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OXFORD FOUNDATION posts DRAFT on-line / Seeking COMMENTS

This blog is a copy of an email I received from the Oxford Foundation. It's time to read the draft, have discussions, and send your comments to the Oxford Foundation ... before Dec. 14.

New post on Oxford Foundation-Michigan

Michigan Public Education Finance Project Summary of Draft

by Admin
The Governor asked Richard McLellan, Mary Kay Shields and Peter Ruddell to propose a new Michigan Public Education Finance Act to replace the existing School Aid Act of 1979 incorporating the policies articulated in the Governor’s Special Message on Education issued April 27, 2011.

The new Michigan Public Education Finance Act of 2013 is aimed at creating a public education funding system that allows a student to learn “Any Time, Any Place, Any Way and Any Pace,” and create the path toward more robust performance-based funding. Below are five major concepts included in the draft.

1. Removal of District “Ownership” of a Student.  A student will be allowed to take a course, multiple courses or the student’s entire bundled education package from any public education district in the state.  A local school district will maintain its ability to determine whether to participate in open enrollment.

2. Creation of Online Learning Options with Performance Funding.  Technology is changing the delivery of instruction to students.  A student will be allowed to access instruction from across the state using advancing technology.  The district providing the online course will immediately receive public funding, based on performance measures.  Again, a district will not limit a student’s choices.

3. Funding will truly follow the Student.  Under the current model, a school receives 90% of its state general education funding based on where a student sits on the first Wednesday in October.  We create a dynamic system, where the funding will actually follow the student.  15 other states are already using the Average Daily Membership method for allocating funds.

4. Framework for Performance-based Funding for all courses.  We are setting the framework for the full implementation of computer-adaptive student growth and assessment tools that are on the horizon.  We are maintaining the current growth funding incentives for the next fiscal year until the Smarter Balanced assessment and the recommendations from the Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness are complete.

5. Early Graduation Scholarships.  We are creating an incentive for students – who are ready – to graduate early.  $2,500 will be available for each semester a student graduates early. Let’s help those students who are ready to graduate.

Click here to download the draft of the bill.

Click here to read Richard McLellan's memo to Governor Snyder’s education team.

Click here to read Appendix B to the McLellan memo.

Click here  ( oxfordfoundationmi@gmail.com)  to send comments and proposals to the Michigan Public Education Finance Project regarding the first draft of the Michigan Public Education Finance Act.

Admin | November 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Tags: 1979 School Aid Act, education reform, Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Education Finance Act of 2013, Michigan Education Finance Project, Michigan School Aid Act of 1979, Oxford Foundation, Oxford Foundation-Michigan, public education, Richard McLellan, School Aid Act of 1979 | Categories: Updates | URL: http://wp.me/p2ARTm-9b

