The Michigan Department of Education announced earlier this month that they are in the process of evaluating and updating their Top 10 in 10 strategic plan. To gather input from educators and other stakeholders around the state, MDE has developed a survey. Because we know from past experience and from talking to Department leadership that MDE will rely on the data from this survey for decision-making, MASSP would strongly encourage ALL Principals to offer their thoughts.
The survey is only nine questions, but each question has multiple parts and overall, this is a somewhat lengthy survey. However, MASSP firmly believes it is worth the 5-10 minutes it will take you to complete. To help make it easier and (hopefully) faster, we wanted to highlight some key issues and questions that will be of particular interest to secondary Principals.
Question 1: What is Important to You
This question asks respondents to rate the importance of 16 different issues. We want to draw attention to five of these that align with current and past policy priorities set by MASSP members (the survey randomizes the issue list, so we can't tell you in what order these will appear):
- Addressing teacher shortage
- Expanding opportunities to earn post-secondary credit in high school
- Providing adequate and equitable funding
- Meeting the needs of the whole child
- Increasing the percentage of adults with a post-secondary credential to 60% by 2030
NOTE: this survey question DOES NOT use a traditional Likert scale. The choices are: very important; somewhat important; not important; important, but not as a goal area in the updated plan; and not a goal area, but an overarching principle for the updated plan.
Question 2: Other Topics
An item to consider as a “write in option”:
- Educator supports such as mentor/coaching
Question 3: What is Most Important
This question asks respondents to rank the top five most important goals from the same list of 16 issues in Question 1. Based on policy priorities members have voted on previously and our experience, we know that the following three issues typically float to the top for secondary principals:
- "Providing adequate and equitable funding as proposed by the School Finance Research Collaborative (SFRC)" is always the top issue in priority surveys.
- "Meeting the needs of the whole child" was the second highest priority issue in our last survey.
- "Teacher shortage" is the issue we most often hear about in the field.
Question 5: How Many Goals
For the past several years, MASSP has made a strategic decision to set only a handful of proactive policy priorities knowing that if everything is a priority, then nothing is. Principals understand that you have to deal with the issues that arrive on your desk, even if they aren't priorities, so it's important to spend the time you aren't reacting focusing on a few key things. We'd suggest that having more goals will make Top 10 in 10 less likely to succeed, even if it means that some of our priorities don't make the list.
- You can submit a survey without answering all the questions or answering the questions completely. In other words, if you just want to rate a few key issues as "important" and skip the rest, you can do that.
- The survey is totally anonymous. Your zip code and role in your district are the ONLY demographic information this survey collects. So be honest about YOUR thoughts and make every attempt to represent your profession, your building, and your district in your survey responses,
Thank you in advance for taking the time to represent secondary Principals in this important survey by making your voice heard. We know from talking to MDE that they are listening and that your feedback will matter.
Written by Bob Kefgen, MASSP Director of Government Relations