State Supt. Brian Whiston Unveils Strategies to help Michigan Become a Top 10 Education State

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

February 9, 2016

LANSING – Seven months of collective input from the public and education stakeholders across the state has developed a set of targeted strategies to help Michigan become a Top 10 education state in 10 years, State Superintendent Brian Whiston told the State Board of Education.

The set of strategies unveiled Tuesday are designed to

  • construct a solid and sustainable P-20 system to educate all children for success;
  • meet and support the learning needs of ALL children;
  • meet and support the professional needs of ALL educators;
  • design systems to overcome the disparities experienced by children and schools;
  • empower parents and families to actively participate in their child’s education;
  • partner with employers to develop a strong, educated, and highly-skilled workforce; and
  • leading and lifting Michigan education through greater service from Lansing 

“We have a tremendous opportunity, working together as a state, to lift student achievement using these goals and strategies,” Whiston said. “This requires open minds and the will from all involved to make it work.”

This drive to improve student achievement in Michigan needs the support, commitment, and inclusion of everyone in Michigan, Whiston said.

Whiston explained that establishing these targeted strategies is the next step in the process to challenge and reshape Michigan’s education system to move it from a being a bottom third performing state in the nation to a Top 10 state.

State Board of Education President John C. Austin said, “Top performing states invest strategically and consistently in the main drivers of achievement: High expectations for all students; excellent teaching sustained by strong support and professional development; early childhood education; making sure all student get great college and career guidance, and get started earning post­secondary credits while in high school; putting more resources behind students that due to poverty have further to travel, and holding all schools accountable for quality.”

The State Board of Education adopted in December the initial Top 10 in 10 Guiding Principles and Goals to which the targeted strategies were geared. Work groups of education stakeholders offered specific recommendations and worked collectively over two months to discuss and refine the targeted strategies.

The strategies span the breadth of a person’s educational experience – from early childhood through K-12 and post-secondary opportunities for all children; to the important role of parents and guardians; ensuring a strong workforce; and nurturing responsible and informed citizens.

The State Board of Education officially received the report Tuesday, and a more detailed Action Plan now will be developed that sets timelines, prioritizing strategies, establishing desired outcomes, implementation, and measuring success.

Whiston added that the Top 10 in 10 efforts moving forward will work with Governor Rick Snyder’s 21st Century Learning Commission, announced at the 2016 State of the State address.

“I welcome the Governor’s interest in this effort and look forward to working alongside this 21st Century Learning Commission to move Michigan’s system of education forward,” Whiston said.  “What will be best for our kids and our educators will be everyone working together with a cohesive and aligned goal – getting Michigan to be a Top 10 education state.”

Related Documents
MDE Top 10 in 10 Goals and Strategies PDF icon