STEM Bill Shenanigans

michigan stem logo

Last November,  State Senator Proos and Representative Amanda Price introduced a set of STEM credential bills which would make Michigan the “first state” to certify a high school transcript/diploma for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math)  in the country.

We oppose the bills (SB 169/170 and HB 4284/4285).

The STEM credential, lobbied for by the MI STEM Partnership, entrenches Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards into our state.  It sets up a career tracking and pathway system and destroys local control and educational freedom.   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.

More detailed posts on our opposition are here.  (STEM Diploma Debate Heats Up)

After seveal revisions to get the bills out of the Senate Education Committee, the full Michigan Senate unanimously passed the STEM bills (SB 169/170) in early April.   SB 169/170 moved to the House Education Committee chaired by Representative Amanda Price for consideration along with HB 4284/4285.  Representative Price is the sponsor of HB 4284/4285; however, she has not held hearings on her bills.   Instead, it was announced that the House Education Committee will meet on Thursday to vote to move the bills to the Workforce and Talent Development Committee.

Why?  It is believed that the Workforce and Talent Development Committee will be a more favorable committee to pass the bills.    In other words, Governor Snyder wants this bill passed and lawmakers went shopping for a different committee to get the job done.

Stop Common Core in Michigan co-founder Melanie Kurdys sums it up well,

This is another example of Lansing meddling and controlling education from the top down for the benefit of business.   We had the iidiotic STEM bills which will tag and track kids in or out of good science and math classes at 7th grade, stopped in the House Ed committee. But leadership decided to move it to the Workforce Development Committee.  The very committee Gov. Snyder set up “to expand the river of opportunity, pre-natal to workforce, developing Human Capital for the workforce”, the committee looking to provide product from K-12 to its customers, the business community.

Don’t know about you, but I find it offensive that our governor and state lawmakers think kids are product or human capital who should be tracked at 12 or 13 years old, into a pre-determined destiny.  Not too late to call you House Rep and tell them not to support these STEM Bills.

Moving the bills from the House Education Committee to the Workforce and Talent Development Committee is shameful act of political shenanigans to get the STEM credential passed.  This is more evidence that there is much more behind this bill than just providing a “seal of approval” for high schieving students.    Standards, assessments, and credentials are the three primary components of a P-20 seamless education system for workforce development.  Michigan wants to be the first state but eventually, like Common Core, more states will follow and we will have a de factio national STEM credential.

Here are the names of the lawmakers on the Workforce and Talent Devleopment Committee.  Contact them and YOUR lawmakers and let them know you do NOT want the STEM bills (SB 169/170 and HB 4284/4285) passed and that you are aware of the political shenanigans being played to push career tracking and pathways on our kids beginning in 7th grade.

Workforce and Talent Development Committee

•Joel Johnson, Chair
• Jim Tedder, Vice chair
• Jeff Farrington
• Amanda Price
• Dan Lauwers
• Kathy Crawford
• Brandt Iden
• Brett Roberts

• Winnie Brinks,
• Jim Townsend
• Erika Geiss
• Christine Greig
• Frank Liberati
• Leslie Love