Governor Granholm charged Lt. Gov. John Cherry with the mission in June 2004 with an executive order. The number of Michigan students continuing their education past high school is below the national average, and that, she says, explains part of the state's jobs problem.
Students aren't prepared for the jobs that are available in this economy with a high school education. Encouraging students to pursue more education requires a sea change in the way we think.
"People rise to meet expectations," Lt. Gov. Cherry says. He says the state must expand its expectations in the high schools.
This recommendation opens the door for the State Board of Education to try things that have failed in the past, including mandating a high school curriculum, according to State Board of Ed. president Kathleen Straus.
The state has traditionally favored local control, but she says the Cherry Commission recommendations may lend themselves best to a state-controlled graduation requirement.
It's an idea favored by the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, says it's executive director, Jim Ballard.
For more on the Cherry Commission's 19 recommendations, see www.cherrycommission.org.