Author Archive: Karen Braun

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

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Opting out is making headlines!

Opting out is making headlines!

| March 30, 2015 | Reply

The Oakland Press has written about parents who are opting out and refusing the state assessments, including M-STEP.  This means YOU are having an impact.  Parents are learning that they CAN opt out and sharing the information with others in their area. Here are some quotes from their article,  “Parents aim to opt their kids […]

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Update on STEM and 3rd Grade Reading

Update on STEM and 3rd Grade Reading

| March 25, 2015 | Reply

The Senate Education Committee voted to pass SB 169/170 STEM diploma bills out of committee on Tuesday.  The House Education Committee is not scheduled to take up the companion bill at this time.  Please continue to call and let your Senators and Representatives know you do NOT support SB 169 and SB 170 and HB […]

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Action Alert:  STEM Diploma Hearing

Action Alert: STEM Diploma Hearing

| March 23, 2015 | Reply

Last week was the first time the House and Senate Education Committees held hearings on the STEM Bills. We suspect they plan to vote tomorrow in the Senate Committee and Thursday in the House Committee. We believe this is being fast tracked.  Why the rush?  Something as important as credentialing our students should have a […]

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MDE confirms parents are “within your rights” to refuse M-STEP!

MDE confirms parents are “within your rights” to refuse M-STEP!

| March 23, 2015 | 3 Replies

Good news!  Parents you can OPT OUT with confidence!  An email from the MDE states you have the right to refuse under current law. A credible source sent us an email written by Chad Bailey at the MDE Division of Accountability Services.  He wrote in response to a parent requesting information about opting out. Bailey […]

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STEM and the Role of Education

STEM and the Role of Education

| March 20, 2015 | 1 Reply

Thank you to all who have been making calls to the Senate and House Education committee regarding the STEM diploma bills.   Social media is abuzz and lawmakers phones are lighting up as parents realize that the goal of education has changed and a “STEM diploma” is not just about science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing.   The […]

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STEM Legislative Update

STEM Legislative Update

| March 18, 2015 | 1 Reply

Melanie Kurdy’s attended the Senate hearing on the STEM Diploma and offers this update. ​An unfortunate turn of events in Michigan. Our “conservative legislators” including John Proos, Phil Pavlov, Amanda Price and Holly Hughes are sponsoring bills we have been warning people about for quite a while. SB 169, SB 170, HB 4284 and HB […]

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STEM Diploma Debate Heats Up

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’ […]

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How to Opt-Out with FAQ

How to Opt-Out with FAQ

| March 12, 2015 | Reply

The evidence is clearly mounting against M-STEP (SBAC repackaged).  Parents are ready to opt-out.  It is very encouraging to see parents taking positive action on behalf of their children.  However, we recognize that opting out can be confusing and intimidating.   Let’s face it, nobody likes being called into the principal’s office and few go there […]

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M-STEP is a Joke…Opt-Out!

M-STEP is a Joke…Opt-Out!

| March 11, 2015 | Reply

In a previous post I asked, “Is the MDE cheating on M-STEP?”  after learning that the Michigan Department of  Education (MDE)  recklessly spent $4.9 million on SBAC membership fees in order to obtain the questions for the “new” M-STEP.  Not only is the MDE purchase against the current budget signed last year which mandated a […]

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Yes, Opting-Out of M-STEP is Viable!

Yes, Opting-Out of M-STEP is Viable!

| March 10, 2015 | Reply

We’ve been receiving reports from parents who–after notifying their school that their child is opting-out of the M-STEP assessment–have been told  by school officials that opting out is “not a viable option.”  This is FALSE. Parents CAN and MUST opt out their student out of M-STEP. The rumor that opting out is not viable appears […]

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