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Great Public Schools Criteria for Michigan

Great Public Schools Criteria refers to the seven elements needed for closing the achievement gaps and raising achievement for all students. The seven elements are: (1) readiness to learn, (2) high expectations, (3) quality conditions, (4) qualified staff, (5) accountability, (6) parental involvement, and (7) funding.

Read more below about the Great Public Schools Criteria in Michigan.

Readiness to Learn

Early childhood, those weeks, months and years in the life of a child from birth through age eight, continues to gain national attention and support. Scientifically based research has provided both parents and educators with a new understanding of children's rapid brain development from the beginning. Researchers have proven that children who experience just one year in a high-quality learning environment experience significant, positive developmental gains compared to children who may not have the advantage of quality care.

Michigan remains on the forefront of using the research to support the implementation of high quality early care and educational programs for very young children. Parents are recognized as their children's first and most important teachers. Parent programs provide support and education for families who choose to participate. Research is also telling us that program quality plays a significant role in outcomes for children.

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Early Childhood Education and Family Services supports initiatives to assure that our very young children have access to environments that are nurturing, facilitative and supportive of each child's individual interests and needs. Environments where responsive, authentic adult-child interactions are the standard, sustain the aspiration that all children will become productive members of a democratic society.

Full-day Kindergarten. State Policy: A definition of the minimum number of hours for full-day kindergarten is not specified in Michigan state statutes. Districts are not required to offer full-day kindergarten and children are not required to attend. Michigan provides the same level of funding for grades K-12. Source: Education Commission of the States (ECS) Kindergarten Database, 2007

Even Start Family Literacy Program. This grant program is to help break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy by improving the educational opportunities of the nation's low-income families by integrating early childhood education, adult literacy or adult basic education, and parenting education into a unified family literacy program. A district and a community organization must apply as a collaborative entity. Increasing matching funds are required of the local grant program during the four-year grant cycle. Within each family there are one adult and one child aged birth through seven who are identified as the primary service recipients. Other family members receive indirect benefits.

Source: Michigan Department of Education: Even Start Family Literacy Program

NEA Grant to Close Achievement Gaps

The Michigan Education Association plans to use its NEA Grant to Close Achievement Gaps to propose changes in state regulations that will support members' efforts to close achievement gaps, conduct sessions on closing achievement gaps at MEA conferences, and provide training and tools on meeting diverse learners' needs. They also plan to continue to work with and through the 17-member Education Alliance of Michigan.

Recruitment and Retention

Michigan  has state policies that support differentiated teacher compensation, teaching opportunities for retired teachers, induction, requirements for tenure, statewide pension, teacher exchange, and certification/licensure of educators from outside the state.