August 25, 2016 rss
header twitter link facebook link home link
View Resource Guide and Job Postings

Columns
Jack Lessenberry

Jack Lessenberry

Rethinking Michigan’s Public Education System

July 19, 2013

LANSING, Mich. — Mike Flanagan, Michigan’s state superintendent of schools, has spent his life in public education.

Now, he’s presiding over a system in severe crisis. Earlier this month, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill giving the state the power to dissolve two small, economically troubled districts: Buena Vista, near Saginaw, and Inkster, in the Detroit area.

They may be the first to go — but unless something changes, they almost certainly won’t be the last. Today, a record number of districts are running deficits, including some of the state’s largest, such as Flint, Pontiac and Detroit.

Flanagan, the state’s top education official since 2005, believes he understands the landscape of Michigan’s public schools.

Now, he’s taking the unusual step of offering two ideas to save traditional public education in Michigan. First, the more radical one: If it were up to him, he told a joint legislative subcommittee, “I would change over to county-wide school districts.”

That would be a vast change. Currently, Michigan has 549 local school districts and 56 intermediate school districts, or ISDs, (not counting perhaps 250 independent charter schools.)

Replacing that structure with 83 county-wide districts would be deeply unsettling to some, especially perhaps all the school superintendents that would no longer be superintendents.

Yet Flanagan thinks it would work far better than what exists now. “Countywide districts work in other states,” such as Florida, he noted in a letter to education subcommittee chairs in both the Michigan House and Senate.

“From my experience, as both a local and intermediate school superintendent, I believe it makes sense,” he told them. He said it would not only help save hundreds of millions by streamlining administrative functions; it would help cushion the effects of enrollment fluctuations.

Finally, “it would provide a more equitable education for all students.” But Flanagan knows there are “many forces that would be supporting and defending the status quo.”

So, he is urging the lawmakers to mandate a “hybrid system.“ That would leave most or all local districts intact — but “centralize administrative and some academic functions at the county or regional level.” That would include transportation, food service, accounting and technology, plus staff training and development, curriculum development, and educator evaluation systems.

The superintendent plans to formally present this to the subcommittees when they meet again on July 31. What’s not known is how they — or the education community — will react.

This hasn’t exactly been a year of legislative accomplishment. So far this year, despite pleading from the governor, the lawmakers have been unwilling to act on the governor’s major initiatives. Flanagan thinks this might be different, however, because some of these reforms represent potential cost savings.

That, however, is precisely what worries some. Scott Warrow is head of the Birmingham Education Association, the teachers’ union in one of suburban Detroit’s largest (8,000 students) affluent districts.
“This is really about privatization of the public schools,” and spending less on them,” said Warrow, a longtime high school teacher who has been head of the union three years.

“This governor and legislature have been at war against teachers and especially their unions,” he said, a view widely shared by teachers since lawmakers outlawed deducting union dues from their paychecks, and then passed right to work.

Flanagan, however, who was first appointed by a Democratic governor, says that isn’t his view. “If it were up to me I would have a sales tax on services that would be devoted to education,” he said, saying he thought it was ridiculous that the state collects tax on a coat bought for a child but not on a golf game.

The superintendent believes his proposal will actually help local schools, both academically and financially, by freeing them to not having to duplicate non-educational services.

Fred Procter was principal at Birmingham Groves High School, where Warrow teaches, for a dozen years before taking early retirement in June. He believes some of what the superintendent is proposing makes sense.

“Birmingham was one of the first to privatize food service, janitorial service, and then transportation. Everybody said that would never work. But the school has never been cleaner,” and the bus and food service has also been better than it was.

Even the union’s Warrow acknowledged that centralizing transportation and janitorial services made sense.

But Procter is very wary of anything that would take away the highly-ranked Birmingham system’s educational autonomy.

Noting the superintendent’s comment about “providing a more equitable education for all students,” he asked, “are we talking about leveling up or leveling down?”

What is clear is that the present system isn’t working. A record number of the state’s local school districts are spending more than they are taking in, something they aren‘t legally supposed to do.
The 6,000-student Pontiac district has only able to avoid closing because of cash advances — now stopped — from Oakland County’s intermediate district.

