Tag Archives: MDE

Equitable Education through Personalized Learning

Three people watching at baseball game behind a fence. The first image is labeled equality and all three people have boxes to stand on that are the same height. But the three people are all different heights so only the taller two can see over the fence. In the second image labeled equity, the same three people have boxes to stand on based on their current height. So all three people can see over the fence.
Image courtesy of Interaction Institute for Social Change | Artist: Angus Maguire.

In conversations around equity, we often see the image above used as a metaphor to describe how it is different from equality. As educators, we know that every student is unique and their needs diverse. This image depicts that when we provide the same supports to each learner regardless of their unique needs, only some will be able to see over the fence to access learning. We can abstract that while a one-size-fits-all (equal) system of education helps some students access learning, it leaves some without, causing inequities to grow. However, when we provide supports consistent with their needs (equity) every student is able to access learning. Continue reading Equitable Education through Personalized Learning

Retain Talented Educators in Your District

We know what great teaching looks like- dedication, continuous improvement, care for their students’ needs, etc.  But, do we know what great teachers look like?

Does your school and district consciously recognize great teachers, as a means of honoring them, for the great work they do? Does the public know who those great teachers are?

More than a certificate and a handshake, a well-designed teacher recognition program can complement other essential work in your school and district. Schools should think bigger than offering recognition at staff meetings. Include the community at large, so they can share in their local schools’ pride, by recognizing educators at athletic or other events. Continue reading Retain Talented Educators in Your District

MDE “Top 10 in 10 Roadshow” Visits GR in April

“We have a tremendous opportunity, working together as a state, to lift student achievement using these goals and strategies. This requires open minds and the will from all involved to make it work.” State Superintendent Brian Whiston

Michigan’s Education Vision is for “Every learner in Michigan’s public schools to have an inspiring, engaging, and caring learning environment that fosters creative and critical thinkers who believe in their ability to positively influence Michigan and the world beyond.” Continue reading MDE “Top 10 in 10 Roadshow” Visits GR in April

MDE is Offering Free Minecraft Licenses for up to 300,000 Students

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is excited to announce a partnership with Microsoft EDU to provide 150,000 to 300,000 free student licenses for the Minecraft Education Edition (M:EE) for one year. This version of the popular open world game, Minecraft, is specifically designed for education, containing features that make Minecraft more accessible and effective in a classroom or after-school program setting. This program aligns to the MDE’s Top 10 in 10 Strategic Plan by enhancing access to effective technology tools that support deeper and personalized learning. The free licenses can be deployed in both Microsoft enabled districts, as well as Google classroom districts. Continue reading MDE is Offering Free Minecraft Licenses for up to 300,000 Students

Don’t Miss: West Michigan Early Literacy Leadership Symposium

On Thursday October 6, 2016, Gov. Snyder signed the Third Grade Reading Bill which is aimed at improving early literacy.  This new legislation renews an energy and sense of urgency around literacy in Michigan.  

The Reading Now Network (RNN), a collaborative partnership formed by ISD’s in West Michigan counties, has a mission to improve early literacy and student achievement.  Continue reading Don’t Miss: West Michigan Early Literacy Leadership Symposium

Will ESSA Impact You? Yes!

“With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamentally American ideal—that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will.” — President Barack Obama

New Education Law

In 2002, No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was put into effect to help educators identify when students were making progress and recognize when they needed additional supports without discriminating based on race, income, language, etc.  Over time, we found this act was not helping us all reach the goals of fully preparing all students for success in college and careers.

On December 10, 2015 President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  This new law reauthorizes the 50 year old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is a national law that gives equal opportunity to all students. The new law will build upon NCLB and ESEA to fully prepare ALL students for success in college and careers.

But the real question is, how will these changes impact us as teachers, administrators and students? And exactly how will it impact the classrooms and schools? Continue reading Will ESSA Impact You? Yes!

Educator Evaluation in Michigan

In November 2015, Public Act 173 was signed into law, providing important clarity to the ongoing policy discussions about the direction of educator evaluations in Michigan.  Implementing Michigan’s educator evaluation law with fidelity is a key strategy in our efforts to see Michigan become a top ten education state within the next ten years. Educator evaluations are implicitly linked to MDE’s Strategic Goal #3, to “develop, support, and sustain a high-quality, prepared, and collaborative education workforce.” (MDE Educator Evaluation Website)

There have been a lot of discussions lately focused on educator evaluation.  Many of the requirements took effect in the 2015-16 school year. This year, school boards must adopt a teacher evaluation and administrator evaluation system.  So, if your district has not already gone through educator evaluation training, you will need to attend a training this year. Continue reading Educator Evaluation in Michigan

How to Achieve Fully Personalized Learning

Personalized learning is currently one of the biggest buzzwords in education, but it is somewhat vague and certainly a massive topic. Before reading further, take a moment to define personalized learning (maybe even write it down).

Your answer likely had something to do with student choice, individual pacing, flexible structures, and technology. All of these are a part of the personalized learning spectrum. Yes, it is a spectrum. A school system could have Continue reading How to Achieve Fully Personalized Learning

Science is Fun!

Science teachers from Kent County and Southwest Michigan unite to show students that science is fun!

Kent ISD ScienceTeams of teachers and administrators have been meeting to find ways to collaborate and share best practices that align to the Framework for K-12 Science Education. The science and engineering practices of the framework promote equity among students and truly get students engaged in doing science. These groups will continue next school year as we begin to look at ways to answer the question,

“How do we know what students know?”

Continue reading Science is Fun!