Michigan Department of Education Special Meeting for March 18, 2015 – Menzel Interview


>>– INTERVIEW OF OUR FINALISTS FOR THE SUPERINTENDENCY OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. I GATHER THE BOARD HERE, AND FOR THOSE WHO ARE JUST JOINING US, WE’RE DOING THE SAME THING WE’VE DONE FOR THE PRIOR TWO CONVERSATIONS. WE’RE GOING TO HAVE OUR BOARD MEMBERS, IN TURN, ASK A SERIES OF QUESTIONS THAT ARE MORE SPECIFIC TO EACH OF THE CANDIDATES, AS WE’VE LEARNED ABOUT THEM AND ARE HAPPY TO EXPLORE CONTINUING ISSUES AROUND THEIR ABILITIES, INTERESTS, AND OPPORTUNITY TO BE SUPERINTENDENT. SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH. WE’RE GOING TO BE JOINED IN A MOMENT, AND WE’RE JOINED RIGHT NOW BY SCOTT MENZEL, WHO’S WASHTENAW INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT. SCOTT, GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.>>GOOD TO SEE YOU.>>LET ME SAY, FIRST, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING A CANDIDATE, FOR PUTTING YOURSELF FORWARD, AND TO BE PART OF THIS VERY PUBLIC BUT IMPORTANT DISCUSSION OF HOW WE HELP IDENTIFY THE PERSON WHO CAN HELP US LEAD OUR STATE AND WORK TOGETHER TO IMPROVE EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES, SO YOU PROBABLY HAVE HEARD WHAT WE’RE DOING IN THIS SET OF INTERVIEWS, WHICH WILL INCLUDE ASKING SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR STRENGTHS AND ABILITIES, WHICH WE’VE OBVIOUSLY HEARD A LOT ABOUT, INCLUDING FROM SOME PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM, AND I JUST WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE PRESENCE OF REPRESENTATIVES IRWIN, RUTLEDGE, AND ZEMKE, AS ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO HAVE JOINED US HERE. WE’RE ALSO GOING TO BE ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT CONCERNS AND ISSUES THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED THAT WE WANT TO UNDERSTAND BETTER IN TERMS OF THEIR IMPACT ON YOUR ABILITY TO HELP US GET WHERE WE NEED TO GO ON EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN. AND WE’RE GOING TO ASK ABOUT A RANGE OF EDUCATION ISSUES AND MANAGEMENT ISSUES THAT — AS YOU CAN APPRECIATE, SO WE CAN EXPLORE YOUR OPPORTUNITY AND ABILITIES YOU HAVE TO OFFER IN TERMS OF OUR GOAL WITH WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR IN THE NEXT SUPERINTENDENT. SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I’M GOING TO START IT OFF, AND I’VE BEEN THE ONE ASKING SOME OF THE TOUGH QUESTIONS, SO HERE’S ANOTHER: CREDIBLE EDUCATORS WHO WORK ALONGSIDE AND FOR YOU DESCRIBE A PATTERN OF PERHAPS MAKING KEY DECISIONS AND ADVANCING INNOVATION, WHICH YOU’RE WELL NOTED FOR, INCLUDING PARTICULARLY THE YPSI WILLOW RUN CONSOLIDATION AND SOME OF THE INITIATIVES AT WASHTENAW INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT THAT HAVE BEEN MORE ABOUT ENHANCING YOUR OWN AMBITION AND PERHAPS YOUR CANDIDACY FOR SUPERINTENDENCY VERSUS A REAL ATTENTION AND ABILITY TO FOLLOW THROUGH AND ENSURE THAT THEY AREN’T LEAVING SCHOOLS, EDUCATORS, AND STUDENTS WORSE OFF THAN BEFORE. HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND TO THAT KIND OF CRITIQUE?>>WELL, THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THAT QUESTION, JOHN. I’LL TALK ABOUT THE YPSI WILLOW RUN CONSOLIDATION, BECAUSE THAT’S THE ONE, SPECIFICALLY, THAT WAS BROUGHT UP, AND IF YOU GO BACK IN HISTORY, WHEN I APPLIED FOR AND WAS SELECTED TO SERVE AS SUPERINTENDENT AT WASHTENAW ISD, THE JUNE BEFORE I STARTED, I WAS INVITED TO A MEETING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE YPSILANTI PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD OF EDUCATION AND THE WILLOW RUN SCHOOL BOARD OF EDUCATION TO TALK ABOUT THE ROLE WISD MIGHT BE ABLE TO PLAY. BOTH DISTRICTS WERE DEFICIT DISTRICTS, WILLOW RUN SINCE THE 2005/06 SCHOOL YEAR, AND YPSILANTI SINCE 2009/10. SO THEY WERE UNDERWATER, THEY WERE STRUGGLING ACADEMICALLY, AND THEY KNEW THEY NEEDED TO DO SOMETHING. SO THEY INVITED ME TO A MEETING ALONG WITH THE INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT OF WISD AND SAID, “WOULD YOU, AS A CREDIBLE THIRD PARTY, CONVENE A CONVERSATION BETWEEN OUR TWO DISTRICTS?” THE HISTORY BETWEEN YPSILANTI AND WILLOW RUN IS ONE OF COMPETITION, AND NOT ALWAYS ONE THAT WOULD BE COLLEGIAL IN NATURE, AND THEY NEEDED A THIRD PARTY TO FACILITATE THE CONVERSATION. SO WE WERE APPROACHED AT QISD BY THEM. IT WASN’T THAT WE APPROACHED THEM, AND THE INITIAL CONVERSATIONS WEREN’T FOCUSED AROUND CONSOLIDATION. THE INITIAL CONVERSATIONS WERE AROUND WHAT CAN WE DO TOGETHER TO ADDRESS THE FINANCIAL CONCERNS THAT WE HAVE. WE PUT TOGETHER A COMMITTEE COMPRISED OF LEADERS IN BOTH DISTRICTS, ADMINISTRATORS, TEACHERS UNION, AND ALSO SOME FROM THE COMMUNITY TO TALK ABOUT WHAT THOSE THINGS MIGHT BE. IT WAS DURING THE COURSE OF THOSE CONVERSATIONS WHERE THEY STARTED IDENTIFYING A FEW OF THE SMALL THINGS THAT THEY WERE DOING WHERE THEY REALIZED, THEY WERE TINKERING AT THE MARGINS. WE’VE GOT TWO MAJOR PROBLEMS GOING ON HERE. ONE, ALL OF THE SAVINGS THAT WE CAN REALIZE THROUGH SHARED SERVICES ARE INCREMENTAL AT BEST, AND THEY’RE NOT GOING TO DIG US OUT OF THE HOLES THAT WE’RE IN. AND SECONDLY, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, THEY’RE NOT GOING TO ADDRESS THE ACHIEVEMENT ISSUES. AND IT WAS AT THAT POINT THE MEMBERS OF THE COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION COMMITTEE, THE TASK FORCE THAT WAS PUT TOGETHER BY THE TWO BOARDS JOINTLY, THEY DECIDED THEY NEEDED TO MOVE FROM A CONVERSATION ABOUT SHARED SERVICES TO ONE OF CONSOLIDATING THE DISTRICTS. OUR JOB AT WISD, NOT ONLY MINE, BUT THAT OF MY TEAM, WAS TO HELP FACILITATE THOSE COMMUNICATIONS, TO REALLY WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY TO IDENTIFY WHAT THEIR HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS WERE FOR THEIR CHILDREN. I THINK PEOPLE KNEW THAT IT WASN’T WORKING. AT THE SAME TIME, WE HAD AN EMERGENCY MANAGER LAW IN EFFECT THAT WOULD HAVE, IN ALL LIKELIHOOD, RESULTED IN YPSILANTI AND WILLOW RUN HAVING SOMEONE APPOINTED TO TAKE OVER THEIR OPERATIONS, BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T MAKING PROGRESS IN THEIR DEFICIT ELIMINATION PLANS. SO YOU PUT THOSE THINGS TOGETHER, THEY CONVERGE AT THE SAME TIME, WE HAPPENED TO BE IN A PLACE AT WISD TO HELP FACILITATE THAT CONVERSATION AND TO GIVE VOICE TO WHAT THE HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS WERE IN THE COMMUNITY. THE FACT THAT I WAS IN THAT CHAIR AND HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP FACILITATE THAT CONVERSATION WAS NOT DRIVEN IN ANY WAY BY PERSONAL ASPIRATIONS. IT WAS DRIVEN BY A COMMITMENT TO THE CHILDREN IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. THERE WERE 4,500 STUDENTS AT THE TIME WHEN YPSILANTI COMMUNITY SCHOOLS STARTED, BUT THERE WERE 7,500 SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN RESIDING WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE TWO DISTRICTS. OVER A PERIOD OF A DECADE, 3,500 SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN WERE SCHOOL OF CHOICING OUT TO OTHER OPTIONS BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR. AND WE BELIEVE FIRMLY AT WISD, AND I BELIEVE PASSIONATELY, THAT WE HAVE TO HAVE HIGH QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION EXPERIENCES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR EVERY STUDENT, AND THE CONSOLIDATION GAVE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO HIT THE RESET BUTTON, TO WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY TO REALLY REINVENT THE DISTRICT FROM THE GROUND UP, AND THAT WAS –>>OKAY, LET ME INTERRUPT AND THEN ASK A FOLLOW-UP QUESTION, BECAUSE AS THAT NEEDED, PERHAPS, CONSOLIDATION DISCUSSION CONTINUES, THERE’S BEEN A VERY CREDIBLE SUGGESTION, I THINK DIFFERENT FROM WHAT YOU SAID THE OTHER DAY THAT IT WAS YOU THAT ENGINEERED YOUR OWN APPOINTMENT AS THE SUPERINTENDENT, AND IT WAS NOT THE IDEA OF THE OTHER PARTNERS, THAT YOU HAD THE WASHTENAW INTERMEDIATE BOARD APPOINT THE FIRST INTEGRATED GOVERNANCE BODY CONTRACT WITH YOU TO PROVIDE HALF TIME SUPERINTENDENT SERVICES, WHEN WHAT PERHAPS WAS NEEDED WAS A FULL TIME SUPERINTENDENT WHO WOULD WORK EFFECTIVELY AND RELENTLESSLY AT THIS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT CHALLENGE OF INTEGRATING CURRICULUM, STAFFS, AND COMMUNITIES, AND THAT THE RESULT HAS BEEN A LACK OF SUPPORT AND DIMINISHED EDUCATION, AND REALLY A SPIRALING DOWNWARD CONSOLIDATION. WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST — IS THAT TRUE? DID YOU ENGINEER THE SUPERINTENDENCY FOR YOURSELF, AND HAS THAT BEEN THE RESULT?>>SO IT WAS NEVER THE INTENT THAT I WOULD BE THE DUAL SUPERINTENDENT OF YCS, AND WHEN WE WENT THROUGH THE PROCESS, IT WAS VERY CLEAR ON THE FRONT END THAT EVERYONE IN THE DISTRICT WAS GOING TO HAVE TO APPLY FOR THEIR JOBS, AND THE DISTRICT — THE BOARD, JUST TO BE CLEAR ON STATE STATUTE IS THAT WHEN A CONSOLIDATION TAKES PLACE LIKE THIS, THE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR APPOINTING A BOARD THAT GOVERNS UNTIL THE NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED ELECTION. WE HAD 18 INDIVIDUALS WHO APPLIED. THE WISD BOARD APPOINTED SEVEN. THREE WERE FORMERLY BOARD MEMBERS IN WILLOW RUN AND OR YPSI, AND THEN FOUR WERE NOT PART OF EITHER DISTRICT IN TERMS OF SERVING ON THE BOARD, BECAUSE THE COMMUNITY SAID LOUD AND CLEAR, WHEN WE HAD THE PUBLIC PROCESS IN TERMS OF BOARD APPOINTMENT, THAT — “WE VOTED FOR CHANGE. WE DIDN’T VOTE FOR THE SAME.” AND SO MY BOARD APPOINTED FOUR NEW BOARD MEMBERS AND THREE THAT HAD BEEN ON THE PRIOR BOARDS, BECAUSE WE NEEDED TO HAVE SOME CONTINUITY. THAT BOARD SELECTED MICHIGAN LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE TO CONDUCT A SEARCH. THERE WERE THREE INDIVIDUALS WHO WERE INTERVIEWED FOR THE POSITION. AND IF YOU GO BACK AND JUST READ THE MEDIA ACCOUNTS, YOU’LL SEE VERY QUICKLY THAT THERE WERE ALL SORTS OF ISSUES THAT WERE RAISED WITH THE THREE CANDIDATES. AND THE BOARD DECIDED THAT THEY WEREN’T IN A POSITION TO BE ABLE TO GIVE THAT SUPERINTENDENCY TO ANY ONE OF THE THREE AND STILL HAVE CONFIDENCE THAT THE DISTRICT WOULD GET OFF THE GROUND SUCCESSFULLY. THE SEARCH FIRM TALKED WITH THEM ABOUT GOING OUT EXTERNALLY, POSTING AND SEEING WHO WE COULD RECRUIT TO COME INTO YPSILANTI. THE PROBLEM IS THAT WITH ALL SEVEN SEATS ON THE BALLOT IN NOVEMBER OF 2014, IT WAS REALLY DIFFICULT TO ENVISION THAT SOMEONE WOULD TAKE A PROFESSIONAL CHANCE FOR 18 MONTHS, THAT THEY WOULD RELOCATE TO YPSILANTI AND TAKE ON THAT CHALLENGE. SO IN THAT DELIBERATION, THE OTHER OPTION THAT WAS DISCUSSED WAS THIS NOTION THAT YOU CAN CONTRACT WITH AN ISD FOR SUPERINTENDENT SERVICES. WHAT I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED WAS THAT THEY CONTRACTED WITH WISD AND WE HIRED SOMEONE FULL TIME TO DO IT. WHAT WAS ASKED FOR BY THE YCS BOARD AT THE TABLE WAS THAT I BE THE PERSON DOING IT, BECAUSE I WAS THE PERSON WHO HAD CREDIBILITY IN THE COMMUNITY BECAUSE OF WHAT WE LED IN TERMS OF A CONSOLIDATION EFFORT. 61% OF THE VOTERS IN BOTH COMMUNITIES SAID YES, AND SO WE AGREED TO THAT RELUCTANTLY. WHEN WE NEGOTIATED THAT CONTRACT, IT WAS BETWEEN THE BOARD MEMBERS OF YCS AND MY ISD BOARD. IT WAS AGREED THAT THAT WOULD BE FOR ONE YEAR, AND THAT IF THEY WANTED WISD TO PROVIDE THAT SERVICE FOR A SECOND YEAR, THAT WE WOULD HAVE TO HIRE SOMEONE FULL TIME. THE INTENT WAS ONLY TO BE ABLE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE NEW DISTRICT GOT OFF THE GROUND SUCCESSFULLY. AND SO — IT TOOK A TOLL ON MY FAMILY, IT WAS VERY HARD WORK, BUT THE INTENT WAS TO MAKE SURE THAT IT DIDN’T FALL APART BEFORE IT EVER STARTED.>>ONE LAST FOLLOW-UP JUST ON THIS TOPIC: THERE’S ALSO INNOVATIONS AT THE ISD LEVEL OF REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION AND HIGH SCHOOL CHOICE CONSORTIA AND BUSINESS SERVICES THAT SOME OF YOUR CUSTOMERS AND SOME OF YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS PULLING OUT OF THE TRANSPORTATION CONSORTIA, PULLING OUT OF THE HIGH SCHOOL CONSORTIA, AND SUGGESTING THE BUSINESS SERVICES THAT USED TO WORK WELL ARE SENDING CHECKS ALL OVER TOWN. WHY ARE YOUR CONSTITUENT COMMUNITIES PULLING OUT OF THE CONSORTIUMS? THEY SAY IT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT PERFORMING WELL.