In many urban areas, public schools have had their funding depleted by students leaving for charter schools. Since 1994, the schools have been mainly funded by a per-pupil grant from the state.

“Everybody knows if we were starting from scratch to design a statewide school system, we never would have done it this way,” Flanagan said. However, as he noted, this is what Michigan now has. What remains to be seen is what the state will do to fix it.

Veteran journalist and national Emmy Award winner Jack Lessenberry teaches at Wayne State University, serves as Michigan Radio’s senior political analyst and writes regularly for several publications. He also serves as The Toledo Blade’s writing coach and ombudsman and is host of the weekly television show Deadline Now on WGTE-TV in Toledo.

July 18, 2013 · Filed under Jack Lessenberry

300 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jamison@isuma.org // Mar 16, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Ich habe viеlmehr als 4 Stunden im Netz der Netze gesurft heute, und eueг Bericht ist der interessanteѕte.

  • 2 Amber@Amber // Mar 16, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Great post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am
    impressed! Very useful info specifically the ultimate phase 🙂 I deal with such
    information a lot. I was seeking this certain info for a long time.

    Thank you and good luck.

  • 3 nike free run 3 dam korall // Mar 16, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Normally I do not learn post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great article.

  • 4 Knockoff Bottega Veneta Handbags // Mar 17, 2014 at 3:56 am

    Great product, rapid shipping!!! Thank you!
    Knockoff Bottega Veneta Handbags http://www.laconduiteenligne.com/Bottega-Veneta/

  • 5 cheap jordans uk // Mar 17, 2014 at 5:44 am

    To tell the truth, My partner and i decided not to be expecting something like ipad tablet by Apple company. . -= Aminul Islam Sajib’s last website… Search engines Page rank Current: AISajib. net is Now PR3! =-.

  • 6 chaussures christian louboutin femme // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:11 am

    make sure you tell me anyone didn’t just simply make use of a wikipedia site to attempt to verify a degree……

  • 7 cheap nike air max // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:16 am

    For reasons unknown, There are this type of hard time with such darn captcha limitations. Consequently glad this kind of area doesnt’ put it to use! You may hardly learn these people!

  • 8 cheap air jordans // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!
    cheap air jordans http://jordansnnbw.blogger.hu/2013/10/07/deciding-on-effortless-tips-in-best-footwear-for-operating

  • 9 jordan shoes // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:48 am

    An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing just a little analysis on this. And he in actual fact bought me breakfast given that I located it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to talk about this, I really feel strongly about it and really like reading far more on this subject. If probable, as you turn into expertise, would you mind updating your blog with additional details? It truly is extremely beneficial for me. Large thumb up for this weblog post!
    jordan shoes http://rolexwatchesgin.blogger.hu/2013/10/11/ten-causes-to-buy-replica-watch-part-1

  • 10 jordans retro // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this prior to. So nice to obtain somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this website is some thing which is required on the internet, somebody with a little originality. valuable job for bringing something new to the net!
    jordans retro http://rolexwatcheszqe.hazblog.com/Primer-blog-b1/Nokia-E72-Mobile-b1-p4.htm

  • 11 cheapest jordans // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Terrific Post.thanks for share..a lot more wait ..
    cheapest jordans http://watchesccoi.nation2.com/index.php?page=1585453654

  • 12 jordans cheap // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:50 am

    This internet internet site is certainly a walk-through for all the information you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll absolutely discover it.
    jordans cheap http://www.zacom.org/blogs/post/992

  • 13 jordans outlet // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:51 am

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the amazing info you’ve here on this post. I is going to be coming back to your weblog for even more soon.
    jordans outlet http://funsocialsite.com/blogs/post/1789

  • 14 cheap sneakers // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:52 am

    This will be the correct blog for any individual who wants to discover about this topic. You understand so much its practically tough to argue with you (not that I in fact would want?-HaHa). You undoubtedly put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Fantastic stuff, just good!
    cheap sneakers http://rolexwatchesinq.teenblog.com/post/273234/wholesale_nike_sneakers_at_desirable.html

