Pavlov announces second committee hearing on Michigan’s academically failing schools

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, announced Tuesday that the Michigan Senate Education Committee will conduct its second hearing on Michigan’s academically failing schools on Thursday, Dec. 3.

Who:
•    State Sen. Phil Pavlov, chairman of the Senate Education Committee;
•    Senate Education Committee members;
•    Michigan State School Reform Officer Natasha Baker; and
•    Executive Office of Governor Rick Snyder, Senior Advisor for Education Karen McPhee.

What:
A presentation on the work of the State School Reform/Redesign Office with regard to Michigan’s academically failing schools.

When:
Thursday, Dec. 3, at noon.

Where:
Room 100, Farnum Building
125 W. Allegan St.
Lansing, MI 48933

Historic coalition gathers for Pavlov education bill signing

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday signed a bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov that creates new educator evaluation standards, establishes Michigan as a preeminent state for teacher quality and positions the state to once again lead the country in student performance.

Under Public Act 173, teachers will be evaluated based on their students’ academic improvement and by principals and others observing their classroom performance. School administrators will be evaluated on the same system, the same student academic improvement and the quality of the evaluations they perform on their teachers.

PA 173 completes Michigan’s teacher and administrator evaluation statute, enacted in 2011 as part of comprehensive changes to the state’s antiquated teacher tenure law. That restructuring required hiring, firing and tenure-granting decisions to be based on performance, rather than seniority, as measured by evaluations.

“It took four years to fully solidify the landmark tenure reforms of 2011, but those are finally realized,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “School districts now have the necessary tools to identify their best educators, help struggling ones improve, and ensure every classroom is staffed with the best teacher possible. This is what Michigan students deserve, and I’m proud of this accomplishment.”

Pavlov’s bill was supported by a historic, bipartisan coalition of every known education association, ranging from superintendents, principals and other school administrators to teacher unions, education reform groups, business leaders and nationally recognized education experts.

“Today is a great day for kids across Michigan because policy makers and frontline educators worked side by side to achieve important reforms to improve our educational system,” said Mark A. Burton, executive director, Tri-County Alliance for Public Education. “After a long, four-year journey, we now have a consistent and meaningful set of laws guiding educators towards a higher level of performance in our schools, and this would not have been possible without Senator Pavlov’s leadership throughout its entirety.”

Chris Wigent, the executive director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, praised legislators’ work on the measure.

“This new law represents a fair compromise on a critical issue for teachers and administrators,” Wigent said. “I commend Senator Pavlov and am pleased with the bipartisan manner in which lawmakers worked to allow flexibility in each district while setting high and appropriate standards for professional practice and continuous improvement.”

Under the law, student academic growth will initially account for 25 percent of an educator’s evaluation and then increase to 40 percent in 2018-2019. The state will provide recommended tools for scoring classroom performance, but districts will be able to modify or develop their own measurements to best fit their local circumstances.

“We are pleased that this important legislation has been signed by the governor today,” said Dr. Judith Pritchett, chief academic officer, Macomb Intermediate School District. “This law provides a fair and meaningful educator evaluation process that will assist teachers across the state as they set goals and reflect on their instructional practices for increasing student achievement. It also provides a process for administrators to analyze the impact of their leadership at the building and district levels.”

Pavlov said that Michigan students deserve the best, and this new law holds schools accountable.

“Michigan now has a cutting-edge evaluation law that sets standardized quality criteria and rightly emphasizes student growth, while providing adequate flexibility at the local level to let school districts meet their individual students’ and educators’ needs,” Pavlov said. “This law creates accountability for our schools to deliver the best classroom learning environment possible.”

Photo caption: A historic coalition gathered Thursday as Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township (standing, center) that creates new educator evaluation standards, establishes Michigan as a preeminent state for teacher quality and positions the state to once again lead the country in student performance. Also pictured at the governor’s desk, from left, are Reps. Adam Zemke, D-Ann Arbor and Amanda Price, R-Park Township, and Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage.

Note: For a print-quality version of this and other Pavlov photos, click the image or click the Photowire link under the Media Center tab, above.

Senate approves Pavlov bills protecting student privacy

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved bills sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov to protect student privacy and regulate how student data is shared.

“These days, education is being conducted online and digitally more than ever, and it becomes easier every day to collect, store and share vast amounts of data,” said Pavlov, chairman of the Senate Education Committee. “This is a growing area of concern for students, and it should concern everyone interested in safeguarding private information.”

Senate Bill 33 would prohibit the Michigan Department of Education, the state Center for Educational Performance and Information and school districts from selling personally identifiable information in a student’s education records to any for-profit business.

SB 510 would create the Student Online Personal Protection Act. The law would establish a number of requirements for operators of K-12 Internet websites, online services, online applications and mobile applications.

These websites, online services and applications would be prohibited from using targeted advertising, building a profile about a student, selling a student’s information and disclosing information about the student unless it’s for legal, regulatory, judicial or safety reasons.

They would also be required to protect student information through reasonable security procedures and to delete a student’s personally identifiable information if the school or district requests deletion of the data.

“Students, families and educators deserve a safe online environment where they are able to use cutting-edge digital learning tools with confidence and without fearing their personal information will be exploited or used for the wrong reasons,” Pavlov said.

SBs 33 and 510 now head to the Michigan House for further consideration.