Ferndale Schools Joins Other Districts in Injunction

Ferndale Schools Joins Other Districts in Injunction against MDE MI-SAAS

(Ferndale Public Schools http://www.ferndaleschools.org/districtnews/documents/FridayNews_March4_2011.pdf)


Accreditation System: Judge Rules in Schools’ Favor


Ingham County Circuit Court, Judge Paula Manderfield granted a temporary injunction barring the Michigan Department of Education from implementing a revised accreditation system, called MI-SAAS, for public schools.


“We are pleased to have confirmation that districts can focus on what’s happening with students in the classroom and not worry about complying with a new set of unapproved regulations,” says Gary Meier, Ferndale Schools Superintendent.


The request for injunction was filed by Ferndale Public Schools, Kalamazoo Public Schools, Lansing School District and Middle Cities Education Association. A broad coalition of other organizations filed in support of the injunction, including: the American Federation of Teachers – Michigan, Macomb Intermediate School District, the Michigan Association of School Boards, and the Michigan Education Association.

The action was in response to the Michigan Department of Education’s efforts to implement a new accreditation system without required legislative approval.


“Even though the existing Education Yes system is not a credible accreditation system, the replacement should not be put together haphazardly and implemented without approval. The replacement needs to be tougher, more thorough than Education Yes, and we look forward to working with the MDE and the Legislature on developing truly effective measures,” added Meier.


With only a handful of staff funded by state dollars, the Michigan Department of Education has lamented its limited resources. In recognition of fiscal realities, the State Superintendent has sought to roll back a number of department responsibilities, including the State Reform Redesign Office, which was created to assist schools labeled as persistently low performing schools.


Some legislators have questioned whether MDE should continue to provide accreditation services as well. “We understand exactly the kind of tough programming and management decisions the department has to make in these budget times,” said Ray Telman, Executive Director of Middle Cities. “It is quite possible that the state does not have the resources to implement the kind of rigorous accreditation system that would lead to increased student achievement.”Just 4 Us


Meier adds: “School accreditation should be about what’s right for kids, not what’s convenient for adults. It should be about finding those things about a school that are holding kids back and addressing those barriers effectively to ensure every student is learning every day.”

Ferndale Public Schools keeps the public informed about this and other school-related topics in their weekly newsletters and on their website www.ferndaleschools.org.


To read other Ferndale 115 News School Stories go to http://oaklandcounty115.com/category/school-news/.



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