  • 15 jordan shoes // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:53 am

    You created some decent points there. I looked on the net for the problem and found most individuals will go along with along with your internet site.
    jordan shoes http://swisswatchesvqf.blogger.hu/2013/10/09/legendary-jordans-shoes

  • 16 cheap jordans // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:54 am

    I’m normally to blogging and i actually appreciate your content. The write-up has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and maintain checking for new information and facts.
    cheap jordans http://swisswatchesvqf.teenblog.com/post/268030/lamour_shoes.html

  • 17 cheap jordans free shipping // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:54 am

    I’m impressed, I ought to say. Definitely rarely do I encounter a blog that is both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the concern is something that not sufficient people today are speaking intelligently about. I’m extremely happy that I stumbled across this in my search for some thing relating to this.
    cheap jordans free shipping http://ameblo.jp/watchesccoi/entry-11636685100.html

  • 18 jordans cheap // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Can I just say what a relief to come across someone who truly knows what theyre talking about online. You certainly know the way to bring an problem to light and make it necessary. Much more consumers must read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not extra well-known since you definitely have the gift.
    jordans cheap http://rolexwatcheszqe.nation2.com/index.php?page=1296584271

  • 19 retro jordans // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the good information you’ve got here on this post. I might be coming back to your blog for much more soon.
    retro jordans http://harlinqvb.wix.com/rolexwatchesinq#!blog2/c1hcn

  • 20 jordans for women // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:58 am

    It’s hard to locate knowledgeable consumers on this topic, but you sound like you know what you are talking about! Thanks
    jordans for women http://www.zacom.org/blogs/post/937

  • 21 air jordans // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:58 am

    I was particularly pleased to acquire this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this fantastic read!! I surely enjoying each small bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you weblog post.
    air jordans http://jordanshoesddq.hazblog.com/Primer-blog-b1/Keys-To-Operating-A-Successful-On-the-internet-Travel-Franchise-b1-p4.htm

  • 22 jordans for sale // Mar 17, 2014 at 6:59 am

    I discovered your weblog webpage on google and check several of your early posts. Continue to keep up the pretty fine operate. I just further up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Looking for forward to reading alot more from you later on!
    jordans for sale http://www.friendcircles.com/blogs/post/52029

  • 23 jordan shoes // Mar 17, 2014 at 7:01 am

    quite nice post, i definitely really like this website, maintain on it
    jordan shoes http://www.freewebsite-service.com/jordansnnbw/Blog.php?id=158346&snavn=Moncler+Jackets+For+Men+Can+be+Divided+Into+Three+Forms

  • 24 jordan 13 // Mar 17, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Spot on with this write-up, I really feel this web page needs a lot more consideration. I’ll possibly be once again to read much more, thanks for that information.
    jordan 13 http://jordanshoesddq.blogger.hu/2013/10/16/burberry-trend-watches-hold

  • 25 cheap jordan shoes // Mar 17, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Spot on with this write-up, I genuinely feel this web page requirements a lot more consideration. I’ll probably be again to read a lot more, thanks for that info.
    cheap jordan shoes http://watchesccoi.blogger.hu/2013/10/14/air-jordan-2011-white-black-2011

  • 26 jordan 11 greys // Mar 17, 2014 at 7:02 am

    This will be the right blog for everyone who wants to discover about this topic. You understand so a lot its nearly hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want?-HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Good stuff, just amazing!
    jordan 11 greys http://www.freewebsite-service.com/rolexwatcheszqe/Blog.php?id=160963&snavn=Nike+Air+Jordan+Is+Ideal+For+Persons

  • 27 cheap jordans online // Mar 17, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Hello! I just would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the good info you’ve got here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for extra soon.
    cheap jordans online http://watchesccoi.teenblog.com/post/276480/air_jordan_renowned_line_from.html

  • 28 jordans for women // Mar 17, 2014 at 7:03 am

    This internet website is definitely a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll unquestionably discover it.
    jordans for women http://watchesccoi.livejournal.com/1358.html

