Palace Chrysler-Jeep

From Lansing:a column by State Rep. Brad Jacobsen

Protecting Michigan's greatest asset: Our children

June 11, 2014 - We all want our children to be successful.

Their educational journeys begin at home, but continue in the classroom.

A bipartisan bill package from state Reps Margaret O'Brien, R-Portage and Adam Zemke, D-Ann Arbor, works to improve teacher and administrator evaluations. Michigan teachers and administrators from across the state were consulted during this process.

Their feedback directly contributed to the development of these proposals.

I supported these bills in the House Education Committee.

The bill package creates greater accountability for teachers and more accurate information about the effectiveness of different teaching methods. House Bill 5223 focuses on classroom observations and developing a student growth assessment tool. House Bill 5224 looks at similar criteria and applies it towards school administrators.

The bills also encourage local control by allowing teachers, and their administrators, to help build the very metrics that will grade them. Tailoring the evaluation structure allows each school district to determine locally what works best for their children.

There were over a dozen diverse advocacy groups that strongly supported these bills to make Michigan more competitive and increase its' talent base. All educators deserve meaningful feedback on the critical nature of their work; and students deserve the opportunity to learn from a great teacher.

House Bills 5223 and 5224 work to bring full circle what we have recently done in the legislature to reform teacher tenure, the Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System (MPSERS) and Freedom to Work.

We changed the way teachers earn tenure by ensuring that the educator who is best qualified is rewarded, rather than the one that has been employed the longest.

Re-structuring MPSERS and capping the amount of money schools could spend annually on pension liabilities put more money in the classrooms. Freedom to Work made teaching more about our children, and less about unions.

But these changes hinges on providing a detailed and merit-based way of measuring teacher and administrator skill and competence.

Coupled with these previous reforms and others, we are better preparing our future college students and workforce.

My colleagues and I will continue to put policy over politics when addressing reforms that so greatly affect this state.

The next generation looks brighter when we know our kids are in the best hands.

Email Link
Clarkston Cleaning
SPI Subscriptions
The Oxford Leader
Site Search