Michigan moving forward on Race to the Top, will Maine?

Michigan moving forward on Race to the Top, will Maine?

December 23, 2009 Posted by Maine Heritage Policy Center - No Comments

According to the Associated Press, the Michigan legislature has taken a major step forward on education reform in hopes of winning federal Race to the Top grant funding:

According to reports, “the state could add more charter schools and poor-performing schools
could be taken over by state officials under legislation approved
Saturday in the Michigan Legislature. The broad legislation — which
also raises the state’s dropout age from 16 to 18 and ties teacher
evaluation to student test scores — will be signed by Gov. Jennifer
Granholm.

The bills include provisions allowing a state takeover of persistently low-performing schools, raises the dropout age from 16 to 18, allows standardized test scores to be used in teacher evaluations, and makes it easier to fire poor-performing teachers. More charter schools would be allowed under the new laws and the state’s teacher certification laws are to be amended to encourage more people to enter the teaching profession, especially in high-need areas like math and science.

Maine’s Commissioner of Education evidently intends to introduce similar legislation here, though it remains to be seen if the education establishment, with its knee-jerk opposition to meaningful reform, will get on board and help move Maine’s schools forward.

For the sake of our kids, let’s hope so.