Hancock following state ed plan

Daily Mining Gazette file photo Principal Ezekiel Ohan is in the second year of fulfilling the MDE’s stated changes in the current state education system, the results of which are already showing in significant increases in math and English scores. Ohan also introduced a new form of student government that gives the administration a representative voice to the student body.

HANCOCK — Under Gov. Rick Snyder, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) determined to shape the foundation for Michigan schools into becoming what it calls a Top 10 educational state in 10 years.

This foundation, in support of learning and learners, the MDE Strategic Plan states, demands significant changes to the state’s current education system.

Since the State Board of Education approved the goals and strategies initially developed out of stakeholder input, the MDE, along with continued input from a variety of representatives from key educational roles in Michigan, has worked to make the plan actionable by synthesizing seven goals and 44 strategies into four focus areas, including:

•Student learning centered supports

•Effective education workforce

•Strategic partnerships

•Systematic infrastructure

The MDE Strategic Plan states Michigan school districts must develop a coherent and cohesive strategy for the children, and implement that plan with continuity for multiple years.

“We must implement, use evidence and data to correct course, and continue with progress on key goals,” states the MDES Plan. “Data and accountability must be used to help drive resources and focus improvement activities for students and educators. Attention will be on transparency in support of key goals for the entire system to make Michigan a Top 10 state for education.”

In short, the MDE has set a goal of shifting education methodology from teacher-centered learning to student-centered learning, and in the Copper Country, Hancock Public Schools is ahead of the curve.

Implementing new teaching methodologies in 2017-18 school year, Hancock has already seen its scores increase dramatically from below the state average in math and English, to well above the state average, increases that have been affirmed by the MDE.

Using evidence and data to “correct course and continue with progress on key goals,” as the MDE Strategic Plan states, Hancock Schools graphed its data and showed the statewide average of all eighth-grade students who are at least partially proficient in math is 59 percent.

By comparison, 64.6 percent of Hancock eighth-grade students are at least partially proficient. When all eighth-grade students taking math courses are included, Hancock’s percentage jumps to 69.1.

Education components now used at Hancock Public Schools include the use of content action plans, instructional learning cycles, content data reviews and curriculum crids.

These components are some of the methodology shifts toward the MDE shift to student-centered teaching, and were introduced by Principal Ezekiel Ohan, as he learned them from the MDE, and applied them to a downstate school in Muskegon Heights that went from being taken under state control to being one of the highest achieving schools in Michigan.