MASB Responds to SRO Move to MDE

LANSING, Mich.—It was announced this morning that, at the request of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Whiston, Gov. Rick Snyder is moving the School Reform Office back to the Michigan Department of Education.

MASB is pleased to see this office, which is intended to oversee the state’s lowest performing schools, again more closely aligned with the education experts housed at MDE.

The Association had many concerns with the Executive Order that moved the SRO to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget in May 2015, especially due to the timing. State Superintendent Whiston took over from the retiring Mike Flanagan in July 2015, and had no real opportunity to effectively deal with the struggling schools. Also, DTMB has not had experience dealing with school districts and their unique circumstances; therefore, we’ve always believed the SRO is better left within the Department of Education.

“We are encouraged by what we’ve seen from State Superintendent Whiston as he has already been working with schools through the partnership model and changes he’s made at MDE,” MASB Executive Director Don Wotruba said. “Moving the SRO back to his direct oversight will ultimately provide better guidance to our state’s most struggling schools. While this is a positive move, other changes within the SRO itself still need to be made and we look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature and the Governor to do that.”