The conference committee dealing with the Michigan Department of Education funding released a conference report that left in language written by State Representative Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills) that blocks funding for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The House shortly after took up the bill and passed the language again.
State Superintendent Mike Flanagan accused lawmakers of “playing politics” with education after the conference committee’s vote Tuesday morning.
Additionally, an email purportedly sent to principals and superintendents by Martin Ackley, director of the MDE’s office of public and government affairs, stated that without full implementation of the Common Core standards, the state’s waiver from federal No Child Left Behind standards was at risk and all Michigan schools were in danger of failing to make acceptable yearly progress.
Ackley did not respond to a request to authenticate the email, which appeared to be sent from his state email address. Portions of the email were read and referenced on the House floor during discussions about the budget measure by Rep. Andy Schor (D-Lansing).
Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills) issued a statement Tuesday afternoon accusing MDE of using “the sky is falling rhetoric” regarding what he termed a “pause” in Common Core implementation.
“It is unfortunate that the Michigan Department of Education has used ‘the sky is falling’ false rhetoric applied to a pause in the budget on implementing Common Core. This pause will allow Michigan citizens to weigh in, for the first time, on whether we should hand over authority on standards taught in all our public schools to a private trade association (NGA) or not,” McMillin said.
The Michigan Senate could vote on the bill as early as tomorrow. We encourage Michigan residents to contact their State Senators ASAP.