STEM Diploma Debate Heats Up

| March 16, 2015 | 3 Replies

The Michigan Senate Education Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing this Tuesday on the STEM credentialed diploma (SB 169 and SB 170).  If passed, the bills introduced by Senator Proos and Representative Price would make Michigan the first state in the country to create a STEM certification for high school diplomas.   From Mlive,  “Proos’ bills would require high school students to take six credits of math and six credits of science approved by the Michigan Department of Education, along with all other requirements for high school graduation.”

We OPPOSE SB 169 and SB 170.

Like Common Core, the STEM credentialed diploma is more state control at the expense of local control and true choice in education.   It is an essential part of the P-20 “prenatal to workforce” seamless pathway that Governor Snyder and Lt. Governor Calley vigorously promote.    This allows the state increasing control of graduation requirements and certification for other career pathways.

We have created a detailed document STEM Designation on High School Diploma(2) on the reasons why we OPPOSE the STEM credentialed diploma.  Here are four main concerns,

  • It is unwise to create a “class system” in Michigan which is not supportive of all students.  Having a STEM diploma creates a “better” path, leaving the students not on this path to believe they are on the “failure track”. A high school diploma should carry the full credibility of a robust education for all graduates regardless of their preferences of study
  • All specific course information is already provided on high school transcripts.  Colleges and universities currently use high school transcripts to determine the coursework and student achievement in their determination for entering freshman. In this manner, employers determine the courses appropriate to preparation for their field.
  • Michigan Department of Education should not control diploma designations and course requirements. Control of the diploma designation becomes a politically driven process rather than an educationally sound process controlled locally by teachers, parents, community members and employers.
  • The alternate pathway designation begins in 7th grade, limiting a student’s ability to change their mind. 7th graders are typically 13 or 14 years old, perhaps aware of their personal preferences, but not ready to make career defining decisions.

STEM Designation on High School Diploma(2)

There is growing strong concerns about the impact STEM credential will have on private and home education, given that the credentialed diploma is only obtained by using MDE approved curricula and in public schools.

“We recognize that education is unique to each child, and we have worked hard to ensure our schools give every student a chance for a successful career,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair, chair of the Senate Education Committee. “Allowing students to earn this STEM certification and place it on their diplomas and transcripts helps them improve their college resume and their chances to land a well-paying job.”  (Sen. Proos website on STEM diploma)

If this is passes, then home and private educators will be at a DISADVANTAGE simply because they do NOT use the curricula approved by MDE for STEM and thus their transcript would lack the coveted credential.  Students in public school who were not pre-selected for STEM in middle school will also be at a disadvantage and less likely to move into a STEM field.

 STEM credentialed diplomas will destroy choice for children and educational choice for all.

Senator Pavlov is the chair of the Senate Education Committee.   Please contact Senator Pavlov, Senator Proos, Representative Price, and your OWN Senator and Representative, to voice your concern about the impact STEM credentials will have on our children and our freedom.

Senator Pavlov:  (517) 373-7708.

Senator Proos   (517) 373-6960

Representative Price (517) 373-0838


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About the Author ()

Karen Braun is a writer and conference speaker on issues related education and family life. Her work has appeared in the American Thinker, Crosswalk, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, WatchDog Wire, and various other websites and magazines. She has also appeared on TV and radio venues. Along with blogging, Karen also enjoys homeschooling, running marathons, and spending time with her husband, their six children, and two grand children. For more information please contact Karen at spunkyhomeschool at gmail dot com
  • Jody White

    Funny the terminology of “PRENATAL TO WORKFORCE” phrase is
    used when the State of Michigan wants something that the citizens have already
    created and governed through stakeholders of deed owners. This is the Mayhem in
    the Educational World.

    It sounds very much like how the State of Michigan and the Federal Government used their abuse of power through the Foreclosure Nightmare in the first decade of
    the millennium!

    We called the process “CRADLE TO GRAVE” for our listings that found themselves in the foreclosure process.


    No more or very little licensing in real estate; Now: only Specialized Certification

    No more Department of Licensing and Regulation with the Occupational Code of 1980; Now: Department of Economic Development with no rule book to follow.

    Administration Law allows everything to be ORAL now! No more written word….

    The Federal Government took a small MLS company to court to make them SHARE the money and resources created by a group of Western Wayne County Realtors.

    Now, no more MLS System created by a group of Realtor who were mandated to follow specific rules within its organization to ensure trusted data and accountability between Realtor Professionals.

    Now, the State of Michigan has their own website that can use the “FREE” housing data that the REALTORS’ through the Occupational Code of 1980, Article 25, provide (at a cost: the livelihood of the housing industry warriors who lost when the Federal Court Case was won)


    The State does not own our children, nor do we. GOD DOES!

    His World is starting to be filled with DIRTY DIAPERS and we want the Governor and his Administration to STOP being the parent over parents who own homes in local communities!

    Especially the homeowners who have been planted soundly in finances, education and wisdom for many decades and who were able to weather the storm of the Universities who freely handed out credit cards in the 1990’s to our college children and gave mortgages to individuals that did not meet a minimum standard similar to the rules IN 1980!!!!

    The Diapers Politicians of today need to be changed… the Status Quo is OVER!

  • Tina Hollenbeck

    Karen – Are you okay? I noticed, as did many others, that your FB account is gone, as of Mar. 24. I am getting questions – people worrying about you in light of recent events (i.e., if your account down is related to that). Please email me at:

  • Melanie Kurdys

    FYI, Karen’s Spunkyhomeschool Facebook did get taken down. We hope it will be reinstated shortly. Not sure what prompted the action, but she may have to change her page name. Thanks for your concerns.