State of Michigan Board of Education Open Forum


Uploaded by GRCCtv on 31.05.2011

Transcript:
(inaudible)
>> --EVENING, EVERYONE.
I'M STEVE ENDER, PRESIDENT OF GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
AND IT IS OUR PLEASURE TO BE ABLE TO HOST THE EVENT TODAY.
I HAVE SOME BOARD MEMBERS IN THE ROOM THAT HAVE JOINED ME,
AND IF THEY COULD JUST BRIEFLY STAND WHEN I RECOGNIZE THEM.
ELLEN JAMES, I KNOW IS HERE.
TERRI HANDLIN, RICK VERBURG, PLEASE.
ON BEHALF OF OUR BOARD AND THESE THREE BOARD MEMBERS,
LET US WELCOME YOU TO OUR DEVOS CAMPUS OF GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
WHEN PRESIDENT AUSTIN CALLED AND ASKED IF WE WOULD HOST THIS EVENT,
I, QUITE FRANKLY, JUMPED AT THE OPPORTUNITY,
BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE IS ALL ABOUT.
IT'S ABOUT BRINGING PEOPLE FROM THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER TO TALK ABOUT,
TO DEBATE, TO REASON, TO FIGURE OUT A BETTER WAY FOR ALL OF US.
AND I THINK, IN EDUCATION, WE'RE AT THAT POINT.
TREMENDOUS PRESSURES FACING EDUCATION ON ALL LEVELS,
WHETHER THEY BE BUDGET PRESSURES OR MORE PRESSURES FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
OR JUST THE PRESSURE TO GET PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE LEARNING PROCESS,
BECAUSE THAT'S SO CRITICAL FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS STATE AND COUNTRY.
SO, FOR US TO BE HERE AND TO HAVE THIS EVENT HERE IS REALLY IMPORTANT,
AND I APPRECIATE EVERYONE ATTENDING.
I THINK WE START TODAY WITH PRESIDENT JOHN AUSTIN,
WHO IS PRESIDENT OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION,
WHO, IN EFFECT, WILL BE OUR HOST.
JOHN.
(applause)
>> THANK YOU, STEVE.
WE'LL TAKE APPLAUSE AT ANY TIME WE CAN GET IT, BUT IT'S UNNECESSARY.
WE'RE HERE BECAUSE WE WORK FOR YOU.
AND I AM JOHN AUSTIN, PRESIDENT OF THE MICHIGAN STATE BOARD.
I AM GOING TO BE JOINED SOON, I TRUST, BY KATHY STRAUS,
FORMER PRESIDENT AND BOARD MEMBER, AND MARIANNE McGUIRE-- ARE ON THEIR WAY.
I THINK SEVERAL THUNDERSTORMS YOU HIT TODAY, COMING FROM THE DETROIT AREA.
SO, WE WILL HAVE THREE OF OUR EIGHT MEMBER BOARD,
AND WE VERY MUCH APPRECIATE THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE COME
AND THOSE OF OTHERS WHO ARE GOING TO BE JOINING US,
I'M SURE, OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT FEW HOURS.
AND I REALLY WANT TO THANK STEVE ENDER
AND THE GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE TEAM...
INCLUDING KATHRYN MULLINS.
KATHY, ARE YOU HERE?
WHO JUST MADE IT SO EASY WHEN WE SAID, "IS THERE A NEUTRAL GROUND IN EDUCATION,
"WHERE WE CAN CONVENE AND COME AS A STATE BOARD
"TO LISTEN TO CONCERNS, ISSUES, CHALLENGES?"
BUT ALSO, I THINK WHAT WE'RE GOING TO HEAR,
ALSO TODAY, ARE SOME OF THE WAYS EDUCATORS ARE SOLVING PROBLEMS
IN SPITE OF AND IN THE FACE OF TREMENDOUS BUDGET CHALLENGES,
TREMENDOUS PRESSURES, ON EDUCATION.
IT'S-- THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT EVERYBODY CARES ABOUT HELPING APPROVE EDUCATION.
THAT'S ALSO THE BAD NEWS, IS EVERYBODY IS IN THE BUSINESS
OF HELPING YOU IMPROVE EDUCATION...
FROM THE STATE BOARD, THE GOVERNOR, THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, SO...
LET'S TAKE THAT "GLASS HALF FULL" APPROACH,
THAT WE ALL KNOW THIS IS SO IMPORTANT TO OUR ECONOMY--
TO HELP MORE PEOPLE, ADULTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE,
GET THE KIND OF EDUCATION
THAT HELPS THEM BE CREATIVE, HELPS THEM BE ENTREPRENEURS,
HELPS THEM FIND A PLACE AND CREATE THEIR OWN LIVING IN TODAY'S ECONOMY.
AND THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION IS THANKFUL
THAT WE HAVE A CHANCE TO COME AND LISTEN.
WE WANT TO LEARN ABOUT...
WHAT YOU, IN THE TRENCHES,
ARE SEEING, EXPERIENCING-- UH, FLAG ISSUES--
BECAUSE WE, AS A STATE BOARD,
ARE COMPLICIT IN MAKING BIG DECISIONS ABOUT EDUCATION.
I'M GONNA REVIEW, VERY BRIEFLY, OUR ROLE IN JUST A COUPLE MINUTES,
TO SORT OF SHARE THE WORLD FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW.
WE WANT TO DO OUR JOB WELL.
WE WANT TO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS AS WE ADD TO THE EXPECTATIONS
OF WHAT OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE.
SO, WE'RE MAINLY HERE TO LISTEN, LEARN, AND UNDERSTAND BETTER YOUR PERSPECTIVE,
YOUR CHALLENGES, AND YOUR INNOVATIONS.
WE ALSO ARE VERY HAPPY
TO HAVE MANY OF YOUR EDUCATION LEADERS,
FROM ALL LEVELS, HERE-- (jump cut) CHALLENGES AND YOUR INNOVATIONS.
WE ALSO ARE VERY HAPPY
TO HAVE MANY OF YOUR EDUCATION LEADERS,
FROM ALL LEVELS, HERE TODAY WHO CAN SHARE PERSPECTIVE
AND SHARE RECOMMENDATIONS AND SHARE INNOVATIONS.
HOUSEKEEPING, REAL QUICK-- WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO FIRST IS,
AFTER A BRIEF OVERVIEW ON THE STATE BOARD-- AND THAT'S FINE--
MY COLLEAGUES WILL BE HERE BY THAT TIME, AND THEY KNOW WHAT OUR JOB IS--
I AM GOING TO INVITE SIX OR EIGHT EDUCATION STAKEHOLDER LEADERS
TO GIVE VERY BRIEF PRESENTATIONS ON THEIR ISSUE OF THE MOMENT,
THEIR OVERVIEW FOR WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO WORRY ABOUT AND DO IN EDUCATION.
THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS TO US AND, IN MANY CASES,
THEIR INNOVATIVE PROGRAM OR INITIATIVE THAT, IN PART, THESE FORUMS--
AS WE MOVE AROUND THE STATE-- CAN SHINE A SPOTLIGHT ON--
OUR CHALLENGES AND OUR ISSUES, AND HELP US GET BETTER EDUCATED
AND LEARN WHAT'S GOING ON,
BUT ALSO, TO SHINE A SPOTLIGHT ON EFFECTIVE EFFORTS
THAT STAKEHOLDERS IN THE COMMUNITY ARE MOVING,
THAT CAN HELP US LIFT EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES FOR ALL OUR YOUNG PEOPLE.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK-- THEN, WE'LL HAVE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
FOR HOWEVER MANY AND WHOEVER WANTS TO TALK.
AGAIN, WE ASK THAT YOU LIMIT IT TO THREE TO FIVE MINUTES.
IF YOU'D LIKE TO SUBMIT WRITTEN COMMENTS, PLEASE DO SO.
IF YOU'D LIKE TO SPEAK, FILL OUT A FORM--
WE'VE GOT THEM ON THE TABLE AND IN THE BACK,
AND WE'LL GRAB THOSE AFTER OUR INVITED PRESENTERS,
AND GO THROUGH THEM IN THE ORDER THAT WE GOT THEM,
AND MAKE SURE EVERYBODY HAS A CHANCE TO SPEAK
AND GIVE VOICE TO WHAT'S ON THEIR MIND
ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT TOPIC OF OUR EDUCATION AND OUR CHILDREN.
THE STATE BOARD ROLE...
WE'RE-- WHETHER YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE DOING OR NOT,
YOU ELECTED EIGHT OF US
TO BE THE GOVERNING BODY FOR EDUCATION POLICY.
THE CONSTITUTION INVESTS US
WITH LEADERSHIP AND SUPERVISION OVER ALL EDUCATION,
INCLUDING HIGHER EDUCATION, THOUGH WE HAVE TRUSTEES
AND UNIVERSITY BOARDS AND REGENTS WHO HAVE THAT DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY AS WELL.
BUT WE'RE TRYING TO THINK BROADLY ABOUT WHAT THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
WE NEED IN MICHIGAN-- PRE-K, PRE-NATAL, THROUGH HIGHER ED--
AS WE LOOK AT OUR WORK.
WE ARE REQUIRED, AS WE HAVE BEEN DOING, TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS
TO THE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR
ON WHAT THE EDUCATION SYSTEM NEEDS TO LOOK LIKE
AND WHAT THE FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS ARE.
WE APPOINT AND HIRE THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION,
WHO IS THE DAY-TO-DAY HEAD OF THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.
OUR RECENT ACTIONS OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS--
I THINK WE HAVE BEEN IN THE CENTER OF THE MOVE
TO INCREASE STANDARDS
AND HIGH EXPECTATIONS IN ALL CONTENT LEVELS, FIRST K-8,
AND THEN, WE ADDED THE HIGH SCHOOL CONTENT EXPECTATIONS,
THE MICHIGAN MERIT CURRICULUM.
WE HAVE ALSO ENDORSED REVISING THOSE--
HOPEFULLY, FOR THE LAST TIME IN A LONG TIME,
SO THAT THEY ARE CENTERED ON THE NATIONAL CONVERGENCE
AROUND WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS OF LEARNING IN KEY DISCIPLINES
THAT EVERY YOUNG PERSON NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO STEP INTO THIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
OR UNIVERSITY OR WORK, WITHOUT NEEDING REMEDIAL WORK.
AND SO, THOSE COLLEGE AND CAREER-READY STANDARDS, WE HAVE EMBRACED.
WE'VE BEEN MAKING SOME HEADWAY AND WE WANNA DO MORE IN PREPARING
AND SUPPORTING BETTER OUR TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS
TO BE ABLE TO DELIVER ON THOSE HIGH-CONTENT LEARNING STANDARDS.
WE ARE REVISING, AGAIN, AS WE SPEAK, BUT WE WANNA GET TO THE FINISH
OF HAVING A GOOD STATE ACCREDITATION SYSTEM THAT SAYS,
"HERE'S HOW SCHOOLS ARE PERFORMING,"
AND WHICH SCHOOLS ARE NOT PERFORMING OVERTIME ON MOST CYLINDERS,
SO THAT WE CAN PUT A SPOTLIGHT ON THOSE SCHOOLS
THAT ARE MOST IN NEED OF OUR TURNAROUND SUPPORT AND HELP.
WE HAVE EMBRACED UNIVERSAL EDUCATION FOR ALL YOUNG PEOPLE,
WHATEVER THEIR SPECIAL NEEDS AND ABILITIES,
AND THAT'S A KEY PRINCIPLE AND CORNERSTONE OF OUR SYSTEM.
WE HAVE BEEN VERY STRONG OVER THE YEARS IN SAYING EACH DISTRICT
SHOULD HAVE AN ANTI-BULLYING POLICY.
WE HAVE A STATE MODEL POLICY-- IT'S NOT REQUIRED.
AS I MENTIONED, WE CERTAINLY FEEL WE WOULD BENEFIT AS A STATE
FROM A STRONG STATE BULLYING LEGISLATION...
TO PUT SOME STRENGTH AND TEETH INTO THAT TOPIC.
AND WE HAVE, AMONG OTHER POLICIES, SOME OF THE BEST WITH EDUCATORS' HELP
AND COMMUNITIES' HELP, SCHOOL HEALTH, NUTRITION,
AND OTHER POLICIES THAT WE MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT.
THIS YEAR, AS WE HAVE EVERY YEAR,
WE HAVE MADE RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHAT THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
NEEDS TO LOOK LIKE, AND HOW WE NEED TO KEEP IMPROVING AND REFORMING IT.
AND WE MADE RECOMMENDATIONS, AND THERE'S A COPY ON THE BACK TABLE,
IN FEBRUARY, TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE,
KNOWING WE HAD A NEW GOVERNOR WHO SIGNALED HE WANTED
TO PUT AN EDUCATION REFORM GAME PLAN OUT EARLY IN HIS ADMINISTRATION.
AND WE, AS A BIPARTISAN STATE BOARD, MADE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT INCLUDED--
WE WANT TO SUPPORT AND REWARD STUDENT GROWTH AND PERFORMANCE.
WE WANT TO ENHANCE SIGNIFICANTLY EARLY CHILDHOOD, AND BETTER ORGANIZE IT.
WE WANT TO ADOPT A SIMPLE ACCREDITATION SYSTEM
THAT FOCUSES ON UNDERACHIEVING SCHOOLS.
WE WANT TO VERY MUCH INCREASE EARLY COLLEGE CREDIT-TAKING
FOR ALL STUDENTS-- EXPERIENCE IN THESE INSTITUTIONS
LIKE COMMUNITY COLLEGES, IS GOOD, PARTICULARLY IF YOU'RE AT RISK...
TO GET A TASTE AND EXPOSURE AND EXPERIENCE IN THOSE NEXT STEPS,
SO YOU KNOW YOU CAN DO IT.
WE ARE EAGER TO ENHANCE VIRTUAL LEARNING AND BLENDED LEARNING MODELS,
AND WE VERY MUCH NEED A COMPREHENSIVE EFFORT IN THIS STATE
TO BETTER PREPARE, BETTER SUPPORT-- WHEN THEY'RE NEW TEACHERS--
BETTER REWARD, AND BETTER EVALUATE AND HELP FIND SATISFYING CAREERS
IN TEACHING THOSE FOLKS, THE TEACHERS, WITH QUALIFIED ADMINISTRATORS,
WHO ARE THE KEY TO DELIVERING THE HIGH EXPECTATIONS.
SO, WE REALLY FEEL WE NEED TO HAVE A TEACHER QUALITY OFFENSIVE
AND THE ELEMENTS OF OUR RECOMMENDATIONS ARE IN THE DOCUMENT AT THE BACK.
WE, AGAIN, CALLED FOR COMPREHENSIVE ANTI-BULLYING LEGISLATION.
ON THE FINANCING OF EDUCATION,
WE ALSO SAID WE NEED TO MAKE SHARED SACRIFICE...
FIND WAYS TO MAKE CHANGES IN LEGACY SYSTEMS,
HEALTHCARE PENSIONS, AND SHARED SERVICES...
BUT, IN OUR VIEW, SO THAT WE CAN DO MORE TO INVEST IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
FOR ALL STUDENTS, SO THAT CAN KEEP K-12 FUNDED ADEQUATELY
TO PROVIDE SERVICES IN THE CLASSROOM AND KEEP GREAT TEACHERS TEACHING.
WE NEED TO PROVIDE MORE FUNDING FOR HIGHER EDUCATION,
SO MORE OF OUR ADULTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE
CAN GET A HIGH QUALITY POST-SECONDARY DEGREE
OR CREDENTIAL, WHICH IS ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESS.
AND WE DEFINITELY WANT TO PROVIDE MORE OPERATIONAL SUPPORT FOR HIGHER EDUCATION.
SO, THOSE WERE OUR FINANCIAL RECOMMENDATIONS.
AGAIN, OUR RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE LEGISLATURE
AND THE GOVERNOR WERE MADE IN FEBRUARY.
THERE'S ANOTHER-- YOU'VE SEEN THE GOVERNOR'S EDUCATION MESSAGE.
AND PART OF WHY WE'RE HERE IS SO WE CAN BE INFORMED BY YOU
ABOUT WHAT'S IMPORTANT AS WE MAKE THESE RECOMMENDATIONS
AND WE MAKE POLICY DECISIONS, WE CAN REFLECT TOGETHER ON--
THE GOVERNOR HAS MADE HIS EDUCATION REFORM MESSAGE--
A COPY OF IT IS IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM--
THERE IS MUCH WHERE HIS MESSAGE AND RECOMMENDATIONS MIRROR
WHAT WE ASKED HIM TO RECOMMEND.
THERE ARE AREAS WHERE THEY DON'T.
BUT THERE'S MUCH THAT WE CAN AGREE ON AND FIND COMMON GROUND...
AND DO OUR JOB OF INFORMING THE AGENDA FOR THE LEGISLATION AND THE GOVERNOR.
BUT WE'RE HERE MOSTLY TO UNDERSTAND, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE,
WHAT TO MAKE OF THIS WHOLE FAMILY OF EDUCATION POLICY
THAT WE'RE TRYING TO ADVANCE.
I DID SEE, OUT OF THE CORNER OF MY EYE, MY TWO COLLEAGUES,
KATHY STRAUS AND MARIANNE McGUIRE,
WHO ARE FINDING THEIR WAY IN TO THE HEAD OF THE TABLE.
SO, FOR THE REST OF THIS MORNING-- ER, AFTERNOON--
I'M GOING TO INVITE UP, IN TURN, FOR BRIEF PRESENTATIONS,
SOME OF YOUR EDUCATION LEADERS AND OTHERS
WHO HAVE SOMETHING SPECIAL THEY WANNA SHARE.
BUT, AGAIN, WE WILL GO BACK AND COLLECT THE FORMS
AND, WHEN WE COME TO PUBLIC COMMENT, WE WELCOME YOUR PARTICIPATION
AND PUBLIC COMMENT AS WELL.
SO, WITH THAT... (inaudible)
...AS THE HOST SCHOOL DISTRICT, BERNARD TAYLOR,
THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME TO SHARE A FEW MINUTES ON YOUR WORK
AND YOUR CHALLENGES IN GRAND RAPIDS.
AND PLEASE, WHEN YOU COME TO SPEAK, IF YOU'RE COMFORTABLE SITTING,
IF YOU'RE COMFORTABLE USING THIS-- WHICHEVER WAY YOU'RE COMFORTABLE,
THERE'S A COUPLE OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE PRESENTATIONS.
BEFORE BERNARD IS-- IS KIMBERLY KILBY HERE?
WITH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND CIVIL RIGHTS?
THERE'S A WOMAN WHO CONTACTED US, KIMBERLY KILBY,
WHO'S IN TOWN WITH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND CIVIL RIGHTS,
WHO HAD A SURVEY, OR SOME FORM, FOR PARENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS.
SHE ASKED IF WE COULD MAKE IT AVAILABLE HERE.
SO, I'LL WAIT TILL SHE SHOWS AND WE'LL MAKE IT AVAILABLE.
BUT, SUPERINTENDENT TAYLOR-- THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
(applause)
>> GOOD AFTERNOON.
I KNOW THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE BEHIND US.
I FEEL LIKE THIS IS, LIKE, A PERSONAL CONVERSATION.
FIRST OF ALL, WELCOME TO GRAND RAPIDS
AND WELCOME TO THE GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
AGAIN, I'M SUPERINTENDENT.
I'VE BEEN HERE SINCE 2006,
ALTHOUGH IT SEEMS LIKE IT WAS JUST YESTERDAY WHEN I STARTED.
AND IN GRAND RAPIDS, WE HAVE READILY EMBRACED THE CHALLENGES
THAT ARE IN FRONT OF US,
BOTH FINANCIALLY AND IN TERMS OF GROWING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT.
AND OVER THE-- CERTAINLY OVER THE TIME OF MY SUPERINTENDENCY,
I THINK THAT WE'VE SEEN RESULTS THAT COME FROM A NARROW-FOCUSED ATTENTION
ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND ON FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY.
WE DO HAVE A BALANCED BUDGET.
WE AIM TO GET ONE PASSED BY JUNE 30th,
AND WE DO BELIEVE THAT IT WILL REFLECT THE LEVEL SHARED SACRIFICE
THAT IS BEING CALLED FOR AT THE STATE LEVEL.
WHILE WE ARE DOING THAT, WE ARE DOING IT IN A MANNER THAT DOES NOT,
TO THE DEGREE PRACTICABLE,
IMPACT OUR ABILITY TO PROVIDE A QUALITY SERVICE FOR OUR STUDENTS.
AND WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO DO THAT BECAUSE WE ENJOY AN INORDINATE LEVEL
OF SUPPORT FROM THE BUSINESS, HIGHER EDUCATION,
AND PHILANTHROPIC COMMUNITY.
AND IT'S BECAUSE OF THOSE KEY STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS THAT OUR DISTRICT
IS ABLE TO WEATHER THIS FINANCIAL STORM,
NOT IN A WAY WHERE WE DON'T HAVE TO WATCH OUR RESOURCES,
AND PLAN ACCORDINGLY,
BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT OUR BUDGET CHALLENGES ARE NOT FOR '11-'12,
BUT '11-'12 AND '12-'13.
SO, WE KNOW THAT EVEN WITH ANY NEW REVENUES THAT MAY COME OUR WAY,
WHETHER THEY COME WITH REQUIREMENTS OR NOT, THAT WE MUST BE PRUDENT,
NOT JUST OVER THE COURSE OF NEXT YEAR, BUT THE FOLLOWING YEAR.
WITH THAT SAID, WE ARE PUSHING THE ENVELOPE ABOUT REFORM.
OUR SCHOOL BOARD, LAST WEEK,
PASSED AN INITIATIVE THAT WILL ALLOW US
TO TAKE RESPONSES TO CREATING A DISTRICT-SPONSORED CHARTER.
NOW, ONE PROVISION OF THAT DISTRICT-SPONSORED CHARTER
IS THAT IT IS TIED TO LEGISLATIVE REFORM AROUND TEACHER TENURE
AND THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEE RELATIONS ACT.
AND WE BELIEVE THAT IF THOSE LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES COME TO FRUITION,
IT WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR A TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM
TO WORK TO CREATE CHOICES FOR PARENTS,
TO GIVE A BROADER ARRAY OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS,
BUT TO DO SO IN A WAY THAT ACCRUES BENEFIT
TO EVERY STUDENT IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT,
AS OPPOSED TO CREATING EDUCATIONAL FRANCHISES,
WHERE THE BENEFITS ACCRUE TO STUDENTS IN THAT INDIVIDUAL EDUCATIONAL FRANCHISE.
WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE GROWING A SYSTEM,
AND NOT NECESSARILY CREATING FRANCHISES.
THE OTHER ISSUE THAT WE'RE GOING TO ATTACK IS,
ONE, HOW WE DEAL WITH STUDENTS WHO QUOTE-UNQUOTE,
"FIND THEMSELVES IN THE NEED OF ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION SERVICES."
ONE OF THE DISINCENTIVES FOR A SCHOOL DISTRICT LIKE MINE
IS THAT WE SERVE A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF STUDENTS
WHO ARE GOING TO NEED MORE THAN FOUR YEARS
TO GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL,
BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE PENALIZED IF, IN FACT, A STUDENT
NEEDS MORE THAN FOUR YEARS.
BUT WHAT WE FIND IS THAT IF WE DON'T DEAL WITH THAT ISSUE,
WHAT WE DO IS SEND STUDENTS ONTO COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
WHERE THEY MUST SPEND A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF THEIR RESOURCES
ON REMEDIAL COURSES.
WELL, TO ME, IT MAKES NO SENSE TO ASK A STUDENT
WHO WE CAN EDUCATE UNTIL THE AGE OF 20 TO ESSENTIALLY PAY TO BE REMEDIATED
WHEN THAT STUDENT COULD STAY WITHIN A TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM,
RECEIVE THE REMEDIAL SERVICES THAT THEY NEED--
WE CAN ALSO WORK TO CREATE DUAL-ENROLLMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR THOSE STUDENTS,
SO THAT THE RESOURCES THAT THEY HAVE FOR POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION
ACCRUE A BENEFIT TO THEM.
NOW, THIS IS GOING TO REQUIRE DISPENSATION FROM THE STATE BOARD
IN TERMS OF HOW WE LOOK AT WHO IS A DROPOUT
AND THE TIME IT TAKES FOR THOSE STUDENTS TO RECEIVE THE SERVICES THAT THEY NEED.
>> SUPERINTENDENT TAYLOR, THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.
YOU MAY WANNA REPLAY THAT BIT, JUST, UM, IN A MOMENT, NOW THAT I'VE BEEN JOINED.
MARIANNE McGUIRE, MY COLLEAGUE ON THE STATE BOARD,
AND KATHY STRAUS, AS PROMISED.
AND THANK YOU FOR LETTING THEM SLIP IN LATE.
AND WE JUST STARTED, KATHY AND MARIANNE,
WITH SOME OF THE FOLKS GIVING SOME INVITED PRESENTATIONS.
BERNARD TAYLOR, SUPERINTENDENT OF GRAND RAPIDS SCHOOLS--
YOU PROBABLY KNOW, SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
>> IT'S NICE TO SEE YOU BOTH, AND WELCOME TO GRAND RAPIDS
AND WELCOME TO THE GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
AGAIN, AS I WAS EXPLAINING TO PRESIDENT AUSTIN,
OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT IS NOT AFRAID TO EMBRACE THE CHALLENGES OF REFORM.
I KNOW THERE MAY BE SOME WHO ARE PROBABLY TIRED--
OR "REFORM FATIGUE" MIGHT BE SETTING IN.
BUT THE ONE THING ABOUT REFORM
IS THAT UNTIL EVERY STUDENT IS REACHING THEIR POTENTIAL,
THEN WE'RE ALWAYS GOING TO BE IN A REFORM MODE.
AND SO, I DON'T KNOW THAT REFORM FATIGUE WILL EVER BE CURED
BECAUSE, AGAIN, WE HAVE TO DO THE BEST WE CAN FOR ALL STUDENTS
WITH THE RESOURCES WE HAVE.
OUR DISTRICT IS NOT AFRAID OF SHARED SACRIFICE,
BECAUSE WE'VE BEEN ENGAGED IN IT OVER A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF TIME.
WE'RE CUT OVER $70 MILLION FROM OUR OPERATING BUDGET OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS,
AND WE CONTINUE TO DO SO, BUT WE CONTINUE TO INNOVATE,
WE CONTINUE TO BUILD PARTNERSHIPS, WE CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR INNOVATIVE WAYS
TO SERVE OUR STUDENTS EFFECTIVELY.
ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT WE'RE GOING TO ATTACK AGGRESSIVELY
IS HOW WE DEAL WITH, AGAIN, THE STUDENT WHO NEEDS MORE TIME THAN FOUR YEARS
TO BE CAREER- OR COLLEGE-READY.
NOW, I SUPPORT THE GOVERNOR'S CALL FOR EDUCATION
ANY TIME, ANY PLACE, ANYWHERE, ANY RATE.
BECAUSE, QUITE FRANKLY, SOME OF THE PRIORITIES THAT YOU HAVE EMBRACED
ARE THINGS THAT, IN GRAND RAPIDS, WE HAVE NOT BEEN TROUBLED ABOUT.
I'M GLAD TO SEE, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT YOU WANT TO ENHANCE BLENDED LEARNING
AND VIRTUAL LEARNING BECAUSE, WHEN WE INITIATED THAT PROCESS LAST YEAR,
YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE GATES OF HELL WERE GOING TO CAVE IN
BECAUSE WE DARE SAID THAT THERE'S A DIFFERENT WAY
TO OFFER INSTRUCTIONAL SERVICES TO STUDENTS...
AND I THINK IMITATION IS THE GREATEST FORM OF FLATTERY.
SO, I THINK THAT-- BECAUSE YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR PRESENTATIONS
THAT BUILD UPON OUR EXPERIENCE HERE IN GRAND RAPIDS,
IT MAKES ME VERY, VERY PROUD THAT WE WERE NOT AFRAID TO STEP OUT FRONT
AND SAY, "THIS IS THE WAY THAT WE NEED TO BE LOOKING AT EDUCATING OUR STUDENTS."
BUT WITH THE STUDENT WHO NEEDS MORE TIME, WE MUST FIGURE OUT A WAY
TO SERVE THEM IN A WAY THAT ALLOWS THEM TO BE REMEDIATED,
TO DO IT IN A WAY WHERE THEY DON'T "PELL OUT."
ONE OF THE FORWARD-THINKING LEADERS IN EDUCATION HERE IS DR. ENDER,
WHO IS THE PRESIDENT OF GRCC.
AND WHEN WE HAD THE CONVERSATION,
HE DID SAY, "LET'S FIGURE THIS OUT TOGETHER,
"SO THAT A BENEFIT ACCRUES TO THE STUDENT."
HIS APPROACH COULD HAVE BEEN VERY PAROCHIAL
BECAUSE, FROM A REVENUE STANDPOINT,
THOSE STUDENTS ARE BRINGING RESOURCES.
BUT HE DIDN'T SAY THAT.
WHAT HE SAID IS, "LET'S FIGURE OUT WHAT WE CAN DO
"TO BETTER CONDITIONS FOR STUDENTS."
BUT WHAT THAT WILL REQUIRE
IS A REEXAMINATION OF HOW WE CALCULATE THE DROPOUT RATE.
