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Opinion: How long before Michigan’s children can get in the game?

This summer, Michigan’s Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores Little League Team competed in the Little League World Series.  Only 16 teams in the world made it to the finals from the thousands that started.  They competed at the highest level because—among other things—they knew the rules of the game and what was expected of them.

The Grosse Pointe team members played against the best in the world and gave it their all.  They made us proud.

Soon these Michigan Little League players will be back in school.  And, like the rest of Michigan’s 1.6 million students, they’ll need to know what’s expected of them academically—so that they can achieve at their highest level.  But, now some of those expectations for public education are being questioned, jeopardizing our children’s ability to compete.

The Michigan Legislature has blocked funding for the expectations for student learning in mathematics and English Language Arts known as the Common Core State Standards.  Michigan adopted these standards three years ago.  And, before the legislature intervened, Michigan schools were on track to implement them in 2014.

They were developed by governors and chief state school officers, together with teachers, K-12 school administrators, higher education experts and business representatives to ensure that all U.S. high school graduates are prepared for college or a career. A total of 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia were part of the state-led process. Since their release in 2010, more than 40 states have adopted these grade-level goals for educational achievement.

These voluntary standards respect local governance.  They don’t require a specific curriculum.  They don’t tell principals how to run schools or tell teachers how to teach.  Local educators and school boards decide how the standards are to be met.  Local districts own, and will still control, all student data, just as they do now.

But the standards do ask schools to teach their subjects in the same sequence—like starting algebra in the same grade.  So, when students move from Michigan to Montana or from Ann Arbor to Alpena, they can pick up where they left off—on a level playing field.  And, that’s critical because according to the National Center for Education Statistics about 13 percent of children under 18 move each year, with much higher numbers for low-income, military and immigrant families.

Leaders from both sides of the aisle agree the standards set more rigorous academic requirements in English and mathematics than we currently have.  And, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a respected conservative education think tank, says the new English and mathematics standards are “clearly superior.”

Our goal is to provide an excellent education for all our children.  But, we can’t do it without legislative support.  We’re asking our legislators to push the play button on funding for the Common Core Standards and let our children get back in the game.

--William Miller, MAISA Executive Director

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Aug 28, 2013
Press Release/Op-ed
2013 MAISA ELA Summer Institute

The ELA Summer Institute was conducted June 24-27 at the Lansing Center. The ISD ELA consultant planning team wrote the attached press release which they can customize per ISD.

Jul 2, 2013
Career and College Readiness Standards Project
Instructional Leadership Committee - Minutes, March 2013
May 31, 2013
Collaboration Newsletter, April 2013
May 31, 2013
Collaborative Coordination Report
Early Childhood Committee - Minutes, May 2013
May 10, 2013
Early Childhood Committee - Minutes, April 2013
Apr 18, 2013
Collaboration Newsletter, March 2013
Mar 30, 2013
Collaborative Coordination Report
Early Learning Enhancement Grant Funds Available for Competition

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to announce the availability of funds for Early Learning Enhancement Grants to support increased access to high quality early learning and development programs for those children with the highest needs prior to kindergarten entry.

This grant will provide Early Learning and Development Programs with an opportunity to utilize multiple sources of early childhood funding to create continuity of care in a full time, full year setting with the goal of increasing the number of high needs children in quality early learning and development programs. 

Research shows that young children who receive a high quality early learning experience from infancy to age five do better in reading and math and are more likely to stay in school longer, graduate from high school, and attend a four-year college.  In Michigan, most high-quality early care and education programs do not have the financial resources to offer high-quality, full-day services year-round.  When programs seek to layer funding from the Child Development and Care (CDC) Program, Head Start and the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), current policies and funding levels hinder success. This initiative aims to address these problems through coordinating the provision of full day, full year child care subsidy reimbursement to qualifying high quality programs, as assessed by the program’s achieved rating in Great Start to Quality, Michigan’s Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System, with the alignment of policies with those of other funding streams and private sector practice. 

The Office of Great Start will be awarding two year grants through a competitive grant award process with up to $1,250,000 available in each FY2014 and FY2015 for a total of $2,500,000 available over the two year grant period.

A technical assistance webinar will be held on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required.  Individuals planning to participate in this webinar should register at

Mar 14, 2013
AdvancED Accreditation Documentation

ISDs considering AdvancED accreditation must review the following documents.

Mar 6, 2013
AdvancED Accreditation
Collaboration Newsletter, February 2013
Feb 28, 2013
Collaborative Coordination Report
Early Childhood Committee Minutes, February 2013
Feb 21, 2013
Per Pupil Revenue Trend Slide
Feb 15, 2013
Collaboration Newsletter, January 2013
Feb 14, 2013
Collaborative Coordination Report
ISD 50th Anniversary & Branding Update, January 2013
Feb 5, 2013
General Membership Minutes, January 2013 (Draft)
Feb 5, 2013
MAISA Board of Directors, 2012-2013
Jan 30, 2013
MAISA Meeting Calendar
Jan 30, 2013
Early Childhood Committee Minutes, January 2013
Jan 30, 2013
MAISA Board Minutes, December 2012
Jan 29, 2013
Collaboration Newsletter, December 2012
Dec 12, 2012
Collaborative Coordination Report
MAISA Board Minutes, December 2012
Dec 12, 2012
Early Childhood Committee Minutes, December 2012
Dec 12, 2012
Instructional Leadership Committee, January 2012
Dec 5, 2012

The mission of the Mecosta-Osceola Personnel Cooperative (MOP Co-Op) Advisory Council is to serve the local school districts by effectively managing common personnel, supplies and resources through cooperation, teamwork and expertise.

Nov 30, 2012
Web Link Shared Services
Early Childhood Committee Minutes, November 2012
Nov 25, 2012