>>WELL, IF YOU LOOK AT THE ACHIEVEMENT RESULTS FOR THE WASHTENAW INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL, AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE ACHIEVEMENT RESULTS FOR THE EARLY COLLEGE ALLIANCE, I DON’T THINK THAT THE DATA WILL SUPPORT A QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THEY’RE WORKING WELL, BECAUSE, QUITE FRANKLY, THEY’RE PERFORMING AT THE TOP LEVEL OF ANY HIGH SCHOOL OPTIONS THAT ARE OFFERED IN WASHTENAW COUNTY. THE WASHTENAW ALLIANCE FOR VIRTUAL EDUCATION IS A PROGRAM THAT’S DESIGNED TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF AT-RISK STUDENTS, AND WE’VE RECENTLY RE-TOOLED THAT OPPORTUNITY. NONE OF THE PARTNERS, JOHN, HAVE ACTUALLY PULLED OUT OF THE CONSORTIUM. THERE ARE SOME WHO HAVE LIMITED THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS GOING INTO THE CONSORTIUM, BUT THERE ISN’T ONE THAT’S PULLED OUT. AND SO I THINK WE HAVE TO CLEAR THE RECORD THERE. WHEN IT COMES TO THE TRANSPORTATION CONSORTIUM, THAT WAS A FIVE-YEAR CONTRACT. AS I MENTIONED IN MY FIRST INTERVIEW, WISD DID NOT HAVE ANY CORE CAPACITY TO OPERATE A TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT. WE DIDN’T DO IT PRIOR TO THE TIME THE SHARED SERVICE WAS ENACTED. SO OVER THE COURSE OF THAT FIVE YEARS, YOU KNOW, THERE WERE SOME THINGS THAT WERE BEING DEVELOPED AND LEARNED AT WISD. IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED AT THE LIVINGSTON EDUCATIONAL SERVICE AGENCY, WHERE THEY HAVE THE CORE CAPACITY, THEY’RE STILL PROVIDING THAT CONSOLIDATED TRANSPORTATION SERVICE. SO IN WASHTENAW, WE DIDN’T GET TO THE POINT WHERE THAT BECAME SOMETHING THAT HAD THE LEVEL OF QUALITY THAT THE LOCAL DISTRICTS WANTED, AND WHEN WE PUT IN OUR BID, IT WAS THE HIGH BID, BECAUSE WE HAD TO ENSURE THAT WE WERE GOING TO BE ABLE TO DELIVER ON THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE CUSTOMERS. SO I WOULD ARGUE THAT WHEN YOU’RE PRIORITIZING THE WORK, SINCE I STARTED AT THE WISD, WE’VE FOCUSED ON THE SUPPORT OF YPSILANTI WILLOW RUN, OUR DISTRICTS MOST IN DISTRESS. SECONDLY, WE LAUNCHED, AT THE REQUEST OF THE COUNTY WHEN THEY DECIDED NOT TO BE A HEAD START GRANTEE, WE WORKED ON HEAD START, BECAUSE EARLY CHILDHOOD IS IMPORTANT. AND THAT, COUPLED WITH THE GREAT START READINESS EXPANSION, TOOK A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF TIME AND ENERGY, BECAUSE WASHTENAW ISD ALSO DIDN’T HAVE AN EARLY CHILDHOOD DEPARTMENT. WHEN YOU PUT ALL OF THOSE THINGS IN CONTEXT, THE TRANSPORTATION CONSORTIUM, WHILE IMPORTANT, WAS ONE SMALL PIECE WHERE WE DIDN’T HAVE THE CORE COMPETENCE, AND OVER THE TIME THAT WE DELIVERED THAT SERVICE, WE NEVER GOT AUTHORIZATION FROM THE DISTRICTS THAT WERE PARTICIPATING IN THE CONSORTIUM TO INCREASE WAGES FOR THE DRIVERS. THE REQUEST FOR US WAS TO DRIVE DOWN THE COST. SO WE COMPLIED WITH THE REQUEST OF THE CONSTITUENT DISTRICTS. THE RESULT OF THAT WAS WE HAD A VERY DIFFICULT TIME ATTRACTING AND RETAINING DRIVERS.>>THANK YOU.>>THANKS AGAIN.>>SO IN THE FIRST INTERVIEW, WE WEREN’T REALLY — WE HAD TO ASK ALL THE SAME QUESTIONS, AND WE WEREN’T REALLY ABLE TO DELVE INTO THINGS, SO THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO EITHER REVISIT SOME OF THE ANSWERS THAT YOU HAD PROVIDED BEFORE, OR ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS OF YOU. SO THE ONE THAT I HAD WHEN I WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR COVER LETTER — YOU INDICATE IN THE COVER LETTER THAT — WILL WE TAKE THE BOLD STEPS NECESSARY TO ENSURE THAT OUR 1.5 MILLION SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN ARE PREPARED TO SUCCEED IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY, OR WILL WE CONTINUE TO FIGHT TO PRESERVE A SYSTEM THAT SERVED US WELL IN THE 20TH CENTURY? SO MY QUESTION ACTUALLY IS A TWO-PART QUESTION. ONE, WHAT ARE THE BOLD STEPS NECESSARY, AND TWO, WHAT ELEMENTS, IF ANY, OF THE CURRENT SYSTEM ARE WORTHY OF PRESERVATION?>>THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION. I’LL START ON THE BOLD STEPS NECESSARY. YOU KNOW THE DATA: WE’RE NOT PERFORMING AT A LEVEL THAT OUR CHILDREN DESERVE AND NEED IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND COMPETITIVE IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY. SO IT REALLY IS ABOUT SYSTEMIC SCHOOL REFORM, AND I MENTIONED IN THE FIRST INTERVIEW, IT’S NOT ABOUT TAKING ANY ONE OF THOSE COMPONENTS IN ISOLATION, BUT IT’S ABOUT LOOKING AT THE ENTIRE SYSTEM. AND I THINK THAT THAT MEANS WE HAVE TO LOOK AT GOVERNANCE. WE HAVE TO LOOK AT HOW WE’RE STRUCTURED TO DELIVER THE SERVICE. WE HAVE TO ASK THE QUESTION “ARE WE OPERATING AS EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE?” WE HAVE TO ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT IN THE 21ST CENTURY, WITH THE ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY, IS THE SYSTEM THAT WE HAVE NOW MEETING THE NEEDS OF ALL OF OUR STUDENTS? I DON’T THINK IT IS, AND SO WHEN I TALK ABOUT BOLD REFORMS, IT’S ABOUT LOOKING AT ALL THOSE COMPONENTS. WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO INVEST AND GROW HIGH QUALITY TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOM. THEY’RE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO SUCCESS FOR THE SYSTEM, BUT HOW THE SERVICES ARE DELIVERED, I THINK, IS SOMETHING THAT WE REALLY NEED TO ADDRESS. THE NOTION — AND I GREW UP IN HILLSDALE COUNTY, WHERE WE HAVE 8 SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND 6,100 STUDENTS. AND SO I ASK MYSELF, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE LIMITED RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE AVAILABLE IN OUR STATE, CAN WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT 8 SCHOOL DISTRICTS, 8 SUPERINTENDENTS, 6,100 STUDENTS, FEWER STUDENTS THAN ARE IN MANY SCHOOL DISTRICTS ACROSS THE STATE. SO FOR ME, I THINK THAT’S SOMETHING THAT’S CONTROVERSIAL. SOME PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO TACKLE THAT CHALLENGE. AS YOU’VE SEEN, IN MY CAREER, I’VE BEEN WILLING TO TACKLE THE CHALLENGE, BECAUSE I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO INVEST THE RESOURCES WHERE THEY’LL MAKE THE MOST DIFFERENCE, AND THAT’S IN THE CLASSROOM, INVESTING IN TEACHERS, INVESTING IN THE WRAP-AROUND SUPPORTS TO HELP OUR STUDENTS BE SUCCESSFUL. SO THAT’S WHAT I MEANT BY THE BOLD REFORMS. ARE WE WILLING TO GO THERE? ARE WE WILLING TO TALK ABOUT THINGS THAT PEOPLE ARE UNCOMFORTABLE TALKING ABOUT IN ORDER TO DO WHAT’S RIGHT FOR KIDS?>>AND WHAT SHOULD BE PRESERVED?>>WHAT SHOULD BE PRESERVED? I THINK THERE ARE — IT STILL HAS TO BE CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY, RIGHT? SO THIS NOTION THAT 550 IS THE RIGHT NUMBER IS A PROBLEM FOR ME, BECAUSE I THINK WE NEED TO REVISIT THAT, BUT I ALSO DON’T BELIEVE THAT IF WE IMPOSE THE CHANGE ON COMMUNITIES THAT IT WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. THAT’S WHY THE CONSOLIDATION EFFORT, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT’S DONE — AND WE TOLD PEOPLE IT’S A ROCKY ROAD. IT’S THREE TO FIVE YEARS BEFORE THINGS KIND OF SETTLE. BUT IT WAS THEIR VISION. IT WAS THEIR VOICE. IT WAS THE COMMUNITY, 61% OF BOTH WHO SAID, “YES, WE WANT TO DO THIS.” SO REMEMBER, THAT MEANS 39% VOTED NO. IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT THERE’S NOT GOING TO BE SOME OPPOSITION, BUT IF WE SUPPORT OUR CLASSROOM TEACHERS, IF WE SUPPORT THE CONNECTION WITH THE COMMUNITY, IF OUR SCHOOLS REFLECT A COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE FOR EVERY STUDENT, I THINK THAT’S SOMETHING THAT’S WORTHY OF PROTECTION. AND THE REST, I THINK, NEEDS TO BE ON THE TABLE FOR CONVERSATION, TO SAY, “IS IT WORKING?”>>CAN I FOLLOW-UP?>>MM-HMM.>>SO WHEN YOU SAY GOVERNANCE, YOU’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT GETTING RID OF PUBLICLY ELECTED SCHOOL BOARDS.>>NO.>>YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT AT THE DISTRICT LEVEL OR ISD LEVEL PERHAPS, AND COMBINING –>>RIGHT. I’M TALKING ABOUT HOW WE’RE STRUCTURED TO ENSURE THAT THE SYSTEM IS ALIGNED, THAT THE RESOURCES ARE BEST USED TO ADVANCE ACHIEVEMENT.>>OKAY.>>THANKS. MICHELLE?>>FORGIVE ME FOR ASKING A QUESTION THAT I PROBABLY SHOULD KNOW THE ANSWER TO, BUT IT’S BEEN TOLD TO ME THAT WHEN THERE IS CONSOLIDATION, THAT ALL COLLECTIVE BARGAINING CONTRACTS ARE VOIDED. SO WITH THAT, I WANTED — AND I’M TOLD THAT THIS IS A BIG IMPEDIMENT FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE TO SUPPORT CONSOLIDATIONS. WOULD YOU CHANGE THAT SO THAT THE CONTRACTS WOULD NOT BE VOIDED? WHAT WOULD YOU PROPOSE FOR THAT?>>SO IT’S A NUANCED ANSWER. THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION, AND IT’S ONE THAT CAME UP SEVERAL TIMES DURING THE PROCESS. AND I WANT TO SAY TWO THINGS, MICHELLE. ONE IS IN CONSOLIDATION, THAT’S TRUE. IN AN ANNEXATION SITUATION, IT’S NOT TRUE. SO THE DISTRICT ANNEXING ANOTHER DISTRICT, THEIR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT CONTROLS, AND SO YOU DON’T LOSE THE BARGAINING AGREEMENT THERE. AND SO I THINK WE PROBABLY NEED TO HAVE A ROBUST CONVERSATION ABOUT THE PROS AND CONS OF ANNEXATION VERSUS CONSOLIDATION. AND YOU DO HAVE A WAY, WITH ANNEXATION, TO MAINTAIN THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT OF THE ANNEXING DISTRICT. WITH RESPECT TO WHAT HAPPENED WITH YPSI AND WILLOW RUN, BECAUSE THE DISTRICTS HAVE CONTRACTS THAT WERE DIFFERENT IN SOME REALLY SIGNIFICANT WAYS, I THINK IT MADE SENSE TO HAVE THAT CLOSE DOWN AND BARGAIN A NEW CONTRACT. NOW, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE TRIED TO BE SENSITIVE TO IN THE PROCESS WAS TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH THE UNIONS ABOUT WHAT WAS IMPORTANT. AT THE SAME TIME, THE DISTRICTS WERE UNDERWATER, AND THIS WAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO HIT THE RESET BUTTON. AND FOR ME, CONSOLIDATION MAKES THE MOST SENSE IF YOU NEED TO HIT THE RESET BUTTON, IF YOU NEED TO RESTART WHERE A DISTRICT IS AND BUILD IT FROM THE GROUND UP AGAIN. AND SO I THOUGHT THIS WAS ACTUALLY AN ADVANTAGE IN THE CONSOLIDATION. IT CREATED A LOT OF ANGST AND FRUSTRATION, AND I UNDERSTAND THAT. WE TRIED VERY HARD TO ADDRESS SOME OF THE CORE COMPONENTS AROUND THE ISSUES OF COMPENSATION, FOR EXAMPLE. WE COMMITTED THAT NO ONE WOULD GO BACKWARDS MOVING FROM THEIR FORMER DISTRICTS TO THIS ONE. WE LEARNED DURING THE PROCESS THAT BECAUSE OF THE 13% PAY CUT THAT THEY’D TAKEN IN YPSILANTI THAT THAT DISADVANTAGED THE YPSILANTI TEACHERS DIFFERENTLY THAN THE WILLOW RUN TEACHERS. SO AGAIN, AS WE WERE BUILDING IT AS WE GO, WE LEARNED SOME THINGS THAT WE WOULD SHARE WITH OTHERS ABOUT HOW WOULD APPROACH THAT SO THAT PERHAPS IT WAS EQUITABLE. I THINK THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNIONS ON THE FRONT END IS IMPORTANT. WE HAD THAT. WE HAD CONVERSATIONS ON AN ONGOING BASIS. SO I THINK THAT THERE’S A WAY AROUND THE ANGST THAT’S A RESULT OF THE AGREEMENTS ENDING, BUT STILL RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPING A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT THAT WILL WORK FOR THE NEW DISTRICT. WE — AT YCS, THE BOARD VOLUNTARILY RECOGNIZED MEA. THEY WERE BOTH MEA UNITS, BUT THAT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST ORDERS OF BUSINESS ON THE FIRST DAY THAT THE DISTRICT STARTED, WAS TO SAY, “LOOK. WE KNOW THAT THAT’S THE BARGAINING AGENT. WE’RE GOING TO SIT DOWN IMMEDIATELY TO NEGOTIATE AND TO PUT SOMETHING IN PLACE.>>IF I COULD ASK JUST –>>OKAY.>>SO RECENTLY, THERE WAS ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO CONSOLIDATE, OR TO GET THE COMMUNITIES TO CONSOLIDATE WITH ANN ARBOR, AND –>>THE ANNEXATION, WHITMORE LAKE, RIGHT.>>WHY DO YOU — WHAT DO YOU DO TO PREVENT THAT FROM FAILING, AND WHY DID IT FAIL?>>SO I THINK THERE ARE A COUPLE THINGS THAT ARE REALLY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT THAT. IF YOU LOOK AT OUR YPSI WILLOW RUN CONVERSATION, THERE WAS A 17-MONTH LEAD-IN TO THE VOTE. SO WE HAD TIME. ADDITIONALLY, IT WASN’T A NEW CONCEPT FOR THE TWO COMMUNITIES. IT WAS DISCUSSED A DECADE BEFORE. “WHY DO WE HAVE THREE DISTRICTS OPERATING WITHIN THE YPSILANTI ZIP CODES?” AND SO IT WASN’T A SHOCK. THE ANNEXATION BETWEEN ANN ARBOR AND WHITMORE LAKE WAS SOMETHING THAT WASN’T ON THE RADAR SCREEN. PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT, AND WE HAD THIS REALLY HYPER-COMPRESSED TIMELINE, FROM JULY 30TH, WHEN THEY VOTED TO PUT IT ON THE BALLOT, TO THE NOVEMBER ISSUE. THAT, COMBINED WITH THE FACT THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE A MUTUAL ASSUMPTION OF DEBT, CREATED ENOUGH QUESTIONS IN THE MINDS OF PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT’S THE BENEFIT AND WHAT’S THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT IF WE AGREE TO DO THIS FOR ANN ARBOR. AND WE DIDN’T HAVE A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT OF TIME TO REALLY LAY THE GROUNDWORK TO GET TO SUCCESS. SO I THINK IN LARGE PART, IT WAS A PRODUCT OF TIME. QUITE FRANKLY, IT WAS THE BEST WAY TO LEVERAGE MORE OPERATIONAL DOLLARS, BECAUSE ANN ARBOR, AS AN OUT-OF-FORMULA DISTRICT, WAS BRINGING IN ABOUT $9,100 PER STUDENT. WHITMORE LAKE IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FOUNDATION GRANT. ALL THOSE KIDS IN WHITMORE LAKE WOULD’VE MOVED UP TO THE ANN ARBOR FOUNDATION OR VERY CLOSE TO IT. WE NEED SOME ADDITIONAL INCENTIVES AND STATUTE, AND WE’VE BEEN WORKING WITH OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT, BUT THAT WAS THE OTHER THING. THE COMMUNITY DIDN’T WANT TO TAKE THE CHANCE THAT THE ELECTED OFFICIALS MIGHT COME THROUGH. SO WE REALLY NEED LEGISLATION IN ADVANCE OF PUTTING THE QUESTION OF ANNEXATION ON A FUTURE BALLOT, BECAUSE THE MAYBE JUST WASN’T ENOUGH TO YIELD THE CONFIDENCE OF THE VOTERS.