SO, IF A STUDENT NEEDS MORE THAN FOUR YEARS,
THAT STUDENT SHOULD BE AFFORDED THAT OPPORTUNITY,
JUST AS IF A STUDENT NEEDS LESS THAN FOUR YEARS
TO COMPLETE HIGH SCHOOL,
THEN THAT STUDENT SHOULD BE AFFORDED THAT OPPORTUNITY AS WELL.
BUT IN TERMS OF SHARING OF SERVICES, SHARING OF RESOURCES,
IF WE CAN FIGURE OUT A WAY TO ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM,
SO THAT STUDENTS DON'T "PELL OUT,"
MEANING THAT THEY LOSE THEIR PELL GRANT ELIGIBILITY
BEFORE THEY FINISH THEIR POST-SECONDARY EXPERIENCE.
I THINK THAT FROM ANY LEVEL--
UH, FROM A FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY STANDPOINT,
FROM AN EDUCATIONAL PLANNING STANDPOINT,
AND FROM A STUDENT-FOCUSED STANDPOINT,
WE WILL BE DOING THIS COMMUNITY AND ITS STUDENTS A MAJOR SERVICE.
THAT'S DISPENSATION THAT WE'RE GOING TO NEED
FROM THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.
WE'VE INITIATED THIS CONVERSATION WITH SUPERINTENDENT FLANAGAN.
HE WAS VERY RECEPTIVE TO THE IDEA,
AND WE'RE GONNA GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION TO HIM.
BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT THIS IS THE TYPE OF WORK
THAT THE STATE BOARD, THE GOVERNOR, OUR LEGISLATORS,
ARE ASKING SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND HIGHER EDUCATION PARTNERS TO ENGAGE IN,
AND I THINK HERE IN GRAND RAPIDS, WE HAVE SHOWN THAT WE CAN LEAD THE WAY
AND PROVIDE QUALITY EXAMPLES OF REFORM
THAT IS BASED ON THE BEST RESULT ACCRUING TO STUDENTS,
AND WE STAND READY TO CONTINUE THAT IN THE FUTURE.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SUPERINTENDENT TAYLOR.
THANK YOU FOR YOU AND YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT'S HARD WORK
ON THIS IMPORTANT TOPICS.
WE'RE GONNA ASK OUR HOST I.S.D., KEVIN KONARSKA,
TO COME AND SHARE SOME OVERVIEW
OF EDUCATION ISSUES, CHALLENGES, AS HE VIEWS THEM.
AND THEN, KEVIN'S GONNA BE FOLLOWED BY BILL SMITH,
WHO'S GOT A PRESENTATION ON INTERESTING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ENGAGEMENT PROCESS
UNDERWAY HERE.
SO, WE'LL HAVE TO GET YOUR PRESENTATION TEED UP AS KEVIN IS SHARING.
THANK YOU, KEVIN.
>> I, TOO, WOULD ALSO LIKE TO WELCOME YOU TO KENT COUNTY IN GRAND RAPIDS.
WE'RE VERY, VERY PROUD TO SHARE WITH YOU SOME OF THE INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS
AND WORK THAT WE HAVE GOING ON WITHIN KENT I.S.D.
AND WELCOME AND APPRECIATE YOU TAKING THE OPPORTUNITY
TO LISTEN TO THOSE HERE THIS AFTERNOON.
WELL, I'M PLEASED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THE INNOVATIONS WITH YOU.
I THINK I WOULD BE REMISS
IF I DIDN'T TALK TO YOU JUST A BIT ABOUT THE CONCERNS
THROUGHOUT OUR COUNTY, IN REGARDS TO SCHOOL FUNDING.
CERTAINLY WE APPRECIATE THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE LEGISLATURE
JUST THIS WEEK TO RESTORE,
YOU KNOW, THROUGH SOME ONE TIME FIXES,
SOME OF THE DOLLARS BACK INTO OUR EDUCATIONAL FUNDING SYSTEM.
BUT THERE'S A GREAT DEAL OF CONCERN WITH ALL OF OUR LOCAL DISTRICTS
THAT THIS IS TRULY STILL A PERMANENT CUT,
AND IT WOULD REBASE THE FOUNDATION GRANT BACK TO LEVELS
THAT WE WOULD OPERATE UNDER BACK IN 2005.
AND AS EXCITED AS WE ARE TO CONTINUE MOVING FORWARD WITH REFORMS,
THERE'S CERTAINLY THE CONCERN THAT THE ADDITIONAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT,
THE ADDITIONAL MATERIALS IN TECHNOLOGY THAT'S NEEDED TO MOVE FORWARD,
WE'RE GOING TO BE VERY LIMITED IN TRYING TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THOSE,
WITH THE BUDGET CONSTRAINTS THAT WE'LL BE UNDER.
AND IF THESE ADDITIONAL DOLLARS
THAT ARE BEING INFUSED INTO THE SYSTEM
ON A ONE TIME BASIS
WERE TO GO AWAY NEXT YEAR, WE'RE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN
WITH THE SAME STRUCTURAL PROBLEM...
AND WE WANT TO GET AWAY, YOU KNOW, FROM CONTINUING TO LOOK
AT HOW WE'RE GOING TO FUND OUR PROGRAMS AND MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER
TO INCREASE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND CONTINUE TO WORK TOWARDS
WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR STUDENTS.
SO, I THINK, AGAIN,
I'D BE REMISS IF I DIDN'T BRING THOSE CONCERNS
FROM OUR SUPERINTENDENTS FORWARD.
JUST LAST SPRING, WE ENGAGED--
OR LAST FALL, WE ENGAGED IN A STUDENT SURVEY
WHERE WE SURVEYED OVER 17,000 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.
AND WE MOVED FORWARD WITH THIS IN A MANNER TO INFUSE STUDENT VOICE
INTO SOME OF THE CHANGES THAT WE'RE RECOMMENDING
THROUGHOUT OUR SCHOOLS IN THE COUNTY.
AND THE RESULTS OF THAT WORK WILL BE SHARED
IN JUST A MINUTE BY DR. BILL SMITH,
WHO IS THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE KENT CITY SCHOOLS,
AND HE ALSO CHAIRS THE SECONDARY REDESIGN COMMITTEE
FOR OUR COUNTY-WIDE SUPERINTENDENTS ASSOCIATION.
AND WE DO SO BECAUSE, EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE THE CHALLENGES AND REDUCTIONS,
YOU KNOW, WE CONTINUE TO FIND WAYS TO INNOVATE AND WORK TOGETHER
ON BEHALF OF IMPROVING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, FOR OUR STUDENTS.
A FEW OTHER THINGS THAT WE DEFINITELY DO AGREE
WITH THE GOVERNOR IN THE REFORMS--
AND CERTAINLY, THERE ARE THINGS THAT WE LIKE ABOUT HIS PROPOSAL--
IS, UM...
YOU KNOW, THE NEED TO MOVE AWAY, YOU KNOW, FROM SEAT TIME
THAT THE AGRARIAN CALENDAR-- AND FIND NEW WAYS
TO MOVE STUDENTS MORE QUICKLY THROUGH THE SYSTEM,
AND ADVANCE THROUGH THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY--
ONLINE LEARNING, DIFFERENT RESOURCES-- TO MOVE STUDENTS THROUGH THE SYSTEM
IN A MANNER THAT MEETS THEIR INDIVIDUAL OR PERSONAL NEEDS.
WE CERTAINLY SUPPORT THAT.
THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES RIGHT NOW THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO TAKE MORE--
TAKE GREATER ADVANTAGE OF, IN REGARDS TO MOVING OUR STUDENTS
INTO EARLY COLLEGE OPPORTUNITIES
AND EARNING COLLEGE CREDIT AT A QUICKER PACE,
A FASTER PACE, THAN WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO SO UNDER THE OLD SYSTEM.
JUST AN...
AN EXAMPLE WOULD BE, YOU KNOW, QUITE OFTEN,
OUR STUDENTS RECEIVE COURSES BACK IN THEIR BASE HIGH SCHOOLS
OR IN OUR CAREER TECH CENTERS,
WHERE THEY ARE COLLEGE CURRICULUM-LEVEL CLASSES.
AND THEY MAY, THROUGH ARTICULATED AGREEMENTS,
MAYBE THROUGH SOME DIRECT CREDIT AGREEMENTS,
SITUATIONS WHERE THEY CAN EARN COLLEGE CREDIT.
BUT QUITE OFTEN, THOSE CREDITS ARE NOT TRANSFERRED
TO ALL UNIVERSITIES IN THE STATE.
AND IF THE BOARD COULD HELP SUPPORT POLICY CHANGES
WHERE WE COULD MOVE FORWARD
AND THAT CREDIT WOULD BE ALLOWED TO MOVE FORWARD
FROM THOSE CLASSROOM EXPERIENCES TO HIGHER EDUCATION EXPERIENCES,
THEY WOULD CREATE A MUCH MORE SEAMLESS TRANSITION
FOR OUR STUDENTS TO COLLEGE.
ALSO, RIGHT NOW, OUR STUDENTS ENROLL IN DUAL-ENROLLMENT CLASSES.
AND IF, TRULY, WE ARE GOING TO MOVE TO A MODEL WHERE K-12 FUNDING
IS SHARED WITH OUR HIGHER EDUCATION PARTNERS,
THEN I WOULD HOPE THAT THE DOLLARS SPENT IN THAT WAY
WILL ALLOW STUDENTS TO TAKE DUAL-ENROLLMENT CLASSES
WHERE TUITION WOULDN'T HAVE TO BE PAID TO THE COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES
FOR STUDENTS TO GAIN THAT CREDIT.
AND THOSE ARE SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT IN THE FUTURE AS WELL.
I KNOW THAT IN OUR DISCUSSION THROUGH KENT I.S.D. WITH PRESIDENT AUSTIN,
YOU REALLY WANTED TO HEAR ABOUT SOME INNOVATION,
AND WE'RE REALLY, REALLY PLEASED TO HAVE DR. BILL SMITH
SHARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE'RE DOING WITH HIGH SCHOOL REFORM IN KENT COUNTY.
SO, I'D LIKE TO INTRODUCE HIM AT THIS TIME.
>> THANK YOU, KEVIN, AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR THOUGHTFUL RECOMMENDATIONS
OF THINGS WE CAN WORK ON TOGETHER.
AS BILL IS GETTING SET UP-- BEN, I DON'T KNOW--
HE MAY NEED A LITTLE HELP-- MAYBE NOT.
VERY-- IT'S TECHNICALLY SAVVY.
LET ME JUST REMIND PEOPLE, PUBLIC FOLKS WHO WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK,
PLEASE PICK UP A FORM AND DROP IT AT THE BACK.
WE'LL COLLECT THOSE SHORTLY AND EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO HAVE A FEW MINUTES
WILL HAVE A FEW MINUTES TO GIVE US YOUR TWO CENTS
AND YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS AND YOUR EXPERIENCE,
SO WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE THE CHANCE TO HEAR FROM SOME OF THE FOLKS
WHO ALREADY ASKED FOR THAT OPPORTUNITY.
>> COULD I JUST SAY-- >> ABSOLUTELY.
>> HI, I'M MARIANNE YARED McGUIRE,
AS JOHN SAID ORIGINALLY.
I'M THE TREASURER OF THE STATE BOARD...
AND DELIGHTED TO BE HERE TODAY.
I WANT TO THANK THE COLLEGE FOR...
HOSTING THIS EVENT,
AND I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU FOR ATTENDING
AND YOUR WILLINGNESS
TO PROVIDE YOUR OPINIONS AND COMMENTS
ON WHATEVER'S CONCERNING YOU.
>> OKAY.
I'M BILL SMITH.
I'M THE CHAIR OF THE SECONDARY REDESIGN COMMITTEE.
THE SECONDARY REDESIGN COMMITTEE IS A COMMITTEE
THAT HAS DEVELOPED THROUGH K.I.S.D.
IT INVOLVES INSTRUCTORS,
IT INVOLVES SUPERINTENDENTS, ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENTS.
WE HAVE A LOT OF CONSTITUENTS THAT HELP SERVE THE NEEDS OF, WHAT WE BELIEVE IS,
A VERY SIGNIFICANT ISSUE THAT WE NEED TO ADDRESS.
AND THAT IS SECONDARY REDESIGN, AND THERE'S A LOT OF RESEARCH OUT THERE
THAT SUPPORTS THE NEED TO IMPROVE OUR HIGH SCHOOLS
AND TO IMPROVE THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE.
THAT RESEARCH THAT'S OUT THERE OFTEN TIMES COMES FROM EXTERNAL SOURCES,
AS OPPOSED TO INTERNAL SOURCES.
I MIGHT HAVE TO... DO A LITTLE DIFFERENT CLICK.
I MAY HAVE TO WORK FROM OVER THERE.
YOU DON'T MIND, DO YOU?
(inaudible speaking)
(inaudible speaking)
>> ... STUDENT VOICE TO STIMULATE ENGAGEMENT AND DRIVE CHANGE.
WE FEEL THAT IF WE CAN DO THESE THREE THINGS,
THEN WE'LL BE SUCCESSFUL IN HELPING TO EDUCATE ALL STUDENTS.
AS WE GO THROUGH OUR SECONDARY REDESIGN COMMITTEE,
WE'VE DONE A LOT OF WORK, ESPECIALLY WHAT KEVIN SPOKE TO--
WE SURVEYED 17,000 PLUS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS,
AND THEY THOUGHT THAT WAS KINDA NEAT...
THAT HERE WE ARE, COMING TO THEM,
ASKING THEM WHAT DO THEY THINK ABOUT EDUCATION,
WHAT DO THEY THINK ABOUT THEIR ENVIRONMENT?
AND WE'VE EMPOWERED THEIR VOICE.
AS WE'VE GONE THROUGH THIS,
WE PLAN TO CONTINUE THIS TYPE OF ENGAGEMENT WORK,
AND WE WANT TO ENGAGE NOT ONLY SURVEYS OF STUDENTS
BUT STAFF AND PARENTS AS WELL.
WE FOUND THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT WE'RE DOING WELL
AND THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT WE NEED TO IMPROVE ON.
AND SO, WE'LL COVER BOTH OF THOSE.
WE SHARED THIS INFORMATION WITH OUR TEACHERS,
OUR PRINCIPALS, OUR PARENTS,
COMMUNITIES THROUGH SCHOOL BOARDS, MOST IMPORTANTLY, WITH OUR STUDENTS
WHO PROVIDED US FEEDBACK AND AN EXPLANATION
THAT ALLOWED US EVEN FURTHER RESEARCH.
SO, NOT ONLY DID WE TAKE THE INFORMATION THAT THEY PROVIDED US,
THEN WE BROKE THEM UP INTO FOCUS GROUPS AND WENT BACK
AND ASKED THEM TO SPECIFICALLY RESPOND TO WHAT THEY SAID TO US
AND WHAT DO THEY MEAN AND HOW CAN WE BETTER SERVE THEM.
SO, IN THIS PROCESS, THE RESULT-- MANY OF YOU HAVE PROBABLY HEARD
OF BILL GATE'S THREE "R"s-- RIGOR, RELEVANCE, AND RELATIONSHIPS.
THE RESULT OF WHAT THEY TOLD US WAS THAT THAT WAS KINDA ODD,
THAT WE NEEDED TO DO A LITTLE WORK THERE WITH THAT.
OUR STUDENTS INDICATED THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WAS RELATIONSHIPS,
FOLLOWED, THEN, BY RELEVANCE.
AND WITH THOSE TWO KEY ASPECTS,
THEN THEY COULD HAVE INCREASED RIGOR AND BE SUCCESSFUL.
BUT CRITICALLY, IT WAS RELATIONSHIPS FIRST.
"WE WANT TO KNOW THAT PEOPLE CARE ABOUT US.
"WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT WE'RE LEARNING IS RELEVANT."
THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THE MERIT CURRICULUM.
THERE PROBLEM IS, "IS IT RELEVANT?"
IS IT RELEVANT TO THE WORLD THAT THEY'RE GONNA FACE?
SO, AS WE GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS AND THE RELATIONSHIP-RICH ENVIRONMENT,
WHERE CONTENT IS RELEVANT, STUDENTS CAN ACHIEVE SUCCESS IN RIGOROUS CURRICULUM.
THEY BELIEVE IT, WE BELIEVE IT.
THIS SHOULD BE EASY.
WELL, IT HASN'T BEEN TOO EASY.
SO, WE'RE WORKING ON IT.
NOW, WITHOUT RELATIONSHIPS, THERE CAN BE NO RELEVANCE.
IF AN INSTRUCTOR HAS NOT BUILT A RELATIONSHIP
OR A SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS NOT BUILT A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR CHILDREN,
IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO MAKE THAT LEARNING RELEVANT,
THAT CONTENT RELEVANT.
SO, RELATIONSHIPS ARE KEY.
WITHOUT RELEVANCE, THERE CAN BE NO RIGOR.
IF YOU ASK STUDENTS WHAT IT IS THAT THEY'RE LEARNING,
THE FIRST THING THEY WANT TO KNOW IS, "WHY AM I LEARNING IT?
"AND THEN, I'LL TELL YOU WHAT IT IS.
"AND IF I DON'T SEE A RATIONALE AS TO WHY I HAVE TO LEARN IT,"
THEY'RE NOT GONNA TAKE THE TIME TO DO SO.
SO, STUDENTS WANT TO LEARN ABOUT-- THROUGH A GUIDED EXPERIENCE,
FACILITATED BY SOMEONE WHO CARES ABOUT THEM,
ON A JOURNEY THAT IS RELEVANT TO THEIR LIFE, NOW AND IN THE FUTURE.
AND THEY ARE WILLING TO FACE CHALLENGING CONTENT.
WHAT KIDS TOLD US WAS THEY UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS THE NOW,
AND THEY'RE DOING WELL IN THAT AND THEY'LL DO BETTER IF IT'S RELEVANT.
BUT THEY ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT THE NOW PLAYS INTO THE FUTURE,
AND THEY'RE OKAY WITH THAT, TOO.
THEY'RE OKAY TO ENGAGE INTO A FUTURE PERSPECTIVE,
BUT IT HAS TO BE FROM SOMEONE THAT HAS BUILT A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM,
SO THAT THAT CAN BE RELEVANT.
NOW, AS WE GO THROUGH OUR PROCESS,
THE KEY TO KEEPING STUDENTS ENGAGED IN SCHOOL
IS RELATIONSHIPS AND RELEVANCE.
SO, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ADDRESSING DROPOUTS AND THINGS LIKE THAT,
THE KEY CRITICAL ASPECT IS TO ADDRESS THE KEY CONCEPTS THAT PROVIDE ENGAGEMENT,
WHICH ARE RELATIONSHIPS AND RELEVANCE.
IF THEY DON'T FORM POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH ADULTS IN THE SYSTEM,
IF THEY DON'T CONNECT WITH THEIR TEACHERS, THEY'RE NOT GONNA BE ENGAGED.
AND IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT STRATEGY YOU USE, THAT'S BEST PRACTICE.
SO, IT KINDA BOILS DOWN TO SOME SIMPLE CONCEPTS.
AND IF THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW THEY WILL USE THE CONTENT THEY ARE LEARNING,
HOW IT APPLIES TO THE REAL WORLD AND TO THEIR FUTURE,
THEY BECOME FURTHER DISENGAGED.
SO, ONCE YOU'VE LOST THEM, YOU'VE LOST THEM FURTHER
IF YOU CAN'T CONNECT IT TO WHAT A CAREER WOULD BE
OR HOW THEY'LL USE THAT INFORMATION.
SO, AS WE GO THROUGH OUR PROCESS, WITHOUT RELATIONSHIPS AND RELEVANCE,
THE RIGOR IS MEANINGLESS BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO DESIRE TO PURSUE THE CONTENT.
WE'RE DISCONNECTED.
WE'RE JUST SHARING THE SAME SPACE.
SO, THE GOOD NEWS-- AND THERE IS GOOD NEWS TO THIS STORY--
THE VAST MAJORITY OF OUR STUDENTS-- 73 PERCENT--
ARE SATISFIED WITH THEIR HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE.
SEVENTY-THREE PERCENT SAY, "HEY, THIS IS A GREAT PLACE TO BE
"AND I LOVE WHERE I'M AT AND I LOVE WHAT I'M DOING."
ABOUT THE SAME PERCENT HAVE A POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP
WITH AT LEAST ONE CARING ADULT IN THE SCHOOL,
TO SUPPORT THEIR EDUCATION AND PROVIDE GUIDANCE.
OUR TEACHERS ARE DOING A GREAT JOB.
THEY'RE BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH KIDS.
OUR KIDS FEEL CONNECTED.
WHOOP... THERE WE GO.
FOR THE FIRST, MOST CRITICAL ISSUE--
THE RELATIONSHIP PIECE-- I THINK THAT WE CAN MOVE ON FROM THAT.
WE'RE DOING A GOOD JOB WITH THAT.
NOW, WHERE WE FALL SHORT.
THE KEY ASPECT OF WHERE WE FALL SHORT
IS 60 PERCENT OF THE 11th GRADERS IN OUR SURVEY,
THE STUDENTS WHO, THIS YEAR, ARE THE GRAD--
WHO ARE GRADUATING, IS THE FIRST SENIORS TO MASTER THE MICHIGAN MERIT CURRICULUM,
SAID THEY DID NOT FIND THEIR CORE CONTENT REQUIREMENTS RELEVANT TO THEIR FUTURE.
THAT IS A SIGNIFICANT STATEMENT.
THIS IS THE FIRST GROUP COMING THROUGH UNDER THE NEW MERIT CURRICULUM,
AND THEY DON'T FEEL ENGAGED BY THE CONTENT.
THEY DON'T FEEL LIKE IT'S RELEVANT.
WE'VE GOTTA FIX THAT.
THAT'S THE FOCUS OF WHAT WE'RE WORKING ON.
NOW, THEY DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MATERIAL
OR HOW THEY WOULD USE IT IN THE FUTURE,
WHETHER THEY INTENDED TO GO TO COLLEGE OR NOT.
WE-- IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, EVERY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT
IS A COLLEGE-PREP STUDENT NOW.
AND THAT'S A GOOD THING.
BUT IT HAS TO BE A RELEVANT COLLEGE-PREP CURRICULUM.
THEY HAVE TO SEE HOW THEY'RE GOING TO USE IT.
NOW, WE FALL SHORT ON RELEVANCE, AND THAT'S WHAT THE MIRROR IMAGE TELLS US.
WE GOTTA DO A BETTER JOB WITH THAT.
SO, AS WE GO THROUGH, WE ASK THEM, "HOW DO WE GET BETTER?"
THAT'S WHERE WE COME BACK TO THEM.
IN THE SPRING, WE FOLLOWED UP WITH FOCUS GROUPS
BASED ON CERTAIN DEFINABLE CHARACTERISTICS.
WE ASKED FEMALE STUDENTS, MALE STUDENTS,
HISPANIC STUDENTS, AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS--
WE WANTED THEIR PERSPECTIVE, FROM THEIR VISION,
WHAT THEY SEE SCHOOLS ARE LIKE
AND HOW CAN WE RESPOND IN A BETTER WAY TO THEIR NEEDS.
AND THEY TOLD US SOME GREAT THINGS.
THE TIME THE STUDENTS WERE EMPOWERED TO--
THIS TIME, THE STUDENTS WERE EMPOWERED TO DEFINE
WHAT THEY NEEDED TO MAKE LEARNING RELEVANT.
HERE'S THE POWER OF STUDENT VOICE--
PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN SECONDARY REFORM,
IS AN EMPOWERED STUDENT, OKAY?
THEY'RE GONNA MAKE THE THINGS DIFFERENT.
THEY'RE GONNA MAKE THINGS CHANGE.
WHEN THE DOOR SHUTS TO THE CLASSROOM,
AN EMPOWERED STUDENT
WILL MAKE A BETTER PLACE OF LEARNING FOR THEMSELVES.
AND THAT'S WHAT OUR JOB IS, TO EMPOWER THEM.
HERE'S WHAT THEY SAID...
THIS IS A LITTLE BIT OF A SKIP THERE.
WE'LL JUST MOVE ON FROM THAT.
BASICALLY, HERE'S WHAT THEY SAID,
"STUDENTS NEED RELATIONSHIPS TO BE MOTIVATED."
WE KNOW THAT.
THEY WANT DIGITAL LEARNING.
THEY WANT TO-- THEY DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO TUNE OUT THE TECHNOLOGY
THAT'S AVAILABLE TO THEM AT HOME...
OR AROUND THEM.
THEY WANT BLENDED LEARNING.
BERNARD TALKED ABOUT BLENDED LEARNING.
OUR KIDS WANT BLENDED LEARNING.
THEY DEMAND BLENDED LEARNING.
THEY DEMAND THAT TEACHERS AREN'T GUESSING ABOUT HOW THEIR PERFORMANCE IS,
AND THAT'S A GOOD THING.
THEY NEED AN EFFECTIVE TEACHER IN THE CLASSROOM TO BE MOTIVATED.
THEY HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF THEIR TEACHERS.
THEY DON'T JUST WANT TO BE PUT IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER SCREEN AND TOLD TO LEARN.
THAT'S THE KEY COMPONENT THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND.
KIDS DON'T WANT TO JUST BE PUT IN FRONT OF AN ONLINE LEARNING PROGRAM
AND SAY, "OKAY, GO AT IT."
THEY WANT A GUIDE.
THEY WANT A FACILITATOR.
THEY WANT THEIR LEARNING TO BE DEFINED BY WHO THEY ARE
AND WHAT THEY KNOW AND NOT KNOW.
THEY DON'T WANT TO BE TAUGHT THINGS THEY ALREADY KNOW.
THEY WANT A DIAGNOSTIC MEASURE TO HELP THEM.
AND THAT'S PRETTY SOPHISTICATED FOR OUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.
AND THEY NEED CONNECTIONS TO THE REAL WORLD--
TO BUSINESSES, TO CAREERS--
TO BE MOTIVATED TO LEARN RIGOROUS CONTENT.
AS WE GO THROUGH THIS, WHAT ARE WE DOING IN RESPONSE?
AND THIS IS WHERE IT REALLY GETS EXCITING FOR US.
THESE RESULTS ARE DRIVING CHANGE IN OUR SYSTEM.
INDIVIDUAL HIGH SCHOOLS ARE MAKING CHANGES BASED ON STUDENT RESPONSES.
IF YOU LOOK AT KENT COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS,
ALMOST EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE HIGH SCHOOLS,
EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE DOING AN EXCELLENT JOB,
ARE MAKING SIGNIFICANT CHANGES BASED ON THIS DATA.
THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE CENTER OF AN EXTREME, UH, UH--
I GUESS THE PINNACLE OF EDUCATION IS KENT COUNTY.
AND I'VE BEEN AROUND THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
AND I CAN JUST TELL YOU FROM MY OWN KIDS GOING TO SCHOOL,
THIS IS WHERE I WANT MY KIDS TO BE...
BECAUSE KENT COUNTY'S GOT GREAT SCHOOL DISTRICTS MAKING INNOVATIVE CHANGES.
ALL 20 OF OUR SUPERINTENDENTS CALLED UPON THE I.S.D.
TO CREATE AN INNOVATION INCUBATOR, AND THIS IS CRITICAL.
GETTING 20 SUPERINTENDENTS TO AGREE ON ONE MISSION IS A CHALLENGE,
AND KEVIN KONARSKA DID A WONDERFUL JOB GETTING US THERE.
AND SO, WE'RE FOCUSED ON A LABORATORY SCHOOL
TO EXPORT NEW METHODS OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
TO ALL BUILDINGS WITHIN OUR COUNTY.
BASICALLY, KENT INNOVATION HIGH SCHOOL OPENED IN SEPTEMBER
WITH A 9th GRADE CLASS OF 100 STUDENTS.
KENT INNOVATION HIGH SCHOOL WILL BE A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT,
WHERE STUDENTS WILL WORK IN TEAMS ON INTERDISCIPLINARY, REAL-LIFE PROJECTS
THAT MERGE SUBJECTS LIKE BIOLOGY, LITERATURE--
THE KEY CONCEPT HERE, IT'S ALL PROJECT-BASED.
IT MERGES TWO CORE CONTENT INSTRUCTORS
TO HELP BLEND THE RELEVANCE OF THE LEARNING.
IT'S NOT TAUGHT IN A SILO.
I DON'T KNOW ANYBODY THAT HAS A JOB
WHERE THE FIRST HOUR, YOU'RE WORKING ON YOUR MATH SKILLS,
THE SECOND HOUR, YOU HAVE TO WORK ON YOUR WRITING SKILLS--
IT'S ALL BLENDED TOGETHER.
AND THIS IS HOW WE'LL TEACH STUDENTS.
TEACHERS WILL BE MENTORS, COACHES, AND FACILITATORS.
THEY WILL WORK ON BRINGING REAL-WORLD, PROBLEM-BASED RELEVANT LEARNING EXPERIENCE
INTO THE CLASSROOM, AND THEN, REDEFINING WHERE THE CLASSROOM IS.
THE CLASSROOM JUST ISN'T WHERE THAT DOOR SHUTS.
IT'S ALL OVER WHERE LEARNING CAN OCCUR.
SO, WHAT'S NEXT FOR US?
THE PLAN TO CONTINUE OUR STUDENT ENGAGEMENT WORK, AND HOPE--
AND WE HOPE TO INCLUDE REGULAR ENGAGEMENT SURVEYS
OF STAFF AND PARENTS, AS WELL.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE, AS WE START TO EVOLVE CHANGE,
AS WE START TO EVOLVE A MUCH MORE SPECIFIC LEARNING ENVIRONMENT,
WE NEED TO ENGAGE STAFF, WE NEED TO ENGAGE PARENTS,
SO THAT WE KEEP FOCUSING ON WHAT IS THE BEST PRACTICES FOR US.
