With input from parents, educators, and national experts, we have identified four things we must do to guide dramatic improvement in Michigan. We need to:
We believe these foundational elements—at a minimum—are essential building blocks for an effective education system. With those areas underpinning our work, we will do the following within one year:
Expand our collaborative to involve even more partners, including business leaders, state leaders, educators, parents, and community leaders. If we can get more people on the same page, it will be an enormous step forward.
Increase public awareness of the state’s education crisis and the need to take immediate and collective action to address it. Too many Michiganders believe their schools are fine; it’s the others that need improvement. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Develop a single, shared, and research-driven strategy for delivering effective education to achieve significant—not merely incremental—change. Going from being ranked near the bottom to somewhere in the middle is not acceptable. We have the resources and know-how to be among the best in the nation.
Dedicate ourselves to the strategy we develop for the long run. While the challenges are significant and urgent, effective and lasting solutions take time. Our work will not appease those seeking instant gratification or quick successes. We are in this for the long haul.
Once we determine our shared path and move toward implementation, we pledge to work as collaborators, not critics. This effort isn’t about telling teachers, administrators, and schools what they must do; we will all roll up our sleeves, dig in, and help build a stronger education system for Michigan’s children together.
Launch Michigan is in the early stages of collaboration and will be working to flesh out a shared agenda in the months ahead.
At this point, we have identified the following priorities:
We will listen to and support educators and work together to build a stronger education system for Michigan’s children. To guide our decisions about how best to assist them, we will leverage existing research and conduct a statewide educator engagement survey.
One of our biggest problems in Michigan is that we keep asking educators to hit a moving target. Every time we have new political leaders, the goals shift. As a result, we plan to (1) support shared, statewide, research-driven strategies for delivering effective education that serves all students, and (2) stick to these strategies beyond election cycles to see what really works.
We support a fair and comprehensive accountability system that includes everyone who influences education—not just teachers.
We will elevate public awareness about the current state of education in Michigan and the need to take immediate and collective action to improve it.
We will work together to ensure that the resources are available to provide for an equitable student-centered education system and funding model.
We recognize these are just the first steps toward building a shared agenda. We know our work won’t be easy, otherwise it would have been done before. But, we are ready and willing to roll up our collective sleeves and do what is necessary to build a strong, thriving public education system for Michigan’s children–together.