Michigan Department of Education Vision and Direction

Michigan's Capitol dome on a sunny summer day

Two major Michigan Department of Education initiatives are driving the education agenda for the state and could have sweeping implications as we move forward. The first is most often referred to as ESSA. ESSA is an acronym for the Every Student Succeeds Act and our state has embarked upon an aggressive timeline in order to comply with implementation, which is set for the 2017-2018 school year.

MDE sees four phases in Michigan's ESSA journey:

Phase 1: Strategic Vision Development

  • Top 10 in 10
  • Vision committees (accountability, assessment, funding)

Phase 2: Initial Plan Development

  • May–October 2016
  • Cycles of develpment and feedback

Phase 3: Finalize and Submit

  • November–December 2016
  • Interact with Federal guidance

Phase 4: Implementation

  • Official USED plan due in Spring 2017; we will be ready before then
  • Implementation planning begins January 2017

ESSA development and decision-making processes have been designated to 9 action teams:

  1. Accountability System-Technical
  2. Additional Indicator of School Quality and Transparency Dashboard
  3. Assessment Implementation
  4. Communication and Outreach
  5. Fiscal
  6. Innovative Assessment Pilot
  7. Supports
  8. Teacher and Leader Quality
  9. Using Data to Inform Instruction and Leadership

Action teams have been charged with providing recommendations to three overarching groups:

  1. External ESSA Advisory Committee
  2. Internal ESSA Leadership Team
  3. Tactical Review Committee

Overall, ESSA is supposed to provide greater flexibility to local districts in regards to decision making processes and procedures. Stay tuned for more information and follow the Michigan Department of Education’s updates at: http://www.michigan.gov/mde/ as our state embarks upon this important work.

The second initiative, 10 in 10, is the state’s approach to helping Michigan become a top 10 education state within 10 years as measured by a variety of assessments, including qualitative information. 10 in 10 focuses upon seven strategic goals, which include:

  1. Provide every child access to an aligned, high-quality P-20 system from early childhood to post-secondary attainment – through a multi-stakeholder collaboration with business and industry, labor, and higher education – to maximize lifetime learning and success.
  2. Implement, with strong district and building leadership, high-quality instruction in every classroom through a highly coherent, child-centered instructional model where students meet their self-determined academic and personal goals to their highest potential.
  3. Develop, support, and sustain a high-quality, prepared, and collaborative education workforce.
  4. Reduce the impact of high-risk factors, including poverty, and provide equitable resources to meet the needs of all students to ensure that they have access to quality educational opportunities.
  5. Ensure that parents/guardians are engaged and supported partners in their child’s education.
  6. Create a strong alignment and partnership with job providers, community colleges, and higher education to assure a prepared and quality future workforce; and informed and responsible citizens.
  7. Further develop an innovative and cohesive state education agency that supports an aligned, coherent education system at all levels (state, ISD, district and school).

The seven goals have been further subdivided into three categories in particular, Learner-Centered Supports, Strategic Partnerships and Effective Education Workforce.  

One of the key premises and most exciting aspects of 10 in 10 is the focus upon strategic partnerships between the Michigan Department of Education, ISDs/RESAs and Local Districts. This systems approach to cooperating across the state should allow for a maximization of resources and greater partnerships. For more information about the 10 in 10 initiative please visit the Michigan Department of Education website at: http://www.michigan.gov/mde/