>>THANK YOU.>>OKAY. RICHARD.>>I SEEM TO RECALL THAT YOU SPOKE VERY ELOQUENTLY OF THE MORAL IMPERATIVE OF EQUITY, AND YET, NOT EVERYONE CAN BECOME A BRAIN SURGEON. IT MAY TAKE ONE INDIVIDUAL THREE TIMES AS LONG TO BECOME AN ENGINEER AS ANOTHER, AND THEN THAT PERSON’S PROFESSIONAL LIFE IS ACCORDINGLY SHORTER AND PRODUCTIVITY IS SHORTER. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT WE ARE LIMITED AS TO HOW MUCH OF HUMAN INEQUITY OR HUMAN DIFFERENCE CAN BE OVERCOME. AND THE OTHER LIMIT, IT SEEMS TO ME, IS FUNDING AVAILABLE. OUR AVAILABLE FUNDS FOR ANY GOOD PURPOSE IS LIMITED. SO HOW DO WE COME TO TERMS WITH THESE LIMITS, ON THE ONE HAND WITH THE LIMITS TO HUMAN POTENTIAL ON THE ONE HAND, AND ON THE OTHER HAND IS THE LIMITS TO THE FINANCIAL RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE? SOME HAVE ARGUED THAT WE SHOULD PUT OUR FINANCIAL RESOURCES INTO OUR BEST STUDENTS SO THAT WE PRODUCE THE MOST BENEFIT FOR SOCIETY, AND OTHERS HAVE ARGUED, FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF EQUITY, WE SHOULD PUT MOST OF OUR RESOURCES INTO THE WEAKEST STUDENTS, WHERE WE MIGHT NOT SEE THE RETURN, OR COMMENSURATE RETURN. HOW DO WE MAKE THESE DIFFICULT DECISIONS?>>WELL, THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION. AND IT REMINDS ME OF ONE OF THE THINGS I HAD HOPED TO SAY IN THE FIRST INTERVIEW, AND THEN THERE’S ALL SORTS OF THINGS YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT, AND THEN AFTER YOU DRIVE HOME, IT’S LIKE, “I SHOULD HAVE SAID THAT.” SO ONE OF THE THINGS, WHEN YOU’RE LOOKING AT THE EQUITY VERSUS EQUALITY QUESTION IN THE SLIDE THAT I PUT UP, THERE’S ANOTHER SLIDE THAT SHOULD BE THERE THAT’S NOT, AND THAT’S WHERE OUR KIDS ARE NOW. WHO ALREADY HAS THE ASSETS, RIGHT? THERE ARE A LOT OF KIDS WALKING THROUGH THE DOOR THAT HAVE TREMENDOUS ASSETS, AND SO WHEN WE THINK ABOUT WHERE WE NEED TO GO AS A SOCIETY, I’M STILL PASSIONATE ABOUT THAT EQUITY ISSUE IN TERMS OF HOW WE INVEST OUR RESOURCES, BECAUSE NO CHILD GETS TO CHOOSE THEIR PARENT, THEIR ZIP CODE, THEIR GENDER, THEIR RACE — THAT’S ALL UP TO CIRCUMSTANCE OF BIRTH. EVERY CHILD HAS IMMEASURABLE VALUE AND WORTH, AND WE’VE GOT TO UNLOCK THEIR POTENTIAL. PART OF THE PROBLEM WITH THE WAY THE QUESTION IS FRAMED IS THAT WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT POTENTIAL IS. AND SO THAT’S THE PURPOSE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION, IS TO UNLOCK THE POTENTIAL. AND I THINK WE GET INTO AN ARGUMENT THAT’S A PROBLEM. AND THIS IS WHAT I WISH I WOULD’VE SAID AT THE FIRST INTERVIEW, AND THAT IS WHEN WE LOOK AT THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP, LANGUAGE THAT I WISH WE COULD ELIMINATE, WE’RE COMPARING THE TOP PERFORMING, HIGHEST LINE STUDENTS WITH THE LOWER PERFORMING STUDENTS. AND THAT GAP WILL PERSIST, BECAUSE WE DON’T WANT TO PUT A LID ON HOW HIGH THE HIGH-FLYERS CAN FLY. SO WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT THOSE STANDARDS THAT WE ESTABLISH. LET’S MEASURE OUR PROGRESS VIS A VIS THE STANDARDS, NOT AGAINST THE HIGH-FLYERS AND THE LOW PERFORMERS. IF WE SET HIGH STANDARDS AND THEY’RE RIGOROUS, THEN WHAT OUR GOAL IS IS TO ENSURE THAT EVERY STUDENT IS ACHIEVING THOSE. AND WHILE WE MIGHT HAVE SOME WHO DON’T, THAT’S GOT TO BE OUR OBJECTIVE, IS TO REALLY MAKE SURE WE ACHIEVE THAT STANDARD, RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON HOW — YOU KNOW, WHERE THE HIGH-FLYERS ARE COMPARED TO SOME OF THE ONES THAT ARE STRUGGLING.>>THEN MAY I ASK, IS OUR PRESENT STANDARDS — FOR EXAMPLE, OUR CURRENT SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS, WE ONLY GOT ABOUT 27 OR 29% OF OUR STUDENTS THAT ARE MEETING THOSE OBJECTIVES — ARE THE STANDARDS THAT WE HAVE NOW ADEQUATE FOR THAT PURPOSE?>>I THINK IT’S A FAIR QUESTION, AND FOR ME, I WOULD WANT TO GO BACK AND MAKE SURE THAT AS WE’RE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION WITH THE PROFESSIONALS IN THE FIELD, AND LOOKING AT WHAT BEST PRACTICE IS, NOT ONLY IN THIS COUNTRY, BUT ACROSS THE GLOBE, THAT WE’VE SET THE BAR IN THE RIGHT SPOT. I THINK WE’VE MADE PROGRESS IN OUR STANDARDS. I THINK MICHIGAN HAS SET HIGH STANDARDS. MAKING SURE THAT WE’VE GOT THE RIGHT ONES AND THEN HAVING A SENSE OF CONTINUITY, BECAUSE EVERY TIME YOU MOVE THE BAR, THAT BECOMES A PROBLEM.>>YEAH.>>SO I THINK WE’RE GETTING CLOSE TO THE POINT WHERE WE COULD HANG OUR HAT ON SOMETHING.>>THANK YOU. EILEEN — KAREN McPHEE IS HERE, BUT SHE’S BEEN NOT ASKING QUESTIONS ON HER OWN SUGGESTION, JUST TO SAVE TIME, SO JUST SO YOU KNOW THAT.>>IT’S IMPORTANT AT THIS STEP THAT THE BOARD HAS ALL — AS MANY QUESTIONS AS POSSIBLE, AND I KNOW THEY HAVE LONG LISTS OF QUESTIONS, AND SINCE THEY WILL BE MAKING THE CHOICE, I WANT TO ACQUIESCE TO THEIR TIME.>>THANK YOU.>>SCOTT, WHAT K-12 EDUCATION DIFFERENCES DO YOU SEE BETWEEN LIVINGSTON AND WASHTENAW COUNTIES AND OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE? WHAT EXPOSURE HAVE YOU HAD TO EDUCATION IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF OUR STATE AND OUTSIDE? AND WHAT DOES THIS SUGGEST FOR ANY ACTIONS THAT YOU MIGHT TAKE AS SUPERINTENDENT?>>SO THREE PARTS: LIVINGSTON AND WASHTENAW –>>AND THE REST OF THE STATE.>>REST OF THE STATE, AND WHAT WAS THE THIRD PART?>>THE SECOND PART IS HAVE YOU HAD EXPOSURE TO EDUCATION IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE STATE AND OUTSIDE OF THE STATE, AND WHAT DOES THAT EXPOSURE SUGGEST FOR WHAT ACTIONS YOU WOULD TAKE AS SUPERINTENDENT?>>OKAY, THANK YOU. SO I’M SURE IT’S NO SURPRISE TO YOU THAT LIVINGSTON COUNTY AND WASHTENAW COUNTY ARE KIND OF POLAR OPPOSITES AS IT RELATES TO A NUMBER OF THINGS. FIRST, THEIR POLITICS: ONE’S EXTREMELY CONSERVATIVE, AND ONE HAS A REPUTATION FOR BEING PRETTY LIBERAL. SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT STAND OUT AS DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO: LIVINGSTON COUNTY, FOR THE DECADE BEFORE I GOT THERE, WAS THE FASTEST GROWING COUNTY IN MICHIGAN. IT’S RELATIVELY AFFLUENT. FIVE LOCAL DISTRICTS, 27,000 STUDENTS, PROBABLY, NOW, AND VERY HOMOGENEOUS. NOT A LOT OF DIVERSITY. THERE IS SOME POVERTY. IN WASHTENAW COUNTY, WE’VE GOT JUST UNDER 50,000 STUDENT IN THE COUNTY, AND WE’RE VERY DIVERSE. WE HAVE SMALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS LIKE WHITMORE LAKE AND MANCHESTER, AND THEN WE’VE GOT A UNIVERSITY DISTRICT IN ANN ARBOR WITH ALMOST 17,000 STUDENTS. SO THE DIFFERENCES ARE PRETTY SIGNIFICANT IN TERMS OF THE CHALLENGES THAT THEY FACE. THEY’RE ALL OPERATING, IN BOTH COUNTIES, IN A SCHOOL OF CHOICE ENVIRONMENT, WHERE THEY’RE COMPETING FOR KIDS BECAUSE THEIR ECONOMIC ENGINE IS DRIVEN BY THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS THAT THEY HAVE. BOTH COUNTIES WERE HIT PRETTY HARD BY THE RECESSION IN 2008, AND AS WE WERE BLEEDING STUDENTS, DISTRICTS WERE STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY. SO IN BOTH COUNTIES, WE’VE DEALT WITH DISTRICTS THAT WERE DEFICIT. BRIGHTON WAS THE FIRST ONE IN LIVINGSTON, FOLLOWED BY PINCKNEY. IN WASHTENAW COUNTY, IT WAS WILLOW RUN AND THEN YPSILANTI AND THEN LINCOLN. WE HAVE OTHER DISTRICTS THAT ARE SITTING ON THE CLIFF. SO THE FINANCIAL CHALLENGES ARE SOMEWHAT COMMON. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE REST OF THE STATE, WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE 51 — THE NUMBER VARIES IN TERMS OF DEFICIT DISTRICTS, BUT A LOT OF STRUGGLING DISTRICTS, SOMETIMES DRIVEN BY THE DECLINING ENROLLMENT, SOMETIMES BY BUDGETARY DECISIONS, SOMETIMES BECAUSE OF THE COMPETITION IN THE MARKETPLACE THEY’RE NOT ABLE TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN STUDENTS. SO THERE ARE A LOT OF DIFFERENT VARIABLES THAT DRIVE DISTRICTS TO THAT POSITION. MY EXPOSURE TO THE REST OF THE STATE COMES IN A COUPLE OF WAYS. ONE, BECAUSE I CO-CHAIR THE MAISA EARLY CHILDHOOD COMMITTEE AND WE’VE GOT REPRESENTATION FROM ALL REGIONS OF THE STATE, I HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO INTERFACE WITH COLLEAGUES ON EARLY CHILDHOOD. AND THAT’S BOTH SUPERINTENDENTS AS WELL AS FRONT LINE ADMINISTRATORS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD. AND WE MEET MONTHLY AND HAVE THOSE KINDS OF CONVERSATIONS. I’VE ALSO BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO SERVE ON THE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE FOR MAISA. I’VE NOT DONE IT SINCE THE YPSILANTI WILLOW RUN CONSOLIDATION, BUT I DID IT BEFORE. SO I’VE BUILT RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE AROUND THE STATE, AND I’VE HAD, BECAUSE OF THE CONSOLIDATION WORK AS WELL AS EARLY CHILDHOOD, HAD A NUMBER OF COLLEAGUES CONTACT ME ON THOSE TYPE OF ISSUES. SO BRUCE MAYLE IN GOGEBIC-ONTONAGON AND WENDY WARMUTH UP IN DICKINSON-IRON CONTACTED ME ABOUT CONSOLIDATION QUESTIONS, BECAUSE THEY’RE BOTH DEALING WITH THOSE THINGS. AND SO I’VE HAD THAT OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE MY EXPERIENCES AND INSIGHT INTO WHAT THE LEGISLATION SAYS AND THE PROCESS THAT WE USED, AND HOPEFULLY IT PROVIDES SOME ASSISTANCE TO THEM. AND I THINK THAT’S AN IMPORTANT PART OF WHAT THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT DOES AND WHAT THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHOULD BE DOING IN SUPPORTING OUR LOCALS.>>THANKS.>>KATHY?>>THANK YOU. I WANTED TO FOLLOW UP ON THE CONTENT STANDARDS QUESTION. MICHIGAN DEVELOPED ITS OWN CONTENT EXPECTATIONS, AND THEN WE ADOPTED– WE, THE BOARD, ADOPTED COMMON CORE QUITE A FEW YEARS AGO NOW. I WONDER WHAT YOUR VIEW OF THAT IS, AND THEN I WANT TO FOLLOW WITH SOME FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS ABOUT OTHER CURRICULUM AND CONTENT.>>SO I SUPPORTED THE ADOPTION OF THE NEW MICHIGAN CAREER AND COLLEGE READINESS STANDARDS, FORMERLY KNOWN AS COMMON CORE, BUT– I THINK THAT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. I THINK WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT IS HAVING RIGOROUS STANDARDS THAT ARE COMPARABLE ACROSS THE STATES, AND THERE ARE BIG ADVANTAGES TO THAT. SO NOTWITHSTANDING SOME OF THE REJECTIONS WE’VE RECEIVED, I THINK WE’VE MOVED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND NEED TO MAINTAIN HIGH STANDARDS. DOES THAT MEAN THERE ISN’T ANY TWEAKING TO BE DONE? I WOULDN’T CLOSE THE DOOR ON CONTINUED CONVERSATION. DID WE GET IT JUST RIGHT, OR DOES IT NEED SOME CONTINUOUS MODIFICATION? BUT AT ITS CORE, I THINK WE DID THE RIGHT THING.>>OKAY. I AGREE, AND I THINK WE DID THE RIGHT THING, TOO, AND WHATEVER WE CALL THEM, THEY’RE HIGH STANDARDS.>>THE RIGHT ANSWER.>>BUT THAT WAS JUST FOR MATH AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS. I’M ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT ONE OF OUR STRENGTHS IN MICHIGAN AND OTHER PLACES, WHICH IS CREATIVITY. I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF GOING TO CHINA WITH SOME OTHER EDUCATORS UNDER THE AUSPICES OF MSU SOME YEARS AGO. AND WE WENT TO CITIES AND MET WITH OFFICIALS. THE BASIC QUESTION– WE FOUND THAT THEIR KIDS WERE VERY GOOD AT TAKING TESTS. THEY DRILLED AND TOOK TESTS AND WERE VERY SUCCESSFUL. AND THEN WE’RE COMPARED TO THEM AND OUR KIDS DON’T DO AS WELL ON THE TESTS. THEIR QUESTION TO US WAS HOW TO TEACH CREATIVITY. THEIR KIDS WERE GOOD AT TESTS, YOU DRILL THEM AND THEY’RE GOOD, BUT YOU GIVE THEM SOMETHING ELSE, AND THEY CAN’T ANSWER IT. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT AREA? HOW DO WE MAINTAIN THE STRENGTH THAT WE HAVE AT THE SAME TIME AS ADDRESSING RIGOROUS STANDARDS IN MATH AND SCIENCE AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS, AND I WOULD ADD SOCIAL STUDIES AND ARTS?