Michigan used to be known for offering its kids a quality education. But nowadays, Michigan schools rank in the bottom third in the nation and last in the Midwest, according to a report in 2018 from Bridge Magazine. Surprised? Many parents are. But there’s hope.
At Metro Parent’s Education Expo in 2018, we gathered a slew of stellar schools, tutors and more to help you and your child fill the Michigan education gap. Plus we hosted Ed Talks, where some of the leading experts on education offered their insights and advice.
And, while the event is over, the quest continues. We asked our Ed Talks speakers this simple question: “What’s your dream for Michigan students?” Here, Sibyl Collins Wilson, president of the Michigan PTA, shares her organization’s vision.
Sibyl Collins Wilson’s – and the Michigan PTA’s – dream for Michigan students
Michigan PTA remains focused on its mission to “mobilize the forces of school, home and community in order to ensure a quality education and nurturing environment for every child”.
Without barriers, what would Michigan’s education system look like? What would be our wish list?
- Public education would be our state’s top priority in word and deed, across the state: in the legislature, in the community and in the business community.
- Michigan legislature would ensure public education is fully funded, at the required per pupil level, based on student need, regardless of ZIP code.
- Michigan would honor the state constitution and reserve tax dollars for public education and reject education tax credits, vouchers, deductions or trust fund scholarships that divert funds away from public education.
- High quality, benchmarked, consistent state curriculum standards that include highly qualified teacher certifications, classroom size conducive to learning, and adequate and appropriate student supports.
- Statewide investment in art, language and music programs, early childhood programs, College and Career Ready Initiative (CCRI), life skills and special education programs – for all students, fully funded, regardless of ZIP code.
- Funding for the IDEA Act fully protected.
- Safety and security measures for all students in Michigan
- Health and wellness programs designed for the whole child.
- Family engagement programs with fully funded support.
- Reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, elimination of zero tolerance policies disproportionately targeting minorities.
- Implementation of a pay and benefit structure that encourages educators to remain in the profession, to further their education and certification, and recruit students to enter the profession.
- Elimination of any and all unfunded mandates.
- Michigan legislators and decision makers that listen to and support educators, working together to build a stronger education system for Michigan.
- Implementation of a fair and comprehensive, accountability system that incorporates input from all who influence a student’s education.
Ambitious? Yes. Doable? Yes. The question is whether we are committed to making these changes so that we can move the needle toward a quality educational system in Michigan.
Michigan PTA is committed. Will you join us?
Looking for details about this event in the future? Visit the Metro Parent Education Expo page for the latest.
Also, be sure to read about dreams for debt-free education from Sal Vassallo of MESP and Megan Buonodono of the MET and things every student deserves by Gary Abud, a metro Detroit author, education consultant and the 2013-14 Michigan Teacher of the Year.