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Launch Michigan Presents Framework: Reinventing Public Education in Michigan

June 27, 2022

Launch Michigan, a partnership of business, education, parents, labor, philanthropy, and civic leaders, all of whom care deeply about education and our state’s collective future, has released its framework for Michigan’s education system. SBAM is a founding partner of Launch Michigan. 

In December 2021, Launch agreed to this framework “Reinventing Public Education in Michigan” around accountability, outcomes, and resources that would dramatically increase student results and put Michigan on the path to becoming a leading state in education.  

The Small Business Association of Michigan has a vested interest in the improvement of Michigan’s education system. The success of Michigan is dependent on the quality of PK-12 education.  

“Michigan’s future depends on small business, and the success of small business depends on the outcomes of our education system,” said Brian Calley, President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan and a Launch Michigan co-chair. “Inaction is not an option here. We will continue working together until true transformation becomes a reality for Michigan students.” 

The framework is laid out into three main areas: 

  • Reinvention: Michigan will adopt a clear and rigorous college and career readiness standard, aligned to international benchmarks, to establish a ‘foundation’ to be part of each student’s graduation requirements. Part of the proposal includes amendments to the state’s “Read by Grade Three” law and continuous support to ensure students – no matter where they come from – can meet high standards in a variety of ways. 
     
  • Resources: Michigan will adopt and adequately support a new funding system that provides a strong foundation for all and focuses on providing equitable resources to students with the greatest needs. The ideal funding system will include both an increase to the foundation allowance and weighted funding to support students with greater need. Rethinking existing expenditures and securing new revenue must be part of the solution. 
     
  • Responsibility: Michigan must evolve its regulatory structures to ensure greater effectiveness, alignment, and accountability from all education stakeholders, including having the Governor appoint the State Superintendent. Improvements to both the capacity and governance of the Michigan Department of Education are necessary, as are changes to the educator evaluation system and school performance measurements. 

What are the desired outcomes? 

  • Clear goal for a college and career readiness standard that defines what a high school diploma represents (Best in-class education, with the ability to demonstrate proficiency in 21st-century skills and competencies)  
  • Multiple intervention and support for students who are off track towards meeting this goal, including an option for a 13th year  
  • Multiple pathways are offered to all students: 
  • University prep/college credit-bearing, career tech 
  • Triggers along the way to drive the right interventions for students to be successful 
  • Investments into Pre-K for 3 and 4-year-olds (means-tested) 
  • Helps improve outcomes for students and provides additional childcare options for parents 

 Accountability: 

  • Easy to understand school rating system with consequences for low performance: 
  • Single summative rating system for evaluation  
  • Interventions and resources provided for struggling schools 
  • If no growth in outcomes after interventions – consequences for structure, staff, and organization 
  • Access to new funding will require change:  
  • To receive new funding, districts and schools must have an approved student achievement and investment plan 
  • Plans will include mandatory and voluntary activities linked to best practices for outcomes 
  • Governor appointment of the Superintendent and oversight of the Michigan Department of Education 

 Resources: 

  • An annual investment of over $3.5 billion 
  • Calls for adequate funding to support all students, including increased foundational funding and a greater index to address students with greater need – recognizing that at-risk, high poverty, and other types of students have greater needs and require more resources. 
  • New revenue will be necessary, including implementation of the Guidehouse recommendations and other restructuring   

What happens next? Actions will begin to gather support and deepen the work. This framework is the starting point to help us work with policymakers and create urgency for change with the public. 

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