>>WELL, I THINK IT’S A VERY GOOD QUESTION, KATHLEEN, AND IT GOES BACK TO WHAT CASANDRA WAS SAYING, THAT WE SHOULD NEVER GIVE UP WHAT WE HAVE IN TERMS OF THE ARTS IN OUR EDUCATIONAL PROCESS– PERFORMANCE ART, MUSIC, FINE ARTS, VISUAL– ANY OF THOSE THINGS. THEY ALL SUPPORT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT, AND SO I DON’T SEE THEM IN ISOLATION AS A SEPARATE APPROACH. WE MENTIONED THE PROJECT IN YPSILANTI COMMUNITY MIDDLE SCHOOL WITH RESPECT TO ADVANCED MATH. THERE ARE A LOT OF PROJECTS GOING ON WHERE WE USE THE ARTS TO HELP STUDENTS CONNECT WITH THOSE CORE CONTENT STANDARDS. SO I WOULD NEVER WANT TO GIVE UP OUR ARTS, AND I THINK IT’S A SIGNIFICANT MISTAKE. ONE OF THE CONCERNS RAISED DURING THE ANNEXATION PROCESS WAS THAT WHITMORE LAKE DIDN’T HAVE ELEMENTARY ART, AND THAT’S A PROBLEM. WHEN OUR DISTRICTS ARE SO STRUGGLING FOR RESOURCES THAT YOU LOSE SOMETHING AS FUNDAMENTAL AS ART IN THE ELEMENTARY, THAT’S A PROBLEM. SO I DO BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD NEVER LOSE THE ART STANDARDS, THAT CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION IS PART OF THE DNA OF NOT ONLY MICHIGAN BUT OF THE UNITED STATES, SO THAT NEEDS TO BE SUPPORTED AND NURTURED.>>LUPE.>>OKAY. BUENAS TARDES. HOW ARE YOU?>>GOOD.>>DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF THE DEPARTMENT VERSUS THE ROLE OF LOCALS OR ISDS?>>I BELIEVE I DO. [ LAUGHTER ]>>SOME SORT OF TRICK QUESTION.>>OKAY, OKAY. SO PLEASE TALK MORE ABOUT HOW YOU WOULD IMPROVE GROWTH FROM THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT’S CHAIR, WHEN YOU WOULD NOT HAVE DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY FOR LOCAL PROGRAMMING.>>SO I THINK THAT’S A REALLY GOOD QUESTION, LUPE. AND EVEN WHEN YOU MOVE FROM A LOCAL TO AN ISD, YOU BEGIN TO REALIZE THAT YOU MOVE FROM DIRECT AUTHORITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY TO LEADING THROUGH INFLUENCE, HELPING TO SHAPE THE PATH. I THINK ABOUT THE BOOK “SWITCH: HOW TO CHANGE WHEN CHANGE IS HARD.” THE AUTHORS ARE HEATH AND HEATH, AND THEY TALK ABOUT SHAPING THE PATH AND HELPING TO CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH STUDENTS ARE SUCCESSFUL AND CAN THRIVE. THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, THROUGH POLICY AND RULES AND REGULATIONS, CAN EITHER HELP OR HINDER MOVEMENT IN TERMS OF IMPROVING ACHIEVEMENT. AND SO I THINK THE REAL CHALLENGE IS FIGURING OUT HOW THE DEPARTMENT, WHILE MEETING COMPLIANCE OBLIGATIONS WITH RESPECT TO FEDERAL FUNDS AND LEGISLATURE HERE, HOW WE SHAPE A PATH THAT ALLOWS LOCAL DISTRICTS AND ISDS TO BE SUCCESSFUL? HOW DO WE SHAPE A PATH SO THAT THEY FLOURISH? THAT WE GIVE THEM THE SUPPORT NECESSARY TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT, BOTH ON A POLICY AND FINANCIAL BASIS. SO FOR ME, IT’S ABOUT THAT SUPPORT ROLE AND ASKING AND REFLECTING WHAT WE DO: THE RULES AND REGULATIONS THAT WE PROMULGATE THAT EITHER HELP OR HINDER IMPROVEMENT AT THE LOCAL LEVEL.>>PAM?>>SO I DO RESPECT THE FACT THAT YOU READ A LOT. GOOD TO SEE YOU BACK. WHEN YOU WERE HERE THE LAST TIME, YOU QUOTED FROM “WHY WE CAN’T WAIT,” A WRITING FROM MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND YOU TALKED ABOUT A SENSE OF URGENCY IN CLOSING GAPS IN ACHIEVEMENT. YOU ALSO TALKED ABOUT HOW, WITH YPSI AND WILLOW RUN, MOVING THE NEEDLE FOR THE STATE AS A WHOLE AS WELL AS WITHIN THOSE SUB-POPULATIONS. AGAIN, RICHARD HAS ASKED THIS QUESTION ABOUT HOW DO WE ALLOW THESE STUDENTS TO SOAR AND THEN EXPECT OTHER STUDENTS– ACCEPT THAT THEY MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SOAR. SO I JUST WANT YOU TO ELABORATE A LITTLE MORE ON THAT, BECAUSE IT SEEMS LIKE A BIT OF A DIFFERENT ANSWER THAN BEFORE.>>SO FOR ME, IT’S HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR ALL STUDENTS, AND THAT’S WHY I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT THE STANDARDS NOT COMPARING GROUPS OF STUDENTS AGAINST EACH OTHER. BUT WHAT WE– I THINK IT WAS DEWEY WHO SAID THAT THE BEST IN LIFE THAT A PARENT WANTS FOR THEIR CHILD, WE SHOULD WANT FOR EVERY CHILD. AND WHAT I RECOGNIZE IS THAT KIDS COME TO SCHOOL WITH ALL KINDS OF ASSETS OR CHALLENGES, DEPENDING ON WHERE THEY’RE COMING FROM, AND IT’S OUR JOB TO PROVIDE THE SUPPORT NECESSARY SO THEY CAN SOAR. AND FOR ME, IT’S UNCONSCIONABLE, IN A COUNTRY AS AFFLUENT AS OURS, THAT HAS THE RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE, THAT FOR THE LAST 50 YEARS, THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP CONTINUES TO PERSIST, THAT WE HAVEN’T RAISED THE LEVEL OF ACHIEVEMENT SUBSTANTIALLY. SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE NUMBER OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN WHO ARE DROPPING OUT AND ENDING UP IN PRISON, THAT’S A PROBLEM. I THINK WE HAVE TO PUT IT ON THE TABLE AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. IF YOU LOOK AT THE LATINO GRADUATION RATE, WHICH WE TALKED ABOUT AT THE LAST MEETING, THOSE REALITIES AREN’T ACCEPTABLE TO ME, AND I THINK THAT TALKING ABOUT CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP IS CHEAP. WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS ACTUALLY DO THE WORK. AND WE KNOW WHAT WORKS. WE KNOW THAT STUDENTS OF COLOR AND IN POVERTY CAN LEARN AND ACHIEVE AT HIGHER LEVELS IF GIVEN THE SUPPORTS AND SERVICES NECESSARY. SO FOR ME, THAT’S THE MORAL IMPERATIVE. THAT’S THE URGENCY BEHIND THE WORK, BECAUSE EVERY– AND I KNOW THIS, SEEING MIKE SITTING THERE, IT’S BEEN THE FRUSTRATION FOR SO LONG BECAUSE WE’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT IT. THAT’S WHY I WAS SO HONORED TO BE INVITED TO SERVE ON THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP CRITICAL FRIENDS WORK GROUP, BECAUSE IT IS BEING FOCUSED ON LIKE A LASER HERE, BUT THE ISSUES ARE SYSTEMIC, SO IT’S NOT JUST WHAT’S HAPPENING IN OUR SCHOOLS, BUT IN OUR COMMUNITIES. IT’S HOW WE’RE RESPONDING TO THOSE SOCIAL SITUATIONS AND DYNAMICS. WE’RE A PART OF THAT PROCESS, BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER PLAYERS THAT WE NEED TO ENGAGE WITH: THE COURTS, THE SCHOOL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS SO IMPORTANT. THINKING THROUGH HOW WE ADDRESS THOSE ISSUES IS CAUSING ME TO REMEMBER THE “SOLUTIONS, NOT SUSPENSIONS” PLEDGE THAT WE ADOPTED IN YPSILANTI. WE EXPEL AND SUSPEND KIDS DISPROPORTIONATELY, CHILDREN OF COLOR AND STUDENTS WITH IEPS, AND THE NUMBERS ARE REALLY PROBLEMATIC, BECAUSE WHEN YOU TAKE A STUDENT OUT OF THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT, THEY FALL FURTHER BEHIND. WE SET THEM ON THIS PATH WHERE THEY’RE NEVER GOING TO CATCH UP. AND SO WE HAVE TO FIND DIFFERENT WAYS OF ADDRESSING THE DISCIPLINE CHALLENGES SO THAT WE’RE NOT DENYING STUDENTS ACCESS TO THE EDUCATION THEY NEED IN ORDER TO HAVE A PRODUCTIVE AND MEANINGFUL LIFE. SO FOR ME, THERE IS A SENSE OF URGENCY. THE ANSWER TO RICHARD’S QUESTION WAS WE SHOULD BE MEASURING AGAINST THE HIGH STANDARDS BAR INSTEAD OF, YOU KNOW– BECAUSE THIS NOTION THAT YOU WANT TO PUT A LID ON THE HIGH FLYERS AND THAT WILL TAKE CARE OF THE GAP, I THINK THAT’S A FALSE ARGUMENT. I THINK WE HAVE TO HAVE HIGH STANDARDS AND WORK TO MAKE SURE THAT ALL OUR STUDENTS ACHIEVE THEM.>>THANKS, PAM. SCOTT, WE’VE TALKED, AND CERTAINLY, IN THIS SEARCH PROCESS, WE’VE MADE IT CLEAR THAT THE BOARD AND THE SUPERINTENDENT HAVE TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP OF COMPLETE TRUST AND GREAT COMMUNICATION, THAT WE NEED TO BE ON A COMMON PAGE AND WORK TOGETHER IN TERMS OF ADVANCING A POLICY AGENDA THAT IS CO-OWNED AND CO-DEVELOPED BY THE BOARD AND THE SUPERINTENDENT, THAT THE SUPERINTENDENT CAN’T BE UNILATERALLY MAKING POLICY. YOU HAVE EXCELLENT RELATIONS ACROSS THE AISLE. WE’VE HEARD THAT FROM PEOPLE, AND THAT’S FANTASTIC. IT MAY BE A BLESSING OR A CURSE THAT YOU WERE SUGGESTED TO BE THE GOVERNOR’S CHOICE IN THIS. THE POINT IS HOW DO WE KNOW, OR HOW CAN YOU GIVE US ASSURANCE THAT YOU’D BE WORKING WITH AND FOR THE BOARD, NOT WORKING FOR MULTIPLE MASTERS?>>I THINK IT’S A GOOD POINT. I’M GLAD YOU ASKED THE QUESTION, JOHN. AND I THINK THE FIRST THING IS THAT THE BEST PREDICTOR OF FUTURE SUCCESS IS PAST PERFORMANCE, AND I THINK IF YOU TALKED TO FORMER BOARD MEMBERS OF MINE, I KNOW SOME OF WHOM SUBMITTED LETTERS, THEY’LL TALK ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP THAT I’VE BUILT WITH THE INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBERS AS WELL AS THE TEAM AS A WHOLE. I’M NOT ONE TO GO OUT ON A LIMB MYSELF. I’M ACTUALLY VERY SKITTISH ABOUT WALKING OUT THERE WITHOUT HAVING SOME SUPPORT AND PROTECTION. SO I DIDN’T PURSUE THE SUPPORT OF THE WILLOW RUN AND YPSI CONSOLIDATION WITHOUT THE WISD BOARD SAYING, “YES, THIS IS WORK THAT WE SUPPORT, AND WE WANT YOU TO BE ENGAGED IN IT.” ALL OF THE MAJOR CHALLENGES THAT I’VE BEEN A PART OF AND THINGS WE’VE TAKEN ON HAVE BEEN A PRODUCT OF THE BOARD AND SUPERINTENDENT DISCUSSING WHAT WE NEED TO ACCOMPLISH. SO FOR ME, I WOULD ENVISION STARTING VERY QUICKLY AND BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH OF YOU, GETTING TO KNOW EACH OF YOU INDIVIDUALLY, LEARNING YOUR PASSIONS, YOUR CONCERNS– I’VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW WHAT YOUR PRIORITIES FOR 2013-2015 ARE. I GET A SENSE OF WHERE THAT IS, I GET A SENSE OF WHERE YOUR PASSION IS. SHOULD I BE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE SELECTED AS STATE SUPERINTENDENT, THAT’S THE RELATIONSHIP I WANT TO NURTURE. AND THEN I THINK WE’D TAKE THE NEXT STEP, WHICH IS, AS WE’RE TALKING ABOUT WHERE WE’RE GOING AS A STATE, BEING VERY CRYSTAL CLEAR ON WHAT THAT VISION IS FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN, AND AS THE BOARD WORKING WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT IDENTIFIED THOSE STRATEGIES TO ACHIEVE THAT, MY JOB IS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN, BUT THAT VISION AND POLICIES ARE SOMETHING THAT GET DONE COLLECTIVELY, NOT SOMETHING THAT I WOULD GO OFF AND DO INDEPENDENTLY. AND THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT IS HIRED BY AND REPORTS TO THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. SO I UNDERSTAND WHO I’M ACCOUNTABLE TO.>>THANK YOU. CASANDRA.>>AS YOU KNOW, THE GOVERNOR SIGNED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER LAST WEEK, WHICH WILL ESSENTIALLY REMOVE THE REFORM OFFICE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND TRANSFER IT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF TECHNOLOGY, MANAGEMENT, AND BUDGET. AND JUST YESTERDAY, THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A STATEMENT QUESTIONING THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THIS MOVE. MOVING FORWARD, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THE STATE BOARD AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS ON HOW WE BEST NAVIGATE THE SITUATION TOWARDS THE GOAL OF IMPROVING EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN IN STRUGGLING SCHOOLS?>>SO I DID READ THE STATEMENT THAT WAS APPROVED BY THE BOARD YESTERDAY. I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED WHEN THE EO CAME OUT, BECAUSE I WAS HOPEFUL THAT THE ADMINISTRATION WOULD ALLOW THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT AND THE BOARD TO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT HOW THAT SCHOOL REFORM OFFICE COULD HELP ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF OUR BOTTOM 5%. AND SO FOR ME, I HAVE SOME IDEAS. I DON’T KNOW IF THEY’RE THE RIGHT OR BEST ONES, BUT I HAVE SOME IDEAS, AND THE NOTION THAT WE DON’T HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THAT CONVERSATION INTERNALLY WAS A CONCERN. AT THE SAME TIME, I DON’T THINK IT’S THE END OF THE ROAD. I THINK YOU REACH OUT TO THE ADMINISTRATION AND TO THE DEPARTMENT OF TECHNOLOGY, MANAGEMENT, AND BUDGET, BECAUSE THE EXPERTISE FOR HOW TO DO THIS EDUCATIONALLY RESIDES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, NOT IN THE DEPARTMENT OF TECHNOLOGY, MANAGEMENT, AND BUDGET. SO NOTWITHSTANDING THE MOVE, AND I HOPE THE GOVERNOR WILL BE RECEPTIVE TO THE REQUEST OF THE BOARD TO RECONSIDER, BUT IF THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN, I THINK WE FIGURE OUT HOW TO BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP, BECAUSE WE HAVE A VESTED INTEREST IN MOVING THE NEEDLE FOR THOSE KIDS IN THE BOTTOM 5% OF SCHOOLS. AND AGAIN, IT’S THAT SENSE OF URGENCY, WHY WE CAN’T WAIT. SO MY ADVICE IS DON’T TAKE ANY OF THOSE POLITICAL ACTIONS AS THE LAST WORD, AND IF WE’RE CRYSTAL CLEAR ON WHAT OUR MISSION IS AND HOLD THAT FIRM, AND THAT IS THAT IT’S ABOUT THE KIDS, AND IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE KIDS AND IMPROVING ACHIEVEMENT FOR THEM, WE WANT TO WORK WITH ANY PARTNER THAT’S WILLING TO HELP MAKE THAT HAPPEN, AND SO IF THE NATURE OF THE CONVERSATION HAS CHANGED BECAUSE SOMETHING HAS SHIFTED, THEN I THINK WE LEARN HOW TO NAVIGATE THAT IN ORDER TO MOVE THE NEEDLE FOR THOSE KIDS.>>YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU HAD SOME IDEAS. CAN YOU SHARE ANY OF THEM?