  • 29 jordans outlet // Mar 17, 2014 at 7:03 am

    This internet web site is actually a walk-through for all of the information you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you will unquestionably discover it.
    jordans outlet http://jordansnnbw.jigsy.com/entries/general/present-shoe-trends

  • 30 jordans outlet // Mar 17, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Aw, this was a genuinely nice post. In notion I would like to put in writing like this in addition – taking time and actual effort to create a incredibly very good article?- but what can I say?- I procrastinate alot and by no indicates appear to obtain some thing done.
    jordans outlet http://www.flixya.com/blog/5579493/Air-Jordan-10-Shoes-Jordan-foremost-catch-from-NBA

  • 31 jordan take flight // Mar 17, 2014 at 7:49 am

    tou cano? set up this kind of motorist becausr this intended for oprating process experience definitely not 8 can i find vga new driver intended for lg xnote to get windows experience Make sure you sent my family vga car owner fof this lg xnot rd400 gain experience within my postal mail identification my dvd and blu-ray range of motion will be proven as ejectable disc just what ill perform? could you help me Hi from Carolina! I’m weary to help passing away at the job and so i thought we would check out your web site on my apple iphone while in lunch time break up. I adore the knowledge you supply here and cannot hang on to adopt a look once i get home. Now i’m shocked at exactly how quick your web blog loaded in the cell phone.. I am just not even utilizing WI-FI, only 3 G.. Anyhow, fantastic site!

  • 32 vetement abercrombie et fitch // Mar 17, 2014 at 8:05 am

    http://www.automation.siemens.com/mcms/infocenter/dokumentencenter/sc/pa/Documentsu20Brochures/E20001-A180-P720-X-7600.pdf

  • 33 canada goose outlet // Mar 17, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Hmmmm! oh the as an addon can it be… High priced! really.. all of their accessories are really darn costly. -= Chethan’s continue weblog… twelve Great Popular features of Ubuntu 10. 04. LTS Relieve upon The spring 28 =-.

  • 34 bracelet tiffany and co // Mar 17, 2014 at 11:45 am

    my beads are thought to almost are almost always put up inside necklace around your neck or possibly a accessory. have been former beads stumbled on that a lot of went out with rear again in existence 45,000 long periods of time. precious jewelry grew to wonderfully spectacular in the gets on distance asian countries and Egypt. yes its true those of you, this woman is 2 weight on BEING stated within a hospital if you are a touch too skinny! he should definitely see other world as a great deal of nauseating bags of lard. I really think he traded one taking in illness very good correct here. i’m not much of green with envy at all.
    bracelet tiffany and co http://www.highpointyachtfest.eu/tolteam/bubble/tiffany.asp?p=244

  • 35 tiffany and co initial necklace // Mar 17, 2014 at 11:46 am

    items related, step-sister and i also took the bus into a store to evaluate the cheap clothing on the list of. They possess some comfortable ones in there simply most of them are absurdly too expensive. i’ve seen identically cheap clothing in there simply opened up. Now a sensational scene t take cable. which you can use chain, which you can use natural leather, i simply came about attain cable available and it to be a realistic portion, buyers, this is a good deal more using the mood of earning than those product by just since product is a physical product throughout the and that is built it. here you will your primary necklace around your neck.
    tiffany and co initial necklace http://www.highpointyachtfest.eu/tolteam/bubble/tiffany.asp?p=220

  • 36 prix collier tiffany and co // Mar 17, 2014 at 11:46 am

    You can build pandora earrings personally; a him right from retail outlets you are able to minimal near jewelry production. In the fashion earrings market place place, buying earrings beads additionally street fashion right from china is a vey important orientation however. you should purchase your amazing recommended earrings provides and accomplished pandora right from tibet because well.
    prix collier tiffany and co http://www.highpointyachtfest.eu/tolteam/bubble/tiffany.asp?p=183

  • 37 pink diamond engagement ring tiffany // Mar 17, 2014 at 11:47 am

    almost certainly brush nice hair wouldn you? i know one particular beading fashion periodicals do a very good job as to pristine little finger and claws in order for picture taking reasons. It ok to dedicate yourself confidentially the recording studio to dirty fists. I have pristine kept fists after getting modelling a sew, view, or even way.
    pink diamond engagement ring tiffany http://www.highpointyachtfest.eu/tolteam/bubble/tiffany.asp?p=81