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Marcia Robovitsky November 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Every now and then, when I find a link concerning this issue, I will post it under this blog. The information and point of view will be that of the author. I'm just posting it. I hope that the readers will do the same for links they find. Right, left, center or what ever politically, the more points of views and interpretations help (me) clarify what is good and what should go with this proposed legislation. http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/17961
Mac November 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM
That is an article from the Mackinac Center defending McLellan's plan. McLellan founded the Mackinac Center.
Mac November 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM
http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/11/19/news/local_news/doc50aaa4867c56b188069630.txt http://dianeravitch.net/2012/11/18/michigan-is-on-its-way-to-ending-public-education/ http://www.mlive.com/opinion/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2012/11/john_austin_new_school_choice.html http://edushyster.com/?p=1204 http://www.freep.com/article/20121118/NEWS15/311180296/Education-funding-proposal-allows-school-choice-more-online-learning?odyssey=tab http://www.wdetfm.org/shows/craig-fahle-show/episode/podcast-monday-november-19-2012/ (about ten minutes into second hour)
Mac November 20, 2012 at 02:11 PM
http://www.michiganradio.org/post/commentary-michigan-s-education-future http://www.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-legislators-seeking-create-wild-west-unregulated-schools http://www.michiganradio.org/post/new-plan-overhaul-michigans-school-aid-act-released
Mike Reno November 20, 2012 at 02:35 PM
The MEA... you forgot to link to the MEA! Oh, and the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB)... I'm sure they have plenty of ugly things to say. Hmmm... what other adults that are employed by the system and threatened by the changes might like to weigh in? Ahhh... The Oakland County Superintendents! Have you checked their website for fuel to add to the fire?
-Elizabeth- November 20, 2012 at 02:41 PM
I have to ask Mike, Are you even reading the draft bill? I am, although it may take me until the deadline to get through the whole thing.
Mike Reno November 20, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I've probably read more of it than Diane Ravitch. She says, "It is a voucher plan that allows students to take their public money to any private vendor." These links are all full of that sort of blatantly wrong nonsense. Almost every point John Austin offers is subjective, and smacks of the "Not invented here" syndrome. Even Austin is shouting out false claims about vouchers, and noted here: http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/17961 I am trying to browse the 300 page beast for two reasons. One: It's good to know these things, and Two: It looks like these edu-folks are leaving their self-serving misinformation droppings everywhere, and some of us are going to need to clean up after them,
Mac November 20, 2012 at 03:14 PM
http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121120/SCHOOLS/211200317/Michigan-schools-overhaul-faces-fight?odyssey=tab
Mac November 20, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Mike, If you have an MEA link, you can post it.
Mac November 20, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I'm not wholly opposed to having "education folks" involved in this. In fact, I might have started with people who knew education, rather than whoever the anonymous funders of the Oxford Foundation are. Education folks might be able to propose the performance measures which are as yet unnamed. Performance measures are not an afterthought, or something you work out later; I'm not sure anyone has come up with an uncontroversial measure of performance. You certainly can't vote on a bill that doesn't define them. I reject the notion that people who are followers of the Mackinac Center are independent thinkers, while people who disagree with them are captive to unions or educational professionals. We are all able to think for ourselves. And the Oxford Foundation proposal appears to be half baked at best. It doesn't appear to consider funding, administration, or educational outcomes. For all its 300 pages, it seems to evade every difficult issue. This is why those who see it as a thin veneer for allowing corporations to, as Mr. McLellan would say, "operate schools to get the funds." Viewing the School Aid Fund as a big pot of money ripe for the picking is probably not the best start for education reform that focuses on education.
Mac November 20, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Mike, A private corporation can run a charter school. That is a private vendor.
Mike Reno November 20, 2012 at 03:36 PM
The edu-folks have had their chance... for decades. If you are satisfied with where they have gotten us... then under this plan it looks like you will be able to stick with them. What's not to like?
Mac November 20, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Mike, We will not have what we have now. McLellan has made it clear that the pot of money will remain the same. But charter schools can siphon some off, without any specified performance measures. And there will be an administrative system to manage student's funding, which will siphon some off. Performance measures, transportation responsibilities, administration of funding, will all remain responsibilities of local public schools. So their expenses and requirements go up; their funding goes down. And funding becomes erratic and reliable, as students are coming and going. You couldn't run a business on those terms, and I don't think our educators can run a school system that way. So, no, I will not have what I have now. And what I have now is unlikely to be able to maintain current standards. Which forces me to Cranbrook for, lets say, eight years. So as a parent who could afford it in a pinch, it's about $300K pre-tax for me. If I were not a parent with options, it would just mean my child's education was below acceptable levels. As a homeowner, eroded public schools make this a bad place to move. And a bad place to do business. I'm sorry I'm not more disappointed in BHSD public education than you'd like me to be. Our teachers, principals, and superintendent are extremely competent people.
Mike Reno November 20, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I don’t want you to be disappointed with schools, Mac. Don’t say that. What I just don’t understand is why you are so insistent that I keep my child there. It sure seems that in the end what schools really want is the money associated with my child. Can’t you see how it looks that way? We will provide "X", and if you don't like it, or it's not working, then too bad. You are free to leave, but your money stays here.
Marcia Robovitsky November 20, 2012 at 04:51 PM
There are three NEW posts from the Oxford Foundation website: (received via email update) http://oxfordfoundationmi.com/2012/11/20/mclellan-school-re-write-getting-harsh-reaction/ http://oxfordfoundationmi.com/2012/11/20/reforming-education-a-flawed-snyder-plan-includes-good-ideas/ http://oxfordfoundationmi.com/2012/11/20/editorial-let-dollars-follow-students/
R Gibson November 20, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I am trying very hard to catch up on this topic and have read a number of posts by Mr Reno and others. Maybe I am wrong, but throughout all these posts, and comments, I don't hear anyone asking the question, how does this help the teacher in the classroom do a better job. Be more effective, spend more one on one time with the children, etc. All of this seems to center around how are schools are going to be funded. I am not saying that all teachers are good or great or poor. I think the biggest problem we have in this system is the pyramid needs to be turned on it's head. The administration on up should be there to support the teachers in classroom not the other way around.