>>SO, FOR ME– I’LL START WITH ONE. WE REALLY NEED TO BE FOCUSED ON HOW DO WE BUILD CAPACITY WITHIN COMMUNITIES. YOU’VE HEARD IT BEFORE, AND YOU KNOW THAT THERE’S NO SILVER BULLET. IF THERE WAS A SILVER BULLET AND IT WAS EASY, IT WOULD’VE BEEN DONE ALREADY. IT’S NOT ABOUT EASY WORK. IT’S ABOUT THE REALLY DIFFICULT WORK OF ROLLING UP OUR SLEEVES AND GETTING IN THE COMMUNITY AND ADDRESSING THOSE ROOT CAUSE ISSUES IN THOSE DISTRICTS. SOMETIMES IT’S A PRODUCT OF OUT-MIGRATION. SOMETIMES IT’S A PRODUCT OF– AS KIDS ARE LEAVING, THE ONES THAT ARE LEFT AREN’T ENGAGED. YOU’VE GOT ALL THESE OTHER VARIABLES AND DYNAMICS GOING ON. IN MY MIND, IF WE COULD DEPLOY TEAMS THAT COULD BE ASSIGNED WITH SOME AUTHORITY FOR A THREE-YEAR PERIOD OF TIME — BECAUSE I DON’T THINK ANYTHING LESS THAN THREE YEARS WORKS. I THINK IT’S TOO SHORT. AND IF THEIR FOCUS IS TO BUILD THE CAPACITY WITHIN IN THE SYSTEM SO IT CAN BE SUSTAINED WHEN THEY’RE GONE, I THINK YOU COULD HELP CREATE SOMETHING THAT REALLY DOES MOVE THE NEEDLE. THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER POLICY QUESTIONS THAT COULD COME IN AND UNDERMINE THAT, BUT IT’S REALLY ABOUT CAPACITY BUILDING. HOW DO WE SUPPORT THOSE DISTRICTS? THE IDEA OF TAKING A BUILDING OUT OF A DISTRICT– SO YPSILANTI COMMUNITY SCHOOLS HAS TWO BUILDINGS ON THE LIST, THE PERSISTENTLY LOW ACHIEVING LIST. IF YOU JUST PULL THAT BUILDING OUT OF THE DISTRICT, YOU’RE CREATING ANOTHER SET OF, I’LL CALL THEM UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, AND HOPEFULLY THEY’RE UNINTENDED, BUT THEY’RE PROBABLY NEGATIVE IN TERMS OF HOW THE WHOLE SYSTEM WORKS. THE FEEDER SYSTEMS INTO THE MIDDLE SCHOOL, AND THEN THE KIDS COMING OUT OF MIDDLE SCHOOL GOING INTO HIGH SCHOOL– YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE ALIGNMENT THERE. THAT’S WHY I THINK THE DEPARTMENT– HAVING THE STATE SCHOOL REFORM OFFICE IN THE DEPARTMENT, IF YOU’RE GOING TO BUILD CAPACITY, MAKES SOME SENSE. SO THAT’S JUST ONE IDEA.>>THANK YOU. MICHELLE.>>I ACTUALLY WANTED TO ASK TWO QUESTIONS, BUT I DON’T KNOW IF I HAVE TIME TO ASK BOTH. ONE IS WITH REGARD TO SPECIAL EDUCATION AND YOUR POSITION ON THE 21-26 RULE AND THE SERVICES THAT THEY GET. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT INNOVATIVE THINGS YOU’VE DONE IN WASHTENAW COUNTY TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF SPECIAL ED KIDS SO THAT THEY’RE COLLEGE OR CAREER OR WHATEVER READY, GIVEN THE VERY POOR OUTCOME IN MICHIGAN FOR THESE TYPES OF KIDS, WHO ARE IN THE BOTTOM FIVE OF THE COUNTRY WHEN IT COMES TO OUTCOMES FOR SPECIAL ED CHILDREN. SO WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT’S BEEN INNOVATIVE TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF THAT POPULATION, ASSUMING THAT YOU SUPPORT THE CONTINUATION OF THIS PROGRAM.>>RIGHT.>>AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAD MORE TIME, I GUESS.>>SO NOW YOU’VE GIVEN ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE OUT A HANDOUT. [ LAUGHTER ]>>I MENTIONED THIS AT THE LAST MEETING AND SO I WANT TO CIRCULATE IT. THIS IS OUR MID-YEAR BOARD GOALS REPORT FOR WISD, AND BECAUSE SOMETIMES VISUALS ARE MORE HELPFUL, IN THE MIDDLE OF IT– SO THE FIRST PART, SO YOU KNOW WHAT I’M GIVING YOU, THE FIRST PART IS A NARRATIVE AROUND THE BOARD GOALS FOR THIS YEAR. THE SECOND HALF IS A QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS WITH SOME NICE INFOGRAPHICS. AND IF YOU TURN TO PAGE 2, YOU CAN SEE A SNAPSHOT OF PROGRAMS AND SERVICES THAT WE’RE PROVIDING, THE PAGE 2 OF THE INFOGRAPHIC PIECE. IT LOOKS LIKE THIS.>>THERE’S NOTHING…>>YEAH, THERE’S TWO PAGE 2S. WE DID THESE SEPARATELY WITH OUR BOARD, SO WE DID THE NARRATIVE STORY FIRST AND THEN THE QUANTITATIVE INFOGRAPHIC. SO THE GOAL IS TO CONTINUE TO DEVELOP KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING, AND OPTIMAL DELIVERY OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES THROUGHOUT ALL FACETS OF WISD. AND WE DO A LOT AROUND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, BUILDING CAPACITY NOT ONLY FOR OUR STAFF WHO ARE PROVIDING DIRECT SERVICE, BUT ALSO WITHIN THE COUNTY. HIGH POINT IS OUR SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS WITH HIGH NEEDS, SO LOW INCIDENT AND HIGH NEEDS POPULATIONS, WE’VE GOT 72 STUDENTS WITHIN THAT BUILDING. WHAT’S NICE ABOUT HIGH POINT IS THAT IT’S CO-LOCATED WITH THE HONEY CREEK CHARTER SCHOOL, SO WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR STUDENTS AT HIGH POINT TO INTERACT WITH STUDENTS GRADES K-8 IN THAT BUILDING. WE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT INCLUSION IS REALLY IMPORTANT AND STUDENTS SHOULD BE EDUCATED IN THEIR HOME DISTRICT WHEN AND WHERE POSSIBLE, AND WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE THAT POSSIBILITY, SOMETHING LIKE HIGH POINT THAT HAS A K-8 ENVIRONMENT IN IT, WE STILL ALLOW THEM TO BE ENGAGED WITH TYPICALLY DEVELOPING PEERS. FOREST SCHOOL IS A COUNTY-BASED PROGRAM THAT WE OPERATE FOR KIDS WITH SOME SIGNIFICANT BEHAVIOR AND MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, AND AGAIN, THIS IS A LAST RESORT AND NOT A FIRST RESORT, BUT IT’S A REALLY IMPORTANT SERVICE TO OUR DISTRICTS. WISD TOOK OVER THE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING PROGRAM, WHICH USED TO BE OPERATED BY ANN ARBOR. THIS IS OUR SECOND YEAR, AND WE’VE BEEN GOING THROUGH THE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS TO REBUILD COHESION IN THE TEAM AND TAKE THAT PROGRAM TO THE NEXT LEVEL. THE FINAL ONE GETS TO YOUR CORE QUESTION ON YOUNG ADULT PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS. WE’VE LOCATED OUR YOUNG ADULT SERVICES IN THE COMMUNITIES WHERE STUDENTS LIVE, SO WE’VE GOT A BUILDING ON A TRANSIT LINE IN DEXTER, ONE IN CHELSEA, A COUPLE IN YPSILANTI AND ANN ARBOR, IN ORDER TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE 21-26 POPULATION. YOU CAN SEE THAT WE HAVE 42 YOUNG ADULTS WITH PAID EMPLOYMENT. WE’VE GOT 14 INVOLVED IN THE TRAIN TODAY, WORK TOMORROW PROGRAM, BECAUSE WE’RE TRYING TO BUILD THE SKILL SETS NECESSARY. 94 ARE CURRENTLY IN UNPAID OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES. ONE OF THE POINTS OF PRIDE WITH OUR STAFF AND FOR ME AS THE SUPERINTENDENT IS THAT OUR YOUNG ADULTS ACTUALLY PRESENT AT CONFERENCES ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES, AND IT’S REALLY EXCITING TO SEE THE DIVERSE ARRAY OF EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES. WE RECENTLY HAD A SESSION IN WISD WITH SUPPORT FROM OUR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO BRING IN BUSINESSES, PARENTS, AND YOUNG ADULTS TO TALK ABOUT HOW THIS IS A POOL OF RELIABLE AND TALENTED INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE GIFTS AND THINGS TO OFFER. AND SO WE’RE TRYING TO BREAK DOWN SOME BARRIERS AND STIGMAS SO THAT PEOPLE REALIZE THAT YOUNG ADULTS, WHILE THEY MAY HAVE A LABEL, THEY HAVE A LOT TO OFFER AND GIVE. AND SO THAT’S BEEN OUR FOCUS, AND WE’RE CONTINUING TO WORK TO BUILD THESE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE STUDENTS.>>JUST ONE FINAL QUESTION, IF I COULD. SO ARE THESE SPECIAL ED STUDENTS INCLUDING KIDS WITH AUTISM– ARE THEY INCLUDED IN THE CTE PROGRAM IN WASHTENAW COUNTY?>>SO THEY WOULD– WE DON’T HAVE ONE CTE PROGRAM–>>ARE THEY INCLUDED IN ANY?>>SO YES, THEY ARE. AT ONE POINT, A FEW YEARS AGO, WE WERE EXCITED AT HAVING A DISPROPORTIONATELY HIGH NUMBER OF STUDENTS WITH IEPS IN THE CAREER AND TECH ED PROGRAM, BUT THEY ARE INCLUDED. WE ACTUALLY HAVE– I WAS LOOKING THROUGH SOME OF THE NUMBERS– I THINK WE’VE GOT A HANDFUL OF YOUNG ADULTS WITH IEPS IN THE CULINARY ARTS PROGRAM, SO THEY ARE INCLUDED IN VARIOUS CTE OPTIONS.>>BUT THEY’RE INCLUDED WITH REGULAR STUDENTS?>>YES, THEY ARE.>>THANK YOU.>>RICHARD?>>I WANT TO ASK YOUR VIEW OF SCHOOL CHOICE. THERE’S A RANGE OF OPINIONS, SOME THAT SCHOOL CHOICE IS AN ABSOLUTE GUARANTEE TO FAMILIES. THERE’S SOME EVIDENCE THAT THE FAMILIES EMPOWERED BY CHOICE, THEIR STUDENTS DO BETTER. AND THEN THERE ARE OTHERS WHO FEEL THAT THIS IS STRICTLY SUBORDINATE TO OTHER FACTORS, THAT PARENTS MAY HAVE TO LIMIT THEIR CHOICE SO THAT THE COMMUNITY SCHOOL CAN PROVIDE THE BEST OVERALL PROGRAM FOR THE MOST NUMBER OF STUDENTS. WHAT IS YOUR VIEW OF SCHOOL CHOICE AND WHERE IT FITS IN THE HIERARCHY OF VALUES AS WE MAKE POLICY DECISIONS?>>I BELIEVE SCHOOL CHOICE IS EXTRAORDINARILY IMPORTANT. I THINK I MENTIONED IN THE FIRST INTERVIEW THAT MY ISSUE IS NOT WITH CHOICE, IT’S WITH UNCONSTRAINED CHOICE AND THE QUALITY OF THE CHOICES. JUST HAVING A TON OF THEM DOESN’T MEAN THEY’RE ALL GOOD OPTIONS. AND FOR ME, WHEN WE’RE THINKING ABOUT THE PUBLIC INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC EDUCATION, THOSE OPTIONS NEED TO BE HIGH QUALITY. WE KNOW THAT CHOICE EXISTED BEFORE OUR SCHOOL OF CHOICE LAW WAS ADOPTED. PARENTS WHO HAD MONEY COULD SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO PRIVATE OR PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS. SO CHOICE DID EXIST FOR SOME BUT NOT FOR ALL. AND WE NEED TO BE SURE THAT EVERY STUDENT, EVERY CHILD, EVERY FAMILY HAS A HIGH QUALITY EDUCATIONAL CHOICE, AND I THINK IT SHOULDN’T BE DEPENDENT ON YOUR ZIP CODE OR YOUR ABILITY TO GET THERE. AND SO FIGURING OUT HOW WE PROVIDE THE SUPPORTS TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY’RE HIGH QUALITY CHOICES AND THAT WE HAVEN’T UNDERMINED THE SYSTEM OF QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION BY CREATING SO MANY THAT, AS YOU REMEMBER THE CRC REPORT, WE HAVE THIS DEMOGRAPHIC TREND IN FEWER STUDENTS WITH THE RISE IN THE NUMBER OF OPTIONS, AND THE DIFFERENTIAL CREATING ECONOMIC STRESS. SO I THINK THERE’S GOT TO BE A SWEET SPOT THERE WHERE WE CAN FIND CONSTRAINED CHOICE, BUT THEY ALL NEED TO BE QUALITY.>>ANYTHING ELSE, RICHARD? YOU CAN GO AHEAD IF YOU HAVE A FOLLOW-UP.>>IF A PRIVATE ENTITY CAN EDUCATE A CHILD FOR, SAY, $1,000 WHEREAS THE PUBLIC ENTITY, FOR WHATEVER REASONS, HAS TO CHARGE $8,000, WOULD IT BE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST TO UTILIZE THE PRIVATE ENTITY, HAVE THE JOB DONE INEXPENSIVELY AND POSSIBLY DEMONSTRABLY HIGHER QUALITY?>>WELL, I THINK IN THIS SCENARIO, I’D HAVE TO LOOK AT THE SPECIFICS. I’M CONCERNED ABOUT THE PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC RESOURCES, AND SO THAT WOULD DEFINITELY BE A CONCERN FOR ME. BUT IN THAT EXAMPLE, I’D WANT TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE THINGS THEY’RE DOING? HOW ARE THEY STRUCTURED? IF YOU’RE GOING TO IMPROVE QUALITY, SO ASSUMING IT’S A HIGHER QUALITY, I’D WANT TO LEARN WHAT THEY’RE DOING SO THAT WE COULD IMPLEMENT THAT IN THE PUBLIC ENVIRONMENT. BUT I THINK WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT USING PUBLIC RESOURCES TO SUPPORT PRIVATE VENTURES.>>THANK YOU. EILEEN?>>THANK YOU. SO I’M CHEWING ON THESE ANSWERS. SO THIS IS A LONG QUESTION, BUT THERE’S ONLY TWO– I’M SORRY. THIS IS A LONG STATEMENT WITH TWO QUESTIONS AFTER IT ON TEACHER PREPARATION AND QUALITY. DAN’S HERE, THAT’S RIGHT. ALL OUR FINALISTS HAVE SPOKEN ABOUT A NEED TO IMPROVE TEACHER QUALITY. OUR TEACHERS ARE EDUCATED IN INSTITUTIONS AUTHORIZED TO PREPARE TEACHERS BY THE STATE BOARD, EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE AUTONOMOUS. MANY TEACHER CANDIDATES ARE POORLY PREPARED TO TEACH AND COME FROM LESS SUCCESSFUL ACADEMIC BACKGROUNDS THEMSELVES. MANY TEACHERS ARE NOT MENTORED AND SUPPORTED WELL ONCE INDUCTED, AND THEY DROP OUT OF THE PROFESSION. ACTIVE TEACHERS NEED QUALITY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND GOOD EVALUATION TO PERFECT THEIR CRAFT. HERE ARE THE TWO QUESTIONS: WHERE ARE THE PRIORITIES IN BETTER SUPPORTING AND ENSURING QUALITY TEACHING, AND WHAT, SPECIFICALLY, WOULD YOU DO OR ENCOURAGE MICHIGAN TO DO TO IMPROVE TEACHER QUALITY?>>SO REPEAT THOSE AGAIN JUST TO MAKE SURE I’M ANSWERING THE RIGHT QUESTION. SO PRIORITIES FOR–>>BETTER PREPARING, SUPPORTING, AND ENSURING QUALITY TEACHING. AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO OR ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO SO MICHIGAN CAN IMPROVE TEACHER QUALITY?