Flanagan won't make teacher certification dependent on evaluations

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan is now backtracking on some aspects of the administrative rule changes for teacher certification issued last month.

Citing his position as final authority, Flanagan is now assuring teachers that the new rule stripping teachers of their certification if they did not receive three consecutive evaluation ratings of “highly effective” or “effective” will be removed.

Flanagan said, “I do not want to have a teacher certification system that threatens an educator’s license on the basis of annual evaluations. While I feel it is vitally important that every teacher be effective in the classroom, everyone deserves a chance to improve and become effective in the most appropriate and supportive situations.”

The rule changes were made to address the so-called education reform bills the Legislature has passed that address evaluations, but these new rules go even further than the laws intended. The Michigan Department of Education is saying that there was no intention to remove a teacher’s license—they just didn’t catch it.

The new rule would have put teacher certification in the hands of an administrator’s evaluation which could be done improperly or not done at all. Without certification, a teacher couldn’t get another job in the state or anywhere else.

“A teacher’s livelihood should not be at stake when other, who would not be accountable, have a major role in the effectiveness or the evaluation of that teacher. There are just too many variables beyond the teacher’s control,” Flanagan said.

While Flanagan’s comments are a positive development and encouraging, the devil is in the details. We need to see the specific changes he’s thinking about to make sure they address the concerns of educators all across the state. We’ll be monitoring developments.

MDE will be holding hearings next month to hear comments on the proposed changes. It’s important that you and your colleagues are there to voice your concerns. Read through MEA's Talking Points provided here

The hearings are scheduled for:

Tuesday, Nov. 1 – 3-6 p.m.                                                         Wednesday, Nov. 16 – 3 – 6 p.m.

Ramada Lansing Hotel and Conference
Center – Waverly Room                                                                Kent ISD Career-Technical Center

7501 West Saginaw Highway                                                      2930 Knapp SE

Lansing                                                                                            Grand Rapids


Wednesday, Nov. 16 – 3-6 p.m.

Wayne RESA Annex Building – Auditorium

5454 Venoy


To participate in a video conference, dates and locations are:

Thursday, Nov. 3 – 10 a.m. - Noon                                            Thursday, Nov. 3 – 10 a.m. – Noon

Marquette-Alger ISD                                                                      Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD

321 East Ohio Street                                                                     315 Armory Place

Marquette                                                                                         Sault Ste. Marie

Written comments will be accepted at the hearings or can be submitted by mail, email or FAX no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 30. Send comments to:

Public Comment
Office of Professional Preparation Services
Michigan Department of Education
P.O. Box 30008
Lansing, MI 48909

Email: oppspubliccomment@michigan.gov

FAX: 517-337-0542