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Testimony delivered by MIPFS and other parent representatives at legislative hearings

Testimony on EAA legislation (Round 2)

Michigan Parents for Schools views on HB 6004 (H-1)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

While we appreciate that several concerns have been addressed in the H-1 substitute for HB 6004, sadly our main objections remain.

The bill assumes that the EAA will be successful. While there are provisions for a school “graduating” from the EAA, there are no provisions for handling a school that fails to improve under EAA control. Instead of calling the EAA into question, such schools are likely to be subjected to an endless round of restructurings and turnarounds – devastating the school, its students, and the local community.

Is this EAA “solution” so promising and certain that it’s worth stripping away community control? Better to implement a solution that can be done with the community, rather than to it.


Testimony on EAA legislation (Round 1)

Testimony of Michigan Parents for Schools on HB 6004 to the House Education Committee, Rep. Lisa Lyons, Chair – November 19, 2012

Madam Chair and members of the Committee,

We write to you, on behalf of public school parents and concerned citizens from across the state of Michigan, to express our concerns about House Bill 6004. While our reservations range from the very broad to the very specific, they are sufficient for us to ask you not to report this bill out to the full House. In fact, we believe that effective approaches to the problems HB 6004 seeks to solve require a very different approach.

There is no question that a substantial portion of our public school student population is struggling, and that a number of our public schools are in turn having great difficulty meeting the needs of those students. We welcome efforts by the State, through the Michigan Department of Education, to provide focused assistance to struggling schools. But the approach in this bill is light on help to, and heavy on punishment of, local districts.

The “student centered learning” concept presented in last week’s testimony is an interesting and promising approach to teaching, but it is not new. In fact, we have heard similar ideas discussed in a number of districts around the state. The problem, as always, is implementation — especially in a regulatory environment that punishes mistakes.


MIPFS testimony on retirement plan (MPSERS) restructuring - SB1040

MIPFS Executive Director Steven Norton testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Retirement to express our concerns with the latest attempt to restructure the public school employee retirement system (MPSERS). An extract is below, and the full copy of his testimony is attached.


Testimony on "uncapping charters" bill 11-2-11

MIPFS was one of only a handful of groups who had a chance to testify on Senate Bill 618 before the House Education Committee. We called for the House to defeat SB 618 or, failing that, make critical changes to the bill which would protect students and our community-governed public schools.



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