WE PLAN TO CREATE A DASHBOARD OF ENGAGEMENT THAT LEVELS ALL--
EMPOWERS ALL STAKEHOLDERS IN THE REDESIGN PROCESS
FOR 21st CENTURY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS.
AND WE'RE TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM CLASSROOMS
AND MORE TOWARDS LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS...
UH, REDEFINING WHERE LEARNING OCCURS.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF THIS-- I KNOW THAT THIS WAS VERY QUICK--
YOU CAN CLICK ON OUR STUDENT VOICE WEBPAGE,
AND YOU'LL GET ACCESS TO ALL DIFFERENT KINDS OF INFORMATION,
THE RESEARCH BEHIND THE INNOVATION LAB,
HOW THE LAB SCHOOL AND THE INCUBATOR CONCEPT WORKS--
BASICALLY, THIS IS A SCHOOL THAT EXHIBITS BEST PRACTICE,
BUT IT'S NOT JUST DESIGNED FOR THE 100 KIDS,
OR THE 400 AS IT'S COMPLETED,
BUT IT'S ALSO DESIGNED FOR LOCAL DISTRICTS TO BRING THEIR STAFF
INTO THIS ENVIRONMENT,
OBSERVE BEST PRACTICES, DIALOGUE WITH THEIR STAFF
AND TALK ABOUT HOW THEY CAN MAKE THOSE BEST PRACTICES RELEVANT
TO THEIR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT... ALL THESE PIECES ARE AVAILABLE.
MY PRESENTATION IS ALSO ON A YOUTUBE PRESENTATION VIDEO.
AND IF YOU GO TO THAT, IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE ME,
BUT IT'S MY TALKING POINTS CONVERTED TO THAT.
I LIKE TO SHARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TECHNOLOGY,
SO THAT PEOPLE CAN SEE THAT.
I LEARNED THIS IN ABOUT 15 MINUTES.
SO, ENGAGE YOURSELF.
ALL RIGHT.
THANK YOU.
>> VERY EXCITING AND GOOD FOR YOU ALL TO PUSH THAT STUDENT VOICE FORWARD.
WE'RE GONNA TRY TO RESTRAIN OURSELVES,
GIVEN THERE'S SO MANY PEOPLE THAT WANT TO SHARE AND TALK.
NORMALLY, AT THE STATE BOARD, WE ALSO TRY TO RESTRAIN OURSELVES
AND NOT INJECT AND FOLLOW UP.
BUT WE DO WANT THE PRESENTATION, BUT I KNOW IT'S ONLINE,
BECAUSE WE DEFINITELY WANT TO LEARN MORE
ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING TO FOLLOW THE STUDENT'S VOICE,
AND AN EXAMPLE FOR MANY OTHERS.
PAUL DRUMMOND, CAN YOU COME UP NEXT?
PAUL'S THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WITH THE MICHIGAN MATH SCIENCE CENTER NETWORK.
AND AGAIN, IF YOU JUST CAME IN, FILL OUT A FORM IN THE BACK AND WE'LL COLLECT THEM.
WE'RE ASKING FOLKS TO SPEAK, AS EXCITING AS THEIR PRESENTATIONS ARE,
FOR THREE TO FIVE MINUTES, IF YOU CAN,
SO THAT WE CAN MAKE SURE TO GIVE EVERYONE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THIS AFTERNOON.
THANKS, PAUL. >> THANK YOU, PRESIDENT.
THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT, AND ALSO STATE BOARD MEMBERS,
KATHY STRAUS AND MARIANNE McGUIRE.
I APPRECIATE THIS OPPORTUNITY.
I REPRESENT THE MICHIGAN MATHEMATICS SCIENCE INTERNETWORK.
WE ARE A NETWORK OF 33 MATH SCIENCE CENTERS ACROSS THE STATE.
SOME OF US ARE ASSOCIATED WITH UNIVERSITIES,
SUCH AS GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY AND CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY,
BUT WE ARE ALSO PARTS OF INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICTS
AND RESOURCE EDUCATION SERVICE AGENCIES, AS WELL.
WE'RE CHARGED WITH PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT,
RESOURCE CLEARING HOUSE SERVICES,
LEADERSHIP, CURRICULUM, SUPPORT.
UH, THE--
SOME OF THE EXAMPLES OF STATE-WIDE PROJECTS THAT WE HAVE ENGAGED IN
IS THE "ALGEBRA FOR ALL" PROGRAM.
THIS WAS TAKEN ON AS A DIRECT REQUEST FROM THE GOVERNOR.
IT IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE FIRST EVER
STATE-WIDE BLENDED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
IT SERVICED OVER 800 TEACHERS
AND IMPACTED OVER 120,000 STUDENTS.
IT IS ALSO AN EXAMPLE OF A SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP
WITH THE MICHIGAN VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY.
AS A RESULT OF THAT WORK,
IT RECEIVED THE MICHIGAN EDUCATION EXCELLENCE AWARD IN 2011.
AND ALSO, AS A RESULT OF THAT WORK, THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
HAS ASKED THAT THE MICHIGAN MATHEMATIC SCIENCE INTERNETWORK
TAKE THE LEAD IN CREATING AND FACILITATING THE DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION
OF A STATE-WIDE PARTNERSHIP
REGARDING A STATE-WIDE VISION AND MISSION
FOR S.T.E.M. EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN.
THE CHARGE...
THIS CHARGE IS TO BRING BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY TOGETHER WITH EDUCATORS,
TO ADDRESS PROFICIENCY LEVELS OF MICHIGAN STUDENTS
AS INDICATED ON STATE AND NATIONAL ASSESSMENTS...
WE ARE GOING TO BE BRINGING TOGETHER, AGAIN, BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
TO ADDRESS WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY.
SOME OF THE PARTNERS INVOLVED IN THIS, AT THIS POINT,
ARE THE MICHIGAN VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY,
TARDEC WHICH REPRESENTS THE DEFENSE INDUSTRY,
FORD MOTOR COMPANY, THE MICHIGAN SCIENCE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION,
McCALL, THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION,
AUTOMATION ALLEY, AND SQUARE ONE EDUCATION NETWORK.
WE'VE ALSO JOINED A NATIONAL NETWORK
BY HIRING THE TEACHING INSTITUTE
FOR EXCELLENCE IN S.T.E.M., TO HELP US ALSO REALIZE OUR GOALS.
AGAIN, I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO PRESENT TO THE BOARD.
WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS NEXT INITIATIVE
AND WE HAVE THREE MEETINGS PLANNED, AT THIS POINT,
TO MAKE THIS BECOME A REALITY WITHIN THE STATE.
THANK YOU.
>> I'D LIKE TO ADD MY GREETING, TOO.
I'M KATHLEEN STRAUS.
I'VE BEEN ON THE BOARD A LONG TIME.
I KNOW A LOT OF YOU...
AND IT'S GREAT TO BE HERE AND TO HEAR WHAT YOU'RE DOING.
I WAS ESPECIALLY HAPPY TO HEAR ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIPS AND RELEVANCE,
'CAUSE THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR SEVERAL YEARS.
SAYING THOSE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT "R"s, BEFORE WE GET TO THE RIGOR.
AND SO, THERE, THE STUDENTS CONFIRMED IT.
SO, THAT'S GREAT.
I'M REALLY GLAD TO BE HERE
AND TO HEAR ALL-- (mic cuts out)
>> THANKS, KATHLEEN.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP OVER THE YEARS.
MATTHEW VANZETTEN, I KNOW, IS HERE.
MATTHEW'S WITH THE KENT COUNTY FAMILY CHILDREN'S COORDINATING COUNSIL.
AND THEN, AFTER MATTHEW, MARISSA HIGGS, FROM MUSKEGON OPPORTUNITY
AND THE MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK.
IS YOUR COLLEAGUE HERE, MARISSA, YET?
OH, WE'LL COME BACK FOR HER AND OTHERS WHO WE'VE GOT FORMS.
THANK YOU.
>> GOOD AFTERNOON,
PRESIDENT AUSTIN AND FELLOW STATE BOARD OF ED MEMBERS.
IT'S A PRIVILEGE TO SHARE A FEW THOUGHTS WITH YOU THIS AFTERNOON ABOUT EDUCATION
AND ITS INTERSECTION WITH OTHER GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES.
MY NAME'S MATTHEW VANZETTEN AND I'M THE COORDINATOR
OF THE FAMILY AND CHILDREN'S COORDINATING COUNSIL IN KENT COUNTY.
WE'RE THE MULTIPURPOSE COLLABORATIVE BODY, OR COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVE.
AND IN KENT COUNTY,
WE HAVE 19 MEMBERS THAT ARE APPOINTED BY OUR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS.
THEY REPRESENT AGENCIES, OBVIOUSLY, LIKE D.H.S. AND THE CIRCUIT COURT,
I.S.D., C.M.H., MICHIGAN WORKS!, THE PROSECUTORS,
BUT IT ALSO INCLUDES CONSUMERS, NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, AND PHILANTHROPY.
IT'S A TRUE ROUND TABLE OF IDEAS AND OPINIONS ON IMPROVING THE LIVES
OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.
FOR MANY YEARS, WE BELIEVE LARGE PUBLIC SYSTEMS,
SCHOOL DISTRICTS, PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS,
AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS HAVE WORKED VERY DILIGENTLY
TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN KENT COUNTY.
FOR THE MOST PART, THESE EFFORTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL
IN MAKING ISOLATED IMPACT.
THEY'VE BEEN IMPROVING ONE LIFE AT A TIME.
HOWEVER, WHEN WE LOOK AT COLLECTIVE INDICATORS
LIKE POVERTY RATES,
ABUSE AND NEGLECT RATES,
OVERREPRESENTATION OF MINORITY CHILDREN IN CHILD WELFARE,
STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES OF STUDENTS IN URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICTS,
WE SEE THE SITUATION FOR CHILDREN IS NOT IMPROVING.
EVEN THE INCREMENTAL IMPROVEMENTS THAT WE'RE MAKING ON A INDIVIDUAL LEVEL
ARE NOT ENOUGH TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES FACING FAMILIES
AS THEY STRUGGLE TO DEAL WITH THE NEW REALITY
IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY AND A KNOWLEDGE-BASED SOCIETY.
RECENTLY, THE ANNIE E. CASEY FOUNDATION
PUBLISHED A STUDY CALLED "DOUBLE JEOPARDY."
IN IT, THEY FOUND THE FOLLOWING--
ONE IN SIX CHILDREN NOT READING PROFICIENTLY
IN 3rd GRADE DOES NOT GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL ON TIME,
A RATE FOUR TIMES GREATER THAN THAT OF PROFICIENT READERS.
TWENTY-TWO PERCENT OF CHILDREN WHO HAVE LIVED IN POVERTY FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR
DO NOT GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL ON TIME,
COMPARED TO SIX PERCENT OF THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN POOR.
THIS JUMPS TO 32 PERCENT FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE IN POVERTY
FOR MORE THAN HALF OF THEIR LIFE.
AND RATES OF NON-GRADUATION WERE HIGHEST FOR POOR BLACK AND HISPANIC STUDENTS
AT 31 AND 33 PERCENT, RESPECTIVELY.
AND FOR ME, THIS IS THE KICKER RIGHT HERE...
EVEN AMONG POOR CHILDREN WHO READ PROFICIENTLY IN 3rd GRADE,
11 PERCENT DO NOT GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL.
THAT COMPARES TO NINE PERCENT OF SUB-PAR 3rd GRADE READERS
WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN POOR.
THIS IS STARTLING.
POVERTY CAN OVERCOME ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN CERTAIN INSTANCES.
WE KNOW THAT KENT COUNTY CHILDREN ARE, ON AVERAGE, READY FOR KINDERGARTEN,
AS EVIDENCED BY FIRST STEPS, OUR GREAT START COLLABORATIVE BASELINE REPORT.
BUT THAT STUDY ALSO CONCLUDES THAT THERE'S A SIGNIFICANT GAP IN WRITING
AS FOR CHILDREN OF COLOR.
IT'S PROJECTED THAT 22 PERCENT OF THIS YEAR'S KINDERGARTNERS,
1,500 CHILDREN ACROSS KENT COUNTY,
ARE AT RISK OF NEEDING SUPPLEMENTAL SERVICES BY 3rd GRADE.
WE ALSO KNOW THAT IN KENT COUNTY, POVERTY RATES FOR CHILDREN HAVE INCREASED
FROM 10.9 PERCENT IN 2000 TO 18.2 PERCENT IN 2008,
AND FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH RATES HAVE INCREASED
FROM 30.5 PERCENT TO 46.2 PERCENT.
AND RIGHT NOW, 40 PERCENT OF ALL BIRTHS IN KENT COUNTY
ARE FUNDED THROUGH MEDICAID.
WITH 1,500 CHILDREN ANNUALLY AT RISK FOR NOT MEETING 3rd GRADE PROFICIENCY
AND INCREASING POVERTY RATES, THE QUESTION NEEDS TO BE ASKED,
"WHERE DO WE, AS A COMMUNITY IN A STATE, GO FROM HERE?"
'CAUSE WE DON'T BELIEVE THIS IS JUST A ONE-SECTOR ISSUE.
IT'S OUR BELIEF THAT THERE'S NOT ONE SILVER BULLET
THAT WILL SOLVE THIS CHALLENGE.
RECENTLY, JOHN KANIA AND MARK KRAMER STATED
IN AN ARTICLE IN THE STANFORD SOCIAL REVIEW,
"NO SINGLE ORGANIZATION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MAJOR SOCIAL PROBLEM,
"NOR CAN ONE SINGLE AGENCY OR ORGANIZATION CURE IT."
WE HOPE THAT YOU, AS THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION,
COULD STRENGTHEN YOUR TIES WITH THE STATE D.H.S. OFFICE
AND THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY HEALTH,
AND LOOK TOWARDS CREATING A COMMON AGENDA AND VISION
FOR CHILDREN THAT CENTERS ON DATA AND NOT IDEOLOGY.
WE NEED A TARGETED AND STRATEGIC APPROACH
THAT BUILDS ON OUR PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INVESTMENTS.
IN KENT COUNTY, THIS MEANS WE ARE WORKING TO CONNECT FIRST STEPS, GREAT START,
OUR EARLY LEARNING-- EARLY CHILDHOOD EFFORT...
BELIEVE 2 BECOME, WHICH IS A COMMUNITY NEIGHBORHOOD INITIATIVE...
KENT SCHOOL SERVICES NETWORK, OUR COMMUNITY SCHOOL EFFORT...
OUR AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS...
OUR (indistinct), A SYSTEM OF CARE GRANT, THE COUNTY'S RESOURCES,
THAT OUR GENERAL FUND-- THAT ARE GEARED TOWARDS PREVENTION SERVICES,
AS WELL AS SCHOOLS OF HOPE, CENTERS OF INNOVATION BY G.R.P.S.,
AND THE KENT COUNTY COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK.
OUR GOAL IS TO CREATE A PIPELINE OF SERVICES,
DEMONSTRATED WITH METRICS,
TO SHOW HOW WE CAN ALLEVIATE THE EFFECTS OF POVERTY,
SUPPORT CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN MEANINGFUL WAYS,
CREATE A CULTURE OF LEARNING,
EMBRACE THE NOTION THAT EVERY CHILD IN KENT COUNTY
NEEDS TO MEET CERTAIN MILESTONES TO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO COMPETE
IN THIS GLOBAL ECONOMY.
WE BELIEVE THE STATE COULD BENEFIT FROM A SIMILAR APPROACH.
I'VE LEFT A COPY OF MY REMARKS HERE, AS WELL AS THE ARTICLES I REFERENCED.
THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE,
AND WE APPRECIATE YOU COMING TO KENT COUNTY AND TO WEST MICHIGAN.
>> MARISSA, COULD YOU COME UP, AND IF YOU NEED SOME HELP WITH YOUR VISUALS,
WE CAN GIVE IT-- UH--
PER WHAT MATTHEW SAID, PLEASE SHARE YOUR WRITTEN MATERIALS.
EMAIL US-- I'VE GOT CARDS.
AND WE DO WANNA SHARE--
PARTICULARLY HELPFUL ARE THE SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS,
WHICH WE'RE ALREADY HEARING.
"CAN YOU HELP US, STATE BOARD,
"WITH THIS DUAL ENROLLMENT FINANCING EFFORT,
"WHICH CAN HELP US REALIZE OUR GOALS?
"CAN YOU HELP US WITH THIS ALIGNMENT WITH D.H.S.?"
THOSE ARE THE KIND OF THINGS THAT ARE SO TANGIBLE AND IMPORTANT
AND WHY WE'RE HERE...
SO THAT WE'VE GOT THESE BROAD GOALS,
BUT HOW CAN WE SPECIFICALLY ADVANCE THEM, SO...
AFTER MARISSA... IS FIONA HART HERE-- HERT?
FIONA, GREAT.
BECAUSE I WANNA-- FIONA'S WITH THE GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
OUR HOST INSTITUTION, AND IS ONE OF THE LAST FOLKS
WHO WE INVITED TO PRESENT,
BUT HAS SOME VERY INTERESTING CURRICULAR ALIGNMENT WORK GOING ON
WITH THE HIGH SCHOOLS, AND APPRECIATE YOUR BEING HERE.
SO, MARISSA, THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
I'M EXCITED TO SHARE WITH YOU THE WORK THAT WE, AT MUSKEGON OPPORTUNITY,
ARE DOING AS A LOCAL COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK.
AS YOU MAY KNOW, THE LUMINA FOUNDATION...
HAS REALLY INFLUENCED THE WORK THAT THE MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK
HAS BEEN DOING HERE AROUND THE STATE AND, AS SUCH, HAS INFLUENCED THE WORK
OF THE LOCAL COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORKS.
MUSKEGON OPPORTUNITY IS ONE OF MANY.
AND SO, M.C.A.N.'S GOAL IS TO INCREASE THE PROPORTION OF MICHIGAN RESIDENTS
WITH HIGH-QUALITY DEGREES AND CREDENTIALS
FROM 35.6 PERCENT TO 60 PERCENT BY 2025.
AND HIGH-QUALITY DEGREES, I MUST MAKE SURE WE CLARIFY,
IS ANY DEGREE THAT RESULTS-- OR CREDENTIAL THAT RESULTS IN A LICENSE OR CERTIFICATE
AND, IN THE ABILITY TO PERFORM A FUNCTION, IT MAKES YOU HIGHLY QUALIF--
PERFORM A TASK AND MAKES YOU PROFICIENT IN THAT TASK AND THAT WORK.
SO, AS SUCH, LICENSURES, CERTIFICATES, ASSOCIATE'S, BACHELOR'S,
AND ADVANCED DEGREES FROM THERE.
SO, THIS MAY LOOK FAMILIAR TO SOME OF YOU--
LEVELS OF EDUCATION FOR MICHIGAN RESIDENTS,
AGES 25 TO 64, FROM THE 2000 CENSUS, UM...
YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A TOTAL--
AS I MENTIONED, THE 35.6 PERCENT GRADUATION-- ER, EXCUSE ME.
I'M SORRY.
I'M GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF...
35.6 PERCENT OF MICHIGAN RESIDENTS
IN THIS AGE BRACKET, 25 TO 64,
HAVE SOME FORM OF POST-SECONDARY DEGREE.
NOW, THAT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE A WHOLE LOT-- (chuckling)
AND I THINK WE HAVE SOME WORK TO DO THERE.
FOR MUSKEGON COUNTY, THAT NUMBER IS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT.
AS YOU CAN TAKE A LOOK HERE, FOR MUSKEGON COUNTY,
STARTING WITH THE ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE--
BECAUSE WE HAVE MANY-- 25 PERCENT, ROUGHLY, WITH SOME COLLEGE, NO DEGREE.
IT'S KIND OF AN AREA WHERE WE REALLY NEED TO FOCUS OUR EFFORTS.
BUT IN ADDITION TO THAT,
WE ARE REALLY WORKING WITH OUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS,
PRIMARILY THE 11th AND 12th GRADE STUDENTS,
TO GET THEM PREPARED FOR SOME FORM OF POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION...
ANY POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION THAT WORKS FOR THEM.
THAT IS PART OF THEIR GOAL, THEIR PASSIONS, THEIR DESIRES.
AND SO, WE'RE TRYING TO HELP MOVE THIS 25 PERCENT
OF THE "SOME COLLEGE, NO DEGREE"
INTO AN ASSOCIATE'S, BACHELOR'S, OR BEYOND,
AND WE'RE REALLY FOCUSING OUR EFFORTS RIGHT NOW ON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.
SO, FOR MUSKEGON OPPORTUNITY,
OUR GOAL IS TO GRADUATE MORE MUSKEGON COUNTY STUDENTS,
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, READY FOR POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION.
AND THROUGH INCREASED ACCESS TO POST-SECONDARY
AND INCREASED PERSISTENCE,
WE WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THAT 60 PERCENT GOAL BY 2025.
AND FOR YOUR REFERENCE, THESE ARE OUR METRICS,
OUR EVALUATION PLAN.
AND SO, WE'RE WORKING WITH A NUMBER OF PARTNERS
TO ACHIEVE THESE PARTICULAR GOALS--
A FIVE PERCENT INCREASE IN COUNTY GRADUATION RATES,
AND USING THE FOUR YEAR COHORT MODEL...
THOUGH, GIVEN THE NEW REQUIREMENTS,
THE MICHIGAN MERIT CURRICULUM REQUIREMENTS,
WE MAY SEE THAT CHANGING-- I'M NOT SURE-- TO A FIVE YEAR COHORT.
FIVE PERCENT ANNUAL INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF SENIORS
WHO'VE IDENTIFIED A CAREER PATHWAY.
THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH THE TOOLS ARE AVAILABLE
TO HELP STUDENTS IDENTIFY THAT,
WE'RE REALLY NOT CAPTURING DATA WELL ENOUGH TO SAY,
"WE KNOW WHAT IT IS YOU'RE SAYING YOU WANNA DO WHEN YOU GET OLDER,
"AND WE'RE GONNA HELP YOU GET THERE,
"BECAUSE IT'S DOCUMENTED,
"AND WE HAVE A PATH TO HELP YOU GET THERE."
SO, WHAT WE'RE DOING IS WORKING WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS
TO CAPTURE SOME INFORMATION FROM CAREER CRUISING,
WHERE THEY IDENTIFY THE PATHWAY OF THEIR CHOICE,
AND THEN, WHAT WE'RE DOING FROM THERE IS TAKING THAT INFORMATION
AND TAKING STUDENTS, AND HELPING THEM TRANSITION
INTO THE MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS PORTAL
AND HELPING THEM FIND SCHOOLS
THAT WILL MATCH UP WITH THEIR CAREER INTERESTS.
WE'RE ALSO INCREASING THE NUMBER OF OUR SERVICES,
MUSKEGON OPPORTUNITY SERVICES,
THAT WE PROVIDE TO OUR SCHOOLS.
WE PROVIDE, CURRENTLY-- OH, GOSH-- A NUMBER OF SERVICES.
I HAVE THEM ON THE BACK TABLE FOR YOU, IF YOU'D LIKE TO SEE THEM.
BUT WE'RE GONNA INCREASE THOSE, TOO, EVERY YEAR.
AND INCREASE THE PERCENTAGE OF COUNTY STUDENTS USING T.I.P.--
THE TUITION INCENTIVE PROGRAM-
SCHOLARSHIP MONEY, THE PELL MONEY, AND...
AND, IN THE FUTURE, PROMISE ZONE MONEY.
MUSKEGON COUNTY IS A PROMISE ZONE.
THE ONLY COUNTY-WIDE PROMISE ZONE IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
AND WE ARE ONE OF TEN PROMISE ZONES.
SO, IN THE FUTURE, WE'RE HOPING TO ALSO UTILIZE PROMISE ZONE MONEY
FOR OUR STUDENTS.
INCREASE THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS COMPLETING THE F.A.F.S.A.-- THIS IS REALLY CRITICAL.
WITHOUT F.A.F.S.A., THERE IS NO PELL AND, TO SOME EXTENT,
NO OTHER ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR OUR STUDENTS.
AND DECREASE THE PERCENTAGE OF LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS THAT ARE LEFT UNDISTRIBUTED.
WE'RE WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH OUR COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
TO TRACK THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO ARE ACCESSING THOSE LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS,
WHO ARE AWARDED THE LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS,
AND THE NUMBER OF SCHOLARSHIPS THAT GO UNDISTRIBUTED
BECAUSE STUDENTS DIDN'T MEET THE QUALIFICATIONS
OR THEY JUST WEREN'T ACCESSED OR, QUITE HONESTLY,
WE DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH STUDENTS EVEN IN THE POOL.
SO, THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE'RE DOING THERE.
AND MUSKEGON OPPORTUNITY
IS A COUNTY-WIDE, COMMUNITY-DRIVEN INITIATIVE.
SO, THE THINGS THAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT ON THE EVALUATION MATRIX
ARE NOT DONE ALONE.
SOMEBODY MENTIONED WE CAN'T "WORK IN SILOS."
WE'RE NOT WORKING IN SILOS IN MUSKEGON COUNTY.
THESE ARE JUST A HANDFUL OF OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS.
AND, YOU KNOW...
IT'S SO EXTENSIVE, I COULDN'T GET THEM ALL ON HERE, AND I DO APOLOGIZE FOR THAT.
BUT, YOU KNOW, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, LABOR, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IS NOT ON HERE,
BUT THEY'RE A BIG PARTNER OF OURS.
WE ALSO HAVE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING.
WE HAVE...
JUST SO MANY MORE THAT WE'RE WORKING WITH.
BUT THEY COME AROUND OUR TABLE EVERY OTHER MONTH
AND HELP INFORM THE INITIATIVES AND THE WORK THAT WE'RE DOING.
SOME OF OUR FUNDERS WHO ARE ALSO, UM...
PARTICIPATING IN, WELL, MONETARY WAYS...
BUT SOME OF THESE FUNDERS ALSO SIT AT OUR ADVISORY TABLE
AND HELP US WITH EXECUTING, BRAINSTORMING,
AND PULLING RESEARCH AND DATA,
SO THAT WE KNOW WHAT IT IS WE NEED TO DO
AND HOW WE NEED TO GO ABOUT GETTING THERE.
AS I MENTIONED, I HAVE SOME OF OUR INITIATIVES ON THE BACK TABLE
AND A HANDOUT FOR YOU,
BUT I JUST HAVE A COUPLE OF THEM HERE, FOR YOUR REFERENCE.
ONE OF PROBABLY THE MOST PROMISING AND INNOVATIVE WAYS
THAT WE REACH OUR 11th GRADE STUDENTS IN THE COUNTY
IS THROUGH THE MUSKEGON OPPORTUNITY KNOWHOW2GO ROADSHOW.
AND WE EMPLOY KNOWHOW2GO, WHICH IS A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN, AND...
WE USE, IN THAT SHOW-- IT'S-- WELL, LET ME BACK UP
AND SAY IT'S AN INTERACTIVE TALK SHOW,
IN WHICH WE TAKE THE STUDENTS ON A FINANCIAL JOURNEY
FROM DROPPING OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL-- YOUR AVERAGE EARNING POWER--
IF YOU DROP OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, AND THEN, WE COMPARE THAT TO THE JOBS
THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO THOSE STUDENTS,
IF THEY CHOOSE TO DROP OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL.
IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE TAKE THEM THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION,
LICENSE AND CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS,
ASSOCIATE'S DEGREES AND BACHELOR'S DEGREES.
AND SO, WE REALLY HELP THEM UNDERSTAND
THAT THE MORE YOU LEARN, THE MORE YOU EARN.
THERE'S A CAPACITY THERE OF INCREMENTAL GROWTH,
FINANCIALLY, FOR THEM.
AND IN ADDITION TO "THE MORE YOU LEARN, THE MORE YOU EARN,"
IS THIS NOTION THAT...
NOT EVERY STUDENT WANTS TO GO ON TO A FOUR YEAR DEGREE.
IT'S A VERY PERSONAL CHOICE, YOU KNOW, THAT THEY HAVE TO MAKE.
THEY HAVE TO IDENTIFY WHAT THEIR INTERESTS AND THEIR SKILLS AND THEIR TALENTS
AND THEIR HOBBIES ARE,
AND WE ENCOURAGE THEM TO LOOK AT ONE AND TWO YEAR--
ONE, TWO, AND FOUR YEAR DEGREES.
MILITARY IS EVEN AN OPTION IN OUR SHOW, AS WELL,
BECAUSE THERE ARE TRANSFERABLE SKILLS, VOCATIONALLY SPEAKING,
FROM THE MILITARY INTO THE WORKFORCE.
AND SO, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT THEY GET THAT MESSAGE.
WE ALSO HELP THEM UNDERSTAND WHICH INSTITUTIONS, LOCALLY,
THEY CAN REACH OUT TO FOR ONE, TWO, AND FOUR YEAR DEGREES,
AND THE TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID THAT THEY CAN USE--
OR EVEN UNDERSTANDING WHAT FINANCIAL AID IS--
SO THAT THEY KNOW HOW TO ACCESS POST-SECONDARY,
AND THAT FINANCES ARE NOT A PROBLEM.
THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE A BARRIER FOR OUR STUDENTS.
IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED, AS AN INNOVATIVE MEANS,
OF PUTTING USEFUL INFORMATION
INTO THE HANDS OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.
