Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:
Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:
How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?
How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?
Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:
Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).
Describe the specific issue or problem, being sure to provide sufficient context so that someone less familiar with the issue has a sense of the bigger picture, but know that your focus here is on a more detailed spelling out of the specific problem or issue that you’ve identified. (250 words minimum)
The state of Michigan as a whole is limited in its ability to cater its educational programs towards students of diverse learning styles in K-12 educational models as well as post-secondary institutions. It’s a problem that there exists a lack of recognition for students in Michigan who learn and portray their skills differently. The educational system that Michigan currently operates on stems from a historical model from the 1800s that utilizes instructor-based learning. Educational settings in Michigan, at both schools and colleges, usually entail the following: a classroom, a teacher, a projector to display information through a powerpoint presentation, and desks for students to sit in, listen, and discuss material. Meanwhile, assessments in Michigan are generally measured through criteria such as levels of class attendance, participation, exam achievement, and contribution to group projects. Although this approach is commonly employed within Michigan schools and institutions, it’s detrimental because it forces all students to conform to a specific learning style and assessment that may not cater to their personal strengths. Besides students with visible and invisible learning disabilities, there are others who would prefer to demonstrate their learning of classroom concepts more effectively and accurately through methods other than those that are assigned. The traditional educational model in Michigan favors only students who are naturally talented in performing in areas of assessment deemed by the institutions to be measures of career success or employment readiness.
As per The Detroit News, state leaders in Michigan have invested approximately $80 million in the last few years in an effort to raise performance on the reading section of the state’s standardized M-STEP exam. However, the article cites that “Michigan’s third-graders show the greatest decline in third-grade reading compared to peers in other states.” This statistic makes me question the effectiveness of funding the current educational programs in place to raise third-grade reading levels. Clearly, the funding did not influence a significant positive growth in the state-wide third grade reading level status on a comparative scale with other states. Perhaps, this might be due to the state’s inability to provide unique learning mechanisms tailored to students’ strengths. Maybe the $80 million of funding that went towards M-STEP reading training courses were taught in a traditional classroom format.
At the higher education level, Michigan also fails to diversify its education approach because of how inflexible the current educational system is. Most learning approaches are constrained by factors such as time, pace, physical setting, and method of learning. According to Michigan’s Bridge Magazine, “People have different learning styles and abilities, and we should allow people to follow the path that is best suited for them.”
Establishing a Michigan law that would regulate or balance different teaching platforms and learning mechanisms would greatly improve students’ scores on assessments like M-STEP, while ensuring that students of different backgrounds have a voice in the style of education that they prefer. This can be achieved by allowing students to speak up on whether they would like to be assessed through a traditional classroom environment or through unconventional methods like blended-learning settings, technology-based flipped classrooms, or massive open online courses (MOOCS). Another way to achieve this goal is to provide additional mediums of professional development for teachers to adapt their instructional methods towards different learning styles. Ultimately, funding towards education in Michigan should be diversified across various learning approaches, in order to achieve greater equality for students who learn in ways that are different.Potential Solutions:
Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.
Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:
You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.
Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit. In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.
Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.?
The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.Preambulatory clauses
These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.
(Add more "Whereas" clauses if necessary.)Operative clauses
These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED....
(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)Counter-arguments:
What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?
3.Costs and funding:
What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from? Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?
These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.