Michigan State Board of Education Looks to Change Ways Teachers are Trained, Evaluated and Supported

Marion Herbert's picture
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Michigan State Board of Education members are calling for changes to the way teachers are trained, evaluated and supported as part a wide-ranging list of goals and legislative priorities.

Board members released the document this week, outlining efforts to work on changes to school financing, student achievement and early childhood efforts.

“We need to provide more support to our teachers, not just change them out and making reforms,” said board President John Austin, D-Ann Arbor, on Monday.

“They need positive reinforcement. I think of us as one hand clapping. We’re asking for high expectations and rigor. But on the other hand, we’re not coming through with investing in professional development and other resources.”

The eight-member board is dominated by Democrats, but the goals aren’t too far from what Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed, or from some of the bills working through the GOP-controlled House and Senate.

One key difference: There is no mention of the school choice agenda aggressively sought by Republicans, and an issue that last year promoted three factions of the state Board to issue dueling statements of support or opposition.

The document also doesn’t mention recent efforts from some House Republicans to change the state’s graduation requirements to replace algebra 2 and foreign language with career technology class options – moves the state board loudly opposes.

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