FOR THE SAKE OF TIME, I DIDN'T USE OUR PRE- AND POST-SHOW SURVEYS
THAT WE'VE DONE FOR THAT LAST YEAR AND A HALF,
BUT THE RESOUNDING RESPONSE FROM OUR STUDENTS
HAVE BEEN THAT THIS IS EXACTLY THE WAY
IN WHICH THEY WANT TO HAVE THIS INFORMATION COMMUNICATED.
THEY DON'T WANT TALKING HEADS.
THEY WANT INTERACTIVE.
WE USE MUSIC, WE USE THE P.S.A.s
THAT ARE AVAILABLE FROM KNOWHOW2GO,
AS ARE COMMERCIAL BREAKS, AND SO, WE KEEP IT VERY LIVELY AND ENGAGING.
AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE WONDERING WHAT M.C.G.C.P. IS,
THAT'S THE MICHIGAN COMPREHENSIVE GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING PROGRAM BENCHMARKS
AND STANDARDS.
AS A LICENSED COUNSELOR, I WANNA MAKE SURE THAT THE WORK WE'RE DOING
ALIGNS WITH THE BENCHMARKS AND STANDARDS
THAT ARE OUT THERE.
WE HAVE THE MUSKEGON OPPORTUNITY TUITION INCENTIVE PROGRAM PAMPHLET.
WE'VE WORKED WITH THE OFFICE OF SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS.
WE'VE KIND OF PARTNERED WITH MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
AND THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, FOR THIS TYPE OF INFORMATION,
SO THAT OUR STUDENTS HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE TOOL
TO USE WITH THEIR PARENTS.
THE SCHOOLS HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE TOOL TO USE WITH THE STUDENTS.
AND SO, ESSENTIALLY, CONVERSATION CAN HAPPEN AROUND,
"WHAT IS THE TUITION INCENTIVE PROGRAM?
"SHOULD I OR SHOULD I NOT APPLY?
"AND WHAT ARE THE QUALIFIERS?"
WE REALLY WANTED TO EMPOWER THE STUDENTS
TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION WITH THEIR PARENTS.
AND I WILL SAY THAT ONE OF THE SCHOOL COUNSELORS IN OUR COUNTY
WAS VERY EXCITED.
SHE STOPPED ME IN THE HALLWAY AND SAID, "THIS IS THE BEST PIECE OF INFORMATION
"YOU COULD HAVE HANDED ME, BECAUSE I HAVE MORE PARENTS COMING IN
"WITH THEIR NOTES ON THAT PAMPHLET,
"AND ASKING QUESTIONS THAN I WOULD HAVE HAD, YOU KNOW,
"JUST HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH THEM."
IN ADDITION TO THE PAMPHLET, WE'VE REALLY STREAMLINED A PROCESS--
THE TUITION INCENTIVE PROGRAM PROCESS AND THE SCREENING PROCESS--
AND BASICALLY, IT'S-- WE'RE WORKING WITH THE OFFICE OF SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
TO HELP SCREEN THE STUDENTS IN MUSKEGON COUNTY FOR ELIGIBILITY,
AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN PHENOMENAL.
WE HAVE SEEN INCREMENTAL GROWTH, UPWARDS OF 50 PERCENT, YEAR OVER YEAR,
IN THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO ARE ELIGIBLE
AND RECEIVE THE TUITION INCENTIVE PROGRAM MONEY.
LASTLY, WE HAVE A MENTORING PROGRAM AND WORKSHOPS
WHERE WE'VE PARTNERED WITH THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION--
THEIR OUTREACH UNIT-- THEY COME EVERY MONTH
AND CO-FACILITATE TIMELY TOPIC WORKSHOPS
FOR JUNIORS AND SENIORS, PARENTS, MENTORS.
AND SO, WE'RE DOING SOME GREAT WORK...
AND I KNOW YOU WANT ME TO WRAP UP, SO I WILL.
BUT AGAIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME.
>> THANKS, MARISSA.
IT'S GREAT TO SEE ANOTHER COMMUNITY
ORGANIZING AROUND HIGHER EDUCATION ATTAINMENT,
AND WITH YOUR PARTNERS, INCLUDING THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE OVER THERE.
I KNOW YOU HAD ME-- I WAS CONFUSED FOR A MINUTE
WHEN I SAW THAT "FIVE PERCENT OF SENIORS HAVE A CAREER PATH..."
FOR A MOMENT, I WAS THINKING ABOUT SENIOR CITIZENS, AND I WAS THINKING,
"THAT'S A LITTLE LATE FOR THAT. (audience laughing)
"MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE WE'RE CONFLATING--
"WE'RE TAXING THEIR PENSIONS TO PAY FOR SCHOOLS."
BUT THIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, LIKE EVERY COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
HAS SO MANY ROLES THEY PLAY IN INNOVATION
AND SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR EDUCATION.
AND SO, REALLY APPRECIATE FIONA HERT BEING HERE
WITH THE SCHOOL OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT TO SHARE A FEW MINUTES
ON SOME OF THE WORK THEY'RE DOING AS A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE K-12.
AND THEN, WE WILL CONTINUE TO GATHER A PERSPECTIVE FROM THE REST OF YOU ALL,
I KNOW, WHO ARE EAGER TO SPEAK.
SO, AGAIN, I APPRECIATE PEOPLE BEING AS BRIEF AS THEY CAN BE...
FIVE MINUTES, AND GIVING US THAT CHANCE.
FIONA, YOU'RE NOT READY TO GO?
OKAY, WELL, THANK YOU.
KATHY OR MARIANNE, ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT TO ADD
WHILE WE'RE WAITING FOR A MOMENT?
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
GOOD AFTERNOON.
I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A FEW MOMENTS WITH YOU
TO PRESENT SOME EXCITING WORK THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON
AT GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
CENTERED AT GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
AND ALSO HAS AFFECTED WORK AROUND THE STATE.
IN 2009, GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BEGAN ITS WORK ON WHAT'S CALLED "PROGRAMS OF STUDY."
YOU MAY HAVE HEARD THAT TERM USED IN OTHER FORMS,
BUT I WILL EXPLAIN IT IN JUST A MINUTE.
WE WERE ASKED TO LEAD THE STATE THROUGH A GRANT
FROM THE FORMER DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, LABOR, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH,
IN COOPERATION WITH MICHIGAN COMMUNITY COLLEGES,
AND WE BEGAN THE MICHIGAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE PROGRAMS OF STUDY INITIATIVE.
OUR GOAL FOR THIS WORK WAS TO SUPPORT
AND IMPROVE THE STUDENT SUCCESS INITIATIVES,
I.E. GRADUATION AND COMPLETION,
AT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES.
THIS COMPONENT WAS ALSO A REQUIREMENT OF OUR FEDERAL CARL D. PERKINS WORK.
WHAT YOU SEE IN FRONT OF YOU IS OUR WEBSITE
WHERE THIS INFORMATION IS LOCATED AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
THERE ALSO ARE HANDOUTS AT THE BACK,
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE IN THE AUDIENCE TODAY.
AND LET ME JUST BRIEFLY DESCRIBE WHAT A "PROGRAM OF STUDY" IS.
IN ESSENCE, IT IS A MAP.
THERE HAVE BEEN REFERENCES TO PROVIDING A CAREER PATHWAY,
BUT THIS IS A-- I WANNA SAY-- A VERY DEEP-DIVE MAP
INTO A STUDENT FROM BOTH HIGH SCHOOL TO COLLEGE.
IT IS DEFINED AS A SEQUENCE OF INSTRUCTION
BASED ON RECOMMENDED STANDARDS
AND KNOWLEDGE OF SKILLS, CONSISTING OF COURSE WORK,
CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, WORKSITE LEARNING, SERVICE LEARNING,
AND OTHER LEARNING EXPERIENCES.
THE CONCEPT IS A RICH AND DEEP EXPERIENCE FOR STUDENTS COMING IN
FROM SECONDARY TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION.
THE IDEA ALSO IS FOR THAT SECONDARY STUDENT, THEN,
TO HAVE A MAP OF THEIR PATHWAY IN A PARTICULAR OCCUPATIONAL AREA,
THAT WILL ALSO CONTINUE THEM ON
NOT ONLY THROUGH GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
OR ANOTHER COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN THE STATE,
BUT ALSO TO A FOUR YEAR INSTITUTION,
AS IS SPOKEN HERE CLEARLY TODAY AROUND THAT CREDENTIALING, THAT DEGREE,
THAT IS REQUIRED FOR A FAMILY-WAGE JOB.
THE OUTCOMES OF THIS WORK ARE TO MEET AND EXCEED THE REQUIREMENTS
WITHIN THE FEDERAL PERKINS ACT,
ALIGN TECHNICAL AND ACADEMIC COMPETENCIES
AND ASSESSMENTS FOR SECONDARY CAREER AND TECHNICAL COURSES
TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE PROGRAMS OF STUDY...
AND FOR YOUTH AND ADULTS TO IDENTIFY PREREQUISITE KNOWLEDGE,
SKILLS, AND/OR COURSES AND ASSESSMENTS REQUIRED TO BE SUCCESSFUL
UPON ENTERING A COLLEGE OCCUPATIONAL PROGRAM.
LET ME GIVE YOU A LITTLE HISTORY OF WHAT WE'VE BEEN DOING.
IN 2009, NINE COLLEGES AND FIFTEEN PROGRAMS
PILOTED MICHIGAN'S PROGRAMS OF STUDY DEVELOPMENT PROCESS.
EACH COLLEGE FOLLOWED A TEN-STEP PROCESS
THAT WE WORKED FOR OVER A YEAR IN DEVELOPING,
IN OUR PILOT YEAR OF 2009,
THAT INVOLVED IN-DEPTH COURSE-TO-COURSE CONTENT COMPARISONS AND ALIGNMENT,
ADMISSIONS ASSESSMENT,
AND INDUSTRY SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE COMPETENCIES.
LET ME SHARE WITH YOU SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS.
WE INCREASED AN INTENSIVE FOCUS ON DATA AND STUDENT SUCCESS IN PROGRAMS.
EXAMPLE-- LOOKING AT ACCUPLACER SCORES AND CUT SCORES,
TO LOOK AT THOSE IN THE CORRELATION WITH PERFORMANCE
FURTHER ON IN THEIR OCCUPATIONAL WORK.
EACH PROGRAM LOOKED AT READING LEVELS OF HIGH SCHOOL TEXTS
AND COLLEGE TEXTS AND THEIR CORRELATIONS--
NO SURPRISE THAT SOME COLLEGES FOUND THAT THE READING LEVELS OF THEIR TEXTS
WERE EITHER TOO LOW OR TOO HIGH
TO MAKE THAT TRANSITION FOR STUDENTS A SEAMLESS ONE.
LOOKED AT COLLEGE ENTRANCE ASSESSMENT SCORES--
NOT SURPRISINGLY, THE BETTER STUDENTS' READING AND MATH SCORES WERE,
THE GREATER HIS OR HER SUCCESS RATE WERE IN COLLEGE.
SEVERAL DISCOVERED THAT INTERPERSONAL AFFECTIVE ISSUES
IMPACTED SUCCESS AND COMPLETION AS MUCH,
IF NOT MORE, THAN ACADEMIC SKILLS AND ABILITIES.
FOR EXAMPLE, LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR STUDENTS IN OUR POLICE ACADEMY
AND OTHER POLICE ACADEMIES AROUND THE STATE--
MCOLES, THE LICENSING BOARD,
RATED "COMMUNICATIONS" AS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTIC
FOR EFFECTIVE JOB PERFORMANCE.
THAT WAS CERTAINLY KEY FINDING IN THE WORK
THAT WAS DONE IN OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT AREA.
HIGH SCHOOL RELATIONSHIPS WERE STRENGTHENED THROUGH THIS PROCESS,
DUE TO HIGH SCHOOL FACULTY PARTICIPATION
WORKING WITH COMMUNITY COLLEGE FACULTY ON THIS PROCESS SIMULTANEOUSLY.
ONE PROGRESS FOCUSED ON THE ALIGNMENT INDUSTRY CERTIFICATION
RATHER THAN HIGH SCHOOL ALIGNMENT.
EXAMPLE-- COMPUTER PROGRAMMING IN MICROSOFT CERTIFICATION.
ANOTHER USED THE PROGRAM OF STUDY PROCESS
TO REVITALIZE THEIR PROGRAM
BY OFFERING PROGRAM-SPECIFIC ORIENTATIONS.
FOR 2010-2011, WE HAVE SEVEN COLLEGES AND FIFTEEN ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS
THAT WE HAVE BEGUN TO DEVELOP AS WELL,
AND THE FINAL REPORTS FOR THOSE WHICH WILL BE DUE THE END OF THIS--
OF JUNE 2011.
BUT LET ME SPEAK TO A CONCURRENT PROJECT
THAT WORKS AS THE FOUNDATION FOR OUR OCCUPATIONAL PROGRAMS.
NOT ONLY WERE WE DOING, AS I SAID, THE OCCUPATIONAL PROGRAMS OF STUDY WORK.
WE ALSO WERE BEGINNING--
BEGAN IN 2009 WHAT'S CALLED "CURRICULUM ALIGNMENT WORK."
ALL OF THE DOCUMENTS THAT SUPPORT THIS WORK
ARE OUT ON WEBSITE, AS I SAID--
IT'S GRCC.EDU/PROGRAMSOFSTUDY.
AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO FIND THE SPECIFICS ON EACH ONE OF THESE PROGRAMS
THAT I HOPE YOU'LL FIND USEFUL AT SOME POINT.
BUT LET ME SPEAK TO OUR CURRICULUM ALIGNMENT WORK.
GRCC, WHILE WORKING ON THESE OCCUPATIONAL PROGRAMS,
AS I SAID, HAD PILOTED A CURRICULUM ALIGNMENT PROJECT,
AND THIS MEANT THAT, FOR THOSE GENERAL EDUCATION
OR ARTS AND SCIENCES COURSES THAT ARE THE FOUNDATION OF TRANSFER
BUT THEY ARE ALSO THE FOUNDATION FOR MANY OF OUR OCCUPATIONAL PROGRAMS.
AS I SPOKEN TO THE NEED AND THE EXPLORATION
AROUND READING, WRITING, AND MATH,
THOSE ARE CERTAINLY KEY COMPETENCIES FOR MULTIPLE CAREERS.
AND IT WAS FELT THAT GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
WOULD PILOT THAT WORK BY LOOKING AT THE LEARNING OUTCOMES
OR KEY COURSES THAT ARE OFFERED AT GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
WITH THE STATE HIGH SCHOOL CONTENT EXPECTATIONS, OR (indistinct).
SO, ALIGNMENT OF BOTH OCCUPATIONAL AND ACADEMIC HIGH SCHOOL CONTENT
ENHANCED THE PROGRAM OF STUDY DEVELOPMENT
AND ENGAGES COLLEGE FACULTY WITH HIGH SCHOOL FACULTY,
AND WILL ENHANCE THE TRANSITION OF STUDENTS TO COLLEGE.
SO, IN 2010, WE BEGAN WITH THE SCIENCES.
WE DIDN'T BEGIN WITH THE EASY...
WE BEGAN WITH THE SCIENCES.
BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, EARTH SCIENCE, PHYSICS...
AND THEN, WE ALSO UNDERTOOK ENGLISH.
THESE WERE-- AND READING, AS WELL.
WE ARE GOING TO BE, IN 2010-2011,
WE WILL BE COMPLETING MATHEMATICS AND ALSO SOCIAL SCIENCES,
TO LOOK AT THIS CURRICULAR ALIGNMENT,
AGAIN, FROM SECONDARY TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE FINDINGS THAT WE DISCOVERED IN THIS WORK.
"CLEAR LINE OF CONSISTENCY ACROSS GRCC COURSE WORK
"AND THE PREREQUISITES NEEDED FOR GRCC COLLEGE COURSES.
"HIGH SCHOOL RECOMMENDED LEVELS CANNOT BE ASSUMED TO HAVE BEEN COVERED
"WHEN STUDENTS ARRIVE AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
"IT APPEARS THAT RECOMMENDED ARE ANCILLARY IN HIGH SCHOOL,
"WHILE THIS ANALYSIS INDICATED THAT MANY ARE PREREQUISITES FOR GRCC COURSES.
"STUDENTS MAY NOT HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOME CONTENT AREAS
"FOR SIGNIFICANT LENGTH OF TIME, IN THEIR GRADES 9 THROUGH 12."
THEIR CONCERN WAS DEPTH AND ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE.
"SOME COMPONENTS OF HIGH SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS
"ARE NOT DEEMED IMPORTANT, VITAL, FOR THEIR SUCCESS
"IN THESE RESPECTIVE COLLEGE COURSES.
"THERE SEEMS TO BE AN AREA OF NEED--
"OF NEEDED DISCUSSION WITH THOSE DRIVING HIGH SCHOOL CONTENT EXPECTATIONS
"AT THE STATE LEVEL, IN TERMS OF POST-HIGH SCHOOL UTILITY."
HERE ARE SOME VALUE-ADDED AND RECOMMENDATIONS
THAT CAME AS A RESULT OF THIS WORK.
THE PROCESS WILL BE BENEFICIAL TO COVER IN A GATHERING OF COLLEGE
AND HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS, INCLUDING COUNSELORS AS WELL.
THE CORRELATION OF COLLEGE SUCCESS TO STUDENTS' M.M.E.
WOULD A BE A WORTHWHILE LONGITUDINAL STUDY.
AWARENESS BY COLLEGE FACULTY OF THE HIGH SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS
WOULD ALLOW COLLEGE CONTENT TO EXTEND MORE
AND REPEAT LESS OF HIGH SCHOOL MATERIAL.
DOCUMENTS THE HIGH SCHOOL CONTENT EXPECTATIONS
NEED TO BE REVIEWED PERIODICALLY AND CONSISTENTLY.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, K-12 TO HIGHER ED,
THERE IS A LOT TO LEARN FROM EACH OTHER IN THE QUEST FOR STUDENT SUCCESS
AS THEY TRANSITION TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION.
THANK YOU.
>> ALL RIGHT, I'M GOING TO BEGIN TO CALL OTHERS UP
AND, PLEASE, IF YOU'RE COMFORTABLE SPEAKING FROM HERE
OR THE TABLE, TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS-- GEORGE WILLISTON FROM DELTON.
IS GEORGE STILL WITH US?
THANK YOU, GEORGE.
AND AFTER GEORGE, WE'LL INVITE AMY BRUCK--
>> BRECHEISEN. >> BRECHEISEN-- THANKS, AMY.
SORRY.
THANK YOU.
>> HELLO, MY NAME'S GEORGE WILLISTON.
I'M A TEACHER AT A SMALL RURAL SCHOOL IN MARTIN
AND I TEACH 7th THROUGH 12th GRADE, AND I WAS WITH 'EM TODAY.
AND I'M A WOODSHOP TEACHER.
MY MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS HAVE WON THE STATE COMPETITION
IN WOODWORKING FOR THREE YEARS IN A ROW NOW,
BUILDING WONDERFUL FURNITURE.
IF MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE GIVEN A CHANCE AND ARE ENGAGED,
THEY CAN DO WONDERFUL THINGS.
I BRING A-- WHICH I SENT SOME OF YOU ON EMAIL
A STUDY FROM HARVARD SAYING THAT KIDS NEED MORE PATHS TO CAREERS
AND THAT WE SHOULD LOOK AT WHAT THE EUROPEANS ARE DOING IN THAT WAY.
SO-- THAT ONLY 30 PERCENT OF THE JOBS NEED A FOUR YEAR DEGREE.
SO, I BRING ANOTHER LITTLE STUDY FROM MANPOWER
SAYING THAT THE LACK OF SKILLED WORKERS
IS GOING TO THREATEN THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY.
WELDERS, ELECTRICIANS, PLUMBERS, AND PEOPLE LIKE THAT.
AND, UH...
I DON'T WANT TO TAKE TOO MUCH TIME, BUT I AGREE COMPLETELY WITH RELEVANCE...
THAT TO ENGAGE KIDS, THEY NEED TO SEE IT AS RELEVANT.
AND SO MUCH OF WHAT IS IN THE CURRICULUM THAT THEY'RE PRESENTED WITH,
THEY DO NOT SEE AS RELEVANT
AND THEY BECOME DISENGAGED OR RESISTERS.
SO, WE NEED TO TRY TO BE RELEVANT.
AND MIDDLE SCHOOL IS A VERY IMPORTANT TIME TO ENGAGE YOUNG PEOPLE.
THEY'RE STILL VERY ENTHUSIASTIC IN 7th AND 8th GRADE.
AND MY FRIEND JOHN AND I HAVE AN IDEA FOR A HANDS-ON ACADEMY,
WHICH WOULD BE EXPOSING THEM TO UNITS OF WORK
WHERE THEY COULD TRY THEIR HANDS AT THINGS,
WHEN THEY'RE FORMING THEIR CHARACTER AND THEIR OPINIONS ABOUT THEMSELVES.
RIGHT NOW, MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS...
THEY GET THEIR INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PLAN
BY GOING TO THE LIBRARY AND LOOKING AT SOME VIDEOS
AND DECIDING WHAT THEY'RE INTERESTED
AND THAT'S WHERE THEIR EDUCATION PLAN COMES FROM.
AND I WOULD PUT FORWARD THAT IF KIDS CAN TRY THINGS, DIFFERENT SKILLS--
I MEAN, WE HAVE ALL KINDS OF KIDS.
AND CERTAINLY, A LOT OF THEM ARE GONNA GO ON TO COLLEGE
AND THAT MERIT CURRICULUM SUITS THEM VERY WELL,
BUT FOR THE KIDS THAT DO NOT HAVE THOSE KINDS OF APTITUDES,
WE NEED TO FIND THINGS WHERE THEY CAN BE ENGAGED
AND BECOME SUCCESSFUL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY.
SO, I WOULD SAY THAT MERIT CURRICULUM IS NOT FOR ALL STUDENTS,
THAT CURRICULUM NEEDS TO BE FLEXIBLE, BASED ON INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS' NEEDS...
THAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER THE A.C.T. WORKKEY STANDARDS
FOR SOME GRADUATES,
WHICH THEY HAVE STANDARDS OF MATH AND READING FOR TRADES,
DIFFERENT SKILLS, AND THEY CAN ACHIEVE SILVER, GOLD LEVELS
OF THOSE STANDARDS AND THAT--
THAT SHOULD BE ALLOWED FOR SOME STUDENTS.
I SEE A LOT OF KIDS STRUGGLING WITH ALGEBRA 2,
AND I TALK TO A LOT OF SKILLED TRADESPEOPLE AND ALGEBRA 2
IS NOT A PART OF WHAT THEY USE
TO DO SHEET METAL, PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL WORK,
AND SO, WE ARE, I WOULD SAY, WASTING A LOT OF TIME FOR SOME PEOPLE...
AND THEY SHOULD BE REDIRECTED.
I WOULD ALSO SAY THAT BILL GATES IS A GREAT ENTREPRENEUR
AND A VERY RICH MAN,
BUT HE'S NEVER BEEN A TEACHER FOR ONE YEAR,
AND SO, HE'S ONLY GUESSING ABOUT TEACHING.
(applause)
>> IT WASN'T BILL GATES APPLAUDING, I GATHER.
DID BILL JOIN US?
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
AMY BRECHEISEN, AND THEN CHRIS JURENS, IS IT?
I APOLOGIZE-- JURIENS?
IS CRYSTAL HERE?
GREAT, CHRIS.
THANK YOU.
I GOING TO GO COLLECT-- IF YOU HAVEN'T FILLED OUT A FORM, THEY'RE IN THE BACK.
I'M GOING TO GO GRAB THE REST OF THEM.
AND I APPRECIATE YOUR COMMENTS.
THANKS, CHRIS.
>> THANK YOU.
MY NAME IS AMY BRECHEISEN.
I'M A FAMILY CONSUMER SCIENCE EDUCATOR AT EAST KENTWOOD HIGH SCHOOL
AND A MEMBER OF MICHIGAN JUMP$TART.
THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO TAKE A FEW MOMENTS THIS EVENING
TO ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING ISSUES-- WHO IS MICHIGAN JUMP$TART?
WHAT IS THE VISION OF MICHIGAN JUMP$TART?
WHY FINANCIAL LITERACY IS IMPORTANT,
AND WHY FINANCIAL LITERACY NEEDS TO BE REQUIRED.
MICHIGAN JUMP$TART COALITION IS A CONGLOMERATION
OF MORE THAN 30 PRIVATE, PUBLIC, AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
THAT SEEK TO IMPROVE THE PERSONAL FINANCIAL LITERACY
OF MICHIGAN'S YOUNG ADULTS.
JUST LIKE THE NATIONAL JUMP$TART COALITION,
THE MICHIGAN JUMP-- I'M SORRY--
THE MICHIGAN COALITION ENDEAVORS TO INCREASE
THE PROMINENCE OF FINANCIAL LITERACY OF YOUNG PEOPLE,
DEVELOP, DISSEMINATE, AND ENCOURAGE THE USE OF STANDARDS
FOR GRADES K THROUGH 12,
AND PROMOTE THE TEACHING OF PERSONAL FINANCE.
THE MICHIGAN JUMP$TART COALITION ENVISIONS A TIME
WHEN ALL MICHIGAN YOUNG PEOPLE
WILL HAVE ACCESS TO PERSONAL FINANCE EDUCATION
IN ORDER TO DEVELOP THE NECESSARY SKILLS
TO BE FINANCIALLY COMPETENT UPON GRADUATION FROM HIGH SCHOOL.
I HAVE SOME STATISTICS I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU
REGARDING THE IMPORTANCE OF FINANCIAL LITERACY.
ACCORDING TO THE 2009 YOUNG ADULTS & MONEY SURVEYS,
SPONSORED BY CHARLES SCHWAB,
64 PERCENT SAY THAT FINANCIAL FITNESS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PHYSICAL FITNESS,
AND THE MAJORITY, AT 51 PERCENT,
BELIEVE THAT FINANCIAL EDUCATION IN SCHOOL,
GRADES K THROUGH 12,
IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN BOTH PHYSICAL EDUCATION
AND SEX EDUCATION COMBINED.
HOWEVER, MANY IN THIS AGE GROUP-- AND WE'RE TALKING 18 TO 25--
ADMIT THAT THEY DON'T FEEL ADEQUATELY PREPARED
TO MAKE GOOD FINANCIAL CHOICES WHEN IT COMES TO USING DEBT WISELY--
THAT 28 PERCENT WHO SAID THAT--
SAVING FOR THE FUTURE, AT 40 PERCENT,
OR INVESTING THEIR MONEY, AT 43 PERCENT.
WHEN ASKED WHICH ASPECTS OF PERSONAL FINANCE
THEY WISHED THAT THEY HAD LEARNED BEFORE ENTERING THE WORKFORCE--
LIVING WITHIN A BUDGET, AT 45 PERCENT,
AND THE IMPORTANCE OF SAVING, AT 42 PERCENT,
RISED TO THE TOP OF THEIR LIST.
STUDENTS OF ALL AGES ARE CRAVING THE INFORMATION
THAT PERSONAL FINANCE CLASSES PROMOTE.
WE, AS SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND AS A STATE,
ALL WANT THE SAME THING FOR OUR STUDENTS--
TO LAUNCH THEM INTO THIS WORLD TO BE SUCCESSFUL
AND PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF SOCIETY.
WE SHOULD BE EQUIPPING THEM WITH THE TOOLS
THAT PREPARE THEM FOR THEIR FUTURE.
PERSONAL FINANCE IS THE TOOL THAT WILL HELP OUR CHILDREN
TO LEARN TO LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS BY CREATING SPENDING PLANS,
HOW TO SAVE FOR NOW AND THE FUTURE,
WHICH HELPS THEM MEET THEIR SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM GOALS,
HOW TO USE CREDIT WISELY, INVESTMENT OPTIONS,
MAINTAIN AND BALANCE A CHECK BOOK, MAKE WISE PURCHASING DECISIONS,
AND UNDERSTAND HOW TO PROTECT THEMSELVES
FROM SCAMS AND IDENTIFY THEFT, AND MUCH MORE.
I HEAR OVER AND OVER AGAIN FROM PARENTS
THAT THEY WISH THEY HAD THIS CLASS IN HIGH SCHOOL,
AND I HEAR FROM STUDENTS NOW AND IN THE PAST
HOW THIS CLASS SHOULD BE REQUIRED OVER ALGEBRA OR GEOMETRY,
BECAUSE IT'S APPLICABLE TO THEIR LIVES.
WHY SHOULD IT BE OFFERED IN HIGH SCHOOL?
BECAUSE 56 PERCENT OF PARENTS BELIEVE THAT HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES
ARE UNPREPARED TO MANAGE THEIR PERSONAL FINANCES RESPONSIBLY.
OVER HALF OF ALL PARENTS SAY THEY DON'T GET SET GOOD EXAMPLES
WHEN IT COMES TO HANDLING THEIR OWN MONEY,
AND THEY'RE NOT CAPABLE OF PROPERLY TEACHING THEIR CHILDREN.
THE SOONER WE BEGIN INCORPORATING PERSONAL FINANCE INTO OUR SCHOOLS,
THE BETTER OFF OUR STUDENTS WILL BE ONCE THEY ARE ON THEIR OWN.
INCORPORATING SOME PERSONAL FINANCE
IN AN ALREADY CRAMMED REQUIRED COURSE IS NOT ENOUGH.
