This Week & Next (Nov 23, 2016)

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Betsy DeVos Nominated as Education Secretary
President-Elect Donald Trump announced this afternoon he will nominate Betsy DeVos, GLEP board member, to become the U.S. Secretary of Education. Those of us who work closely with Ms. DeVos are enthusiastically supportive of her taking on this important role with the new Administration.  Ms. DeVos, also the founder and Chair of the The American Federation for Children, has devoted 28 years of passionate advocacy to help improve educational outcomes for all children.

The nation’s news media and social media have been abuzz all day, and if the teachers’ unions and left-wing activist groups are this worried about her appointment, we are convinced Betsy is the best person for the job. Here’s a sample of today’s media on the DeVos announcement:

Legislature should tackle teacher retirement reform
Here in Michigan — and in Detroit especially — we’re far too familiar with what happens when we leave retirees’ future in the hands of politicians. Underfunding. Benefit cuts. Bankruptcy. In the aftermath? Michigan taxpayers always get stuck paying for the politicians’ mess. Well don’t look now, but the same warning signs the politicians ignored for years in the Motor City are on full display in the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System. The state legislature has a month and a half before the end of session, and the most important thing they can do with the time they’ve got left is to pass comprehensive pension reform for our teachers and public school retirees to avoid a Detroit-style crisis, and put new teachers’ retirement funds back where they belong, in teachers’ own hands. Click here to read more of Terri Reid’s guest editorial in The Detroit News.

MDE Announces Public Meetings on ESSA
MDE has announced a series of Feedback Forums designed to gather input from educators, advocates, parents, students, and the public regarding specific proposed components of ESSA, the nation’s new federal education law. The feedback gathered will inform Michigan’s final ESSA plan in which MDE is proposing changes to the state’s student assessment regimen as well as an overhaul of the state’s school accountability system. MDE will be submitting the state’s final plan to the U.S. Department of Education in early March 2017.

The November 29 kick-off event will be live streamed through MI Streamnet. On-site participants will also have the option to participate in small focus groups with presenters to provide more in-depth feedback on specific components of the plan. Scheduled events are as follows, and you can register online for any of these seven forums:

  • Nov 29, 2016: 9 am – 3 pm at Wayne RESA
  • Dec 01, 2016: 9 am – 12 pm, Saginaw ISD
  • Dec 01, 2016: 6 pm – 8 pm, Eastern UP ISD
  • Dec 02, 2016; 1 – 3 pm, Clare/Gladwin RESD
  • Dec 15, 2016: 9am – 12 pm, Ingham ISD
  • Dec 16, 2016: 9am – 11 am, Kent ISD
  • Dec 19, 2016: 1:30 – 3:30 pm, Jackson ISD

Education Reform News Clips

Next Week (no legislative session)

Monday, November 28

Tuesday, November 29

Wednesday, November 30

  • ESSA External Stakeholders Meeting | Lansing, MI
  • National Education Reform Summit | Washington, DC

Thursday, December 1

  • National Education Reform Summit | Washington, DC

Friday, December 2

  • National Education Reform Summit | Washington, DC
Do you support what GLEP is doing to improve education in Michigan? Please consider making a donation to help us continue our efforts, and all contributions are very much appreciated!!

Gary G. Naeyaert
Executive Director