Competency-Based Education. Rodel loves it! And the Delaware Department of Education has been slowly letting districts transition into it. But not enough Delaware parents even know what it means. While Rodel pushes their agendas for it, the State Board of Education needs to take a very active role in examining what it means and what it can do. In Michigan, it appears their State Board of Education has the ability to vote on grants.
Recently, the Michigan State Board of Education rejected a competency-based education grant brought forth by the Michigan legislature. U.S. Parents Involved in Education lauded the decision:
Today, a bi-partisan group of the Michigan State Board of Education (SBE), voted down a grant program authorized by the Michigan legislature for Competency-Based Education (CBE). According to the State Superintendent, this is the first time SBE has not approved a grant program.
The Michigan Parents Involved in Education leadership would like to thank the Michigan State Board of Education for taking this bold step. We agree with the concerns expressed by Board members. We hope Michigan leadership will move ahead with a better strategy, engaging parents and teachers, before launching another faddish experiment on Michigan’s public school children.
Concerns expressed by the State Board included the distribution of authority, suggesting parents and community members should have a greater role in approving this dramatic change in educational process. Concern was also expressed that CBE will leverage technology and supplant teachers.
The SBE agreed CBE is an experiment, yet the grant requires school-wide implementation K-12 and a strong bias to express support for the educational practice. The grant program was approved as part of the legislative budget process, was not well publicized nor was it publicly vetted with public debate.
The Board wanted additional criteria defined in the grants, which the State Superintendent said they could not do, since the grants were specified in statute. We believe the criteria suggested by SBE members was appropriate and necessary to protect the best interests of children, parents and teachers. The State Superintendent said she would contact the Michigan Attorney General’s office to determine the next step.
I’m really happy to see this happening in Michigan. Delaware would NEVER sneak anything into the budget process! Yeah right! This is what a State Board of Education should do. The problem in Delaware is our State Board members are appointed by the Governor. And the new Executive Director for the State Board of Education came directly from Rodel! It would not shock me to see Competency-Based Education legislation coming next year in the Delaware General Assembly. If they do, there will be a fight!