Last month, I welcomed Fruitport Public Schools Superintendent Bob Szymoniak and Oakridge Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Livezey to Lansing to testify in support of my legislation that would reform the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC).
Our current requirements don’t always allow students to focus on something they find interesting or excel at.
The MMC went into effect in 2006 and created statewide requirements for all high school students. Prior to the MMC being adopted, graduation requirements were left up to the local school districts.
Senate Bills 600 and 601 would eliminate some specific merit curriculum requirements and once again place control of these decisions in the hands of local districts. Specifically, the bills would eliminate the algebra II requirement, giving students the chance to take other classes that might better prepare them for their future.
For years, a four-year degree was pushed as the only avenue to success, and that is simply not true. There are countless available careers in the trades, and many companies are desperate for qualified workers. Allowing for more flexibility in a student’s graduation requirements would provide more opportunities for students to succeed.
I want to thank superintendents Szymoniak and Livezey for making the trip to Lansing and supporting these reforms. This needs to be an effort that involves educators, administrators, parents and students, and I am happy they lent their time and were willing to be a part of this process. I look forward to hearing more input from folks in my district and across the state.