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Lansing Rotary Club Speech Outline March 22, 2013 Rotary talks: learn something new and something

to think about. Disclaimer: My personal views. Not speak for the Governor. Public schools are something we think we know about and have strong opinions. Nine months looking at education financing from perspective of Governor Snyders desire to Reinvent Public Education. Governor: To compete on a worldwide scale, our education system must evolve from one that served us well in the past to one that embraces the challenges and opportunities of the new century. Questions for you. Please raise your hands: You or your children: Any part of K-12 education in public schools? How many think that today's Michigan public schools overall create graduates that will be globally competitive in the 21st century Knowledge based economy? Do you or your spouse work in the public education system? Not wade into complexities of public school finance laws. More numbers you use, less you are understood. Get numbers out of the way up front. First: Fact question. Four options. Which percentage number is the closest to the percentage of total state spending allocated to public education, including K-12, community colleges and state universities: 15%, 30%, 50% or 70%? [Answer: 50%] Michigan spends $20 billion annually to provide education services to more than a million young Michiganders. 330,000 people make their living in public schools. 300 plus schools with zero college ready college graduates. Only 17 percent of our kids are college ready. Over 60 percent of our kids have to take a remedial class when they go to community college.

Premise: Public schools in good neighborhoods are not as good as we think. Not as good as we need to be to rebuild Michigan's economy. Public schools face real challenges. Here is a sample: o Declining enrollment from demographic changes o Collapse of property values o State revenue collapse causing cut in school funding o Transition from monopoly model to more options for parents in other districts, charter schools, cyber schools, etc. o Diversity of students and more from troubled situations. o Increased demands from federal and state governments and some, not all, parents. o Perceived lack of respect for teachers. o Focus on testing, not learning. Each of these is worth considering and each is part of the challenges Michigan faces to create the public education system we want and need. Always: not enough money. Lesson: it's all about the money, it's only about the money, whenever the argument turns to "it's about the kids," it's really about the money. But, my sole focus: Governor Snyder's 2011 proposals to reinvent public education. Recognize the education establishment says now is not the time, not the way, not the pace. Education industrial complex has manned the ramparts to protect existing system. Without seeing proposals it has deemed them "unAmerican," a disaster, destroying community schools. Governors goals: Graduates of Michigan public schools are globally competitive in the Information Age. Public education system that moves students seamlessly from high school to post-high school education, both college and career training. Taxpayers pay for performance, not just attendance. Limit to two ideas. Will the proposed changes benefit the kids and

ultimately the state of Michigan?


1. Should Michigan move away from the early 19th century industrial

model of public education to a new more flexible approach 2. How should we manage an approach endorsed by both the Democratic-controlled State Board of Education and the Republic Governor to allowing students to learn any time, any place, any way, and any pace.? What is the existing industrial model? Developed in the 1920s. Required geography-based districts that owned the resident students and raised local real estate taxes to pay for their education. Based on developing industrial production model. Used "batch processing" to move large numbers into the public education system. Set grades, courses, and system through which students were moved along. Standardized. Highly effective (at least for White people) - millions of Americans had access to basic education that allowed our industrial economy to flourish (and give our citizens the tools they needed to win World War II). Post-war the GI Bill created the next step in mass education at the college level. Today - 21st Century -the model is not working. Economy is global. Knowledge based economy. High school students are not prepared to succeed in post secondary schools. Lack of seamless access to careers. The Anys. Education article of constitution says "means of education," not just schools. Way of contemplating new approach to replace the batch processing industrial model that is the basis of public education today. For example: Any time. 24/7/365 vs. 1080 hours per year. Any place. Anywhere learning takes place vs. 900 sq. ft. classroom. Any way vs. traditional classroom model. Includes gameification, adjunct expert teachers (noncertificated). Use technology to allow

teaching that reflects individual learning styles. Any pace vs. 4 years. Any pace can mean open entry/open exit for students able to work at a rapid pace, early college enrollment, access to career education in high school, and no stigma approaches for slower learners. Happening now in many schools. Issue is whether to reduce barriers. Issue is largely economic. Schools focus on revenue and any alternative is seen as loss to institution even if it benefits student and state. Fundamental policy issues. Does district of residence "own" the student and have a right to the money vs. parent ability to decide. o Governor says: money should follow the child; stop paying for mere attendance in a district school. o Districts say: it's our money. Every time a student opts for a different approach, it takes money from us and diminishes ability to serve all students. o School buildings mean control. Set pace assures funding stability. Unbundling loses both control and money. Unbundling threatens internal district subsidies, e.g., for high school, orchestra. Secondary issue: making sure what courses taken are appropriate. Curating function of public education. Third largely bogus issue. For-profit corporations. Private for profit vendors have always sold to schools - school busses and school books, insurance, teacher pensions invested in stocks, school architects and builders, food for cafeterias, even lawyers. What is best for Michigan - status quo with more money OR disrupting the status quo. Questions?