For more articles on disabilities and special ed visit
Warren Calls For Single
State Board of Education member Michael WARREN today released
his proposal that all education elections — local school
board, State Board of Education, university regents and local
millages — should be consolidated into a single “Education
Election Day” in June every odd year.
The suggestion comes while a House committee continues to
debate a package of bills sponsored by Sen. Bev HAMMERSTROM
(R-Temperance) that would consolidate all state elections to
four dates a year. House Republicans have suggested several
alternatives, but, as of now, nothing has moved from the
Warren and other Republicans have looked into election
consolidation as a way to combat situations in school
districts where millages are held during random, poorly
publicized dates. Republicans believe this tactic is used as a
way to suppress turn out from retirees, who are more prone to
vote no on any millage increases.
“This low turnout means that state and local boards tend to be
relatively unaccountable,” Warren said. “Without a strong
mandate from the people, these lay, volunteer boards are
susceptible to domination by bureaucrats, administrators and
special interests, leading too often to indecision and
Warren, of Beverly Hills, is running for re-election for one
of two available Board of Education spots. Carolyn CURTIN of
Evart is the other Republican on the ballot. Elizabeth BAUER
and Rep. Nancy QUARLES (D-Southfield) are running for the
Democrats. The Libertarians, Green Party and United Taxpayers
Party also are running two candidates. The Natural Law Party
is running one candidate.
Report: Focus On Teacher Retention
A Senate Fiscal Agency (SFA) report released to the media
today says if state lawmakers are interested in addressing
teacher shortages they may be better served by taking a closer
look at teacher retention over teacher recruitment or wages.
According to the report, “Addressing The Teacher Shortage,” by
Clare LAYMAN, a number of state and federal programs are
already in place to attract new teachers to Detroit and other
high-need districts. However, none of the nine bills that
legislators have introduced this session have become laws.
Only four have passed one chamber.
Three of the bills concern recruiting substitute teachers and
others deal with easing the restrictions on teacher
certification, but none deal with teacher attrition, which the
report said is the state's biggest problem.
“Addressing attrition means contending with such abstract
factors as prestige, respect, working environment and
collegial and administrative support,” the report said.
Michigan and other states have permitted the state to takeover
failing schools, but often the local policies or contracts is
what steers teacher morale. To address this, some states have
attempted to grant more local control to districts by
permitting them to waive “cumbersome” state rules and laws if
they are seen to impede school reform.
The Michigan Department of Education and the Legislature
touched on the issue in 1990 when both bodies required schools
to pick out their school's three biggest weaknesses and
implement an action plan to fix them. The state's new
accreditation plan, Education YES! leaves intact school
improvement plans as a requirement for accreditation, the