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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...

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...

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...

Change, for Change’s Sake

The new session of the Michigan Legislature started recently and it didn't take long for populist priorities to start flowing. Eliminate the income tax. Eliminate prevailing wage laws. Eliminate the Common Core, er, the Michigan Content Standards. Why eliminate the...

Stop the Churn

Another day, another seismic shift in Michigan education. Educators returned from their holiday break to learn, at 10:22 a.m. on a Wednesday, that Michigan had switched its college entrance exam from the ACT to the SAT. Just a handful of...

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 ......

Reading Now Network Reaps Results

Lost amid the debate over early literacy and the celebration -- by some -- of the governor's signature on legislation placing greater emphasis on third-grade reading, is strong evidence educators can dramatically improve student performance without government intrusion. In just...

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...

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...

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...

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...

The NAEP and M-Step: Where Hope Goes to Die

All across the state this past week were news headlines pronouncing the failure of Michigan’s students and schools on standardized tests. Instead, the headlines should have pronounced the NAEP, the M-STEP and PISA as failures...

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,...

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...

DPS: Equally Tragic

What if it were my child? Everyone in Michigan, and the nation, asks themselves that question as they contemplate the Flint water crisis. Long-term cognitive damage is possible for young children with elevated lead levels in their system. Everyone agrees the...

Whose Top Priority?

Education is my top priority. Our children are our future. Ask virtually any politician a question about education and those are the responses you’re likely to hear. Well, Michigan residents aren’t buying it. Seventy-six percent of respondents to a recent survey...
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