Law To Change Michigan Schools' Educational Development Plans

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

LANSING -- State Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw Township, says the mission of his bill is to get Michigan's students back on track.

"One, it gets them to start thinking about what they want to become, and two, it gives them the tools to achieve that," says Kahn, who doubles as a heart doctor.

The bill, introduced by Kahn and signed into law by former Governor Granholm, requires that each seventh grader in the state has the opportunity to create an educational development plan, or EDP (they're required to then review and/or revise it in eighth grade).

The goal being that, from a young age, they start taking the classes they'll need for their future careers.

"Graduation rates are a function of the kid's interest," Kahn says.

And there is little doubt that Michigan's students are in need of some direction. Just 30 percent of the state's eighth graders are proficient in math and reading, and a quarter of them don't graduate high school.

Which is why the new law also allows some students -- those with personal curriculums -- to substitute the state's Algebra II requirement with something more applicable for them, like, say statistics or functions.

"We're seeing some impact dealing with the number of kids that have not passed Algebra II," says state Rep. Tim Melton, D-Pontiac, who points out that this year's senior class is the first that will graduate under the requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

Reforms to the curriculum, like allowing some students to bypass the stricter math requirement, could be necessary.

And this new law, Melton says, attempts to account for those differences without watering down our standards.

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  • by JR Location: Michigan on Jan 27, 2011 at 02:58 PM
    Seriously? Many people don't know what they want to do until after a year of college, now we want them to decide in Middle School? Making it mandatory to decide early is just going to encourage students to pic whatever to get over that requirement, instead of letting them decide when the time is right... when they KNOW what they want. Also, I think this country is putting too much infasis on prolonged education. Is a college degree really necessary? There are plenty of people with degrees that have no clue, and just as many people that dont have degrees that can do a great job. I would like to see more technical schools so people can get to work quicker and have less debt on their shoulders.
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