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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...

College? Careers? Where’s the Gap?

We need more college graduates. We need more work-ready high school graduates. We, as educators, want clarity. Which is it? We need both. The skills for success in both areas are largely the same. And, for the most part, we're not teaching them. Why?...

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...

School Funding: What Does The Future Hold?

While the Michigan economy has, officially at least, been in recovery for more than six years, school districts are still struggling to make ends meet. But with the recovery continuing, the future should look better, right? Guess again. While the current...

What Do We Want For Our Kids?

This is not a column about school funding.  Let's get that out of the way right now. Instead, this is a column about what we want for our kids today, and tomorrow. Our policy makers have done a lot of talking...

Is Ranking 39th Acceptable? Effects from Snyder Tax Cuts

One tough nerd rolled to the governor’s office in January 2011 and later that year the Legislature handed him a huge victory at the expense of those who voted him into office -- a $1.7 billion tax cut for...

Who needs an early warning system? Just count students.

I have one word for those seeking insight from the new “early warning” system legislation signed into law by Gov. Snyder shortly after the July 4 holiday weekend. Enrollment. Student enrollment is the single most important element in the fiscal health...

Our ‘Window into Your Public Schools’ builds confidence

School News Network 'brings programs and people, and what schools are accomplishing, much more to the forefront than any other source of information.' That’s our goal, and that’s what our readers said in our annual reader survey...

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

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...

This Is What Compromise Looks Like

Compromise. noun. a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles,etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.   Here’s a new definition of compromise:  noun.  archaic.  A concept so far removed from...

What are we waiting for? Time for Michigan to fully fund its schools

The research couldn’t be more clear. The Michigan School Finance at the Crossroads report by Dr. David Arsen documents a quarter-century of decline in our schools, finding Michigan last in the nation in new dollars invested in education since 1995...

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...

No Time for a Victory Lap

Michigan residents hoping to learn more about Gov. Snyder's education agenda didn't get much to chew on in his seventh, and penultimate, State of the State address. No sneak preview of recommendations from his 21st Century Commission on Education, but...

Don’t Increase Class Sizes to Pave Potholes

MEMO to Legislators FROM: Registered Voters RE: Our Vote on Proposal 1 DATE: May 5, 2015 SUBJECT: Don't Increase Class Sizes to Pave Potholes Many of you are now trying to figure out what we -- the voters -- said in our votes on...

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...
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