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Survey Results Move Along Revision of MDE’s Top 10 in 10

Stacy Bogard

By Stacy Bogard, CAE, MASB Assistant Director of Communications and Public Relations

DashBoard, Feb. 19, 2020

Almost 12,000 individuals provided feedback on the Michigan Department of Education’s Top 10 in 10 Strategic Plan through an open survey that closed on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. An initial review of the results at the Feb. 11, 2020 State Board of Education meeting noted that providing adequate and equitable funding, addressing the teacher shortage and providing quality instruction for all students were the top three issue areas respondents felt should be included as goals.

Chief Deputy Superintendent Sheila Alles and Kelly Siciliano Carter, Director of the Office of Strategic Planning and Implementation, said that further analysis of the data is underway, including cross-tabulations of who selected the goals and what area of the state they live in. Respondents were able to self-identify as a teacher (51% of those who participated), parent/guardian (48%), education partner (16%) or school administrator (12%) among other choices. You could also select more than one category such as if you were both a business leader and a parent/guardian. The location data collected was what zip code the respondent lives in.

In addition to demographics, survey participants were provided 16 potential goals to react to that were culled from stakeholder/partner interviews conducted earlier in the process, as well as what is currently in the plan. They were asked to rank them for inclusion as a goal from Very Important to Overarching Principle, but not a Goal. There was space to provide other goals for consideration—11,338 were offered by 5,145 individuals.

In addition to providing adequate and equitable funding, addressing the teacher shortage and providing quality instruction for all students, improving literacy (reading) achievement (72%) and meeting the needs of the whole child (72%) rounded out the top five goals selected as Very Important by the majority of participants. The lowest ranked was increasing the percentage of adults with a postsecondary credential to 60% by 2030 (20%).

Respondents were also asked how many total goals should be in the plan (48% selected four to eight goals) and how long it should last (50% said five years).

This is the second step in MDE’s review and update of the plan. Department staff have been presenting to the SBE since October of last year; interviews of stakeholders and partners were done from November to January; and focus groups are planned for March and April before the final recommendations are presented to the SBE in late spring.

Overall, SBE members were receptive of the data shared, but also noted it would be important to evaluate what issues areas were ranked lower (not just those that were high) and why, as well as being realistic, particularly in considering what laws are already in place, in determining the final plan.

MDE staff will be providing a more detailed report of the survey results at the March SBE meeting, including an analysis of the open-ended responses for goals and the more than 2,900 comments received. Focus group recommendations will also be provided.

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