FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, February 4, 2019

 

LANSING, MI – A statewide educator survey is kicking off today, gathering insights from the frontline experts in our schools about what’s needed to ensure every Michigan student succeeds.

The survey is being fielded by Launch Michigan, a diverse alliance of education, labor, business and philanthropic organizations committed to establishing a shared agenda to ensure all Michigan students receive a best-in-class education. The survey findings will be used by the group to guide a set of policy recommendations it intends to propose to the Governor and state Legislature.

“Michigan can learn from other states that have experienced academic gains as the result of good education policy. But these lessons must be grounded in local context. That means engaging our educators early in shaping solutions at both the local and state levels,” said Launch Michigan Co-chair Tonya Allen of The Skillman Foundation.

Launch Michigan is seeking feedback through the online survey from thousands of Michigan teachers, principals, and school support professionals to help address issues ranging from literacy and educator supports to accountability and school funding. Inspired by a similar survey conducted among educators in Tennessee – a state widely regarded as being a model for education improvement – the Launch Michigan survey will seek input on issues on Michigan-specific challenges and opportunities for schools.

“We owe it to our students and our professional colleagues to take part in a survey like this,” said MEA’s Paula Herbart, another Launch Michigan Co-chair. “For years, educators have wished for policymakers to ask them – the experts on the front lines – what’s needed to help students succeed. Launch Michigan is asking those questions, and I’m hoping every Michigan educator shares their views.”

The online survey will be fielded by Emma White Research LLC throughout at least the next week, with responses being scientifically weighted to ensure a reliable sample of the Michigan educator population, as well as looking at statistically significant subgroup opinions. Individual responses to the survey – which is being distributed by partner groups to a broad scope of traditional and charter school educators – are confidential. Aggregate responses and analysis will be publicly released later this spring.

“Listening to our workforce isn’t new for businesses – in fact, it’s an essential part of success,” said Launch Michigan Co-chair Doug Rothwell of Business Leaders for Michigan. “If our state’s education workforce has needs, we need to hear about them and address them. It’s critical to the success of Launch Michigan and our goal of helping every student get the education they deserve. And that’s critical to the success of our state.”

Launch Michigan partners representing the many educators who’ll be taking the survey are encouraged by this collaborative effort to hear from front-line practitioners:

“No one knows better than educators what is needed to improve public education,” stated David Hecker, President of AFT Michigan. “The survey’s findings will play a significant role in shaping Launch Michigan’s recommendations.”

“Great schools are the result of great educators – exceptional teachers and visionary school leaders,” said Dan Quisenberry, President of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies. “Charter public schools understand the importance of every educator’s voice on important issues like improving literacy, preparing and supporting teachers in the classroom. The intention of this survey is to hear their voices on these vitally important issues.”

“This survey reflects the way education policy should be made: asking the experts – Michigan’s educators – for input before deciding on policy recommendations,” said Wendy Zdeb, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals.  “Principals, teachers, and other educators know what our students need, and Launch Michigan is wise to ask them.”

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About Launch Michigan

Launch Michigan is an alliance of leaders from Michigan’s education, business, labor, civic, and philanthropic sectors, focused on improving K-12 education outcomes. Its members are committed to working across political and ideological lines to uphold a common agenda aimed at building a strong, thriving public education system for all Michigan students. More information at www.LaunchMichigan.org.

CONTACT:

Anna Heaton – Business Leaders for Michigan – Vice President, Marketing & Communications
313-986-3035, AnnaH@BusinessLeadersForMichigan.com

Doug Pratt – MEA – Director of Public Affairs
517-337-5508, dpratt@mea.org

Natalie Fotias – The Skillman Foundation – Director of Communications
313-393-1179, nfotias@skillman.org

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