Teacher accountability and schools of choice were a hot topic at a Center for Michigan and Patch-sponsored forum this week.
Parents, teachers, local candidates for office and other citizens gathered to share their thoughts about education locally and around the state. About a dozen people were in attendance at the event Thursday, representing the Novi and Northville school districts as well as others around the area.
The forum was facilitated by Amber Toth of the Center for Michigan, a think-tank based in Ann Arbor. It was one of 250 that will be held this year throughout the state. Patch has partnered with the Center and plans on hosting a conversation in all 29 Patch towns in Michigan.
The participants were surveyed about what they thought about education issues ranging from class sizes to teacher accountability, the latter of which generated a lengthy discussion.
Here are some of the key findings from the group:
- The majority of respondents gave statewide public schools a "C" grade, on a scale of "A" through failing.
- 90 percent of those surveyed gave local public schools a "B" grade or higher.
- 70 percent of the respondents said it is crucially important to hold educators more accountable.
- 90 percent of the respondents said that expanding early childhood and preschool programs in schools is important or crucial.
- Participants were split on whether or not they support schools of choice. About 40 percent said they thought it was important or crucial while 50 percent said it was irrelevant or not important.