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The Lost Decade

Now he tells us. In an extraordinarily introspective interview with The Bridge online magazine, state superintendent Mike Flanagan recently acknowledged Michigan was “10 years behind” high performing states such as Massachusetts and Minnesota in education achievement gains. Lost decades have typically...

Couldn’t Be More Wrong

You've gotta hand it to President Trump. He just keeps smashing conventional belief. And, in some instances, universally accepted research. The president's budget blueprint vaporized the one principle that is universally accepted in education: An effective teacher is the best...

Guns in Schools: Just Say No.

Guns in school? No. Really, it should be as simple as that. Schools should be gun-free zones, just like daycare centers, athletic stadiums, bars, casinos, churches and college dormitories. With the exception of armed law enforcement officers, schools should be able...

Superintendent: It’s a Tough Job

There may be no tougher job than that of a school superintendent. I’ve worked with nearly 100 in Kent ISD alone over the past two decades. All were smart, caring and compassionate people. All were subject to withering criticism

Take the Quiz – How Would They Vote?

Here's a quiz: Given their track record, how do you think Michigan legislators would vote on a bill to lower school property taxes on businesses and homeowners without hurting -- and actually benefitting -- schools and their ability to...

Not Your Father’s Poverty

We were poor but we didn’t know it. How often have you heard that comment from someone who has “made it” to describe their childhood?  Among my generation, my parents, and their parents, it was a standard comment when asked...

Representative Democracy?

In the shadow of the state House of Representatives failed vote earlier this year to roll back income taxes came three items of interest recently. They suggest legislators should pump the brakes before they revisit the issue or, perhaps,...

Mass Shootings: One a Day in the USA

“Gun Free Zones are the problem. Let’s repeal them.” That’s the conclusion of Erich Pratt, communications director of the Gun Owners of America, in an op-ed piece published in USA Today in the aftermath of the Umpqua Community College massacre...

Michigan’s NAEP Scores: What do they mean? Probably not what you think

32 Percent of Michigan’s 4th Graders Score at 7th Grade Level on the NAEP. Did you miss that headline last week?  I did too. That’s because it wasn’t reported.  Instead, Michigan’s schools and students were slammed by pundits because just 32...

Thank You for Reading

Politics. Policy. Finance. Standards-based accountability. NCLB. ESSA. Too often, this blog is about stuff -- the external influences on schools, teachers and ultimately, students -- that is a distraction and, at its worst, a detriment to the essence of education. That's...

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Please, don’t take money from our children to pour concrete. Fixing Michigan’s crumbling transportation infrastructure is one of Michigan’s most vexing problems. Governor Snyder’s legislative liaison Dick Posthumus recently told the MIRS News Service increased revenue for road repair “is...

Thank You!

Kent County voters on May 2 turned out to the polls and expressed confidence in their schools by approving a ballot proposal that will provide crucial support to all 20 districts in Kent ISD. The enhancement millage will yield...

Watch this Movie, Please.

One of the enduring principles of comedy is juxtaposition. Take, for example, this joke from actress Sara Silverman: "When I was 14, I started dating my father's best friend. It was weird." "But not as weird as my father having a best...

Coalition launches new vision for education

Business leaders, school management organizations, teacher and school staff associations and philanthropic groups are joining forces to make public education the cornerstone of Michigan’s continued economic recovery...

Killing Creativity, Restoring Trust

"Creativity cannot be taught, but it can be killed ... Asian education systems kill creativity more effectively than the American system. The creativity gap exists between Americans and Asians not because American schools teach creativity more or better ......

In the Spirit of the Season

Thanks to our legislators who, in the spirit of the season and in a display of statesmanship, came together to pass a proposed constitutional amendment that would mend our highways and add much needed revenues and stability to our...
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