STUDENTS NEED TO HAVE A STAND-ALONE COURSE
THAT SHOWS THEM HOW TO APPLY MATH SKILLS TO THEIR EVERYDAY LIVES.
ONCE STUDENTS USE THE INFORMATION
AND SEE WHAT THEIR PARENTS GO THROUGH ON A REGULAR BASIS,
THEY WILL HAVE MORE APPRECIATION
FOR WHAT THEIR PARENTS HAVE DONE FOR THEM FINANCIALLY,
WHICH, IN TURN, MAKES THE STUDENT CONSCIENTIOUS
ABOUT THEIR OWN FINANCE SITUATION AND DECISIONS THAT THEY WILL MAKE.
IF THE THOUGHT OF, "HOW CAN DISTRICTS AFFORD ONE MORE REQUIRED COURSE?"
ENTERS YOUR MIND, THE ANSWER'S QUITE SIMPLE.
THERE IS FREE CURRICULUM AVAILABLE TO TEACHERS.
FAMILY ECONOMICS AND FINANCIAL EDUCATION,
WHICH WE LIKE TO CALL "FEFE,"
AND NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR FINANCIAL EDUCATION, WHICH IS "NEFE,"
ARE TWO WELL-KNOWN CURRICULUMS THAT COMPLY TO STATE, NATIONAL STANDARDS.
BOTH OFFER STATE AND NATIONAL TRAININGS FOR EDUCATORS.
THE NATIONAL JUMP$TART CLEARING HOUSE OFFERS MANY FREE
AND REDUCED-COST MATERIALS THAT EDUCATORS CAN USE IN THEIR CLASSROOMS.
FAMILY CONSUMER SCIENCE EDUCATORS ARE ALREADY CERTIFIED TO TEACH THE SUBJECT,
AND WITH MANY SCHOOL DISTRICTS DECREASING THIS DEPARTMENT,
THIS IS ONE WAY TO HELP REVIVE IT.
I WOULD LIKE TO CONCLUDE WITH A FEW TESTIMONIES
THAT I RECEIVED FROM STUDENTS
REGARDING WHAT THEY HAVE GAINED IN MY PERSONAL FINANCE CLASS.
ALIA COLEMEN, WHO'S 18 AND WHO'S GOING TO STUDY CULINARY ARTS,
STATED, "I LEARNED A TON OF THINGS FROM MRS. BRECHEISEN'S PERSONAL FINANCE CLASS.
"THE MAIN THING THAT I LEARNED IS HOW TO MANAGE MY MONEY.
"MONEY IS AN IMPORTANT THING.
"IT AFFECTS MANY ASPECTS OF OUR LIVES.
"WE ALL NEED TO LEARN HOW TO HAVE AND USE MONEY CORRECTLY
"BECAUSE IF WE DON'T, OUR LIVES WILL BE FULL OF MONEY DRAMA.
"THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I LEARNED IS THAT MY CREDIT IS IMPORTANT.
"CREDIT REALLY AFFECTS EVERY ASPECT OF MY LIFE,
"FROM WHERE I LIVE TO WHAT JOB I CAN GET."
JUST ON A SIDE-NOTE, ALIA IS A STUDENT WHO TOOK THE INFORMATION
ABOUT MY GOAL-SETTING LESSON
AND APPLIED IT TO HER OWN LIFE
BY FIGURING OUT HOW MUCH MONEY SHE WOULD NEED TO SET ASIDE EACH MONTH
IN ORDER TO SAVE UP A CERTAIN AMOUNT--
SUM OF MONEY IN ORDER TO TAKE HER MOM TO NEW YORK CITY WITH HER.
COURTNEY HUFF-- SHE'S ALSO 18--
IS THINKING ABOUT STUDYING EVENT-PLANNING,
AND SHE STATED THAT, "PERSONAL FINANCES TAUGHT ME A LOT,
"BUT MOST OF ALL, APPRECIATION AND RESPONSIBILITY.
"THIS CLASS FURTHER ENHANCED THE LESSONS MY PARENTS HAVE TRIED TO TEACH ME.
"LESSONS LIKE HAVING A MUCH BIGGER APPRECIATION FOR MONEY
"AND, EVEN MORE, FOR SAVINGS AND STAYING DEBT-FREE.
"I HAVE LEARNED THAT MONEY IS A FULL-TIME RESPONSIBILITY
"AND IT IS UP TO ME TO TAKE CARE OF MY MONEY, HAVING A SAFETY NET,
"AND IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE WISE FINANCIAL DECISIONS.
"THIS IS FULL-TIME RESPONSIBILITY TAKES PLANNING,
"THOROUGHLY THINKING OUT STEPS AND CHOICES,
"AND COMPLETE FOLLOW-THROUGH.
"MY FAVORITE PART OF THIS CLASS--
"IT IS NOT JUST ONE MORE RANDOM NONSENSE,
"OR BORING MATH CLASS THAT I MAY NEVER USE AGAIN OR APPLY TO MY LIFE,
"BUT A CLASS THAT I WILL USE EVERY DAY, ALL THE TIME.
"THIS CLASS IS REAL LIFE.
"THIS CLASS IS REALITY.
"THE THINGS THAT I HAVE LEARNED WILL BE APPLIED TO MY LIFE CONSTANTLY."
FINALLY, AS MY STUDENTS ARE GETTING READY FOR THEIR FINAL EXAMS THIS WEEK,
I HAD A STUDENT WHO CAME, UNPREPARED,
AND HE ASKED ME IF HE COULD BORROW A PENCIL.
I SAID TO HIM, "GIVE ME YOUR SHOE."
AND HE THOUGHT I WAS JOKING.
THEN, A STUDENT SHOUTS OUT, "IT'S COLLATERAL!"
(audience laughing) YOU GOTTA GIVE UP SOMETHING
IN ORDER TO GET SOMETHING.
LEARNING ABOUT COLLATERAL DURING OUR HOUSING UNIT,
A STUDENT APPLIED IT TO THEIR CURRENT SITUATION.
THAT IS WHAT PERSONAL FINANCE IS ALL ABOUT...
TAKING PERTINENT INFORMATION
AND APPLYING IT TO YOUR OWN, PERSONAL SITUATION.
THANK YOU.
>> (indistinct speaking).
>> HI, MY NAME IS CHRIS JURIENS.
I AM A FAILED SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE.
I GAVE IT MY BEST SHOT AND I DIDN'T MAKE IT.
I'M ALSO THE PARENT OF A STUDENT IN THE GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM
WHO'S SCHEDULED TO GO TO UNION HIGH SCHOOL.
AND AS YOU KNOW, UNION IS NOT DOING SO VERY WELL
WITH FAILURE TO ACHIEVE ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS,
AND ITS DROPOUT RATE.
WITH THAT SAID, 85 PERCENT OF EVERY DOLLAR IN A SCHOOL BUDGET
GOES TO HEALTHCARE AND ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS.
THAT SHOULD MAKE YOU UPSET ENOUGH TO SET YOUR HAIR ON FIRE.
MICHIGAN TEACHERS ARE AMONG THE HIGHEST PAID TEACHERS IN THE NATION.
THEY HAVE AN INSURANCE PLAN THAT MANY PEOPLE WOULD CONSIDER A CADILLAC.
A GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER PAYS APPROXIMATELY FIVE PERCENT
OF THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE.
THE DISTRICT IS ON THE-- IS ON-- IS, UH...
ON THE HOOK FOR THE REST OF IT.
I WORK FOR THE LARGEST HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IN THE WEST SIDE OF MICHIGAN.
MY EMPLOYER OWNS MY H.M.O.,
AND I PAY ALMOST 27 PERCENT FOR MY HEALTHCARE,
AND I DON'T HAVE NEARLY HALF THE BENEFITS
THAT THE M.E.A. AND THE UNION TEACHERS HAVE.
THE COST OF HEALTHCARE IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST FACTORS IN A BUDGET.
ONE WAY TO REIN IN THE EXORBITANT COSTS IS BY REMOVING HEALTHCARE BARGAINING
OR HEALTHCARE FROM COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.
YOU CAN ALSO MAKE THE SCHOOL BOARD
THE HOLDER OF THE INSURANCE POLICY FOR THE SCHOOL.
THAT WAY, YOU CAN PUT OUT BIDS FOR CHEAPER INSURANCE
AND NOT HAVE TO BE HELD HOSTAGE TO MESSA,
WHICH IS ONE OF THE MOST--
WHICH IS THE MONEY-MAKING ARM OF THE M.E.A.,
SINCE ALMOST FOUR HUNDRED-SOME SCHOOL DISTRICTS
IN MICHIGAN USE MESSA.
ANOTHER WAY TO REIN IN THE COSTS IS TO MAKE MICHIGAN A RIGHT TO WORK STATE.
THAT WAY, THE UNION LOSES ITS ABILITY TO COERCE A SCHOOL BOARD
INTO PAYING FOR MESSA,
BECAUSE TEACHERS WHO DON'T AGREE WITH THE UNION
OR MIGHT NOT LIKE THEIR IDEOLOGICAL STANCE,
DON'T HAVE TO JOIN A UNION TO BE A TEACHER.
WITHOUT A BASE OF READY MONEY,
THE UNION WILL NOT BE ABLE TO RIDE ROUGHSHOD
OVER THE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS,
THEREFORE MAKING NEGOTIATIONS EASIER,
AND TEACHERS WILL HAVE A CONTRACT SOONER.
'CAUSE WHEN A TEACHER DOESN'T HAVE A CONTRACT,
THE STEP RAISES AND THE PREVIOUS CONTRACTS STILL APPLIES.
A UNION TEACHER GETS PAID FOR GOING TO UNION ACTIVITY.
NOT ONLY DOES THE SCHOOL DISTRICT PAY FOR THAT,
BUT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT ALSO HAS TO PAY FOR THE SUBSTITUTE TEACHER TO COME IN.
EVERYTHING THAT A UNION TEACHER DOES OVER AND ABOVE WHAT THEY'RE REQUIRED,
THEY GET MORE MONEY.
IF THEY HAVE MORE THAN A CERTAIN NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN THEIR CLASS,
THEY GET EXTRA MONEY.
IF THEY COACH A SPORTING EVENT, THEY GET EXTRA MONEY.
ONE OF THE WAYS TO REIN IN THIS COST
WOULD BE BY EITHER REPEALING OR AMENDING P.E.R.A.,
THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEE RELATIONS ACT.
TENURE REFORM ALSO WILL HELP REIN IN THE COSTS,
'CAUSE IT COSTS A SCHOOL DISTRICT--
ANYWHERE FROM $100,000 OR MORE-- TO GET RID OF A TEACHER.
AND A TEACHER IN SWARTZ CREEK, MICHIGAN,
WAS REPLACED INTO THE CLASSROOM,
DESPITE THE FACT THAT SEVERAL MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS
AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S OWN PEOPLE SAID SHE WASN'T FIT TO BE IN A CLASSROOM.
SHE WAS A COUNSELOR "EXHIBITING STRANGE BEHAVIOR,"
IS WHAT THE REPORT SAID,
AND SHE DIDN'T DO WHAT SHE WAS REQUIRED TO DO.
THE TIME PERIOD CAME AROUND, IT EXPIRED,
AND SHE WAS REINSTATED WITH FULL BENEFITS AND HER BACK-PAY.
TO AVOID THESE KIND OF THINGS FROM HAPPENING,
AS I SAY, P.E.R.A. NEEDS TO BE REPEALED OR AMENDED.
MORE MONEY IS NOT THE ANSWER TO RESTORING EDUCATION.
REMOVING THE UNION FROM EDUCATION IS THE BEGINNING OF FREEDOM
FOR THE TEACHERS
AND LETTING THEM DO WHAT THEY DO BEST AND THAT IS TEACH.
BECAUSE LEARNING POTENTIAL THRIVES WHEN A TEACHER CAN JUST TEACH
AND DOESN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT LOOKING OVER THEIR BACK SHOULDERS.
THANK YOU.
>> (indistinct speaking).
THANK YOU.
>> GOOD AFTERNOON.
MY NAME IS TRAVIS THOMSEN.
I'M THE DIRECTOR OF WEST MICHIGAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND ACADEMICS.
WE'RE A CHARTER SCHOOL IN SPRING LAKE.
AND WE ARE CONSISTENTLY ON THE TOP PERFORMING CHARTER SCHOOLS LIST
IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN.
THE REASON I'M HERE TODAY IS THAT PUBLIC EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN
IS AT A CRITICAL JUNCTURE REGARDING FUNDING, CHOICE, AND INNOVATION.
AND TO ME, CHARTER SCHOOLS REPRESENT TWO OF THOSE IDEALS--
CHOICE AND INNOVATION.
I HAVE A GROUP OF ABOUT 400 STUDENTS WHO RECEIVE TOP-NOTCH EDUCATION
ON A DAILY BASIS.
OUR TEST SCORES DEMONSTRATE HIGH LEVELS OF PROFICIENCY.
OUR PARENTS DEMONSTRATE A HIGH LEVEL OF COMMITMENT.
OUR TEACHERS, A DEEP LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT.
AND OUR STUDENTS DEMONSTRATE
WHAT A CREATIVE, INTELLIGENT COLLEGE-READY STUDENT LOOKS LIKE.
CHARTER SCHOOLS CURRENTLY RECEIVE ABOUT $1,400 LESS FUNDING PER PUPIL
THAN OUR TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL COLLEAGUES.
AS WE JOCKEY OUR 2011-2012 SCHOOL YEAR BUDGET, WE REALIZE,
AS MANY CHARTER SCHOOLS AND TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS DO,
THAT WE ARE ALREADY OPERATING AT A BARE-BONES BUDGET.
SURE, THERE ARE WAYS TO TIGHTEN OUR BELT WITH REGARDS TO SUPPLIES
AND SHARED SERVICES,
BUT NICKEL-AND-DIMING APPROXIMATELY $200,000
FROM A SMALL BUDGET IS NOT AN EASY TASK
WHEN YOU'RE ALSO FACING DRAMATIC INCREASES IN OUR HEALTH INSURANCE.
AND THAT REPRESENTS ABOUT AN EIGHT PERCENT REDUCTION IN OUR BUDGET,
WHICH, TO SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES IN THE ROOM,
ISN'T SOME MERE DROP IN THE BUCKET BUT, TO US, IT'S KIND OF A BIG DEAL.
HIGH-PERFORMING SCHOOLS SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED
FOR THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS IN TERMS OF LIMITED DOLLARS
AND INCREASED DEMANDS FROM STATE AND FEDERAL MANDATES.
I AM CHARGED WITH PRODUCING COLLEGE-READY STUDENTS,
AND CUTTING FUNDING WILL LIMIT THE NUMBER OF EXPERIENCES
THAT I CAN PROVIDE FOR MY STUDENTS.
WEST MICHIGAN ACADEMY HAS PRODUCED
AN AWARD-WINNING CURRICULUM BASED ON ARTS INTEGRATION.
WE HOLD VERY CLOSE TO OUR HEARTS THE BELIEF THAT INTEGRATING ART
INTO OUR CURRICULUM
IS ONE OF THE FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO OUR OVERALL SUCCESS.
WE BOAST A M.E.A.P. PROFICIENCY RATE OF GREATER THAN 90 PERCENT
AND, TRADITIONALLY, OUTPERFORM MANY OF OUR NEIGHBORING DISTRICTS.
WE CURRENTLY HAVE 41 STUDENTS ON A WAITING LIST FOR NEXT YEAR,
WHICH WOULD BUMP OUR ENROLLMENT UP TEN PERCENT.
I WOULD LOVE TO ADMIT THEM INTO OUR BUILDING,
BUT GIVEN THAT WE ARE SPACE-LIMITED, WE CANNOT EXPAND,
GIVEN THE POTENTIAL CUTS IN PER-PUPIL FUNDING.
SEEKING FUNDING SOURCES OUTSIDE OF OUR STATE AID
IS ALSO DIFFICULT WITH PENDING CUTS,
BECAUSE WE WILL HAVE TO SHOW AN OPERATING BUDGET
THAT IS POTENTIALLY IN THE NEGATIVE.
I APPLAUD GOVERNOR SNYDER FOR LOOKING AT WAYS
TO UNLOCK THE LIMIT ON CHARTER SCHOOLS
AND REWARDING INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY IN OUR SCHOOLS.
IN 2008, PRESIDENT OBAMA PLEDGED HIS SUPPORT TO ARTS EDUCATION.
IN A RECENT STUDY COMPLETED BY THE PRESIDENT'S COMMITTEE
ON ARTS AND HUMANITIES
DEMONSTRATED THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ARTS INTEGRATION IN OUR SCHOOLS.
THE STUDY THAT FOUND THAT STUDENTS WHO PARTICIPATED IN ARTS EDUCATION
WERE FOUR MORE TIMES LIKELY TO HAVE HIGH ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
AND THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO HAVE HIGH ATTENDANCE.
ARTS INTEGRATION THAT UTILIZES MULTI-SENSORY-BASED TECHNIQUES
CAUSES MORE INFORMATION TO BE STORED IN A LONG-TERM MEMORY.
THIS STUDY TOUCHED STUDENTS FROM ALL ETHNIC AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS.
THE REASON I BRING THIS UP IS BECAUSE ARTS
ARE TYPICALLY ONE OF THE FIRST ITEMS TO BE REMOVED FROM A BUDGET,
AND THE UNITED STATES NOW-- MORE SPECIFICALLY, THE STATE OF MICHIGAN--
NEEDS TO PRODUCE CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE STUDENTS.
THE BUSINESS WORLD RECOGNIZES THIS
AND IS ASKING FOR STUDENTS WHO POSSESS THOSE SKILLS.
DOING MORE WITH LESS
SHOULD NOT BE THE MANTRA OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN.
WE NEED TO BE LEADERS.
THANK YOU FOR THE TIME AND OPPORTUNITY.
>> (indistinct speaking).
>> THANK YOU.
HOPE I'M NOT THAT LAST DOG.
I WANNA RESPOND TO THE BANTER ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS
WITH SOME EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE.
I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE SOME OUTSTANDING CHARTER SCHOOLS,
BUT THE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE SHOWS THERE IS NOT ACROSS-THE-BOARD EVIDENCE
OF ANY ACADEMIC BETTERMENT THAN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL.
WHAT WE DO FIND, THOUGH, WITH THE CHARTER SCHOOL--
WITH EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE-- IS THAT THEY DO HAVE A MUCH HIGHER RATE OF ATTRITION,
PARTICULARLY WITH THE FIRST SCHOOL YEAR...
AS MUCH AS 200 TO 300 TIMES HIGHER RATE OF ATTRITION.
WHEN TEACHERS ARE ASKED WHY THAT WAS, IT WAS FOUND--
AND I DON'T LIST THIS IN ORDER OF SERIOUSNESS--
BUT IT WAS FOUND THAT THE CURRICULUM WAS ALREADY ESTABLISHED
AND THAT THE TEACHER WAS EXPECTED TO JUST REPLAY THAT.
THE TEACHER, THEREFORE, COULD BE VERY EASILY REPLACED BY ANOTHER TEACHER,
WHO WOULD JUST STEP INTO THE REINS OF THE ALREADY EXISTING CURRICULUM.
BESIDES THE HIGH RATE OF ATTRITION FOUND IN CHARTER SCHOOLS,
ANOTHER DIFFICULTY WAS--
AND YOU HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE HISTORY OF THE DERIVATION
OF CHARTER SCHOOLS, WITH--
WHICH, IF YOU GO BACK TO FRIEDMAN IN CHICAGO--
HE WENT TO THE SOUTH DURING THE DAYS OF THE SEGREGATION,
WHERE THERE WERE MANY IRATE WHITE PARENTS
WHO WANTED TO FIND A WAY AROUND
THE FEDERAL IMPLEMENTATION OF SEGREGATION.
AND MR. FRIEDMAN SAID, "WE'LL CALL THEM SCHOOLS OF FREEDOM, SCHOOL OF CHOICE,"
MANY OTHER MONIKERS, BUT IT'S INTERESTING THOSE MONIKERS REMAIN TO THIS DAY.
AND THOSE THAT EXTOL THE VIRTUES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS USE THAT MONIKER,
THAT IT DOES GIVE YOU A SCHOOL OF CHOICE.
BUT HISTORICALLY, THAT GOES BACK TO A RACIAL DERIVATION,
WHERE PEOPLE DID NOT WANT TO MIX THEIR STUDENTS WITH THE BLACK STUDENTS.
THE BLACK STUDENTS, INITIALLY, THEN, ONCE THESE CHARTER SCHOOLS TOOK HOLD,
RECEIVED THE SAME LACK OF BENEFITS
AND THE SAME QUALITY OF SUPPLIES THAT THEY EXPERIENCED BEFORE.
THAT HISTORY ASIDE, WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE CHARTER SCHOOL?
FIRST OF ALL, IT'S NOT A PUBLIC SCHOOL...
ALTHOUGH, THEY INSIST IT IS A PUBLIC SCHOOL.
THEY'LL INSIST ENDLESSLY THAT IT IS A PUBLIC SCHOOL.
IT'S PUBLIC IN THIS VEIN-- IT RECEIVES PUBLIC FUNDING.
IT'S NOT PUBLIC IN ACCOUNTABILITY.
THE BOARDS ARE NOT PUBLICLY ELECTED BOARDS.
TO ME, THE IDEA OF HAVING COMMUNITY INPUT INTO MY LOCAL SCHOOL
IS A GREAT AMERICAN PRIVILEGE...
AND CHARTER SCHOOLS DO NOT TAKE THAT INTO ACCOUNT
WHEN THEY EXTOL ALL THE VIRTUES
OF WHY THEY SHOULD REPLACE AND SUPPLANT THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
I WOULD POINT TO THE SEGMENT--
AND THIS IS NOT ORGANIZED, I JUST CAME HERE--
I'M SORRY I DIDN'T HAVE MY RESPONSE WRITTEN OUT--
BUT I WOULD POINT TO THE HANDOUT.
IT TALKS ABOUT ACTUAL RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE BOARD
THAT'S FACING ME NOW, TO GOVERNOR SNYDER--
IT'S ON PAGE THREE.
IT'S TITLED "MICHIGAN STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT
"AND REFORM PRIORITIES, RECOMMENDATIONS TO GOVERNOR SNYDER AND LEGISLATURE."
ON PAGE THREE, IT IS BEING RECOMMENDED
THAT THERE BE A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO DELIVER REFORMS.
I WOULD REMIND EVERYBODY IN THIS ROOM--
THERE'S BEEN A PUBLIC-PRIVATE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
THAT GOES BACK DECADES.
IT'S CALLED TAXATION.
PRIVATE ENTITIES PAY TAXES.
THEY USED TO.
THEY DON'T PAY MANY TODAY.
THE TAX RATE FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS BEING MINIMIZED AND MINIMIZED.
THAT OLD-TIMED PARTNERSHIP SAID THAT THE PRIVATE CORPORATIONS
WOULD PAY TAXES,
AND THEN, STATE-CERTIFIED EDUCATORS WOULD TAKE THAT TAX MONEY
AND DESIGN PROGRAMS AND DESIGN INITIATIVES COMMENSURATE WITH THEIR TRAINING.
THAT'S BEEN REPLACED NOW.
THE PARTNERSHIP TODAY SAYS, "WE WANT PARTNERSHIP WITH A PHOTO OP.
"WE'LL COME TO THE SCHOOL AND WE WILL GIVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS,"
THIS IS PRIVATE CORPORATIONS SPEAKING,
"AND ONCE WE GIVE THAT MONEY THAT SHOULD'VE BEEN GIVEN THROUGH TAXATION,
"NOW WE'LL USE AS A PHOTO OP, AND NOW WE HAVE STRINGS ATTACHED,
"IN THAT WE CAN CONTROL CURRICULUM, WE CAN CONTROL OTHER OBJECTIVES."
THAT SWITCH HAS GONE UNKNOWN TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC.
BUT I WOULD REMIND YOU, AS I FINISH HERE,
THERE HAD BEEN A PRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP IN EDUCATION,
AND IT WAS FORMED THROUGH TAXATION.
"NOW, THAT'S BEEN OBLITERATED...
AND INSTEAD OF THAT RELATIONSHIP, IT'S BECOME AN AUTHORITATIVE GRAB,
WHERE WE WILL TAKE OVER THE SCHOOLS
AND WE WILL GET RID OF THE ILLS THAT WE JUST--
UH, A FEW MINUTES-- HEARD ABOUT.
I THANK YOU FOR THE TIME TO SPEAK
AND I WISH I'D BEEN BETTER ORGANIZED.
>> THANK YOU.
(indistinct speaking) (applause)
>> CAROL RENDER STILL HERE?
OKAY, BUT PLEASE, TRY TO KEEP FIVE MINUTES--
COME ALONG, MA'AM-- AND YOU ARE?
PLEASE, IDENTIFY YOURSELF.
>> HI, I'M LOUISE WILSON.
I'M NOT SELLING ANYTHING.
I'M JUST A TEACHER.
I TEACH AT CENTRAL.
>> (indistinct speaking).
>> I'M SORRY, BUT... IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN--
IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, AT THE MOMENT,
WE ARE SORT OF GUM ON EVERYBODY'S SHOE.
I TEACH AT CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL, UP HERE IN GRAND RAPIDS...
AND I'VE GOT TWO THINGS THAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT.
BUT IF I DON'T HAVE TIME NOW, I'LL COME BACK LATER.
FIRST IS STUDENT IMPROVEMENT-- JUST WARNING YOU.
I HAVE STUDENTS WHO ARE ENTERING HIGH SCHOOL
WITH MATH SKILLS AT THE 3rd GRADE LEVEL.
THE NORM FOR MY STUDENTS IS A 5th GRADE LEVEL,
AND A FEW OF THEM ARE ABLE TO WORK AT THE 9th GRADE LEVEL.
UNFORTUNATELY, I DON'T KNOW WHICH STUDENTS THEY ARE BEFORE CLASSES BEGIN,
BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THEIR SKILL LEVEL
UNTIL AFTER CLASSES START.
IN ANY CASE, IT DOESN'T MATTER,
BECAUSE THE CURRICULUM THEY MUST FOLLOW IS ALREADY DICTATED.
I'VE GOT CLASSES OF UP TO 90 STUDENTS, PER CLASS,
DIVIDED INTO SECTIONS,
SO I SEE THEM ONCE EVERY THREE DAYS.
WE'RE NOT MAKING RELATIONSHIPS.
THEY HAVE NO TEXT BOOKS, THEY'RE NOT GIVEN PENCILS.
ATTENDANCE IS NOT REQUIRED.
STATE BOARD'S CLEARLY STATED THEY THINK THIS IS A GREAT IDEA,
AS THE STUDENTS CAN ENGAGE IN DISTANCE-LEARNING...
IF THEY HAVE ONLINE ACCESS AT HOME.
THIS APPLIES TO FEWER THAN 50 PERCENT OF MY STUDENTS.
OUR PROGRAM DOESN'T RUN AT THE GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC LIBRARY.
STUDENTS WHO ARRIVE IN HIGH SCHOOL AT THE 5th GRADE LEVEL ARE, OF COURSE,
UNLIKELY TO PARTICIPATE OR ACHIEVE AT A HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL.
THERE ARE ACADEMIC REASONS
WHY WE DO NOT PRESENT ALGEBRA AND GEOMETRY
TO MOST CLASSES OF 5th GRADERS.
BUT AT HIGH SCHOOL, WE DO THAT EVERY DAY.
SINCE THE STUDENTS DO NOT SHOW ANY IMPROVEMENT IN SKILLS
BETWEEN 8th AND 10th GRADE FOR OUR WHOLE DISTRICT,
IT'S APPARENT THAT THE STUDENTS ARE BEING PASSED IN CLASSES
WHEN THEY'VE NOT OBTAINED THE SKILLS REPRESENTED BY THAT CLASS.
STUDENTS ARE PASSED ALONG TO THE NEXT CLASS,
REGARDLESS OF THEIR SKILL LEVEL
AND WHETHER OR NOT THEY'VE PASSED PRIOR CLASSES.
THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION SEEMS TO THINK IT'S JUST FINE
FOR STUDENTS TO, QUOTE, "MAKE UP CREDITS"
BY USING ONLINE LEARNING THAT STUDENTS CAN PASS BY LOOKING UP ANSWERS ONLINE.
I'M NOT SURE THAT LOOKING UP ANSWERS ONLINE
OR FROM YOUR BUDDY'S THUMBDRIVE REPLACES ACTUAL MATH SKILLS,
BUT THE STATE BOARD SEEMS TO THINK IT'S OKAY,
AND IS ENCOURAGING THIS CANARD, ALONG WITH OUR OWN SCHOOL BOARD.
I DO KNOW THAT STUDENTS ARE GRADUATING WITH TRANSCRIPTS THAT SAY
THEY HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED
AND KNOW THE STATE-PRESCRIBED MATERIAL FOR HIGH SCHOOL MATHEMATICS...
AND IT IS CLEAR THEY DO NOT,
BASED ON THE REMEDIATION RATES IN COLLEGES.
PERHAPS THE STATE BOARD COULD REDUCE THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR HIGH SCHOOL COURSES DOWN TO A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT
THAT COULD ACTUALLY BE LEARNED DURING A TYPICAL CLASS TIME IN A YEAR,
TO PROMOTE THE POSSIBILITY OF GENUINE COMPLETION.
THE CURRENT STATE SYSTEM FAILS TO ACKNOWLEDGE
THE PRESENCE OF MOST OF MY STUDENTS,
THOSE WHO ARE NOT AT GRADE LEVEL.
