UP should be represented on state ESSA panel

We trust Upper Peninsula educators — teachers in particular — are paying close attention to an effort that’s slowly unfolding which will ultimately see implementation of the new federal education law, Every Student Succeeds Act.

Specifically, the Michigan Department of Education will use a $10,000 grant from the Council of Chief State School Officers to select 20 teachers from across the state of Michigan to help guide the process. Applications will be taken by the state DOE through June 16. In July, the state will announce which teachers have been selected.

According to a story in The Detroit News, Michigan’s ESSA plan is wide ranging, covering everything from accountability for low-performing schools to how frequently students participate in state standardized testing. It also dives into topics such as ensuring that all students have access to quality teachers.

The teachers selected to serve on the council will participate in online meetings, where they will have an opportunity to weigh in on programs, policies and supports related to the state’s ESSA plan, according to MDE, the News reported.

All activities for teachers selected will take place outside of normal teacher classroom hours, MDE officials said. Teachers will receive a $500 fee for participating in the 2017-18 school year.

This committee seems much more than the usual state-level yawner that produces a report that few people will ever see and fewer people care about. The U.P. should be represented. Interested teachers can get the form to apply at https://mde.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8jmcSzWbzYdhrtb.