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Local Residents Say Accountability is Key to Education Reform

The Center for Michigan forum gave parents an opportunity to discuss the state of education in Novi and Northville and around the state.

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.
ConcernedParent September 29, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Some perhaps unexpected responses there.. how many people were present? How many were parents? What does it mean to 'hold educators accountable?' Was that clarified? It's easy to get the answers you want if you skew the questions :)
Sheryl Edwards September 29, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Oh, I thought for once it might mean holding students accountable for their work, and parents accountable for making sure homework is done, their kids get enough rest and good nuitrition AND holding teachers accountable. Takes all three partners.
Patricia Lafferty October 08, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Amen! Once people finally realize and acknowledge that the education of our children is a partnership, we will be able to make real strides in improving education as a whole.

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