INSTEAD OF ENCOURAGING SCHOOLS TO HELP THOSE STUDENTS IMPROVE,
IT PUNISHES OR PROHIBITS THIS ASSISTANCE BY IMPOSING PENALTIES
IF STUDENTS DO NOT GRADUATE IN FOUR YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL.
THE STATE PRESCRIBES COURSES WITH TOO MUCH MATERIAL
AND THEN TURNS A BLIND EYE TO STUDENTS WHO ARE PASSED THROUGH THESE COURSES,
BUT THEN NEED REMEDIATION IN COLLEGE.
IF THE STATE WOULD GET RID OF THE PENALTY
FOR PROVIDING MORE THAN FOUR YEARS OF EDUCATION IN HIGH SCHOOL
AND ENCOURAGED SCHOOLS TO GET STUDENTS UP TO GRADE LEVEL,
WE COULD PROVIDE THE REMEDIATION IN HIGH SCHOOL AT A LOWER COST.
IT MIGHT TAKE TWO OR MORE YEARS TO MOVE STUDENTS
FROM THEIR 5th GRADE LEVEL TO THE 9th GRADE LEVEL,
BUT THEN, THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY LEARN
THE HIGH SCHOOL MATH PRESCRIBED BY THE STATE.
THE PRESENT METHOD OF LYING
AND PASSING STUDENTS THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL COURSES,
SO THEY CAN TAKE REMEDIAL CLASSES IN COLLEGE MAKES NO SENSE.
THIS DIFFICULTY'S COMPOUNDED BY THE ERRORS
ON THE 2010 M.M.E. PASS RATE OF HIGH SCHOOLS--
I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'VE HAD THAT REPORT--
I DID SEND IT TO THE M.D.E.
I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'VE SEEN IT.
PERHAPS THE STATE BOARD COULD USE DATA FROM THE M.M.--
FROM THE M.E.A.P. 8th GRADE TESTS
AND ASK EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT WHAT'S BEING DONE
TO BRING STUDENTS UP TO GRADE LEVEL
WHO WERE NOT PROFICIENT IN THEIR ELEMENTARY CAREERS.
CLEARLY, EXPECTING ONE TEACHER TO PROVIDE YEARS OF REMEDIATION
IN A FEW DAYS
AND ALSO A YEAR OF ON-LEVEL EDUCATION FOR HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN
EVERY WEEK IS NOT EFFECTIVE,
NOR WOULD WE EXPECT IT TO BE.
IT JUST GIVES US SOMEONE TO BLAME.
ADMINISTRATORS ARE VERY FOND OF ADAGE,
"A RISING TIDE RAISES ALL BOATS," AND THEY URGE EVERYONE TO RAISE THE BAR.
AS A SCUBA DIVER, I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THERE'S A LOT OF WRECKS OFFSHORE,
AND A RISING TIDE JUST MAKES THEM A DEEPER DIVE.
UNLESS WE CAN FIRST RE-FLOAT OUR SUNKEN TREASURES,
WE'RE NOT DOING THEM ANY FAVORS BY DROWNING THEM DEEPER.
SHOULD I CARRY ON?
>> A COUPLE MORE MINUTES, PLEASE.
THANK YOU.
>> I ALSO HAVE A COMMENT ON TEACHER ASSESSMENT.
FIRST, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THANK GOODNESS FOR UNIONS AND TENURE.
AT A MEETING LAST YEAR, A CHARTER SCHOOL OPERATOR TOLD ME
HE WOULD LIKE TO OFFER ME A JOB.
I TOLD HIM I'D BE GONE FROM HIS ORGANIZATION
THE FIRST TIME I SPOKE UP.
NOBODY HAS TO LISTEN TO ME,
BUT THEY DON'T GET TO FIRE ME JUST BECAUSE I SPEAK,
AND THAT'S THE NUMBER ONE THING ABOUT UNIONS AND TENURE.
PLEASE, DON'T GET RID OF THEM, BECAUSE I WON'T BE SPEAKING.
I TEACH AT CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL.
LAST YEAR, I TAUGHT AT CITY HIGH.
LAST YEAR, I HAD STUDENTS WHO WERE PERFORMING WELL ABOVE GRADE AVERAGE
AND CONTINUED TO PERFORM AT THE EXPECTED RATE OF IMPROVEMENT.
I WAS ENCOURAGED, AND DID PROVIDE THEM WITH PROJECT-BASED WORK,
AND THE MATERIALS FOR SUCCESS WERE PROVIDED BY THE SCHOOL,
INCLUDING TEXTBOOKS AND PENCILS.
STUDENTS TOOK ADVANTAGE OF ONLINE LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM AND AT HOME.
MOST STUDENTS CAME TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY.
THEY EMAILED ME FROM HOME.
IT WAS FANTASTIC.
THIS YEAR, I'M AT CENTRAL HIGH.
I HAVE STUDENTS WHO PERFORM, ON AVERAGE, AT THE 5th GRADE LEVEL.
ALONG WITH MOST STUDENTS IN THE DISTRICT,
THEY DO NOT SHOW MUCH IMPROVEMENT BETWEEN 8th AND 10th GRADE.
I SEE MY STUDENTS ONLY EVERY THREE DAYS,
AS THEY ROTATE BETWEEN ME AND TWO OTHER TEACHERS.
MOST STUDENTS HAVE MISSED MORE THAN TEN DAYS THIS SEMESTER,
AS THEY DID LAST SEMESTER.
THE PACE IS DICTATED BY THE ONLINE CURRICULUM SELECTED BY THE DISTRICT.
STUDENTS DO NOT HAVE TEXTBOOKS, EITHER IN PRINT OR E-BOOKS.
AND I HAVE TO HAVE A 15 MINUTE ARGUMENT EACH WEEK
TO BE ABLE TO GET 20 PENCILS FOR THE 250 OR SO STUDENTS
THAT CIRCULATE THROUGH MY ROOM.
THERE ARE NO PROJECTS, WHICH IS A GOOD THING,
AS WE HAVE NO SUPPLIES UNTIL THE END OF APRIL.
AM I, PERSONALLY, ANY LESS OF A TEACHER THAN I WAS LAST YEAR?
MY TEACHING HAS BEEN CUT OUT FROM UNDER ME BY THE DISTRICT...
INCLUDING TEST SCORES FROM STUDENTS AS AN EVALUATION OF TEACHERS
IS SURELY DESIGNED TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST TEACHERS
WHO ARE WILLING TO WORK WITH STRUGGLING STUDENTS,
AND REWARD THOSE WHO WORK ONLY WITH PRE-SELECTED STUDENTS
OF HIGHER ACHIEVEMENT.
I SUGGEST THAT THE STATE BOARD AUDIT
AND MAKE SURE THAT REQUIRED ITEMS ARE BEING SUPPLIED TO STUDENTS.
SEND AN EMAIL OR SURVEY TO EACH STUDENT, EACH TEACHER, AND EACH DISTRICT
AND ASK THEM WHAT THEY LACK FOR STUDENTS.
AUTOMATION CAN SORT WHAT EACH DISTRICT NEEDS.
PROTECT NAMES, SO STUDENTS-- SO TEACHERS, I'M SORRY--
SO TEACHERS DO NOT FEAR RETALIATION FOR HONESTY.
FOLLOW-UP AND MAKE SURE EACH DISTRICT FOLLOWS THE LAW.
SURVEY TEACHERS, AND ASK THEM WHETHER THEY HAVE ANY FREEDOM
TO CHANGE METHOD, CONTENT, OR STYLE OF DELIVERY OF INSTRUCTION.
USE THE CAPTURED DATA TO EXAMINE NOT ONLY THE PERFORMANCE LEVEL OF CHILDREN,
BUT ALSO THEIR ATTENDANCE IN CLASS.
AS BACKGROUND, I DO HAVE DEGREES IN PHYSICS.
I HAVE BEEN A RESEARCH SCIENTIST.
I HAVE BEEN...
AN ENGINEER IN VARIOUS DEVELOPMENTAL FIELDS.
AND THIS IS SORT OF MY THIRD CAREER.
I HAVE NEVER USED MY EDUCATION LESS.
THANK YOU.
(applause)
>> (indistinct speaking). >> I'M SORRY?
>> WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THAT REPORT?
>> THE NAME OF THE REPORT...
IT WAS A REPORT
ON THE 2010 M.M.E. PASS RATES
IN CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL.
>> WHICH YOU SENT TO THE DEPARTMENT-- >> --CHRIS JENSEN.
>> OKAY. >> CHRIS JENSEN?
>> PLEASE TAKE OUR EMAIL, TOO, AND MAKE SURE WE GET THAT, AGAIN.
THANK YOU FOR SHARING.
YEAH, THANK YOU.
LET'S-- LOUISE WILSON?
AND THEN, JOHN EDGARTON, AND I THINK I SEE-- OH, I'M SORRY--
SO, LOUISE-- THANK YOU, LOUISE, FOR PLAYING YOUR DUAL ROLE.
JOHN EDGARTON, AND THEN, ELIZABETH KIDD-- IS THAT YOU?
DO YOU HAVE A COUPLE SLIDES?
ELIZABETH KIDD, WITH THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF HOLLAND ZEELAND,
WAS HOPING TO GET HERE TO JOIN US
AND SHARE A FEW SLIDES ON THEIR WORK,
SO WHY DON'T YOU GET THAT READY?
BUT LET'S DO JOHN EDGARTON.
IS JOHN HERE?
OKAY, PLEASE, JOHN-- AND RICH FINK,
WILL YOU PLEASE STANDBY AND BE PREPARED TO SHARE?
THANK YOU.
>> MY NAME IS JOHN EDGARTON.
I WORK DOWN IN A SMALL, RURAL SCHOOL SOUTH OF HERE.
MY EARLY BACKGROUND IN EDUCATION WAS...
I QUIT COLLEGE AND I STARTED WORKING IN THE ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL MOVEMENT.
AND, UH...
BACK BEFORE IT WAS RECOGNIZED BY PUBLIC EDUCATION,
BUT WHERE PEOPLE WERE DEEPLY ENTRENCHED IN THE COMMUNITY
AND SERVING KIDS' NEEDS THAT WEREN'T BEING MET.
I'VE ALSO DONE LONG-TERM WORK
IN WORKING WITH MEN THAT WERE BATTERS
AND HELPING THEM TRY TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES.
IN THE LAST 17 YEARS, I'VE...
DONE A LOT OF ROLES IN THIS SMALL COMMUNITY SCHOOL IN WHICH I WORK IN.
AND TONIGHT, I GUESS I WANTED TO SPEAK ABOUT, UM...
JUST BRIEFLY ABOUT IMMEASURABLES AND INTANGIBLES.
I FEAR, IN EDUCATION,
THAT WE'VE DECIDED THAT WE, THROUGH RESEARCH
AND CULT OF THE FACT,
THAT WE CAN CREATE HIGHLY EDUCATED HUMAN BEINGS.
BUT IF I LOOK AT MY TEACHERS--
MEN LIKE MYLES HORTON AND PAUL FERRINI AND JOHN DEWEY--
WHO WE NEVER TALK ABOUT IN EDUCATION ANYMORE--
OR PARKER PALMER, WHO TALKS ABOUT THE COURAGE TO TEACH
AND THE HARD WORK THAT GOOD TEACHERS ALWAYS PUT INTO THEIR LIVES.
I THINK WE'RE LOSING A LOT.
I FEAR THAT "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND"
HAS BECOME "ALL CHILDREN LEFT ON THEIR BEHINDS."
AND I THINK THIS IS A TRAGEDY.
WHAT I WANNA SUGGEST IS THAT WHAT I SEE IN THE HEARTS OF MY STUDENTS
IS A DEEP LONGING FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE,
FOR SOCIAL CHANGE THAT MATTERS.
AS MUCH AS MY GENERATION, I FEEL, PARTLY WAS DRIVEN BY THAT.
THIS IS WHAT RELEVANCE IS ABOUT AND, I THINK, EDUCATION IS ABOUT--
TO DEVELOP TRUE CITIZENS OF DEMOCRACY THAT SO LOVE JUSTICE,
THAT WHATEVER PROFESSION THEY CHOOSE--
A DOCTOR, A LAWYER, A FARMER, A WOODWORKER--
THAT THEY UNDERSTAND
THAT THEY ARE INTRICATELY CONNECTED TO THEIR FELLOW CITIZENS.
I WANNA JUST SAY ONE OTHER THING.
LAST THURSDAY,
I CAME INTO GRAND RAPIDS TO SEE FROST ENVIRONMENTAL SCHOOL,
HERE IN GRAND RAPIDS,
TO A MUSIC PRESENTATION DONE BY THE 1st THROUGH--
OR THE KINDERGARTEN
THROUGH 4th GRADERS.
SEE, FROST IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL SCHOOL...
THE LAST SONG THAT THESE YOUNG CHILDREN
SANG WAS "WE ARE STEWARDS."
AND YOU COULD FEEL THE PASSION AND THE LOVE IN THEIR VOICES
ABOUT WANTING TO BE STEWARDS OF THE EARTH.
MY SADNESS AND DESPAIR, AT THE MOMENT,
IS I DON'T THINK WE'RE BEING GOOD STEWARDS OF OUR CHILDREN
WHEN WE'VE FORGOTTEN THAT...
THAT UNDERSTANDING THAT WE ALL ARE CONNECTED TO THIS EARTH,
THE TREES, THE BIRDS, THE WATER, THE FOOD,
EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED FOR US,
AND WHEN WE'VE LOST TEACHING KIDS ABOUT THAT
AND GETTING THEM ENGAGED WITH THAT,
THERE'S NO COMPUTER, NO TECHNOLOGY, THAT'S GOING TO SUBSTITUTE FOR THAT.
THEY CAN WORK TOGETHER WITH THAT PROCESS,
BUT THEY CAN'T SUBSTITUTE FOR IT.
I'VE SAID ENOUGH.
I HOPE THAT WE WILL THINK ABOUT WAYS
TO ENGAGE KIDS IN SOCIAL JUSTICE WORK,
BECAUSE THAT'S THE PLACE WHERE THEIR PASSION REALLY LIES.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
(applause) >> THANK YOU.
THERE'S A-- >> TOM?
>> YES. >> I JUST WANNA--
(indistinct speaking).
>> GREAT-- THERE'S A CONFERENCE, "NO CHILD LEFT INDOORS" THAT--
NEXT MONTH, I THINK-- THAT GATHERS SIMILAR PERSPECTIVES.
IF THOSE INTERESTED, IT MIGHT BE A USEFUL WAY TO SHARE INFORMATION
ABOUT HOW TO TEACH THE STUFF WE'RE DEMANDING
IN THE CONTEXT OF GETTING KIDS OUT IN THE WORLD, SO, UM...
LET'S SEE.
ELIZABETH, HELP ME OUT HERE.
ELIZABETH KIDD WITH THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF HOLLAND AND ZEELAND
CAME OVER TO TRY TO SHARE SOME OF THE WORK THEY'RE DOING
ABOUT IMPROVING COLLEGE ATTAINMENT AND ACCESS, SO THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU.
WE APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY
TO SHARE SOME OF THE WORK THAT WE'VE BEEN DOING.
AND I'M GOING TO BE JOINED, IF SHE'D LIKE, BY MONIQUE POWELL,
WHO'S THE DIRECTOR OF OUR LOCAL COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK,
DESTINATION EDUCATION.
SO, I KNOW EARLIER YOU HEARD FROM MARISSA AND BRIAN FROM MUSKEGON,
AND THIS IS A RELATED INITIATIVE,
ALSO CONNECTED WITH THE MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK.
AND WE ARE BASED OUT OF THE HOLLAND ZEELAND AREA,
SO I LITTLE BIT SOUTHWEST OF HERE AND, MUCH LIKE THEM,
WE ARE WORKING TOWARDS INCREASING NOT JUST ACCESS
TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION BUT ATTAINMENT
AND ACTUAL DEGREE COMPLETION OF SOME CREDENTIAL BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL.
OKAY, ONE THING I WANTED TO SHARE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT IS THE PLANNING PROCESS
THAT WENT INTO THIS,
BECAUSE IT WAS NOT JUST EDUCATORS OR THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATIONS
SAYING WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT COLLEGE ACCESS IN OUR COMMUNITY.
IT WAS VERY MUCH A DIVERSE RANGE OF STAKEHOLDERS
THAT CAME AROUND THE TABLE,
FOR SOMETIMES DIFFERENT REASONS,
AND SAID THAT, "WE THINK THAT INCREASING COLLEGE ACCESS
"IN THE HOLLAND ZEELAND AREA IS IMPORTANT."
AND WE HAD OVER 40 STAKEHOLDERS PARTICIPATE
IN AN ALMOST YEAR-LONG PLANNING PROCESS,
WHERE THEY DID A NUMBER OF THINGS,
INCLUDING CONDUCTING FOCUS GROUPS WITH LOCAL STUDENTS AND PARENTS,
TO GET THEIR INPUT.
THEY ALSO SURVEYED CURRENT PROVIDERS
OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF COLLEGE ACCESS SERVICES IN OUR COMMUNITY,
GOT THEIR INPUT ON WHAT THEY WERE DOING
AND, ALSO, WHAT THEY SAW AS SERVICE GAPS
AND AREAS THAT THE DEMAND FOR THEIR SERVICES
EXCEEDED THEIR ABILITY TO SUPPLY IT.
WE ALSO REVIEWED BEST PRACTICE MODELS FOR PLACES AROUND THE COUNTRY,
REALLY, THAT HAVE BEEN DOING THIS WORK SUCCESSFULLY
AND GETTING RESULTS,
AND WE SELECTED TWO OF THOSE THAT OUR GROUP LOOKED AT VERY IN DEPTH
AND LEARNED A LOT FROM.
AND BASED ON THIS INFORMATION, THIS GROUP OF 40 STAKEHOLDERS,
WHICH REALLY INCLUDED K-12 EDUCATORS, HIGHER EDUCATION,
COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS, BUSINESS LEADERS, LOCAL GOVERNMENT--
THEY ALL CAME TOGETHER, REVIEWED ALL THIS INFORMATION,
AND DEVELOPED A ONE YEAR IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
THAT THEY WERE ALL READY AND WILLING TO ENDORSE
AS SOMETHING THAT THE HOLLAND ZEELAND AREA NEEDED TO EMBRACE.
JUST A FEW QUICK HIGHLIGHTS ABOUT THE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN.
THE MISSION THAT EVERYBODY EVENTUALLY SETTLED ON--
THIS WAS A YEAR-LONG DISCUSSION--
YOU CAN IMAGINE THE BACK AND FORTH THAT WENT ON, BUT--
THE GOAL OF DESTINATION EDUCATION IS TO MAKE COMPLETION
OF A POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION AN ACHIEVABLE REALITY
FOR EVERY STUDENT IN THE HOLLAND ZEELAND AREA,
PARTICULARLY AMONG OUR LOW-INCOME,
FIRST-GENERATION, AND HIGHEST NEED STUDENTS.
AND WE BROKE DOWN OUR WORK INTO THREE AREAS OF THE YEAR
THAT WE WERE HOPING TO ACCOMPLISH DIFFERENT THINGS IN,
AND WE HAD A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT AREAS
THAT WE HAD TO FIND GOALS IN THAT THE COMMUNITY CAME UP WITH,
AND THOSE INCLUDED THE ORGANIZATION ITSELF,
GOVERNANCE, COMMUNITY AWARENESS AND OUTREACH,
PROGRAM DELIVERY, AND EVALUATION.
AND THE MODEL THAT WAS DEVELOPED FOR THE ORGANIZATION--
AND I APOLOGIZE THE TEXT IS A LITTLE BIT SMALL, BUT--
THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HAS SERVED AS THE CONVENER FOR THIS EFFORT,
BUT NOT THE PRIMARY DRIVER OF THE CONTENT.
WE'VE BROUGHT FOLKS TOGETHER ON THIS ISSUE,
BUT REALLY, OUR ADVISORY BOARD,
WHICH IS MADE UP OF 12 DIFFERENT COMMUNITY LEADERS FROM DIFFERENT SECTORS,
HAS REALLY BEEN PROVIDING THE LEADERSHIP AND GUIDANCE
ON MOVING THIS FORWARD.
AND UNDERNEATH THEM,
WE HAVE OUR DESTINATION EDUCATION DIRECTOR, MONIQUE POWELL,
WHO'S WITH US TODAY.
SHE REALLY OVERSEES THE DAY-TO-DAY IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS WORK.
SHE ALSO DOES HER WORK WITH A YOUTH BOARD,
WHICH IS MADE UP OF LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS--
AS REPRESENTATIVE AS WE CAN BE,
ESPECIALLY OF THOSE HIGH NEEDS POPULATIONS--
SO THAT WE ARE CONSTANTLY REFLECTING,
"WHAT ARE OUR STUDENTS ACTUALLY EXPERIENCING DAY-TO-DAY,
"AND ARE WE BEING RESPONSIVE TO THAT AND WORKING WITH THE PARTNERS
"THAT WE CAN TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE THERE?"
WE ALSO HAVE SOME OTHER TASK FORCE SUPPORTING THAT.
BUT REALLY, ALONG WITH MONIQUE, WE HAVE--
THE TWO KEY THINGS ARE HAVE AMBASSADORS AT A LOT OF OUR LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS,
WHO SERVE AS A KEY-POINT PERSON TO TALK ABOUT COLLEGE ACCESS
IN A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT SETTINGS, AS WELL AS--
WE'VE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE TWO NATIONAL ADVISING CORE MEMBERS
WHO HAVE BEEN PLACED IN TWO OF OUR LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS
THAT HAVE THE GREATEST NEED,
WHO, IN COMPLEMENT TO THE COUNSELING STAFFS THERE,
ARE PROVIDING-- REALLY BEING A RESOURCE FOR COLLEGE ADVISING.
DOING A LOT OF THE ONE-ON-ONE WORK THAT--
AS OUR COUNSELORS HAVE REALLY BEEN STRAINED WITH THEIR CASELOAD.
THEY DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO PROVIDE THAT LEVEL OF ONE-ON-ONE SERVICE
WITH STUDENTS AND PARENTS.
SO, WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THAT.
AND WE'VE BEEN DELIGHTED TO HAVE BOTH OUR SCHOOLS AND ORGANIZATIONS
THAT ARE ALREADY WORKING WITH NONPROFIT--
OR WITH OUR STUDENTS, THAT MAY BE NONPROFITS
OR OTHER COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS...
BUT, ALSO, A LOT OF OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES--
THEY'VE COME TO SEE THIS NOT JUST AS A SOCIAL ISSUE
BUT AS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ISSUE,
AND THEY WANT TO PARTNER WITH US AS WELL, WHICH WE, OF COURSE,
ARE VERY HAPPY ABOUT.
AND WE SEE THEM, ALONG AS BEING PARTNERS
IN THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PIECE IN THIS.
ALSO, A GREAT WAY TO ACCESS PARENTS,
'CAUSE WE HAVE A LOT OF OUR PARENTS,
PARTICULARLY OF THE STUDENTS WE MOST HOPE TO REACH,
WHO ARE WORKING IN MANUFACTURING SETTINGS AND A LOT OF OUR BIG EMPLOYERS,
AND WE HOPE IF WE CAN PARTNER WITH THE EMPLOYERS,
THAT THAT MIGHT BE A GOOD WAY TO CONNECT
AND REACH THOSE PARENTS WHEN THEY MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS US
THROUGH MORE CONVENTIONAL VENUES.
AND FINALLY, JUST TO WRAP UP, A FEW OF THE KEY THINGS
THAT WE ARE FOCUSING ON IN TERMS OF PROVIDING PROGRAMMING--
AND THESE ARE THINGS WE SAW BOTH THROUGH THE BEST PRACTICES
AND THE LOCAL FEEDBACK,
ARE EARLY AWARENESS ACTIVITIES FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS,
FINANCIAL AID ADVISING AND AWARENESS, CAREER EXPLORATION,
GROUP MENTORING,
AND SUPPORTING THAT TRANSITION FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO COLLEGE.
AND WE ARE IN THE PILOT STAGE OF PROGRAMS AT THIS POINT,
OVER THE SUMMER,
AND HOPE TO HAVE A SET THAT HAVE BEEN TESTED,
AND WE'VE GOTTEN GOOD FEEDBACK FROM STUDENTS AND PARENTS
TO REALLY ROLL OUT MORE FULLY IN THE FALL.
SO, THAT'S JUST A VERY QUICK SNAPSHOT OF WHAT WE'VE BEEN DOING.
WE'RE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITIES
THAT HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE IN COLLABORATION
WITH A LOT OF THE DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES AROUND THE STATE
THAT ARE LOOKING AT THIS ISSUE
AND HAVE REALLY BENEFITTED FROM WHAT WE'VE ALL BEEN LEARNING
IN OUR OWN COMMUNITIES,
AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THOSE THINGS
AND RECEIVE SOME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
THROUGH THE MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK.
SO, THANKS VERY MUCH.
>> THANK YOU FOR THE WORK YOU'RE DOING OVER THERE.
EXCUSE ME-- UM, RICH FINK.
IS RICH HERE?
AND KATHLEEN LASZLO, PLEASE.
THANK YOU.
>> GOOD AFTERNOON AND THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HERE.
I'M KIND OF ON THE OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM.
I'M AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR.
HAVE MY MASTER'S IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
AND I HAVE BEEN TEACHING EARLY CHILDHOOD FOR 37 YEARS.
I GUESS THE FIRST THING I'D LIKE TO ADDRESS
IS THIS WHOLE PIECE OF KINDERGARTEN BEING REQUIRED
AS A FULL-DAY PROGRAM ACROSS THE STATE
AND FUNDING BEING BASED ON THAT.
AND I GUESS, I WOULD HOPE THAT THE STATE BOARD
AND OUR GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATORS WOULD UNDERSTAND
THAT BECAUSE THE HALF-DAY KINDERGARTEN HAS BEEN A MODEL
THAT HAS BEEN USED AND ACCEPTED FOR YEARS,
MANY OF THE DISTRICTS ACROSS THE STATE
DO NOT HAVE THE SPACE
TO BE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH ALL DAY, EVERY DAY KINDERGARTEN.
I KNOW IN MY OWN DISTRICT-- I'M FROM JENISON--
WE'RE GONNA BE LOOKING AT HAVING TO FIND PLACES IN THE DISTRICT
OR ADDING ON TO BUILDINGS OR SOMETHING
IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE THE ALL DAY, EVERY DAY MODEL.
SO, THE COST OF IMPLEMENTING THAT PROGRAM IS GOING TO BE GREAT,
AS WELL AS THE COST OF HIRING THE ADDITIONAL TEACHERS
THAT ARE GOING TO BE REQUIRED TO MAKE THAT PROGRAM WORK.
WHILE I DON'T DISAGREE-- I FEEL IT'S AN EXCELLENT PROGRAM,
I FEEL IT HAS A LOT OF MERIT, A LOT OF VALUE FOR OUR STUDENTS--
I THINK YOU HAVE TO TAKE A GOOD, CLOSE LOOK AT THE FACT
THAT THIS HAS BEEN AN ACCEPTED MODEL FOR MANY, MANY YEARS,
AND MOST DISTRICTS HAVE BUILT THEIR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS BASED ON THAT MODEL,
AND THE ROOMS AND THE ACCOMMODATIONS
THAT HAVE BEEN MADE FOR A KINDERGARTEN
HAVE TYPICALLY BEEN ONE KINDERGARTEN ROOM THAT IS LARGE ENOUGH
TO ACCOMMODATE THE MATERIALS FOR THAT CLASSROOM.
AND TO FIND ANOTHER CLASSROOM
TO ACCOMMODATE A FULL DAY, EVERY DAY KINDERGARTEN
IS GOING TO BE VERY DIFFICULT AND VERY COSTLY.
SECONDLY, JUST LOOKING AT EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION,
I WOULD ASK THE BOARD, AS YOU CONTINUE TO LOOK AT CURRICULUM,
YOU CONTINUE TO LOOK AT THE M.E.A.P.,
THAT YOU TAKE MORE CONSIDERATION INTO WHAT IS DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE
FOR CHILDREN, AGES...
ZERO TO SEVEN OR EIGHT.
WHAT I'M FINDING, OVER MY MANY YEARS OF TEACHING,
IS THAT OUR CURRICULUM
HAS MOVED FROM WHAT WE TAUGHT IN KINDERGARTEN TEN YEARS AGO
IS NOW BEING TAUGHT
IN PRE-SCHOOLS TO THREE YEAR OLDS.
I'M FINDING THAT DISCIPLINE IS BECOMING A GREATER ISSUE
IN THE LOWER ELEMENTARY GRADES,
AND I THINK IT'S DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE FACT THAT MANY OF THOSE CHILDREN
ARE NOT DEVELOPMENTALLY READY TO HANDLE THE KIND OF "RIGOR,"
IF THAT'S WHAT WE WANNA CALL IT, IN THE CURRICULUM.
THEY ARE JUST NOT THERE YET.
AND SO, MANY OF THE SKILLS THAT WE TEACH AT THE EARLY ELEMENTARY LEVEL
ARE SKILLS THAT ARE DEVELOPMENTAL.
WHEN YOU TEACH KINDERGARTEN, YOU SEE WHEN THOSE STUDENTS ARE READY.
THEY KNOW THE ALPHABET, THEY HAVE ALL OF THE SKILLS THAT ARE NECESSARY,
THAT ARE GOING TO MAKE THEM SUCCESSFUL READERS.
