Educators across the country are hosting discussions in conjunction with National School Choice Week.
There are a number of events in the Lansing area, including the screening of a documentary on school choice at the Capitol on Tuesday morning. That event is sponsored by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which bills itself as a nonpartisan research and educational institute based in Midland.
Last week, students and advocates rallied at the Michigan Capitol after marching from Detroit to Lansing on foot. Students' marching hoped to raise awareness about the state’s school discipline policies. At the rally, they asked lawmakers to remove legislation that requires zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools.
Michigan legislators could vote this week on a controversial proposal that would expand the state’s Education Achievement Authority. That’s the state-run district comprised of 15 of the most challenged schools in the state, all in Detroit.
EAA administrators, Gov. Rick Snyder and other supporters say the initiative, now in its second year, is beginning to turn those schools around. They say test scores are rising due to a student-centric teaching model, a longer school year, and grouping students by ability instead of age.
In five weeks, Michigan’s so-called Right to Work law takes effect. Some local Michigan teacher unions are working to lock in new contracts before then. In some cases, it’s an effort to delay the impact of the controversial new law since it will not include contracts already in place by March 27, when it takes effect.
Lansing Public School students return to class on September 4 and many will be looking at significant changes. A system-wide reorganization plan alters how students are grouped together in an effort to boost academic performance in the face of low test scores and declining enrollment.