>>SO I– AND I’VE SEEN SOME OF THIS ALREADY, WHEN THE TEACHER PREP PROGRAMS AT A COUPLE INSTITUTIONS WERE CLOSED DOWN. SO TO BE CLEAR, I THINK IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO BE INVOLVED IN THAT CONVERSATION TO MAKE SURE OUR TEACHER PREP PROGRAMS ARE PERFORMING AT A HIGH QUALITY LEVEL. I THINK WE HAVE A SYSTEMIC CHALLENGE. IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE CAREER OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS– AND WE HAD THIS CONVERSATION AT THE SUPS TABLE IN WASHTENAW, AND MANY OF US HAVE KIDS IN COLLEGE OR APPROACHING COLLEGE THINKING ABOUT CAREER OPTIONS. AND WHEN YOU BEGIN TO TALK ABOUT TEACHING, A STARTING TEACHER’S SALARY, AT $35,000 TO $38,000 A YEAR, AND 11 YEARS LATER THEY MIGHT GET TO THE TOP OF THE SCHEDULE, $65,000 TO $70,000 A YEAR, COMPARED TO WHAT THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO DO WITH A MATH OR SCIENCE DEGREE SOMEWHERE ELSE, IT MAKES IT REALLY DIFFICULT FOR US TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN TOP TALENT FOR THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST TO COME INTO THIS PROFESSION. AND I THINK IF WE LOOK AT WHAT TOP STATES AND NATIONS DO, THEY VALUE THE TEACHING PROFESSION AND ACTIVELY RECRUIT FROM TOP ACADEMIC PERFORMERS, AND THEN THEY COMPENSATE ACCORDINGLY. SO THEY REALLY THINK ABOUT THE SYSTEM SOLUTION. I THINK THAT’S THE FOCUS TO PURSUE, AND I THINK IF YOU HAVE THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET GREATER INTEREST AND PEOPLE LOOKING AT IT AS A PROFESSION. SECONDLY, YOU CAN’T GET TO WHERE WE NEED TO GO WITHOUT REALLY HAVING RIGOROUS STANDARDS FOR THOSE TEACHER PREP INSTITUTIONS. SO FOR ME, THEY GO HAND IN GLOVE. BUT WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE TO FIND HIGH QUALITY TEACHERS, GIVEN HOW OUR CURRENT SYSTEM IS PUT IN PLACE. AND, QUITE FRANKLY, WE KNOW THAT THEY’RE THE KEY FOR BEING ABLE TO MOVE THE NEEDLE FOR KIDS. TEACHERS ARE ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL. OUTSIDE OF PARENTS, WHO ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TEACHER FOR EVERY CHILD, IT’S ABOUT THAT CLASSROOM TEACHER. AND WHEN IT COMES TO HOW DO WE SUPPORT THEM, I THINK THAT ONGOING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT– THE HIGH QUALITY EVALUATIONS ARE NOT, IN MY MIND, ONES THAT NEED TO BE PUNITIVE, ALTHOUGH SOMETIMES WE NEED TO MOVE PEOPLE OUT OF A PROFESSION IF THEY’RE NOT GETTING THE JOB DONE, BUT IT’S REALLY MEANT TO IMPROVE PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE. AND THE WORLD’S CHANGED, SO IF MY PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION WAS 20 YEARS AGO, AND I’VE DONE NO ADDITIONAL LEARNING, THEN I’M NOT REALLY ABLE TO CONNECT IN THE SAME KIND OF WAY WITH MY KIDS. THE BEST TEACHERS ARE LIFELONG LEARNERS, AND THEY’RE LEARNING ALONGSIDE THEIR KIDS. I KNOW ONE OF MY BEST TEACHERS IN WHITMORE LAKE– I HEARD HER VOICE– I THINK SHE’S HERE SOMEWHERE, IF SHE’S IN THE ROOM– [ LAUGHTER ]>>YOU KNOW, SHE’S A LIFELONG LEARNER, AS A NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED TEACHER. THIS IS WHAT SHE BRINGS TO THE TABLE. AND SO IT’S OUR JOB TO PROVIDE THOSE PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES SO THEY CAN BE MASTERS OF THEIR CRAFT ON AN ONGOING BASIS.>>THANKS.>>KATHLEEN?>>WELL, A LOT OF MY QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ASKED, AND YOU’VE ANSWERED THEM ALREADY, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO PURSUE A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE SCHOOLS OF CHOICE. YOU TALKED ABOUT PARENTAL CHOICE. HOW DO YOU SEE THE ROLE OF CYBER SCHOOLS IN CHOICE? AND WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VOUCHERS FOR CHILDREN TO GO TO NON-PUBLIC SCHOOLS?>>SO–>>TWO DIFFERENT QUESTIONS.>>RIGHT, RIGHT. SO LET’S TACKLE THE CYBER QUESTION FIRST. I THINK THAT TECHNOLOGY IS AN IMPORTANT TOOL. WE– WITH OUR AT-RISK PROGRAM, HAD LAUNCHED SOMETHING THAT WAS 24/7/365 COMPUTER-BASED PROGRAM. AND WHAT WE LEARNED IN THAT PROCESS IS THAT THERE MAY BE SOME STUDENTS WHO CAN THRIVE IN THAT ENVIRONMENT, BUT MOST STUDENTS REALLY NEED THAT ADULT INTERACTION, INTERVENTION, AND SUPPORT. SO FINDING OUT THE WAY TO BLEND CYBER AND ACTUAL INSTRUCTION AND ADULT INTERACTION IS IMPORTANT WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT QUALITY IN THE CYBER ENVIRONMENT. IT’S NOT SOME FLY BY NIGHT ORGANIZATION THAT’S PROMISING X AND DELIVERING Y. SO YOU THINK ABOUT THE MICHIGAN VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY, FOR EXAMPLE, AND OTHERS WHO ARE DOING IT. IF THERE’S A QUALITY STANDARD, THERE’S A ROLE. I ALSO DON’T THINK THAT A CYBER SCHOOL SHOULD GET THE SAME FOUNDATION GRANT AS A BRICK AND MORTAR SCHOOL. THE COST OF OPERATION IS DIFFERENT, AND IF WE’RE REDIRECTING PUBLIC RESOURCES TO SUPPORT A CYBER VENTURE WHEN THAT’S NOT WHAT IT COSTS TO EDUCATE A KID, THAT’S A PROBLEM FOR ME. SO I THINK THAT THERE MAY BE A ROLE, BUT I WANT TO BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT HOW THAT’S CONFIGURED. AND AGAIN, QUALITY IS KEY. THE PARENTS SIGN UP FOR IT BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THIS IS THE ANSWER FOR THEIR KIDS, AND THEN THEY DON’T SUCCEED. WE’VE GOT TO HAVE SOME ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM BUILT IN. VOUCHERS ARE PROBLEMATIC. THE VOTERS IN MICHIGAN REJECTED THEM PRETTY SIGNIFICANTLY THE LAST TIME IT WAS ON THE BALLOT. I THINK, WITH OUR SCHOOL OF CHOICE POLICIES AS THEY’RE CURRENTLY CONFIGURED, PARENTS REALLY DO HAVE GOOD CHOICES, AND SO I DON’T THINK THAT THERE’S A NEED TO GO DOWN THE VOUCHER ROUTE, AND I WOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT REDIRECTING TAXPAYER MONEY TO PRIVATE INTERESTS.>>THANK YOU.>>LUPE.>>OKAY, SCOTT, IF YOU WERE SELECTED AS SUPERINTENDENT THIS AFTERNOON, WHAT WILL YOUR FIRST 50 DAYS LOOK LIKE?>>SO I THINK THERE ARE TWO REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS ON THE FIRST 50 DAYS. I PRINTED THIS OUT, THINKING ABOUT OUR LAST MEETING. AND IT’S NOT A 50-DAY PLAN, BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE ONE WRITTEN. THE FIRST THING– YOU MIGHT RECALL WHEN I ASKED YOU WHAT YOU THOUGHT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WAS, YOU ALL TALKED ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS. RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE BOARD, WITH THE STAFF AT THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, WITH THE ADMINISTRATION, WITH THE LEGISLATURE. SO FOR ME, IT’S REALLY TO BEGIN THAT PROCESS OF FORGING RELATIONSHIPS, AND FORTUNATELY, WHILE I HAVE A NUMBER OF GOOD AND HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, THERE’S A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE. SO THAT FIRST 50 DAYS IS GOING TO BE ABOUT LISTENING AND LEARNING AND UNDERSTANDING. I DON’T PRESUME TO KNOW ALL THE ISSUES AND CHALLENGES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE HERE, BUT IT’S FOOLISH– I NEVER THOUGHT, WHEN I WALKED INTO ANY JOB, THAT I KNEW EVERYTHING THAT NEEDED TO BE KNOWN. I’VE GOT TO LEARN. AND SO IT’S ABOUT LISTENING. “SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, AND THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD,” IN THE WORDS OF STEPHEN COVEY. THE OTHER THING I THINK IS IMPORTANT, HAVING REFLECTED ON YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN, THINKING ABOUT THE MAY MEETING WHERE YOU’RE GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT STRATEGIC PRIORITIES NEXT– WHAT WE’VE DONE AT WISD, WHICH HAS WORKED VERY WELL FOR US, IS NOT TO START WITH THE CURRENT REALITY, DEVELOP STRATEGIES AND THEN GET TO THIS CORE VALUES AND PURPOSE AND VISION, BUT WE START WITH THIS HOPE AND ASPIRATION. WHAT IS IT WE WANT FOR THE CHILDREN IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN? WHAT DO WE WANT PUBLIC EDUCATION TO LOOK LIKE? THAT NEEDS TO BE A CONVERSATION ACROSS A DIVERSE SEGMENT OF STAKEHOLDERS. IT’S GOT TO INCLUDE LABOR UNIONS. I WANT TO HAVE MEETINGS WITH STEVE– DAVE ECKERT AND STEVE COOK, BECAUSE THAT’S IMPORTANT TO SIT DOWN AND TALK WITH THEM. I WANT TO MEET WITH THE BUSINESS LEADERS FOR MICHIGAN AND DOUG ROTHWELL, THE TALENT 2025 PEOPLE, THE NON-PROFIT AND FOUNDATION ARENA, WHERE THEY’RE INVESTING IN EDUCATION. LET’S HAVE THOSE CONVERSATIONS, AND LET’S HAVE A STATEWIDE CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT IT IS WE WANT FOR OUR CHILDREN SO WE CAN HAVE CRYSTAL CLEAR VISION AND FOCUS ON THE WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. I THINK THE PIECES AND PARTS ARE THERE, BUT LET’S GET CLARITY AROUND WHAT THAT CORE COMMON VISION IS, BECAUSE WHAT I SEE HAPPENING IS EVERYONE’S GOT THEIR OWN DEFINITION IN THEIR HEAD, BUT WE DON’T HAVE A COMMONLY AGREED-ON VISION FOR WHERE WE NEED TO GO. AND LUPE, WE’RE THINKING ABOUT YOUR GRANDDAUGHTER IN KINDERGARTEN, RIGHT? WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES THAT SHE’S GOING TO HAVE IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND MOVE THROUGH OUR SYSTEM. AND SO FOR ME, I WANT TO BE PART OF THIS CONVERSATION SO THAT THE STRATEGIES THAT THE BOARD ADOPTS AND PUTS IN PLACE ARE THE ONES THAT GET US TO THAT VISION. SO TO ME, I WANT TO HAVE THAT CONVERSATION IN THE FIRST 50 DAYS, COUPLED WITH LISTENING TO ALL THE KEY STAKEHOLDERS THAT WE’VE TALKED ABOUT.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU. PAM, ANOTHER QUESTION?>>YES. SO OUR GOAL IS TO HELP ALL YOUNG PEOPLE IN MICHIGAN TO BE PREPARED FOR COLLEGE, CAREER, AND CITIZENSHIP. THERE’S MORE TALK RECENTLY ABOUT CAREER READINESS. WHAT MORE– SO, THERE’S TWO QUESTIONS. WHAT MORE DOES MICHIGAN NEED TO DO TO SUPPORT EFFECTIVE CAREER READINESS? AND I KNOW YOU HAVE SOME BACKGROUND WITH MICHIGAN WORKS! WITH THIS, AND HOW DOES PREPARATION FOR CAREERS SUPPORT OR CONFLICT WITH OTHER GOALS FOR EDUCATION?>>THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION, AND IT IS AN AREA THAT I’M ALSO PASSIONATE ABOUT. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT STANDS OUT AS A MAJOR ISSUE OF CONCERN IS THAT WE DO NOT HAVE EQUITY ACROSS THE STATE IN TERMS OF PROVIDING CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS. 23 ISDS DO NOT HAVE A CAREER AND TECH ED MILLAGE. AND SO IN WASHTENAW COUNTY, WHERE WE DON’T HAVE ONE, OUR LOCAL DISTRICTS PUT TOGETHER A CONSORTIUM TO DELIVER THOSE SERVICES, AND WITH A LITTLE BIT OF SUBSIDY FROM THE STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, MOST OF THE FUNDS COME FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THOSE LOCAL DISTRICTS. IF YOU COMPARE THAT WITH A BRANCH OR JACKSON COUNTY, WHERE THEY ACTUALLY HAVE A CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION MILLAGE, THOSE STUDENTS HAVE A ROBUST AND VIBRANT CAREER AND TECH ED PROGRAM. SO I WOULD WANT TO TACKLE THE EQUITY QUESTION IN TERMS OF FUNDING AND ACCESS ACROSS THE STATE, AND I THINK THERE’S MULTIPLE WAYS TO GET THERE, BUT WE SHOULD ALSO BE– AND WE ARE, IN WASHTENAW COUNTY– LOOKING AT HOW DO WE LEVERAGE THE SUPPORT OF THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, BECAUSE THEY HAVE FANTASTIC FACILITIES, AND NOW WE CAN TALK ABOUT DUAL ENROLLMENT. WE’VE DONE THIS WITH YCS. WE OPENED A CERTIFIED NURSE ASSISTANT PROGRAM IN THE HIGH SCHOOL OF YCS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH WCC, SO THEY PROVIDE THE STAFF. THEY HAD SURPLUS DEMAND BUT NOT ENOUGH SPACE, SO WE WERE ABLE TO PARTNER WITH THEM TO PUT THAT ON THE CAMPUS, SO IT’S A WIN WIN. THE 12 STUDENTS WHO WENT THROUGH THAT PROGRAM IN THE FIRST SEMESTER THIS YEAR ALL GRADUATED, PASSED THEIR CERTIFICATION EXAMS. SO I THINK THERE’S SOME CREATIVE WAYS TO DO IT, AND, QUITE FRANKLY, WE DON’T WANT TO EVER LOSE THE RIGOR. AND IF I GO BACK TO MY SCHOOL TO WORK DAYS, WE WERE HAVING THE SAME CONVERSATIONS: RIGOR, RELEVANCE, RELATIONSHIPS. IF WE’RE GOING TO REALLY HELP STUDENTS MASTER THE ACADEMIC CONTENT, MOST OF THE STUDENTS DON’T DO THAT IN AN ABSTRACT ENVIRONMENT WHERE IT’S DONE ON A BOARD SOMEWHERE AND YOU HAVE TO CONCEPTUALLY FIGURE IT OUT. THEY DO IT WITH THEIR HANDS. THEY TOUCH AND FEEL. SO WE HAVE STUDENTS THAT ARE EXCEPTIONAL AT CERTAIN MATHEMATICAL SKILLS. THEY’RE CNC MACHINE OPERATORS IF THEY’RE WORKING IN AUTO MECHANICS, WHICH YOU HAVE TO HAVE HIGH DEGREE OF COMPUTER TECH SKILLS IN ADDITION TO WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE CAR. SO WE HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO REALLY VALIDATE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SKILLED TRADES AND STEM OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR STUDENTS. AND AGAIN, LOOKING AT THE EQUITY QUESTION, WE HAVE AN i3 GRANT TO EXPAND SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATH PROGRAMMING IN YPSILANTI COMMUNITY SCHOOLS, AND PART OF THE REASON WE WERE SELECTED TO PARTNER IN THIS GRANT WITH COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY AND JOBS FOR THE FUTURE WAS BECAUSE OF THE DIVERSITY OF OUR POPULATION– THEY WERE LOOKING FOR A CERTAIN THRESHOLD IN TERMS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS AS WELL AS RACIAL DIVERSITY– SO THAT WE CAN REALLY RAISE THE BAR FOR KIDS. SO I THINK THAT THIS IS A CONVERSATION THAT NEEDS A LOT MORE TIME AND ATTENTION. IN TERMS OF COMPETING PRIORITIES, AGAIN, THAT’S WHY I THINK WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT SYSTEMIC REFORM. WE NEED TO THINK FROM CRADLE TO CAREER AND LOOK AT ALL THE RESOURCES WE HAVE AND IDENTIFY HOW WE ALLOCATE THOSE RESOURCES TO ACHIEVE THESE OBJECTIVES. AND IF THERE AREN’T ENOUGH RESOURCES AT THE END OF THE DAY– AGAIN, WHY I THINK THE EQUITY AND ADEQUACY STUDY IS IMPORTANT– THEN WE MAKE THAT CASE. BUT IT’S REALLY SITTING DOWN AND LOOKING AT THE ENTIRE PICTURE TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THE CASE.