BUT NOT EVERY CHILD READS AT THE SAME TIME OF THE YEAR,
AND NOT EVERY CHILD IS READY TO READ IN KINDERGARTEN.
BUT YET, THAT HAS BECOME A STANDARD AND AN EXPECTATION,
BASED ON THE CURRICULUM THAT IS BEING HANDED TO US
FROM THE STATE AND FROM THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT.
IT IS BECOMING VERY, VERY DIFFICULT FOR US TO TRY
AND EXPECT FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT YEAR OLD STUDENTS
TO SIT FOR 30 TO 45 MINUTES FOR LESSONS
THAT ARE BEING REQUIRED BY THE STATE AND NATIONAL GOVERNMENT,
IN ORDER FOR OUR STUDENTS TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS NECESSARY
FOR THEM TO PASS THE M.E.A.P. TEST IN 3rd GRADE.
LOOKING AT THE M.E.A.P.,
I FIND IT VERY DISHEARTENING TO KNOW THAT, AS A TEACHER,
I CAN NEVER KNOW WHAT IT IS THAT MY STUDENTS
ARE GOING TO BE TESTED ON.
EVERY YEAR, THE TESTS CHANGE.
EVERY YEAR, THE TEST QUESTIONS CHANGE.
EVERY YEAR, THE VOCABULARY CHANGES.
EVERY YEAR, THE EXPECTATIONS ARE CHANGED.
I THINK IF WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A MOVING TARGET,
THEN MAYBE WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT'S ON THAT TARGET,
SO THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY BEGIN TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN
THE SKILLS NECESSARY TO BE SUCCESSFUL.
BECAUSE WHAT I FIND IS THAT THE MINUTE THEY BECOME SUCCESSFUL AT SOMETHING,
THE STATE DEEMS IT NECESSARY TO CHANGE THE TEST OR TO MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT,
SO THAT MORE STUDENTS CAN FAIL AGAIN.
AND I FIND THAT VERY DISHEARTENING, VERY DISCONCERTING.
AND IT'S VERY DIFFICULT, AS A TEACHER, TO KNOW THAT,
FROM THIS POINT FORWARD,
I'M GOING TO BE EVALUATED ON,
GRADED ON, AND POSSIBLY PAID ON
HOW MY STUDENTS SUCCEED IN MY CLASSROOM.
AND IF I'M NOT ALLOWED, AS AN EDUCATOR,
TO KNOW WHAT I'M GOING TO BE TESTED ON,
WHAT MY STUDENTS ARE GOING TO BE TESTED ON,
WHAT THOSE EXPECTATIONS ARE,
I FIND IT VERY DISHEARTENING TO KNOW THAT MY PAY
IS GOING TO BE BASED ON MY STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT.
SECONDLY, GOING FORWARD WITH THIS WHOLE MERIT PAY ISSUE,
I TAKE A NUMBER OF STUDENTS BECAUSE I AM MALE.
I TEND TO GET THOSE STUDENTS THAT ARE A LITTLE MORE RAMBUNCTIOUS
AND THAT, TYPICALLY, MAYBE AREN'T THE BEST LEARNERS.
AND I THINK THAT IF I'M GOING TO BE LOOKING AT MERIT,
AND IF MY TEST SCORES IN MY CLASSROOM ARE GOING TO BE THE BASIS FOR MY PAY,
THAT MAYBE I'M NOT GOING TO WANT TO TAKE THOSE STUDENTS ANYMORE.
MAYBE I'M GOING TO WANT TO TAKE THOSE STUDENTS
THAT ARE THE HIGHEST PERFORMING,
SO THAT I'M GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET THE SAME RAISE
THAT THE OTHER PEOPLE GET.
I THINK THE ONE THING THAT WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT, IN EDUCATION,
WE'RE NOT MAKING ICE CREAM.
IF THE COMPANY IS MAKING BLUEBERRY ICE CREAM,
AND THEY GET IN A SHIPMENT OF BLUEBERRIES
AND TWO OR THREE CASES ARE SPOILED, THEY DUMP THEM.
UNFORTUNATELY, AS AN EDUCATOR, I'M GIVEN MY 30 STUDENTS
EVERY SINGLE YEAR
AND I'M ASKED TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE STUDENTS
MEETS THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.
AND I FEEL THAT, IN MY 37 YEARS OF TEACHING,
I HAVE DONE THAT.
AND TO NOW LOOK AT MERIT, EVALUATION,
THE CHANCE OF TENURE BEING CHANGED,
ALL OF THOSE THINGS,
I FEEL THAT I AM NOT BEING REWARDED AS A TEACHER
AND I'M NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO THE THINGS THAT I'M ASKED TO PERFORM.
I CAN'T DUMP THE STUDENTS THAT ARE STRUGGLING.
I SPEND MORE TIME WITH THEM.
AND UNFORTUNATELY, THE BUDGET CUTS THAT ARE BEING MADE CURRENTLY,
MOST OF THE EXTRA HELP THAT I HAVE IN MY CLASSROOM,
IN MY BUILDING, AND IN MY DISTRICT,
IS GOING TO BE LOST BECAUSE WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD IT.
I THINK THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
NEEDS TO TAKE A VERY CLOSE LOOK
AT WHAT IS DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE,
TAKE A LOOK AT PIAGET
AND WHAT HE DETERMINED, MANY, MANY YEARS AGO--
THAT, A FEW TIMES, I'VE BEEN TOLD IS, "WELL, HE'S DEAD.
"WHAT DOES IT MATTER?"
BUT TRULY DOES MATTER IN THE LIVES OF OUR CHILDREN.
THEY ARE CHILDREN.
THEY STILL REQUIRE TIME TO PLAY.
THEY STILL REQUIRE TIME
TO EXPERIMENT AND WORK WITH HANDS-ON MATERIALS.
THEY STILL REQUIRE ART.
THEY STILL REQUIRE ALL OF THOSE EXTRA FUN THINGS
THAT WE USED TO DO,
THAT, BECAUSE OF THE ACADEMIA THAT IS NOW REQUIRED IN MY CLASSROOM,
I NO LONGER HAVE THE TIME TO GIVE THEM.
AND I GUESS I ASK YOU, IN CLOSING,
ARE WE GOING TO ASK OUR SECOND GRADERS,
OUR FIRST GRADERS, OUR KINDERGARTNERS, WHEN THEY LEAVE SCHOOL,
"WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST?"
AND I REALLY WONDER IF THEY'RE GOING TO TELL US, "I REMEMBER THAT DIBELS TEST.
"I REMEMBER THAT N.W.E.A. TEST.
"I REMEMBER ALL THE TESTS THAT WE TOOK
"AND ALL THE INTERVENTIONS THAT I'VE HAD AS A STUDENT."
WHEN ARE WE GOING TO LET CHILDREN BE CHILDREN,
GIVE THEM A CURRICULUM THAT IS DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE,
AND ALLOW THEM TO LEARN AT A PACE THAT IS GOING TO LET THEM BE SUCCESSFUL?
THANK YOU. (applause)
>> THANK YOU FOR SHARING.
KATHLEEN LASZLO AND DEBORAH KAMMITT.
ALSO, ANYONE WHO HAS COME IN,
PLEASE MAKE SURE WE GET A PUBLIC COMMENT FORM,
SO WE CAN... CALL ON YOU SOON.
THANK YOU, KATHLEEN. >> HELLO.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.
I'M A NEW TEACHER IN GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
AND YES, I'M STILL SPEAKING IN FRONT OF YOU.
BRAVE, HUH?
OKAY, UM...
MY BIGGEST CONCERN IS FOR THE URBAN SCHOOLS.
IN 2006, WE I DID MY MASTER'S DEGREE IN EDUCATION,
I FOUND OUT, TO MY SURPRISE AT THE TIME,
THAT TITLE 1 MONEY DIDN'T GO TO URBAN SCHOOLS,
THAT MANY OF THE SUBURBIAL SCHOOLS GOT IT AND, FOR SOME OF 'EM,
FOR THINGS LIKE SWIMMING POOLS.
NOW, I'M TEACHING IN URBAN SCHOOLS,
AND I SEE THE DESPERATE NEED FOR MY STUDENTS.
THE MONEY THAT'S BEEN ROBBED THEM OVER THE YEARS...
I GREW UP IN THE SOUTH...
WITH PEOPLE WHO STILL BELIEVED, UNFORTUNATELY, "SEPARATE BUT EQUAL."
I DISAGREED WITH THEM THEN, AND I DISAGREE NOW.
(voice wavering) WE CHANGED IT A LITTLE BIT,
BUT NOT VERY MUCH.
MANY OF OUR MINORITY
AND POVERTY STUDENTS LIVE IN URBAN AREAS...
AND IN A HIGHER CONCENTRATION THAN THE SUBURBIAL SCHOOLS,
YET WE DO NOT GET A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF THE TITLE 1 MONIES.
IN ADDITION, WE GET LESS REGULAR MONIES THAN SUBURBIA SCHOOLS.
NOT JUST IN GRAND RAPIDS, BUT THROUGHOUT AN ENTIRE NATION.
URBAN SCHOOLS ARE BEING ROBBED.
WE NEED TO STAND UP
AND SAY, "NO, THIS IS NOT RIGHT AND WE NEED TO CORRECT IT."
NOT JUST THAT, "MY GRANDPARENTS DIDN'T DO IT RIGHT.
"THAT WAS BAD OF THEM."
WE NEED TO TAKE PROACTIVE ACTION
TO MAKE A CORRECTION.
MY MOTHER WAS ILLITERATE AND SHE COULDN'T HELP ME LEARN TO READ.
MY BROTHER HAD TO HELP ME WITH ASSIGNMENTS, WHEN HE COULD.
STUDENTS IN POVERTY, WITH PARENTS WHO CANNOT READ,
NEED MORE ASSISTANCE AND MORE MONEY, NOT LESS.
(sighing)
I PROPOSE THE FOLLOWING THINGS TO CORRECT THIS PROBLEM...
FIRST OF ALL...
THAT WE GET THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY AS FOREST HILLS.
WHETHER THAT'S LESSENING THEIR MONEY AND GREATERING OURS OR WHATEVER,
BUT ALL DISTRICTS IN MICHIGAN
GET THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY FROM THE STATE.
THE INITIAL FUNDS, NOT THE CITY FUNDS.
I UNDERSTAND THERE'S TWO DIFFERENT AMOUNTS.
AND THEN, TITLE 1 MONEY...
SHOULD BE GIVEN TO SCHOOLS
WITH HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF POVERTY IN THE SCHOOL,
NOT BASED ON WHO WRITES THE BEST GRANTS.
'CAUSE WHO CAN AFFORD THE BEST GRANT WRITERS?
THE PEOPLE WITH THE MOST MONEY.
THIRDLY, WHEN YOU ADVISE A PENALTY TO A SCHOOL,
AN INNER CITY SCHOOL WILL ALWAYS HAVE MORE PENALTIES,
BECAUSE OUR CHILDREN ARE STILL BEHIND.
YOU DON'T TAKE IT OUT OF THE STUDENT BUDGET!
INSTEAD, IT'S A PENALTY TO THE PERSON
WHO CREATED THE CRIME OR THE--
NOT "CRIME," BUT WHAT'S A BETTER TERM FOR THAT?
"NONCOMPLIANCE."
IF THAT'S THE SUPERINTENDENT,
LET IT GO TO THE SUPERINTENDENT.
IF IT'S TRULY A TEACHER, LET A TEACHER BE FINED.
BUT I DON'T ASSIGN MYSELF A HUNDRED STUDENTS.
I DON'T HAVE CONTROL OF THAT.
AND IT IS A STUDENT-TO-TEACHER RATIO THAT AFFECTS THE GROWTH
IN THE LEARNING IN GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
AND ALSO, IN OTHER URBAN AREAS.
OKAY, THAT WAS MY FIRST ISSUE.
HOW MANY MORE MINUTES DO I HAVE?
>> (indistinct speaking). >> OKAY.
MY OTHER ISSUES ARE MUCH SMALLER.
NOW, TRY TO PROTECT THE TEACHERS A LITTLE BIT.
THE MERIT PAY ISSUE.
TE-- PAY--
POST-TESTS ARE NOT DATA-DRIVEN.
FOR DATA-DRIVEN EDUCATION, YOU NEED PRE-TEST, POST-TEST.
THIS IS A HUGE MISJUSTICE THAT IS BEING DONE.
IF I HAD PRE-TEST, POST-TEST, I COULD SHOW THAT MY STUDENTS
MADE ACHIEVEMENT DURING THE YEAR.
AND EVEN URBAN SCHOOL TEACHERS WOULD HAVE A FAIR SHOT
AT BEING PAID FOR WHAT THEY'RE ACTUALLY DOING.
THEY MIGHT ACTUALLY GET PAID MORE.
THEN, THIS IS SOMETHING--
I THINK THAT EDUCATION--
WE CERTAINLY HAVE STRONGER GOALS NOW
THAN EVER BEFORE.
WE'RE CERTAINLY EXPECTING CHILDREN TO LEARN MORE THAN EVER BEFORE.
AND I'M NOT AGAINST THOSE STANDARDS.
I APPLAUD THOSE STANDARDS.
I THINK THEY'RE WONDERFUL.
BUT WHAT WE'RE NOT CONSIDERING IS WHAT A SOCIAL PROMOTION
AT THE SAME TIME DONE WITH THOSE STUDENTS.
STUDENTS ALSO NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE, AND SO DO THEIR TEACHERS.
AND THERE SHOULD BE NOT NECESSARILY FAILING AT EVERY GRADE,
BUT CERTAIN PLACES, WE KNOW THAT STUDENTS,
IF THEY ARE NOT CAUGHT UP IN READING BY 3rd GRADE,
THEY WILL HAVE, ESSENTIALLY, A LEARNING DISABILITY
(voice wavering) FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.
IF THEY CAN'T READ AT 3rd GRADE, FLUNK THEM,
GIVE 'EM A YEAR OF READING.
WE KNOW THAT, AT AGE TEN, THEY START TO USE LOGIC.
IF THEY'RE NOT AT MATH AND SCIENCE LEVEL AT AGE TEN,
LET'S GIVE AN INTENSIVE YEAR BEFORE--
WHILE THE BRAIN IS STILL OPEN TO THAT LEARNING.
LET'S NOT WAIT
UNTIL WE'RE FIGHTING ERROR-OVERGROWN BRAINS
AND I'M TEACHING 19 YEAR OLDS 6th GRADE MATH!
>> THANK YOU-- THANK YOU FOR COMING FORWARD AND SHARING.
(applause) IS DEBORAH KAMAT...
AND SANDY POLL...?
DEBRA, ARE YOU WITH--
I HAD YOUR COLLEAGUE, KIMBERLY KILBY, MIGHT BE HERE-- IS SHE HERE?
OKAY.
I TRIED TO INTRODUCE YOU EARLIER,
'CAUSE I UNDERSTOOD YOU HAD SOME FORMS THAT YOU WANTED HELP WITH.
SO, TAKE A MOMENT AND EXPLAIN... WHAT YOUR WORK IS.
>> WELL, WE DON'T HAVE ANY FORMS.
I JUST WANTED TO EXPLAIN WHAT OUR WORK IS
AND WHAT WE'RE DOING HERE.
MY NAME IS DEBORAH KAMAT
AND I'M WITH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION'S OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS,
AND WE ARE CURRENTLY IN GRAND RAPIDS.
WE'RE LOOKING AT THE ISSUE OF HOW THE GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
PROVIDES A.P. AND OTHER HIGHER LEVEL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
TO AFRICAN AMERICAN AND OTHER STUDENTS.
AND THIS IS JUST PART OF THE TYPE OF WORK WE DO.
WE, YOU KNOW, PERIODICALLY DO COMPLIANCE REVIEWS OF SCHOOLS.
THERE'S BEEN NO COMPLAINT FILED... SO WE ARE JUST LOOKING, YOU KNOW,
TO SEE HOW THE SCHOOLS HANDLE THIS ISSUE.
WE WANT TO LET IT BE KNOWN THAT WE ARE INTERESTED
IN HEARING FROM PARENTS OR STUDENTS IN THE GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS,
UH, IF THEY WANT TO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH US,
IN REGARDS TO A.P. AND HIGHER LEVEL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE SCHOOLS,
AND WE'LL BE HERE FOR A WHILE,
IF ANYBODY WANTS TO STOP BY AND TALK TO US,
WE'LL BE HAPPY TO LISTEN TO THEM.
THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU.
SANDY POLL, AND DAVID COFFEY AFTER SANDY, IF DAVID'S STILL HERE.
>> I'M SANDY POLL.
I JUST WANTED TO MAKE TWO POINTS.
THE PERSON THAT CAME UP AND SPOKE ABOUT VOCATION, NOT EDUCATION,
I REALLY THINK THAT THE FOCUS AND SUPPORT
ON COLLEGE PREP IS GREAT...
UM, THE PERSON THAT'S GONNA BE DOING BRAIN SURGERY ON YOU,
YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE-- BE TOP-NOTCH COLLEGE-PREPARED STUDENTS.
BUT I ALSO THINK THAT YOUR POINT ABOUT RELEVANCE--
WE NEED TO STRENGTHEN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN THE SKILLED TRADES,
BECAUSE YOU ALSO WANT THE PERSON
THAT'S WELDING THE BRIDGE THAT YOU'RE CROSSING OVER...
UH, I THINK THAT IS A VERY IMPORTANT THING.
I HAD A--
I'M AWARE OF A STUDENT WHO WAS NOT INTERESTED IN MATH,
BUT HE BECAME THE TOP WELDER
AT THE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT.
AND THEN, HE BECAME VERY INTERESTED IN LEARNING HOW TO MEASURE,
SO THAT RELEVANCE IS-- I'M GLAD YOU'RE FOCUSING ON RELEVANCE.
ALSO, TEACHER TRAINING.
YEARS AGO, THERE WAS A PROGRAM CALLED "THE TEACHER CORPS."
IT MAY OR MAY NOT STILL EXIST, BUT I THINK THAT TRAINING PROGRAM
COULD BE TWEAKED TO TAKE TEACHERS-- THAT PROGRAM--
PUT, UH, PERSPECTIVE TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOM FOR TWO SOLID YEARS,
WHILE THEY TOOK THEIR COURSEWORK AND OTHER, UH, COMMUNITY SERVICE.
BUT THE COURSEWORK AND THE BEING IN THE CLASSROOM,
YOU COULD PUT THEM UNDER EXPERIENCED TEACHERS
WHO HAVE GOOD RESULTS WITH THE A.Y.P.
THAT WOULD, YOU KNOW--
I THINK THAT MAYBE WE DO NEED TO TRAIN TEACHERS DIFFERENTLY.
I MEAN, THE TEACHER CORPS PROGRAM, IN THE PAST,
PUT TEACHERS IN AREAS, MAYBE,
THAT WEREN'T THE MOST DESIRABLE
BUT, I MEAN, WHY NOT TAKE THE TEACHERS
THAT MAYBE YOU THINK WOULD BE DESERVING OF MERIT PAY,
OR WHATEVER THE TOP-NOTCH TEACHERS, EVERYBODY COULD AGREE--
THE PARENTS, THE ADMINISTRATION, THE OTHER TEACHERS--
COULD AGREE THAT THOSE PEOPLE SHOULD TRAIN PEOPLE IN THEIR CLASSROOMS.
THEY COULD BE IN THE CLASSROOMS ALONG WITH THEIR COURSEWORK.
AND THAT'S...
YOU KNOW, IT'S SOMETHING I THINK YOU COULD LOOK AT
AND FOCUSING A LITTLE ON THE SKILLED TRADES.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
DAVID COFFEY, AND WHILE DAVID'S COMING UP, BRIAN BARBER, AFTER DAVID.
AND THEN, IF THERE ARE ANY MORE...
THANK YOU. >> HELLO.
THANK YOU.
MY NAME'S DAVID COFFEY.
I HOLD A JOINT APPOINTMENT AT GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
BETWEEN THE COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES,
AND THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION.
AND ON THE HEELS OF WHAT WE JUST HEARD,
I'D LIKE TO ECHO THOSE STATEMENTS THAT CONSIDERING WAYS
THAT WE MIGHT IMPROVE TEACHER PREPARATION.
FIRST, THOUGH, I'D LIKE TO, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT,
ADDRESS THIS IDEA OF SHARED SACRIFICE.
I'M A LITTLE CONCERNED THAT WE HAVE FAILED TO RECOGNIZE THE SACRIFICES
THAT TEACHERS HAVE BEEN MAKING FOR YEARS.
SACRIFICES IN PAY, SACRIFICES IN EFFORT,
AND ALSO THE SACRIFICES THAT THE KIDS OF MICHIGAN
HAVE BEEN PUT THROUGH FOR YEARS.
AND SO, THIS IDEA OF "MORE SHARED SACRIFICE,"
I THINK WE'VE GOTTA BE CAREFUL WITH THAT.
AS OPPOSED TO THAT, WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST
IS THINKING ABOUT PARTNERSHIPS.
AT THIS POINT, IT REALLY DOES FEEL LIKE WE'VE GOT CRUMBS
THAT WE'RE THROWING OUT.
AND EVEN AS YOU'VE HEARD SOME OF THESE PEOPLE SPEAK SO PASSIONATELY ALREADY,
FIGHTING OVER THOSE CRUMBS,
AS OPPOSED TO THINKING ABOUT "HOW CAN WE TAKE THESE RESOURCES
"THAT WE HAVE AVAILABLE?" AND CREATING PARTNERSHIPS.
(coughing) EXCUSE ME.
ONE OF THE IDEAS THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST
WOULD BE A WIN-WIN-WIN SITUATION.
LIKE I SAID, I WORK WITH PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS.
WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT RELEVANCE.
MY TEACHERS WOULD BENEFIT FROM THE RELEVANCE
OF ACTUALLY WORKING WITH STUDENTS IN REAL CLASSROOMS.
TOO MUCH OF WHAT HAPPENS IN SCHOOLS OF ED NOWADAYS ARE,
AT THE VERY LEAST, THEORETICAL.
AND BEING ABLE TO BE-- HAVE REAL ACCESS TO REAL KIDS,
TO DO ASSESSMENT, TO DO EVALUATION,
TO DO INSTRUCTION, WOULD BE A BENEFIT...
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
UNFORTUNATELY, THAT'S DIFFICULT FOR A LOT OF TEACHERS
AND DISTRICTS WHO ARE FEELING SO STRESSED OUT WITH TESTS.
THEY DON'T WANT MORE PEOPLE IN THEIR CLASSROOMS.
THEY DON'T WANT MORE RECRUI--
YOU KNOW, MORE EXPECTATIONS AND MORE SUPPOR--
YOU KNOW, THEY DON'T RECOGNIZE IT AS SUPPORT.
THEY RECOGNIZE IT AS A BURDEN.
WHAT I'D LIKE TO SUGGEST IS IF WE COULD DO THIS
SO THAT IT WOULD BE A SUPPORT.
TEACHERS ARE OVERWORKED.
I WORK WITH LOTS OF TEACHERS AND THE FACT--
WHEN I COME IN TO ASK THEM ABOUT WHAT THEY WANNA WORK ON,
THEIR INITIAL COMMENT TO ME IS, "DAVE, I'M SORRY.
"I SHOULD BE DOING MORE."
WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS FIGURE OUT WAYS TO SUPPORT THEM.
IF I HAVE A CLASS OF 60 THIS COMING FALL OF PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS.
WHAT IF THOSE PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS COULD WORK WITHIN THE AREA SCHOOLS
TO BE ABLE TO SUPPORT THOSE TEACHERS?
WE HEARD DR. SMITH TALK ABOUT DIAGNOSIS.
WE'VE HEARD SEVERAL PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THE NEED FOR SUPPORT IN INSTRUCTION.
WHAT IF WE WERE TO PUT INTO PLACE WHERE 60 OF MY STUDENTS
COULD GO OUT AND SUPPORT THOSE TEACHERS?
IT ALSO WOULD BENEFIT TEACHERS FROM THE STANDPOINT
OF HAVING TO SHARE THEIR OWN THOUGHTS
AND THINKING WITH PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS--
YOU KNOW, THAT THE VALUE OF COACHING HAS BEEN SHOWN.
AND AGAIN, UNFORTUNATELY, WITH THE FUNDING THE WAY IT IS,
ONE OF THE FIRST THING THAT SCHOOL DISTRICTS
HAVE TO CUT IS INSTRUCTIONAL COACHING.
THAT DOESN'T JUST BENEFIT THOSE TEACHERS THAT THEY'RE COACHING.
IT ALSO BENEFITS THE COACH THEMSELVES.
AND THIS GIVES ALL TEACHERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE
AND TO HAVE TO BE THOUGHTFUL ABOUT WHAT THEY'RE DOING.
THEN, FINALLY, WE'VE TALKED A LOT ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS.
THIS SORT OF APPROACH WOULD PROVIDE ONE MORE ADULT
IN A CHILD'S LIFE WHO CARES ABOUT THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS,
AND THAT'S BEEN PROVEN TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN ALL ACADEMIC LITERACY,
ALL AREAS OF LEARNING.
AND SO, I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO SUGGEST
THAT WE COULD THINK ABOUT DOING THIS DIFFERENTLY.
I ALSO, THOUGH, RECOGNIZE THAT THIS ISN'T GOING TO WORK ACROSS THE STATE.
I'M FROM THE U.P. ORIGINALLY
AND, YOU KNOW, THAT'S A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT THAN--
I CAN FIND PLACES FOR 60 STUDENTS--
60 OF MY STUDENTS IN GRAND RAPIDS AREA,
BUT IT WOULD BE MUCH MORE DIFFICULT IF I WAS AT NORTHERN
OR IF I WAS AT LAKE STATE OR IF I WAS MICHIGAN TECH.
AND SO, I THINK THE OTHER THING THAT WE HAVE TO LOOK AT IS THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY.
THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY TO, FOR INSTANCE, HAVE TWO OF MY STUDENTS SKYPE IN
WITH TWO STUDENTS IN INDIAN RIVER, OKAY?
THAT COULD PROVIDE SUPPORT.
WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT NOT JUST RESOURCES,
BUT WE ALSO NEED TO THINK ABOUT AVAILABILITY.
THERE ARE SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT, UM...
HAVE PUT HANDCUFFS ON THE TECHNOLOGY,
ESPECIALLY WIFI AND THE INTERNET,
AND WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT WAYS TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THAT MORE AVAILABLE,
SO THAT WE CAN CREATE A MORE...
UH, WORLDWIDE COMMUNITY.
AND AGAIN, JUST THIS IDEA OF BEING ABLE TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS.
I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT HAVING ANYTHING COMPLETELY WRITTEN OUT,
BUT YOU'VE GOT MY INFORMATION.
AND YOU CAN CONTACT ME, IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH, DAVID.
>> (indistinct speaking). >> GRAND VALLEY.
>> PERFECT... BRIAN BARBER.
>> GOOD EVENING.
THANK YOU FOR, UH-- >> (indistinct speaking).
>> (laughing) THAT'S A GREAT THI--
AMERICA'S A GREAT COUNTRY.
I WAS JUST THINKING, YOU KNOW, "WHAT A GREAT COUNTRY, A GREAT STATE."
WE GET TO GO THROUGH ALL THIS THING, THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES,
AND, UH, I THINK WE'RE GONNA COME OUT STRONGER AS A RESULT.
SO, THANKS FOR TAKING MY COMMENTS.
MY NAME IS BRIAN BARBER.
I'M THE DIRECTOR OF WHITE LAKE AREA COMMUNITY EDUCATION.
IT'S A FIVE-DISTRICT COMMUNITY EDUCATION CONSORTIUM
WHICH SERVES THE NORTHERN PART OF MUSKEGON COUNTY,
IN PARTICULAR THE DISTRICTS OF REETHS-PUFFER,
WHITEHALL, HOLTON, NORTH MUSKEGON, AND MONTAGUE.
LORD FORBID I FORGET ONE OF THOSE.
AND ALSO, I CAME HERE, ACTUALLY, TO SUPPORT MARISSA AND ELIZABETH
AND OUR LOCAL COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK INITIATIVES
THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF MICHIGAN.
AS WE CONTINUE TO LOOK AT THIS WHOLE IDEA OF P-20,
THERE'S JUST A COUPLE OF THOUGHTS THAT I'VE HAD,
AND I'VE STUDIED PRE-SCHOOL THROUGH 20...
AND 20, TO ME, IS PhD.
I KNOW THERE'S SOME--
MAYBE A LITTLE BIT OF AMBIVALENCE ABOUT WHAT THE 20 MEANS...
UH, AND THE "P."
BUT FOR ME, IT'S PRE-SCHOOL THROUGH PhD.
JUST A COUPLE OF THOUGHTS THAT I MIGHT OFFER.
WE RUN, AGAIN...
PROGRAMS IN THOSE FIVE DISTRICTS, WHICH INCLUDE PRE-SCHOOL.
ALL SECTIONS OF HEAD START, G.S.R.P., AND TUITION PRE-SCHOOL--
SO, ROUGHLY 26 SECTIONS THROUGHOUT THE FIVE DISTRICTS.
AND THEN, IN ADDITION TO THAT, AT THE OTHER END,
WE WERE ONE OF THE PIONEERS, AND STILL ARE ONE OF THE PIONEERS
WHEN IT COMES TO LOCAL COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORKS.
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT OUR CURRENT SYSTEM HAS TWO DATING ISSUES.
ONE, BEING THAT OUR SUCCESS
IS PREDICATED ON OUR DATE OF MANUFACTURE,
OUR DATE OF BIRTH.
