MI: A Blueprint for Education?
First announced in Governor Rick Snyder's January 2016 State of the State address, the 21st Century Commission has been working diligently at an educational blueprint for Michigan. The final report on charting the edu-journey for Betsy Devos's home state, and it is a hefty 146 pages. I've read it so that you don't have to. Buckle up, boys and girls.
Who Created This Thing?
The commission was headed up by Dr. Thomas Haas, President of Grand Valley University. Members included some folks from industry and business, some school superintendents (including the Grand Rapids super), some charter school folks, some state board of education members, representatives from AFT Michigan and the Michigan Education Association, and some assorted bureaucrats. Oh, and one lone classroom teacher (Matt Oney from Escanaba Area Public Schools).Part of the process was, apparently, a listening tour. The breakdown of that is not encouraging; the thank you section mentions thirteen hosts from Northern Michigan, six hosts from the Upper Peninsula, eleven hosts from West Michigan, and from Southeast Michigan, a single stop on the "tour"-- a virtual visit to Voyageur Academy, a charter school in Detroit. (That visit was virtual, says the notes, "due to weather, so I guess Detroit has been socked in for the last year).
Introduction and Call To Action
The introduction hits several familiar notes. The economy has changed (and now it's hard to get work). Education improves opportunity (education and employment correlate, ad we'll lazily accept causation there). Education is a public good (Michigan would probably work better with educated CURMUDGUCATION: MI: A Blueprint for Education?: