michigan, was quoted in the article stating:

The governor’s intent with this commission was to get as much as possible done before he leaves office and then provide a blueprint for the future

The report from the 21st Century Education Commission states:

At the state level, the governor, Legislature, Michigan Department of Education and Michigan State Board of Education all, to varying degrees, direct state policy.  Michigan must ask voters to decide how best to align state educational policy with accountability through the governor by placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot to allow the governor to either appoint the members of the SBE or directly appoint the state superintendent and then abolish the SBE altogether.

As stated in the Detroit News article the other eight reform priorities outlined in the report include:

  • Elevating the education profession by boosting teacher preparation programs and increasing certification requirements
  • Offering educators more support in adopting education priorities, in the form of state resources and tools
  • Creating a more effective funding system, with an emphasis on high-need students
  • More access to post-secondary education
  • A greater state investment in early education
  • Enhanced accountability through a stronger assessment system and the collection of relevant data
  • More parental partnership, by encouraging parental involvement and connecting human services to schools
  • Access to quality learning environments, which means insuring all students go to school that’s safe and equipped with proper technology; charter schools should also be eligible for facility aid from the state

The Commission’s report does have its’ critics.  State Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Saginaw Township, the chair of the House Education Reform Committee, does not believe these recommendations will greatly improve the education environment in Michigan.  In fact he believes the 21st Century Education Commission should have focused on solutions such as more school choice options, creating the competition which will create better educational outcomes.  Although he does agree to eliminating the State Board of Education which he previously has called for.  In the article he is quoted stating:

I don’t know how a Republican governor stands by something like this.  This is just giving the reins to the status quo.

I can agree with State Representative Kelly that without a major change in how we educate our students in Michigan, we will not see much of a change in the outcomes.  As I have stated many times on my radio program, by just tinkering around the edges of the major issues facing Americans today we cannot expect much of a change.

Do you agree?

What do you believe should be done in Michigan to create better educational outcomes for our children?

Remember we should always put the children first before the adults and the state.

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