AND THEN, AS A RESULT, THERE'S A DATE OF EXPIRATION
THAT WE'VE KIND OF PUT ON OURSELVES, AS A RESULT.
WHEN WE GET TO, SAY, 18 OR 19, WHEN IT COMES TO HIGH SCHOOL.
AND I'VE HEARD A LOT OF OUR COLLEAGUES TALK ABOUT IT TONIGHT.
THE WHOLE IDEA OF HAVING A MORE FLUID SYSTEM,
WHEREIN, ESSENTIALLY, WE HAVE A LOT OF SOCIAL PROMOTION THAT GOES ON.
AND I SEE THOSE STUDENTS IN MY ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAM.
AGAIN, I SERVE THE GAMUT.
SO, I'D CHALLENGE US TO, AGAIN, THINK ABOUT THIS WHOLE NOTION
OF "DATE OF MANUFACTURE" AND "DATE OF EXPIRATION,"
BASED UPON MAYBE A FOUR OR FIVE YEAR GRAD--
COHORT GRADUATION ISSUE.
THE SECOND THING THAT I THINK IS REALLY IMPORTANT,
AS WE MOVE FORWARD, AGAIN, IN THIS P-20 DISCUSSION,
IS FORCED TO LOOK AT CURRICULAR CONGRUENCE.
WE'VE HAD A LOT OF DISCUSSION WHEN IT COMES TO GLICKS AND HUSKIES
UM, GRADE-LEVEL CONTEXT EXPECTATIONS,
HIGH SCHOOL CONTEXT LEVEL EXPECTATIONS.
SO, K THROUGH 12.
BUT YET, I DON'T KNOW OF ANY DISCUSSIONS
THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE GRADES 12 TO 13...
AND THAT'S, ESSENTIALLY, WHAT WE DO.
WE GO FROM-- IF WE WANT TO HAVE THIS SYSTEM THAT'S SEAMLESS,
WE ROLL ON INTO 13th GRADE AND 14th GRADE AND SO ON.
AND SO, IT'S JUST A CHALLENGE OF QUICK THOUGHT.
AND, UM... THANK YOU FOR THE TIME.
>> THANK YOU.
SO, I'VE GOT LYNN HEEMSTRA,
AND THEN, DOUGLAS WAAN,
AND THEN, IF THERE'S ANYONE ELSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK,
PLEASE MAKE SURE WE HAVE YOUR NAME AND INFORMATION.
AND I THINK...
I KNOW-- I'M EAGER TO HAVE MY COLLEAGUES, KATHY STRAUS AND MARIANNE,
AND I, AT THE END HERE, MAKE A FEW REFLECTIONS
ON WHAT WE'VE HEARD THIS EVENING.
IT'S INVALUABLE FOR YOU TO BE WILLING TO TAKE THE TIME
TO SHARE WITH US AND HELP US
BE AS HELPFUL AS WE CAN IN THIS SHARED ENTERPRISE
OF TRYING TO IMPROVE OUR EDUCATION
AND CREATE OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL OUR KIDS.
SO, IF YOU'RE-- I APPRECIATE YOUR STICKING WITH US THIS AFTERNOON,
AND WELCOME THE CHANCE TO SAY A FEW WORDS OF REFLECTION AT THE END.
THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SAY A FEW WORDS BEFORE YOU,
AND I REALLY APPRECIATE THAT YOU'RE TAKING THE TIME
TO COME TO OUR COMMUNITIES TO HEAR WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY.
I'M LYNN HEEMSTRA AND I'M FROM "OUR COMMUNITY'S CHILDREN,"
WHICH IS A PARTNERSHIP OF THE CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS
AND THE GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
I'VE BEEN IN THAT POSITION FOR 12 YEARS,
AND MY OFFICE ADVOCATES FOR THE NEEDS OF CHILDREN IN THE COMMUNITY.
A LARGE PART OF WHAT I DO IS TO ENSURE--
IS TO FACILITATE COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVES.
AND ONE OF THOSE IS THE EXPANDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITY NETWORK,
WHICH IS A NETWORK OF OVER 40 ORGANIZATIONS
THAT HAVE DEDICATED THEMSELVES
TO ENSURE THAT CHILDREN HAVE ACCESS TO QUALITY AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS.
AND I RAISE THIS TO YOUR ATTENTION BECAUSE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS
STAND AS A COMMITTED PARTNER WITH EDUCATION
TO ENSURE OUR CHILDREN ARE ON TRACK TO BE READY FOR COLLEGE, WORK, AND LIFE.
AND THERE ARE QUITE A BIT OF RESOURCES
COMING INTO THE STATE OF MICHIGAN CURRENTLY,
AND THOSE RESOURCES ARE DEDICATED
TO PROVIDE EXTENDED LEARNING THAT LOOKS
AND FEELS DIFFERENT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE,
FROM THE SCHOOL DAY.
HOWEVER, WE STAND COMMITTED, ALONG WITH EDUCATION,
TO DO A NUMBER OF THINGS THAT I'D LIKE YOU TO BE AWARE OF.
ONE IS THAT WE ARE WORKING TO ALIGN OUR EFFORTS TO ENSURE
THAT WHAT CHILDREN ARE GETTING IN AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS
REINFORCES WHAT THEY'RE LEARNING DURING THE SCHOOL DAY...
AND THAT WE'RE BUILDING ON READING AND LITERACY,
AND WE'RE BUILDING ON WAYS THAT YOUNG PEOPLE
CAN LEARN HOW TO GO TO THE--
HOW TO GO TO COLLEGE AND HOW TO EXPLORE CAREERS
THAT THEY MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN.
SECOND OF ALL, WE'RE DEDICATED TO QUALITY PRACTICES,
AND WE KNOW THAT WE NEED TO HAVE
GOOD TEACHER-WORKER-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS,
AND THAT WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT THERE IS GOOD ATTENDANCE.
AND WE KNOW THAT IF WE DO THAT,
KIDS ARE MORE LIKELY TO ATTEND SCHOOL ON A REGULAR BASIS.
THIRDLY, WE ARE DEDICATED TO A DATA MONITORING SYSTEM
THAT TRACKS OUR OUTCOMES RELATED TO CHILD ACADEMIC BEHAVIOR,
JUVENILE OFFENSES, AS WELL AS SOCIAL BEHAVIORS.
SO, THERE'S QUITE A BIT OF ALIGNMENT,
AND I JUST WANTED TO HIGHLIGHT THE FACT
THAT WE REALLY DO STAND COMMITTED
TO PROMOTING THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS THAT--
AND THE GOALS THAT THE SCHOOL BOARD HAS IN PLACE,
AND THAT, TOGETHER, WE CAN WORK VERY STRONGLY
IN LEVERAGING MANY DOLLARS COMING INTO THE STATE,
AS WELL AS PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE BEST INTERESTS OF OUR CHILDREN.
SO, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
>> DOUGLAS WAAN.
IS DOUGLAS STILL WITH US?
THANK YOU, DOUGLAS.
STILL WITH US?
YOU JOINED US NOT LONG AGO, BUT THANK YOU FOR COMING.
>> THANK YOU.
WELL, I ALSO APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HERE.
I THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.
DOUGLAS HAAN, H-A-A-N.
>> SORRY, DOUGLAS. >> THAT'S OKAY.
I'VE BEEN CALLED WORSE.
I TEACH IN ROCKFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS, WHICH IS NORTH OF GRAND RAPIDS,
AND I'M ALSO THE PRESIDENT OF OUR TEACHERS ASSOCIATION.
SO, I'VE HAD A BIT OF A CHALLENGE
DECIDING KINDA WHERE I WANTED TO GO
AND WHAT I WANTED TO SAY, BECAUSE I'M REPRESENTING...
THE SAME GROUP, BUT TWO DIFFERENT GROUPS.
AND I...
I KNOW WHO MY TEACHERS...
WOULD WANT ME TO REPRESENT...
AND IT WOULD BE THE KIDS.
SO, WHAT I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO ADDRESS, UM...
THIS IS MY 33rd YEAR OF TEACHING.
MY FIRST 18 WAS HERE IN GRAND RAPIDS.
UM, A GREAT 18 YEARS.
THIS IS MY 15th YEAR WITH ROCKFORD,
AND I'VE BEEN A SPECIAL ED TEACHER DURING THAT WHOLE CAREER...
VARIOUS AREAS.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAS BEEN VERY, VERY DIFFICULT FOR ME,
AS WELL AS THE SPECIAL ED STUDENTS THAT I WORK WITH,
IS FINDING A GOOD REASON
TO HELP THEM UNDERSTAND
WHY SOME OF THEM ARE BEING ASKED TO DO THINGS
THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS SAID,
"YOU'RE NOT NECESSARILY ABLE TO DO."
SO, BASICALLY, WHAT I'M SAYING IS, UM...
I HAVE A STUDENT RIGHT NOW THAT HAS TAKEN THE A.C.T. THREE TIMES
BECAUSE HE WANTS TO GO TO COLLEGE.
AND BLESS HIS HEART.
HE'S GAINED A POINT EACH TIME.
AND I'LL TELL YA,
FOR A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT TO HAVE THE COURAGE
TO...
ATTACK THAT DEVICE...
THREE TIMES, UM...
IS JUST UNBELIEVABLE.
I DON'T KNOW THAT I COULD DO THAT.
BUT...
WHEN...
WHEN WE NEEDED TO START IMPLEMENTING THE MICHIGAN MERIT CURRICULUM
AND ALL THE EXPECTATIONS THAT GO ALONG WITH IT,
THE SERVICES THAT WE WERE DELIVERING AT THE TIME...
(sighing)
WHILE I BELIEVE THAT WE WERE MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE STUDENT,
I BELIEVE WE WERE PREPARING THEM BETTER THAN WE ARE NOW
TO FACE POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION
OR JOBS OR...
WHATEVER IT IS THEY CHOOSE TO DO,
WHAT CAREER THEY MIGHT CHOOSE TO GO INTO.
I THINK WE'VE TAKEN A LOT AWAY FROM THEM.
ONE THING THAT I THINK WE'VE TAKEN AWAY FROM...
IS THEIR OPPORTUNITY TO BE INVOLVED IN VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS.
I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE WHEN-- UH, THURSDAY NIGHT,
OF...
GIVING FIVE SCHOLARSHIPS, $750 EACH,
TO FIVE OF OUR DESERVING STUDENTS.
AND AS PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION,
I GET TO DO THAT, AND IT'S A LOT OF FUN.
UM...
IT'S BECOMING MORE DIFFICULT, THOUGH,
BECAUSE AS I SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING TO EDUCATION
AND I SEE THE CHALLENGES THAT THEY'RE GOING TO FACE,
THAT I AM NOT GOING TO HAVE TO FACE,
BECAUSE I'M NOT GOING TO HAVE TO DO THIS FOR ANOTHER 20 OR 30 YEARS...
THAT'S TOUGH FOR ME TO DEAL WITH, AS WELL.
BUT BACK TO THE STUDENTS...
WE'VE HAD TO MOVE FROM...
MORE OF THE RESOURCE-ROOM STYLE INSTRUCTION TO--
ESPECIALLY AT THE SECONDARY LEVEL, 9-12--
TO TRY AND-- WE DO THE VERY BEST WE CAN
TO HELP THESE STUDENTS ATTAIN THE SKILLS THAT THEY NEED
TO TAKE THE M.M.E. AND THE A.C.T.
WHICH MEANS THAT, FOR SOME OF THEM,
THEY'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY
TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS
THAT THEY WOULD TYPICALLY DO AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL.
WE HAVE ONE OF THE BEST, AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED,
ONE OF THE BEST VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS WITH K.C.T.C. IN THE STATE.
I WORKED ON THE SAME CAMPUS, IN ANOTHER PROGRAM,
AND VERY FAMILIAR WITH THE PROGRAM--
MY SON ALSO CHOSE TO ATTEND K.C.T.C. DURING HIGH SCHOOL,
AN AUTO-BODY PROGRAM.
I HAVE STUDENTS WHO WOULD LIKE TO DO SO,
BUT THEY CAN'T BECAUSE OF THE STRUGGLES
THAT THEY'RE HAVING MEETING THE OBJECTIVES THAT THEY NEED TO
FOR THEIR TESTING AND EVALUATIONS.
I THINK IT'S REALLY UNFAIR TO THEM.
I THINK IT'S UNFAIR TO ME...
BECAUSE I DON'T FEEL THAT I'M REALLY SERVICING THESE STUDENTS
THE WAY I COULD BE, THE WAY I SHOULD BE.
UM...
ONE OF THE REASONS I BROUGHT UP THE AWARDS...
WE HAVE, FOR YEARS, WE HAVE SAID THAT WE WANT THE FIVE AWARDS WE GIVE,
WE WANT AT LEAST TWO OF THEM TO GO TO A STUDENT
THAT HAS EXPRESSED A DESIRE TO GO ON WITH FURTHER VOCATIONAL TRAINING.
WE DON'T HAVE ANY THIS YEAR.
WE HAD ONE LAST YEAR.
WE DON'T HAVE THE STUDENTS ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE PROGRAMS
DURING HIGH SCHOOL,
SO THEY DON'T PURSUE IT AFTER HIGH SCHOOL.
SO, ANYTHING--
I GUESS, ANYTHING WE CAN DO TO HELP OUR STUDENTS,
WHO FALL INTO THAT SITUATION,
DEAL AND COPE WITH THE RIGOR
THAT THEY ARE EXPECTED TO DO, IS...
I THINK IT'S JUST OUR DUTY TO DO SO.
THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
(applause)
ARE THERE ANY OTHERS OF YOU
WHO WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY?
WE, I'M SURE, WILL LINGER FOR A FEW MINUTES
AND TALK INFORMALLY FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO ATTACK US IN PRIVATE.
SIR, YOU WANT TO?
(audience laughing) CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF, PLEASE?
PLEASE, IT JUST HELPS US TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND...
>> (inaudible speaking)...
...(inaudible speaking)...
...(inaudible speaking)...
...(inaudible speaking)...
...(inaudible speaking)...
...(inaudible speaking)...
>> THANK YOU.
YOU NAME A NUMBER OF IMPORTANT TOPICS
AND IT'S VERY IMPORTANT FOR US ALL TO HEAR...
WHAT YOU THINK.
I THINK THE BUS SCHEDULE-- WE JUST NEED SOME GOOD MATH TEACHERS
WHO CAN RUN SOME SIMULTANEOUS EQUATIONS
TO FIGURE OUT HOW YOU CAN PICK UP THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
AND THE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND USE ONE TEAM OF BUSES.
SOME DISTRICTS HAVE FIGURED THAT ONE OUT.
THAT MAY BE THE EASIER OF THE TOPICS THAT YOU NAMED,
BUT THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
ARE THERE OTHERS WHO WANT TO SAY SOMETHING?
YES, PLEASE, INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND COME FORWARD.
THANK YOU.
MARY JO CHISM FROM ROCKFORD, THANKS.
>> I'LL THANK THE GUY FROM ROCKFORD FOR GIVING ME THE COURAGE TO SPEAK.
(voice wavering, sniffling) MY NAME IS MARY JO CHISM,
AND I HAVE TWO CHILDREN IN SCHOOL.
(sniffling) ONE OF THEM BRIGHT, THE OTHER ONE STRUGGLES--
HAS STRUGGLED SINCE THE 1st GRADE.
(crying) AND I HAVE DONE EVERYTHING IN MY POWER
TO HELP HER WITH HER ABILITY.
I HAVE PRIVATELY TUTORED HER SINCE THE TIME SHE WAS IN 1st GRADE.
SO, MY STRUGGLE IS...
SHE'S APPROACHING HIGH SCHOOL,
AND SHE HAS THIS MICHIGAN MERIT CURRICULUM THAT FACES US.
AND HER AND I BOTH ARE NERVOUS.
SHE STRUGGLES IN "INTRO TO ALGEBRA."
NEXT YEAR, WE HAVE TO TAKE ALGEBRA.
AFTER THAT, GEOMETRY.
THEN, "ALGEBRA 2."
HOW ARE WE GONNA DO THIS?
I DON'T KNOW.
SO, THAT'S MY BIG CONCERN,
IS THAT THEY'RE TRYING TO FIT EVERYONE INTO A COOKIE-CUTTER HERE,
AND NOT EVERY DEAR CHILD HAS THE ABILITY TO FIT THAT MOLD.
AND YEAH, MY GOAL FOR HER IS TO BE IN COLLEGE SOMEDAY,
BUT MAYBE IT'S GONNA BE OCCUPATIONAL.
MAYBE SHE'S GONNA DO CULINARY.
WE GOTTA GRADUATE HER THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL.
SO, THAT IS THE CRUX OF MY CONVERSATION FOR TODAY.
AND THE OTHER THING THAT I STRUGGLE WITH IS THE FACT
THAT WE'RE CUTTING, CUTTING, CUTTING--
THAT THESE KIDS NEED MORE HELP IN HIGH SCHOOL.
THEY'RE GOING THROUGH 9th AND 12th GRADE.
YOU'RE PUTTING ALL THESE REQUIREMENTS ON 'EM
AND THEY'RE GETTING LESS AND LESS ACADEMIC SUPPORT.
SO, THESE ARE MY CONCERNS FOR TODAY, AND THANK YOU.
(applause) >> THANK YOU.
THANK YOU FOR BEING WILLING TO-- AND HAVING THE COURAGE TO-- SHARE.
THAT'S WHY WE'RE HERE, IS TO PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO HEAR,
IMPORTANTLY, FROM YOU AND ALL THE FOLKS THAT WE HEARD FROM TODAY.
KATHY, DO YOU HAVE SOME REFLECTIONS ON WHAT WE'VE HEARD TODAY?
AND THEN, MARIANNE, AND THEN, WE'LL WRAP UP.
>> FIRST OF ALL, I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU FOR BEING HERE.
AND SO MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN HERE THE WHOLE TIME.
SO, THAT'S REALLY TERRIFIC
AND I REALLY APPRECIATED HEARING WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY.
I AGREED WITH A LOT OF WHAT WAS SAID.
YOU SPOKE ABOUT FINANCIAL LITERACY--
I'VE BEEN TO A LOT OF JUMP$TART MEETINGS
AND I FEEL VERY STRONGLY ABOUT THAT, THAT WE SHOULD BE DOING MORE.
WE'VE MANAGED TO GET IT IN, BUT NOT A COURSE...
SO, I THINK YOU NEED TO KEEP PLUGGING AWAY AND...
THAT'S ONE THING.
AS I SAID BEFORE, I THINK THE EMPHASIS ON RELATIONSHIPS
AND RELEVANCE IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL,
AND I'VE BEEN PUSHING THAT FOR A LONG TIME, TOO.
NOT ALWAYS SUCCESSFULLY, BUT I'VE...
THERE ARE A LOT OF THESE THINGS THAT WE'VE BEEN PUSHING FOR A LONG TIME,
THAT IT TAKES A LONG TIME TO GET THE SHIP CHANGED AROUND.
AND I REALLY APPRECIATE HEARING FROM THE TEACHERS.
I LOVE THE TEACHER WHO TALKED ABOUT,
"KIDS WANT TO PROMOTE SOCIAL JUSTICE."
THAT'S REALLY ENCOURAGING,
AND I HOPE WE CAN ENCOURAGE MORE TEACHERS TO (indistinct).
AND I THINK A LOT OF YOU HAVE RAISED THE ISSUE
OF WHETHER THE CURRICULUM IS TOO (indistinct),
AND NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR THESE OTHER THINGS TO GET INTO THE CURRICULUM.
AND THAT'S SOMETHING I THINK--
WE SPECIFICALLY SAID THAT THESE ARE NOT C--
THE CREDITS ARE NOT COURSES, NECESSARILY.
THE KIDS CAN--
AND WE'RE STUCK WITH A LOT OF TESTS,
WHETHER WE WANT 'EM OR NOT.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WANTS 'EM, AND LEGISLATURE WANTS 'EM,
GOVERNORS WANT 'EM.
EVERYBODY WANTS TESTS.
AND SO, THE--
AND WE KNOW THAT KIDS HAVE TO KNOW A LOT MORE TODAY
IN ORDER TO GET A DECENT JOB, THAN WAS NECESSARY TEN, TWENTY YEARS AGO.
AND I THINK EVERYBODY KNOWS IT,
BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE CAN'T--
HAVEN'T GOTTEN QUITE USED TO THE IDEA.
AND THEY DON'T ACCEPT IT.
BUT THE KIDS DO HAVE TO LEARN A LOT MORE IN ORDER TO GET A DECENT JOB.
THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.
BUT THERE SHOULD ROOM IN THE CURRICULUM
AND THERE SHOULD BE ROOM FOR TEACHERS TO BE CREATIVE,
AND I DON'T WANT TO SEE THAT CREATIVITY
TAKEN AWAY FROM TEACHERS...
BECAUSE I THINK THAT'S WHAT MAKES GOOD TEACHERS.
AND IT'S VERY IMPORTANT.
I SEE LUPE SITTING HERE, LISTENING TO THIS ALL DAY...
SHE RAN FOR THE STATE BOARD.
TOO BAD SHE DIDN'T WIN.
BUT... (laughing)
THERE MIGHT BE SOME OF HER SUPPORTERS HERE, I DON'T KNOW.
BUT AT ANY RATE, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT TEACHERS FEEL
AND DO REMAIN CREATIVE.
DON'T BE SO BOGGED DOWN BY WHAT...
THE...
WHAT WE SAY IS THE "MERIT CURRICULUM,"
BECAUSE YOU CAN USE THE MERIT CURRICULUM TO TEACH IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS.
YOU USE YOUR OWN CREATIVITY AND IMAGINATION AND RESOURCES
TO BRING IN THINGS THAT WE MIGHT NOT HAVE THOUGHT OF.
SO, FEEL FREE TO DO THAT, I THINK.
AND I'M VERY GLAD TO HAVE LYNN HEEMSTRA
TALK ABOUT THE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS
AND THE GREAT PARTNERSHIP YOU HAVE HERE IN GRAND RAPIDS.
THERE'S A LOT OF GOOD THINGS, BUT WE--
I'M REALLY DELIGHTED TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY,
AND WE WILL TAKE ALL OF THIS BACK TO OUR COLLEAGUES
AND OUR SUPERINTENDENT AND STAFF,
SO THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM WHAT YOU SAY AND ACT ON IT.
SO, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING HERE
AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TODAY.
>> THANK YOU, KATHY.
MARIANNE? >> WELL, I--
(clearing throat) EXCUSE ME.
I SAID IN THE BEGINNING, "THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING TODAY,"
BUT, UM...
MANY OF YOU CAME UP HERE AND THANKED US.
I THINK IT WAS A LITTLE BACKWARDS.
WE ARE JUST THRILLED THAT YOU CAME.
WE'RE THRILLED TO HEAR FROM YOU.
WE OFFER THIS TIME TO SPEAK OUT AT OUR BOARD MEETINGS,
BUT WE UNDERSTAND PEOPLE...
DON'T ALWAYS HAVE THE WHEREWITHAL
TO BE ABLE TO COME THAT FAR TO OUR MEETINGS.
I THINK WE SHOULD BE DOING MORE OF THIS--
COMING OUT AND HEARING FROM YOU.
(laughing) THANK YOU, AGAIN.
UM...
I WANTED TO ALSO SAY, MANY OF YOU HAVE GIVEN ME
SOMETHING MORE TO THINK ABOUT,
VIS A VIS SOME OF THE PROGRAMS
WE'VE INSTITUTED AT THE STATE LEVEL.
AND, UM, I...
I HOPE WE CAN MOVE ALONG ON SOME OF THAT,
PARTICULARLY THE EARLY CHILDHOOD AND KINDERGARTEN SITUATION.
AND, UM...
WE DON'T ALWAYS STOP AND THINK ABOUT CAPACITY
AND WHAT'S GOING ON WITH ALL OF THAT.
THE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS, THE JUMP$TART--
WE DO HEAR, BUT IT TAKES A WHOLE DIFFERENT MEANING
WHEN WE'RE HEARING IT IN YOUR LAND.
ACTUALLY, IT'S MY LAND, TOO.
I GREW UP HERE.
SO, THANK YOU, AGAIN, AND STAY IN TOUCH.
AND WE HOPE WE CAN WORK OUT THIS-- THE HIGH SCHOOL SITUATION.
THERE ARE, UM...
AVENUES OPEN WHERE STUDENTS CAN TAKE...
A COURSE GEARED PARTICULARLY TO THEM,
AND YOU MIGHT WANT TO INVESTIGATE WITH THE DISTRICT ABOUT THAT POSSIBILITY.
IT'S, UM...
IT'S HELPED A LOT OF STUDENTS IN OTHER DISTRICTS,
BUT IT'S NOT WIDELY KNOWN THAT IT'S AVAILABLE.
SO, THANK YOU, AGAIN, AND, UH...
HOPE WE CAN SEE YOU AGAIN SOON. >> WE'LL DO MORE OF THESE.
AND I'D LIKE TO THANK MY COLLEAGUES, MARIANNE AND KATHLEEN,
FOR JOINING ME IN COMING OVER HERE.
THIS IS OUR JOB.
I MEAN, WE WORK FOR YOU.
AND WE ARE GOING TO DO MORE OF THESE SESSIONS
WHERE WE CAN LEARN A LITTLE BIT MORE,
LEARN A LITTLE BIT MORE PROFOUNDLY,
BY MAKING IT ACCESSIBLE AND EASIER...
WHAT KIND OF INNOVATIONS
AND ACTIVITY, WHERE WE CAN DO THINGS THAT WE SAW SOME GLIMMERS OF TODAY,
TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR WONDERFUL PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES
TO IMPROVE LEARNING.
WE CAN HEAR THINGS THAT WE AREN'T HEARING AT OUR MEETINGS,
AND THAT WE NEED TO HEAR.
WE CAN-- I MEAN, WE WORK REAL HARD--
AND I'LL SPEAK ON BEHALF OF ALL OF OUR COLLEAGUES--
WE WANT TO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS
ON BEHALF OF YOU ALL ABOUT EDUCATION POLICY.
WE WANT TO BE VIGOROUS ADVOCATES FOR WHAT IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS
OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE.
BUT WE NEED TO KNOW...
WHEN THINGS WE THINK ARE GOOD IDEAS AND HAVE ADOPTED,
IMPORTANT CHANGING POLICIES FOR OUR SCHOOLS-- ARE THEY WORKING?
ARE THEY NOT WORKING?
ARE THERE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES?
I MEAN, TO ECHO KATHY'S POINT, YOU KNOW, SETTING HIGH EXPECTATIONS
IN THE KEY COMPETENCIES THAT WE NEED ALL YOUNG PEOPLE
TO LEARN IS RIGHT AND NEEDED.
BUT IT IS CLEAR THAT--
YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE THINGS WE HEARD TODAY REMINDS ME, WE'RE--
WE CAN'T HAVE PUSHING HERE TO HAVE THE MATH AND OTHER COMPETENCIES,
IF IT'S AT THE EXPENSE OF VOCATIONAL AND CAREER CONTEXT.
WE'VE GOTTA DO BETTER TO ANIMATE THE VISION
AND THE REALITY OF WHAT WE HAVE PASSED IN MICHIGAN,
PARTICULARLY THE HIGH SCHOOL STANDARDS.
AS KATHY SAID, WE DON'T CARE IF YOU TEACH IT UPSIDE-DOWN, SIDEWAYS,
YOU KNOW, IN THE GYMNASIUM, IN THE LAB, IN THE REPAIR SHOP.
WE NEED TO MAKE IT COME ALIVE
BY HAVING IT IN REAL WORLD APPLIED CONTEXT.
WE HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT HOW TO BE AS SUPPORTIVE
IN BRINGING THIS MASTERY OF CONTENT
INTO THE REAL WORLD CONTEXT
WITH THE KIND OF RELATIONSHIPS,
SO IT JUST REMINDS US HOW FAR WE HAVE TO GO.
I THINK-- WE REALLY APPRECIATE HEARING THINGS
THAT WE NEED TO DO MORE OF,
THINGS THAT WE NEED TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO...
THINGS, AGAIN, AS I SAID, THAT WE JUST HAVEN'T THOUGHT ABOUT HARD ENOUGH.
SO, I REALLY WANT TO JOIN MY COLLEAGUES IN SAYING THANK YOU
TO YOU ALL.
WE WORK FOR YOU,
AND WE WANT TO PLAY OUR ROLE AS HELPFULLY AS POSSIBLE
AND EFFECTIVELY AS POSSIBLE.
AND WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER, AND APPRECIATE YOUR TAKING THE TIME--
AS MARIANNE SAID, "THIS IS A STREET THAT IS"--
NO NEED TO THANK US.
THIS IS WHAT WE SIGNED UP-- TO TRY TO BE HELPFUL.
BUT THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO TRY TO SHARE YOUR PERSPECTIVE
AND EXPERIENCE AND YOUR GOOD IDEAS
OF HOW WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO IMPROVE EDUCATION.
AND REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR COMING OUT, AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH YOU.
AND PLEASE, COMMUNICATE FREELY.
YOU WILL-- WE WILL RESPOND.
WE WILL ENGAGE.
WE'LL DO OUR BEST.
WE CAN'T ALWAYS SAY "YES" AND WE CAN'T ALWAYS SO "NO,"
BUT WE CAN TRY TO MOVE THE BALL DOWN THE COURT,
SO APPRECIATE YOUR HELP.
THANK YOU. (applause)