>>THANK YOU. DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE ANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS?>>I JUST HAVE A– YEAH. IN YOUR RESUME, YOU HAVE A BULLET POINT UNDER RELATED EXPERIENCE THAT SAYS “NCA CERTIFIED TEACHING EXPERIENCE.” WHAT IS THAT?>>SO AS A NON-TRADITIONAL CANDIDATE THAT DIDN’T COME UP THROUGH THE RANKS, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT ALMOST EVERY SUPERINTENDENT POSTING HAD WAS, “TEACHING EXPERIENCE OR MEET THE NCA TEACHING REQUIREMENTS.” SO IN ORDER TO BE ACCREDITED, SUPERINTENDENTS NEED TO HAVE AT LEAST TWO YEARS TEACHING EXPERIENCE. AND NCA DETERMINED THAT MY EXPERIENCE AT JACKSON COMMUNITY COLLEGE AS AN ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, AS SOMEONE WHO FACILITATED A BUSINESS EDUCATION FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM FOR SPRING ARBOR UNIVERSITY, I TAUGHT ADULT ED, THOSE EXPERIENCES MET THE THRESHOLD THAT NCA HAD ESTABLISHED FOR DISTRICT ACCREDITATION.>>NCA STANDING FOR?>>NORTH CENTRAL ACCREDITATION.>>OKAY. SORRY. I’M FROM THE HIGHER ED WORLD, SO IT MEANS SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THERE, SO I JUST WANTED TO–>>SO, YES. MOST OF OUR DISTRICTS HAVE SOME SORT OF NCA ACCREDITATION AT THE BUILDING OR DISTRICT LEVEL. IN ORDER TO MEET THAT STANDARD, THE SUPERINTENDENT NEEDED TO HAVE AT LEAST TWO YEARS OF APPROPRIATE TEACHING EXPERIENCE, AND I MET THAT STANDARD.>>OKAY, THANK YOU.>>WELL, THANKS, SCOTT. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE IN TERMS OF YOUR INTEREST AND ABILITIES AND COMMITMENT TO HELP US ALL WORK TOGETHER TO IMPROVE EDUCATION THAT WE HAVEN’T HAD A CHANCE SHARE? AND ANYTHING YOU WANT TO HAVE US ADDRESS ABOUT WHETHER THIS IS A FIT FOR YOU IN THIS JOB? THANK YOU.>>SO JUST A COUPLE OF CONCLUDING THOUGHTS. ONE, THIS WORK IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT, AND I THINK THAT SENSE OF URGENCY AND THE TIME WE HAVE PRESENTLY, IT’S ON OUR WATCH. FOR ME, THAT’S– I WENT HOME, AND I DID WATCH YOUR DELIBERATIONS, BY THE WAY, AFTER THE LAST MEETING. AND I DID– I QUESTIONED IF THIS IS SOMETHING REALLY THAT I WANT TO MOVE FORWARD WITH. THIS IS A PRETTY DIFFICULT POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT. IT’S A LOT OF DIFFERENT CHALLENGES GOING ON. AND I HAD WISE COUNSEL THAT SAID, “SLEEP ON IT. DON’T MAKE ANY RASH DECISIONS.” SO I SLEPT ON IT. WHEN I WOKE UP THE NEXT MORNING, I REALIZED THAT THE REASON I HAD APPLIED FOR THIS JOB HADN’T CHANGED ONE IOTA, THAT THE 1.5 MILLION CHILDREN IN THIS STATE NEED TO HAVE HIGH QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES, AND THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE WE CAN IMPACT THAT CONVERSATION AND HELP MAKE THE CHANGE. I WAS THINKING ABOUT– I DON’T KNOW IF YOU SAW THE MOVIE “LINCOLN.” REALLY NICE MOVIE, AND THERE’S A SCENE IN THAT MOVIE WHERE THE PRESIDENT IS TALKING TO, I THINK, THADDEUS STEVENS ABOUT THE PUSH, AND THE SENATOR WAS PUSHING REALLY HARD TO GO TO THE EXTREME, TO DO IT ALL IN ONE FELL SWOOP. AND LINCOLN SAYS TO HIM, “A COMPASS WILL TELL YOU WHAT’S TRUE NORTH.” WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT TRUE NORTH IS. BUT IT’S NOT GOING TO IDENTIFY FOR YOU WHERE THE SWAMPS ARE OR MOUNTAINS OR ANY OTHER OBSTACLES IN YOUR PATH TO GETTING THERE. YOU NEED A MAP FOR THAT. FOR ME, I THINK ARTICULATING THE TRUE NORTH, BEING VERY CLEAR IN WHAT WE WANT FOR OUR KIDS, IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL, BUT THE JOB OF THE STATE BOARD IS TO REALLY, IN LIGHT OF THAT TRUE NORTH, DEVELOP THE MAP, IDENTIFY HOW WE’RE GOING TO GET FROM WHERE WE ARE TO WHERE WE NEED TO GO FOR OUR KIDS. AND WE HAVE TO DO THAT NOW. AND SO, FOR ME, I’M VERY INTERESTED IN PARTNERING WITH YOU. THIS IS NEVER ABOUT ME, AND SO I WANT TO SAY THAT I’M REALLY HUMBLED AND HONORED BY THE PEOPLE WHO CAME HERE TO SUPPORT ME, THE PEOPLE WHO’VE WRITTEN LETTERS, BECAUSE THIS IS A REAL HONOR FOR ME TO BE SITTING HERE, AND, QUITE FRANKLY, IN ORDER TO MOVE THE NEEDLE FOR KIDS, IT’S ALL OF THEM. IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. AND WE’VE GOT GREAT PEOPLE WHO CARE PASSIONATELY ABOUT KIDS IN THIS STATE, AND SO I’M INTERESTED IN CONTINUING TO WORK, AND APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HERE TODAY. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING WILLING TO PUT YOURSELF FORWARD AND GO THROUGH THE PUBLIC DISCUSSION OF YOUR PERSON, ABILITIES, AND EXPERIENCES, WHICH IS IMPORTANT BUT MUCH APPRECIATED. AND SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I WOULD NORMALLY COME DOWN AND SHAKE HANDS, BUT WE’RE GOING TO MOVE RIGHT INTO PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, SO THANK YOU AGAIN, SCOTT FOR COMING.>>APPRECIATE IT.>>WE DO HAVE SOME PEOPLE– [ APPLAUSE ]>>SO MARILYN HAS SOME FORMS. IF– WE ALWAYS HAVE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT OUR PUBLIC MEETING, SO NOW’S THE TIME TO COME FORWARD FOR ANY ISSUE, TOPIC, OR THING YOU WANT TO SAY. WE’RE LIMITED TO THREE MINUTES, BECAUSE WE HAVE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT WANTED TO SPEAK, SO PLEASE IDENTIFY YOURSELF, AND MARILYN, WHO’S OUR FIRST?>>THANK YOU. IS THERE ANY MORE FORMS? IF YOU’D PASS THEM FORWARD, THAT WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. THANK YOU. OUR FIRST SPEAKER IS DAVE CAMPBELL. WHILE HE’S APPROACHING THE TABLE, I’LL LET YOU KNOW THAT AS PRESIDENT AUSTIN SAID, YOU’LL EACH GET THREE MINUTES. YOU’LL SIT AT THE END OF THE TABLE. IF YOU DO HAVE HANDOUTS, PASS THEM TO THE CLOSEST PERSON AND THEY’LL BE GLAD TO SHARE THEM AROUND THE TABLE. THE BOARD WILL NOT ENGAGE IN A CONVERSATION WITH YOU. THEY’LL JUST LISTEN TO WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY. SO MR. CAMPBELL, AS SOON AS YOU’RE READY, WE’RE READY.>>GREAT. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY. MY NAME IS DAVE CAMPBELL. I’M SUPERINTENDENT OF KALAMAZOO RESA. PLEASURE TO BE WITH YOU TODAY. I KNOW THESE THREE CANDIDATES WELL. YOU’VE CHOSEN WELL THREE GREAT FINALISTS. I’M FAMILIAR WITH THE WORK. I KNOW SCOTT REALLY WELL BECAUSE I WAS THE SUPERINTENDENT OF LIVINGSTON ESA AFTER SCOTT, AND THAT ALWAYS GIVES YOU AN INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE WHEN YOU FOLLOW SOMEBODY. WE ALWAYS JOKE ABOUT CLEANING UP MESSES, BUT I ALSO GOT TO SEE ALL THE GREAT THINGS THEY HAVE IN PLACE. AND I WAS REALLY PLEASED THAT WHEN I WALKED IN– AND I DON’T KNOW IF THEY’RE GOING TO BE SPEAKING, BUT TWO OF THE UNION CO-PRESIDENTS FROM LIVINGSTON ESA PROFESSIONAL UNION ARE HERE AS WELL, TO SPEAK ABOUT HIS WORK. SO I WAS GOING TO SPEAK TO THAT, BUT I THINK THEY CAN DO THAT MORE EFFECTIVELY THAN I CAN. ALL I KNOW IS A VERY HIGH BAR SET AT LIVINGSTON ESA. A VERY HIGH LEVEL OF COLLABORATION WITH EMPLOYEE GROUPS, WITH THE SEVEN UNIONS THERE. I HAD TO HIT THE GROUND RUNNING BECAUSE IT WAS AN ORGANIZATION THAT WAS FOCUSED, THAT HAD A MISSION THAT WAS DELIBERATE AND CONSTRUCTED TOGETHER. THE BOARD OWNED THE MISSION, AND IT WAS A CHALLENGE AS A NEW PERSON COMING IN BECAUSE THE MISSION WAS MOVING AND I HAVE TO KEEP UP. I’M THE NEW GUYS COMING IN, AND THE LEVEL OF BOARD OWNERSHIP WAS JUST REALLY IMPRESSIVE, AND IT HAS CONTINUED. I’VE CONTINUED MY CONTACT WITH WASHTENAW INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT BECAUSE LIVINGSTON AND WASHTENAW HAVE DONE SO MUCH TOGETHER. AND THE LEVEL OF OWNERSHIP ON THE WASHTENAW BOARD– AND I BELIEVE IF WE HAVE GREG SPEAKING BEHIND ME, WE’LL HAVE FAR MORE DETAIL THAN I COULD GIVE. WHEN I LOOKED AT YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION A COUPLE MONTHS AGO, I WAS ABSOLUTELY EXCITED THAT YOU LOOKED– AND WHAT YOU HAD DEVELOPED AND CREATED THERE, AND WHEN I READ THAT, I THOUGHT, “IT’S SCOTT.” THE SKILL SET– HIS SET OF SKILLS MATCHES THE JOB DESCRIPTION REALLY WELL. AND WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT ALL THE POLITICS AND EVERYTHING THAT YOU’VE GOT TO CONSIDER, IT REALLY COMES DOWN TO WHAT’S THE SKILL SET THAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR, AND YOU DEVELOPED THAT A COUPLE MONTHS AGO, AND WHICH OF THESE CANDIDATES MATCHES THAT JOB DESCRIPTION THE BEST. NO ONE’S GOING TO BE PERFECT. NO ONE’S GOING TO BE PERFECT. BUT WHO’S GOT THAT SET OF SKILLS? AND I WOULD ARGUE, KNOWING THE THREE, THAT IT WOULD BE SCOTT, THOUGH THE OTHERS ARE GREAT LEADERS AND GREAT PEOPLE. BUT IT’S ABOUT THE SET OF SKILLS THAT’S NEEDED NOW, AT THIS TIME IN HISTORY, THIS DEFINING MOMENT. WE’VE GOT SOME GREAT OPPORTUNITIES HERE IN MICHIGAN, WITH KAREN HIRED BY THE GOVERNOR. THAT’S EXCITING TO ME, THAT WE’VE GOT A CAREER EDUCATOR IN THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE NOW. WE’VE GOT SOME GREAT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE STATE, AND I’D URGE YOU TO HIRE SCOTT MENZEL. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>OUR NEXT SPEAKER IS GREGORY PEOPLES, AND HE’LL BE FOLLOWED BY JANICE PARTY.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. I THANK THE BOARD FOR ALLOWING ME TO ADDRESS YOU THIS AFTERNOON IN SUPPORT OF SCOTT MENZEL. AS I SAID, MY NAME IS GREG PEOPLES, I AM A 35-YEAR RESIDENT OF YPSILANTI. I HAVE SERVED ON THE WILLOW RUN SCHOOL BOARD, THE LINCOLN CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL BOARD, I AM THE IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT OF THE WASHTENAW INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL BOARD, AND I’M CURRENTLY A MEMBER OF THE BOARD. AND I WANT TO ADDRESS THE QUESTION JOHN ASKED AT THE BEGINNING OF SCOTT’S INTERVIEW, REGARDING THE WILLOW RUN YPSILANTI MERGER AND WHETHER OR NOT THAT WAS SOMETHING HE ORCHESTRATED TO PREPARE HIMSELF OR HIS CANDIDACY FOR THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT JOB. AND I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. I WAS ON THE ISD BOARD WHEN WE HIRED SCOTT OVER THREE YEARS AGO, AND ONE OF THE CONCERNS I HAD ABOUT SCOTT WAS HIS LACK OF EXPERIENCE WITH DIVERSE POPULATIONS. WE HIRED HIM AND WE HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY PLEASED WITH HIS WORK IN DIVERSITY. IN TERMS OF THE MERGER BETWEEN WILLOW RUN AND YPSILANTI, WHEN I WAS ON THE BOARD YEARS AGO AT WILLOW RUN, THERE WAS CONCERN ABOUT SHOULD WE CONSIDER CONSOLIDATING WITH YPSILANTI OR NOT. THOSE TWO COMMUNITIES ARE VERY, VERY COMPETITIVE, AS SOMEONE STATED EARLIER, AND THE THOUGHT TO CONSIDER CONSOLIDATION WAS HERETIC AT THAT POINT IN TIME. IT TOOK A GREAT DEAL OF COMMITMENT TO THE STUDENTS OF THE YPSILANTI COMMUNITY FOR DON GARRETT AND DAN BATES TO APPROACH ME AS A BOARD PRESIDENT AT THAT TIME TO CONSIDER WHAT WE COULD DO TO CONSIDER CONSOLIDATED SERVICES. AND AT THAT POINT, I SUGGESTED THEY MOVE TO TALK WITH SCOTT MENZEL, WHO WAS OUR SUPERINTENDENT. OUR BOARD WAS VERY SUPPORTIVE OF NOT ONLY THE YPSILANTI WILLOW RUN COMMUNITIES BUT SCOTT AS WELL. IT TOOK A LOT OF DISCUSSION ON THE PART OF OUR BOARD ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT WE WANTED TO ENTER INTO THE WORK WE KNEW WAS GOING TO BE MONUMENTAL WITH THAT CONSOLIDATION. WE AGREED TO DO THAT. ONCE THE ISD APPOINTED THE NEW BOARD, WE CONTINUED TO WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH THEM. AT THE TIME, THEY WERE ABOUT TO SELECT A SUPERINTENDENT. BECAUSE WE HAD INVESTED SO MUCH INTO THE COMMUNITY AND THE CONSOLIDATION, WE FELT WE HAD TO MAKE SURE WE ENSURED THE CONTINUED SUCCESS OF THIS INITIAL CONSOLIDATION, AND THAT’S WHY, AGAIN, SCOTT CAME TO US AND SAID, “IF YOU’RE NOT COMMITTED TO ME DOING THIS, I WON’T DO IT.” THE BOARD OVERWHELMINGLY, UNANIMOUSLY CONSENTED, “YES, WE WILL HAVE TO SUPPORT THIS VENTURE.” SCOTT DID SUCH A NICE JOB CONVINCING, WITH THE SUPPORT OF OTHERS, THE YPSILANTI COMMUNITY TO PASS A VOTE BY 61% THAT HE WAS ASKED TO BE THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT ONE OF THE LARGEST BLACK CHURCHES IN YPSILANTI AT THE BROTHERHOOD BANQUET, AND AFTER HE PRESENTED, THE PASTOR CAME UP AND SAID, “IF WE HAD OUR PAPERWORK HERE, WE’D ORDAIN YOU AS A MINISTER RIGHT NOW.” [ LAUGHTER ]>>SO THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>JANICE PARTY? AND SHE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY LAURIE TUBBERGEN CLARK.