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 4285
Will award a state endorsed certificate to a high school diploma for taking 6 math and 6 science courses approved by the Department of Education. I have attached testimony I gave at the Senate Education Committee yesterday. As I have said before, there are four key reasons not to support this:

1) 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. This is especially important as we consider renewing our commitment to Career Technical Education as a respected alternative course of study.

2) 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.

3) Michigan Department of Education should not control diploma designations and course requirements. Control of the diploma designation becomes a politically driven process based on Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards rather than an educationally sound process controlled locally by teachers, parents, community members and employers. (Approved courses will be based on Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, not traditional, highly effective and highly regarded courses.)

4) 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.

I attached my testimony for your consideration. The first two pages are testimony, the last two provide more background information.

If you have not seen this Glenn Beck video, take 10 minutes and watch it. We are headed to a seamless P-20 system, pre-natal to employment, to create “human capital” (Governor Snyder) or “product, for business, with skills” (Steve Arwood new director of the Work Force and Economic Development Department established by Snyder). They are “fundamentally changing the purpose of education” to workforce development for the benefit of businesses, not the well-being of our children. Data about our children, used to tag them as to their proper role in the workforce is the goal.

Intentionally or unwittingly, Republican representatives we recently re-elected to Lansing are playing into the hands of this change. As I sat in the hearing yesterday, “Group Think” was on display. My lone voice was tolerated, but not heard. I believe Amanda Price is beginning to understand, but Proos and Pavlov seemed resolved to this idea, unmoved by my arguments. As Beck says at the end of this video, our “good” leaders are being played and they just don’t see it.

Please call these four folks and your rep and senator. Spread the word. Momentum is building as the Governor uses all his power to implement his “River of Opportunity” which will end up being a tsunami of lost freedom and liberty.
Amanda Price (517) 373-0838
Holly Hughes (517) 373-3436
John Proos (517) 373-6960
Phil Pavlov (517) 373-7708

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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