Joe Judge November 20, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Thanks to Marcia, Mac and Mike for linking to various opinions and comments. Keep it coming. Good to pull all these opinions and thoughts into the conversation. I hope to read-up on this over the Holiday and it's nice to have this aggregated in one forum. Is the time for public input 1 week or 1 month? I can't believe it would be just 1 week. I've seen conflicting comments on this.
Mike Reno November 20, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Here is a quote from today regarding the timeline. http://oxfordfoundationmi.com/2012/11/20/mclellan-school-re-write-getting-harsh-reaction/ During the next 30 days, he wants input from the stakeholders with hopes of improving on the document he just finished. McLellan acknowledged on today’s MIRS Monday podcast that this is a “next year” project, but the bill sponsored by House Education Committee Chair Lisa LYONS (R-Alto) need to be discussed. “You wouldn’t want to run a bill that extensive through two or three weeks,” he said. “These are issues for next year.”
Mac November 20, 2012 at 06:54 PM
December 14 is the end of the comment period. The comment form is here: http://oxfordfoundationmi.com/ People should offer their comments, and not be discouraged by the fact that public and professional input seems to be solicited but not incorporated.
Joe Judge November 20, 2012 at 07:01 PM
30 days is better. I hope that the OF is truly open to constructive comments during that period. Am I correct to say that there is no mandatory school of choice law? Most articles seem to confirm that. Good for districts like ours to at least have that choice, although it will be tougher to elect not to be school of choice if you really think district students will take flight (kids going out, none coming in)... not so sure that's the case (or should at least be less likely in the better districts), but that will be an important analysis for districts like ours. The other concern I had is addressed a little in the sense that there is at least some indication that $ can't go to private schools like Cranbrook or Country Day- but then, of course, there's all the "new schools" which I haven't had the chance to analyze .... first indications are that they have certain characteristics that are more "private" (for profit) than "public"... but that will be tonight's assignment (ha ha). Also encouraged to see that performance would be based on individual student achievement (had to be that way vs. a school-wide model). More upside, frankly, for lower performing districts that can pull their kids up. Disturbing, however, that, apparently, the actual methodology isn't given. That won't be easy to establish and will have to involve heavily standardized testing that is administered by the state. Not opposed to standardized testing, but at what point is there too much?
Mac November 20, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Mike, No one is stuck, especially around here. But everyone needs to be held to the same commitments and standards. Do not ask one type of school getting public money to do special ed, transportation, free lunches, bookkeeping, require them to hire qualified and trained teachers and meet a maze of government mandates, then allow another type of school to waltz in and get money for doing none of that. Our schools are using the money associated with the child to educate children. The Oxford Foundation proposal hasn't quite worked out the kinks to ensure that others who take that money will do the same. They need to do that for it to be viable. As it is, they seem to have proposed how to move money out of our functioning public schools while imposing new administrative burdens on them. And move money into new entities owned by profit-making businesses, who operate without measure or restriction. That isn't a choice.
Mike Reno November 20, 2012 at 07:59 PM
OK... I get it. Bloomfield's got 100% satisfaction. Even if money was available for other alternatives, 100% of the Bloomfield parents would choose Bloomfield schools, if offered the choice. 100% successful educational outcomes. Not one single person would want to leave. No complaints here. I get it. Except that darn Jenny Greenwell. Thank goodness her kids are done! :-)
Mac November 20, 2012 at 08:10 PM
No, that's not what I said. There are many options for those who are dissatisfied with the BHSD schools. There are also many options within the BHSD. We have left the BHSD, returned, and would leave again if we saw a better option. I am selfish. I do not believe that giving public money to anyone who sticks a shingle out and says they'd like to teach stuff is necessarily going to provide desirable alternatives. I think if we believe public schools need to be heavily regulated with mandates, requirements, and performance standards, competing entities must be held to the same standards. Either we need guidelines and checks on educational offerings or we don't. Do not impose burdens on one entity and remove them from another and call it competition. The fact that the funding, the student tracking system, the curriculum requirements and the performance measures are the parts that haven't been worked out leaves very little serious content in the Oxford Foundation proposal. All that is left is that they see a big pot of money, and people who would like to have some. That has nothing to do with education.
Mac November 20, 2012 at 08:13 PM
But Ms. Greenwell can open a charter school if she'd like.
Mike Reno November 20, 2012 at 08:32 PM
"There are many options for those who are dissatisfied with the BHSD schools." Like what? Other Oakland County Traditional Public Schools?
Joe Judge November 20, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I think the question is: what are the mandates that would be put on districts that would not be required of "new schools"? For example, If an Enrollment District is required to: verify residency, identify eligibility for funding, maintain records, counsel students, furnish data to the state, grant diplomas, approve credits for same and administer growth and assessment tools, etc., etc. for a kid that takes 70% of his/her classes on-line with "New On-Line School", does New On-Line School get 70% of that pupil's allowance. With all the responsibility that are retained by the Enrollment District, obviously the answer has to be "no" ... but perhaps this is addressed in 260 pages that I have not read. And these are just administrative responsibilities. I think Mac is also talking about the certification/qualification issues for new schools. Who is allowed to teach in such schools...could traditional public schools use such teachers? Under the new law, can anyone really just open a school? Is Bill and Tony's Math Academy really possible under the new law? If not, why not... let's find the provisions in the new law that address these concerns. Otherwise, we're just assuming and talking past each other. Another article: http://www.macombdaily.com/article/20121119/NEWS03/121119554/snyder-panel-suggests-more-michigan-education-choices
Mac November 20, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Yes, they've been extremely clear that school of choice is optional, and that private schools are not an option. Though I'm not sure where the line is between a privately funded charter and a private school. Presumably the charter will have to meet some restrictions or standards the privates don't adhere to? It seems like a lot hangs on how the measurement is done, and whether it is meaningful and effective.
Mac November 20, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Yes, and the multiple private schools in the area. That is different than some small town in the UP, where there truly may not be options at any price. "Choice" is different in a metropolitan area, where there are many school districts and private schools, than it is in a small town geographically separate from its neighbors.
Marcia Robovitsky November 21, 2012 at 09:53 PM
New post today on Oxford Foundation....about the timeline http://oxfordfoundationmi.com/2012/11/21/michigan-public-education-finance-project-timeline/
Mary L. November 21, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Here. You all need to lighten up a little. http://www.vanityfair.com/society/2012/12/aa-gill-schools-ruining-our-kids

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