>>HI. I WAS HERE LAST YEAR, SPEAKING ABOUT NATIONAL BOARD. I’M A NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED TEACHER. I TAUGHT FOR 40 YEARS IN WHITMORE LAKE. I RETIRED FIVE YEARS AGO, THANKS TO THE INCENTIVE OFFERED IN THE STATE. BUT I’VE CONTINUED TO BE INVOLVED IN EDUCATION. I’LL TELL YOU, THAT WAS THE HARDEST DECISION I’VE EVER MADE IN MY LIFE. I’M HERE TO STAND FOR SCOTT MENZEL. HE IS A MAN OF THE HIGHEST INTEGRITY. I WORKED WITH HIM FOR FIVE YEARS, AND I NEVER CAUGHT HIM IN A LIE. AND THAT’S A LOT TO SAY WHEN YOU’RE IN NEGOTIATIONS WITH SOMEONE. NOW, THERE WEREN’T ALWAYS TIMES WHERE HE TOLD ME EXACTLY EVERYTHING I MIGHT HAVE WANTED TO KNOW, BUT HE TOLD ME ENOUGH. AND WE COLLABORATED AND WORKED TOGETHER. WHEN HE STARTED IN WHITMORE LAKE, WE HAD A PAID BARGAINER. WE HAD BEEN NEGOTIATING FOR MANY MONTHS, AND WE WERE– NOTHING WAS HAPPENING, AND THERE WAS A LOT OF ANIMOSITY. WHEN SCOTT CAME ONBOARD, WITHIN WEEKS, WE HAD A CONTRACT, BECAUSE HE TOOK OVER. AND HE WAS THE NEW GUY, BUT HE RECOGNIZED THE NEED TO GET THE STAFF TOGETHER. HE WAS ALWAYS COLLABORATIVE WITH THE UNION, IN THAT IF THERE WERE ISSUES, HE WOULD COME TO US AND SAY, “WHAT CAN WE DO TO WORK THIS OUT?” AND IT WAS COLLABORATIVE. HE MADE SURE THAT TEACHERS HAD MENTORS. FIRST YEAR TEACHERS WERE NEVER LEFT ALONE. HE MADE SURE THAT THEY WERE GIVEN SOMEONE TO HELP THEM OUT ALONG THE WAY. I HAVE THIS WHOLE LIST, SO– ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HE ALWAYS– HE COULD ALWAYS ANTICIPATE PROBLEMS. AND YOU KNOW THE PROVERB ABOUT EATING THE ELEPHANT: YOU DO IT A BITE AT A TIME, BUT HE KNEW, STRATEGICALLY, WHERE TO START. IT WASN’T LIKE, “WELL, WE’LL TAKE AN EAR, WE’LL TAKE A TRUNK, WE’LL TAKE A BITE OUT OF THE BUTT, WE’LL DO WHATEVER.” IT WAS WHERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TO START? AND HE TOOK SOME LEGACY COSTS THAT WERE IN OUR CONTRACT AND HELPED US WORK THEM OUT AND FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT BEST FOR KIDS, ALWAYS PROTECTING THE CORE, THE INSTRUCTION OF CHILDREN IN THE DISTRICTS. AND HE BELIEVED IN INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS. OUR SCHOOLS WERE FULLY INCLUSIVE. WE HAD CHILDREN WITH MULTIPLE DISABILITIES INCLUDED IN OUR CLASSROOMS, AND SCOTT MADE SURE THAT THOSE CHILDREN WERE REPRESENTED AS WELL AS CHILDREN AT THE TOP. HE TRIED TO GUARANTEE PROGRAMS OF ENRICHMENT SO THAT CHILDREN WOULD ALWAYS BE LEARNING. IN THE AREA OF CURRICULUM, WE WERE STRUGGLING WITH CURRICULUM. HE HELPED US BRING IN OUTSIDE EXPERTS TO WORK WITH OUR TEACHERS, BUT THEY WEREN’T THERE TO TELL US WHAT TO DO. THEY WERE COLLABORATIVE. THAT’S WHAT HE INSISTED ON, THAT THERE WAS COLLABORATION AT EVERY LEVEL, RECOGNIZING THE GOOD THAT PEOPLE DO. AND THAT’S ONE OF HIS GREATEST STRENGTHS. HE DOES NOT MICRO MANAGE. HE BELIEVES IN THE PEOPLE HE WORKS WITH. AND I THINK THAT IS PROBABLY ONE OF HIS GREATEST ASSETS. HE PUTS PEOPLE TO WORK, HE FOLLOWS UP ON WHAT THEY’RE DOING, BUT HE BELIEVES IN HIS STAFF. SO THANK YOU FOR CONSIDERING SCOTT FOR THIS POSITION.>>OUR NEXT SPEAKER IS LAURIE TUBBERGEN CLARK. AND SHE IS FOLLOWED BY MICHELLE CHARRON-WITT. FEEL FREE TO CORRECT ME IF I SAY YOUR NAME WRONG.>>REALLY, REALLY CLOSE. [ LAUGHTER ]>>TELL US YOUR TRUE NAME.>>MY NAME IS LAURIE TUBBERGEN CLARK. I’M THE SUPERINTENDENT OF NEWAYGO COUNTY RESA. I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO CO-CHAIR THE MAISA EARLY CHILDHOOD COMMITTEE WITH SCOTT, AND SINCE 2007, I HAVE OBSERVED SCOTT AS A TRUE LEADER, BUT MORE THAN THAT, A LIFETIME LEARNER. A COUPLE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK SET SCOTT APART– AND I WROTE TO SOME OF YOU AND I HAVE TO SAY, I WAS VERY IMPRESSED THAT I GOT PERSONAL NOTES BACK. THAT’S A REAL CREDIT TO THE STATE BOARD. THAT TAKES SOME TIME. HE IS TRULY THE ONLY REMAINING CANDIDATE THAT I THINK HAS THE CRADLE TO CAREER SPECTRUM, AND HE TALKED A BIT ABOUT THAT. WATCHING HIM AT OUR EARLY CHILDHOOD MEETINGS– I HAVE TO GIVE YOU A PICTURE OF THAT, BECAUSE IT’S NOT A COMMITTEE OF 12 ISD SERVICE PROVIDERS. IT’S A COMMITTEE OF 50, AND THERE’S EVERY PARTNER THAT YOU CAN IMAGINE AT THE TABLE. AND I’M AMAZED AT SCOTT, BECAUSE HE CAN CALL EVERY PERSON BY NAME AS WE GO AROUND THAT ROOM. HE IS MASTERFUL AT BUILDING THAT RELATIONAL CAPACITY AND THINKING ABOUT THE ENTIRE SYSTEM. SO I ALWAYS TELL HIM WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO BE JUST LIKE HIM. HE’S BEEN A GREAT ROLE MODEL AND HELP. AND THEN, AS YOU THINK ABOUT HIS TIME AT MICHIGAN WORKS! AND AT THE ISD, AND IN K-12, HE REALLY IS A CANDIDATE THAT GETS IT, FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE CAREER READINESS. AND THE SECOND THING I THINK SETS HIM APART IS– YOU KNOW, I’M FROM NEWAYGO COUNTY. IT’S VERY RURAL. IT’S PRETTY IMPOVERISHED. I’VE SPENT 50 SOME YEARS THERE, AND I REALLY RESONATE WITH SCOTT WHEN HE TALKS ABOUT EQUITY. I APPLAUD THAT STANCE AND SUPPORT THAT, BUT HE UNDERSTANDS RURAL. HE TALKED ABOUT WHERE HE GREW UP. HE UNDERSTANDS URBAN, LOCAL DISTRICTS, ISDS, AND I THINK THAT PERSPECTIVE OF THE ENTIRE SYSTEM, BECAUSE OF ALL THOSE EXPERIENCES HE’S HAD, IS REALLY GOING TO HELP HIM IN CREATING A SYSTEM THAT’S EQUITABLE AND ADEQUATE FOR OUR KIDS. PROBABLY THREE OR FOUR WEEKS AGO NOW, HE MUST’VE GOT UP VERY EARLY, BECAUSE SENATOR HANSEN WAS GOING TO HAVE A MEETING WITH ME, AND I SAID, “WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT EARLY CHILDHOOD,” AND HE SAID, “I’D LOVE TO COME OVER.” I SAID, “GREAT,” SO HE GOT UP EARLY, DROVE ACROSS THE STATE, MET WITH SENATOR HANSEN AND HAD A GREAT CONVERSATION. AFTERWARDS, I SAID TO HIM, “WHY DO YOU WANT THAT JOB?” SPEAKING OF STATE SUPERINTENDENT. AND HIS ANSWER WAS, “IT’S TO IMPACT 1.5 MILLION KIDS,” AND I SAW THAT PASSION. AND I’VE SEEN THAT SINCE 2007, WHEN I MET SCOTT. IT’S COMING FROM HIS HEART. THAT’S WHY YOU NEED HIM. THAT’S WHY WE ALL NEED HIM. SO THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>OUR NEXT SPEAKER IS MICHELLE CHARRON-WITT. SHE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY PAM WESTMEYER.>>HI. MY NAME IS MICHELLE CHARRON-WITT, AND I’M A PROGRAM CONSULTANT FOR THE LIVINGSTON INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT. I’VE TAUGHT FOR 35 YEARS. I ALSO CONSULT IN ALL THE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN LIVINGSTON COUNTY, AND I’M CO-PRESIDENT OF OUR UNION. SO IT’S BEEN A PRIVILEGE TO WORK WITH SCOTT ALL THESE YEARS. HE’S PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST COLLABORATIVE ADMINISTRATORS I’VE WORKED WITH. I’VE SEEN QUITE A FEW IN MY DAY. AND IT’S INTERESTING TO HEAR THE TERM “AMBITION” USED WHEN TALKING ABOUT HIM. I UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION. I ALWAYS CONSIDER AMBITION IN HIS SENSE AS BEING PASSION, AND I THINK SKILL SET WAS A GOOD TERM WHEN TALKING ABOUT HIM, BECAUSE I’VE NEVER SEEN A PERSON BUILD CONSENSUS LIKE HE HAS, AND DEVELOP THOSE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS THAT GIVE WEIGHT TO THAT CONSENSUS. I WITNESSED IT WHEN WE WORKED ON STRATEGIC PLANNING IN OUR DISTRICT, WHEN WE TRIED TO UNIFY THE COUNTY ON A UNIFIED VISION. AND HE INCLUDED TRANSPORTATION, SECRETARIES– EVERYBODY. AND IT MADE OUR WHOLE STAFF FEEL EMPOWERED AND LIKE WE WERE SHARING THE VISION. FROM A UNION PERSPECTIVE, WE WENT THROUGH SOME OF THE TOUGHEST ECONOMIC CUTS, AND AGAIN, HE COLLABORATED ON THAT WITH US. WE DID LAYOFFS, AND IT WAS PROBABLY THE MOST RESPECTFUL PROCESS WE’D EVER WALKED THROUGH. AND WHILE SOME STAFF WERE VERY SAD WHEN THEY LOST THEIR JOBS, THEY FELT RESPECTED. AND THAT WAS REALLY POWERFUL TO US. AND SO OUR AGENCY REALLY ADMIRES HIM. THE ONLY PERSONAL AGENDA I EVER SAW HIM PUSH IS WE HAD TO NAME OUR MEDIA ROOM “THE SPARTAN ROOM.” [ LAUGHTER ]>>THAT’S INITIATIVE.>>PAM WESTMEYER IS NEXT, AND SHE’LL BE FOLLOWED BY GREGORY MEYERS.>>HI. MY NAME IS PAM WESTMEYER. I AM A RETIRED PERSON WHO WORKED FOR LESA. I WAS CO-PRESIDENT WITH MICHELLE WITH THE UNION, AND I WAS THINKING ABOUT SCOTT THE OTHER NIGHT, AND THERE WERE JUST SO MANY ADJECTIVES THAT I COULD HAVE FOR HIM, AND THEY WERE ALL BROUGHT UP TODAY. THIS IS A MAN WHO NOT ONLY LISTENS, BUT HE’S A DOER. WHEN WE WOULD MEET WITH HIM– AND HAVING MET WITH OTHERS IN THE PAST, BECAUSE WE’D BEEN UNION PRESIDENTS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, YOU WOULD TALK WITH THEM, AND THEY’D NOD THEIR HEAD, AND THEN HOPEFULLY YOU’D SEE THEM AGAIN. BUT WITH SCOTT, WHEN YOU’D MEET WITH HIM AND VOICE YOUR CONCERNS, HE MET WITH US AND WOULD COME BACK WITH IDEAS, COLLABORATION, HOW CAN WE HELP EVERYONE IN THIS SITUATION? THAT WAS THE NUANCE THAT I FOUND SO REFRESHING WITH HIM. AND AGAIN, HE’S GONE ON TO DO WONDERFUL THINGS. AND I, PERSONALLY, LOVE THE NEW NAME, BECAUSE I’M A SPARTY. [ LAUGHTER ]>>GREGORY MEYERS, PLEASE.>>THANK YOU. MY NAME IS GREGORY MEYERS. I LIVE IN YPSILANTI. I WAS PART OF THE LAST SCHOOL BOARD AT WILLOW RUN, AND I WAS APPOINTED ON THE FIRST BOARD FOR YPSILANTI COMMUNITY SCHOOLS. IT’S A LITTLE BIT INTIMIDATING. I WAS GOING TO HAVE MY DAUGHTER COME SIT UP HERE WITH ME, BECAUSE I KNOW SHE’LL GO HOME WITH ME. [ LAUGHTER ]>>ANYWAY, I’M HERE TO– I’M FULLY PERSUADED THAT SCOTT MENZEL SHOULD BE THE NEXT STATE SUPERINTENDENT BECAUSE OF HIS VISION AND ABILITY TO– OH, THANK YOU, PATRICE. [ LAUGHTER ]>>HIS ABILITY TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER, TO– HE BUILT A RELATIONSHIP WITH ME. I DIDN’T KNOW HIM THREE YEARS AGO, AND HE BUILT A RELATIONSHIP WITH ME. HE BROUGHT VISION TO THE DISTRICT. THE VISION WAS TO BE THE FIRST CHOICE FOR AN EXCEPTIONAL CRADLE TO CAREER EDUCATION. THOSE WORDS NEVER WERE SPOKEN IN THE CITY OF YPSILANTI BEFORE. NEVER. AND HE BROUGHT THAT. HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR ALL STUDENTS– HE’S TRYING TO CLOSE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP. THE REASON I DROVE AN HOUR AND A HALF IN MY VAN THAT HAS 250,000 MILES ON IT IS SO THAT I COULD SPEAK ON BEHALF OF SCOTT MENZEL. THIS IS MY OLDEST DAUGHTER, PATRICE. SHE’S TEN, AND SHE’S AT WIMA. IT’S AN INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE PROGRAM IN YPSILANTI. WIHI IS CONNECTED TO THAT. BOTH OF THOSE SCHOOLS WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN INSIDE THE CITY LIMITS OF YPSILANTI IF IT WASN’T FOR THE LEADERSHIP OF SCOTT MENZEL. I ENVISION HER GOING THROUGH THAT SCHOOL AND GOING OFF TO COLLEGE, AND GOING TO HARVARD, MICHIGAN, YALE– WHEREVER SHE WANTS TO GO, I CAN SEE. AND I WILL JUST ALSO SHARE THAT I DON’T HAVE THE HIGHEST PAYING JOB. I MAKE $11.75 AN HOUR. I AM SUPPOSED TO BE AT WORK RIGHT NOW. I’M CUTTING HALF A DAY’S PAY, AND I’M DOING IT BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN THAT MAN OUT THERE. I BELIEVE HE CAN CHANGE 1.5 MILLION KIDS IN MICHIGAN. WHEN I WAS ON THE BOARD, THE ONLY REASON I WAS ON IT– I DIDN’T WANT TO BE A POLITICIAN– DID NOT. EVERYBODY JUST SAW MY HEART. I HAVE 4 KIDS, BUT WHEN I WAS ON THE SCHOOL BOARD, I HAD 6,000 KIDS. AND THAT’S WHY I CONNECT WITH SCOTT, BECAUSE OF HIS HEART. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>WOW.>>DOES ANYBODY ELSE HAVE A PUBLIC PARTICIPATION FORM? I HAVE A FORM HERE FROM REPRESENTATIVE ADAM ZEMKE. HE HAD TO LEAVE FOR SESSION. HE HAS GIVEN ME A WRITTEN LETTER, WHICH I WILL DISTRIBUTE TO MEMBERS OF THE BOARD. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION.>>GREAT. THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING AND FOR PARTICIPATING.>>CAN WE HAVE THAT LETTER READ, PLEASE?>>OH, OKAY.>>I THINK– DIDN’T WE ALREADY RECEIVE IT?>>WE ALREADY RECEIVED IT FROM ADAM.>>NO, BUT I WOULD LIKE THE PUBLIC TO HEAR IT.>>I THINK WE NORMALLY DON’T DO THAT, LUPE, WITH PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, BUT THERE WAS A VERY STRONG LETTER OF SUPPORT FROM ADAM ZEMKE AND THE OTHER REPRESENTATIVES WHO WERE IN ATTENDANCE HERE. SO WE’LL MAKE IT AVAILABLE TO THE BOARD, AND IT WAS ALREADY SENT TO US, THE BOARD.>>BUT THE PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO GET TO HEAR IT.>>WELL–>>WE’VE RECEIVED A LOT OF FEEDBACK FROM A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT–>>BUT THIS IS A TESTIMONY. THIS IS A TESTIMONY.>>WE RECEIVED A LOT OF TESTIMONY FROM A LOT OF PEOPLE FOR ALL OUR CANDIDATES, AND SCOTT CERTAINLY HAS A VERY STRONG GROUP OF SUPPORTERS AND TESTIFIERS, AS YOU CAN SEE. SO I THINK IT WOULD BE– ANYWAY. SO WE’LL CONTINUE TO MOVE ON. I APPRECIATE YOUR POINT, BUT WE DON’T NORMALLY READ THE LETTERS. WE RESPECT THE FACT THAT PEOPLE TESTIFY. I’M NOT TRYING TO DISCOURAGE, I’M JUST TRYING TO BE EVEN-HANDED IN ALL OUR TREATMENT. SO WE HAVE A TERRIFIC GROUP OF FINALISTS, AS YOU’VE HEARD, SO I THINK WE’RE GOING TO NOW TAKE A BREAK FOR TEN MINUTES OR SO. WE’LL RECONVENE AT 3 O’CLOCK AND WHAT WE’LL DO NEXT, AS MY COLLEAGUES ARE AWARE, IS WE’LL BEGIN TO, EACH OF US, REFLECT ON ALL THE CANDIDATES. AND THEN WE’LL BEGIN TO SEE WHERE OUR PREFERENCES LIE BASED ON ALL WE’VE HEARD AND LEARNED AND BENEFITED FROM IN THEIR INTERVIEWS TODAY. SO WE’LL START BACK UP AT 3 O’CLOCK. THANK YOU.

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1 Response

  1. yeedeedee zeeghee says:

    i hate everyone

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