  • 38 tiffany notes bangle // Mar 17, 2014 at 11:48 am

    the actual king elvis Presley head wear additionally forehead Scarfturned out to be 1950s a period of a folks lowers ugly pony tails, additionally king elvis Presley establishment gain a multitude of a terrific way to scarves make to fashions in the course of. the head scarves, which were created a blend of rayon additionally egyption cotton, came with a four shade design of a king elvis. the most significant scarves scored 32 in,ins rectangle additionally money through $2.
    tiffany notes bangle http://www.highpointyachtfest.eu/tolteam/bubble/tiffany.asp?p=5

  • 39 air jordans // Mar 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    This will be the right weblog for everyone who desires to discover about this subject. You understand so significantly its virtually tough to argue with you (not that I in fact would want?-HaHa). You unquestionably put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Terrific stuff, just awesome!
    air jordans http://gujjar.org/blogs/post/2436

  • 40 jordans outlet // Mar 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    There’s noticeably a bundle to understand about this. I assume you made specific nice points in capabilities also.
    jordans outlet http://partydressshops.com/loctite-go2-glue-assessment/

  • 41 jordans outlet // Mar 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each and every time a comment is added I get four emails using the identical comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!
    jordans outlet http://watchesaln.blogger.hu/2013/10/14/top-ten-fashion-styles-in-winter-season

  • 42 wholesale jordans // Mar 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    You will find surely numerous details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer you the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are actually questions like the one you bring up exactly where the most important thing will be working in honest superior faith. I don?t know if ideal practices have emerged about issues like that, but I am positive that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls really feel the impact of just a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.
    wholesale jordans http://www.freewebsite-service.com/rolexwatchesinq/Blog.php?id=159968&snavn=Why+And+How+you+can+Get+Discount+Nike+Air+Jordan+Footwear+

  • 43 jordans for cheap // Mar 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Nice post. I learn some thing even more difficult on numerous blogs everyday. It is going to at all times be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to make use of some with the content on my weblog no matter whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.
    jordans for cheap http://www.nexopia.com/users/watchesccoi/blog/4-inexpensive-jordan-shoes-by-way-of-developing-a-volume-of

  • 44 wholesale jordans // Mar 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I feel which you should really write alot more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but frequently folks aren’t enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers
    wholesale jordans http://watchesccoi.yolasite.com/

  • 45 jordans outlet // Mar 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I discovered your weblog web-site on google and check some of your early posts. Continue to keep up the highly excellent operate. I just further up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading a lot more from you later on!
    jordans outlet http://jordansnnbw.jigsy.com/entries/general/present-shoe-trends

  • 46 http://www.xpresents.co.uk/ // Mar 17, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    If you would like receive a . It is just a wide world brimming with techniques and systems. It can be incredibly competitive and sometimes seems overwhelming for newcome . Most tasty gummy sweets are produce of animalbased gelatin which enables them a nono for strict vegetarians. But animal lovers can indulge their sweet tooth with number of candies from Goody Positive things. And also gelatine free, the sweets also contain no artificial colours or flavours, allergens for instance gluten, and perhaps they are completely free of fat, causing them to be a far more guiltfree decision for anyone seeking a sweet treat.

  • 47 nabwkeaj // Mar 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    they were not described right but i love nabwkeaj even now incredibly much. i will always want much more nabwkeaj later to return.

  • 48 avoir un beau corps homme // Mar 17, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I�m not here to talk.

  • 49 LV bags // Mar 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    exactly what my daughter wanted ! thanks!

  • 50 Marcelo@spine surgeon mountain view // Mar 19, 2014 at 1:10 am

    I every time emailed this web site post page to all my friends, because if like
    to read it next my links will too.


Advertisment

Advertisment


Advertisment

Advertisment


© 2007-2011 DomeMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Site design by Kimberly Hopkins, khopdesign, llc.