It should serve as comfort to beginning teachers everywhere that newly minted Michigan Teacher of the Year Tracy Horodyski of Kenowa Hills Public Schools barely survived her first year in the profession.
In just one week, parents in Rochester succeeded in organizing and advertising a demonstration that drew 650 participants to march and wave signs at the school district’s 20 buildings on Monday – all in support of students in Detroit.
The answers to our standardized testing survey continue to flow in with less than one week until the window closes. Results will be shared with State Superintendent Brian Whiston, who is considering recommending significant changes in Michigan’s mandated testing regime to state lawmakers.
Nearly 900 educators have answered our call for members to raise their voices on this issue. Parents, students, and teachers have grown increasingly fatigued with the over-valuing of test scores in education – largely driven by politicians with no policy expertise.
Next Monday morning, drivers passing by school buildings in Rochester will see school employees, students, and parents waving signs in support of Detroit Public Schools. Those drivers will probably assume staff members or union organizers planned the event, but they didn’t.
Parents are planning this protest.
The Rochester Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Council is organizing a “walk-in” to fight against a destructive DPS restructuring plan rammed through the House by Republicans in the dark of night earlier this month. The parent activism is motivated by concern for Detroit schoolchildren – who deserve better than what they’re getting – and the fear that some Republican lawmakers plan to push similar anti-public education policies statewide.
As more school districts adopt pre-Labor Day start dates, and others consider shifting to some form of a so-called “balanced calendar,” public opinion often remains divided.
While it’s not scientific, the Michigan Department of Education recently posted a one-question “Quick Poll” to gather opinions on the issue, asking: “Do you support the current post-Labor Day start of the school year?” Respondents so far have been divided, with 54 percent answering “YES” and 46 percent “NO.”
Several Lansing-area schools are considering a switch to a balanced calendar, in which students have a shorter summer break in favor of longer fall and spring vacations. However, public opinion is mixed.