Date: February 19, 2013
The Honorable Michael P. Flanagan
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Michigan Department of Education
P.O. Box 30008
Lansing, MI 48909
Dear Superintendent Flanagan:
I am pleased to inform you that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has determined that Michigan’s guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems meet the requirements for Principle 3 articulated in ED’s September 23, 2011, document titled ESEA Flexibility.
During the week of July 16, 2012, two peer experts reviewed Michigan’s guidelines and Principle 3 of Michigan’s request. Staff from ED also reviewed Michigan’s submission as well as the information Michigan submitted in response to the feedback provided following the July peer review. Our determination that Michigan’s guidelines meet the requirements of Principle 3 is based on our review as well as the feedback from the peer reviewers.
With respect to the Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE’s) plan to ensure that each local educational agency (LEA) in Michigan develops, adopts, pilots and implements teacher and principal evaluation and support systems consistent with the State’s guidelines, ED understands that MDE is seeking additional legislative authority and that MDE is committed to keeping ED apprised of its continued work in this area of its request. Please note that Michigan’s ESEA flexibility request remains approved through the 2013–2014 school year subject to MDE obtaining authority to ensure that each LEA develops, adopts, pilots and implements teacher and principal evaluation and support systems consistent with the State’s guidelines
ED will continue to monitor Michigan’s implementation of ESEA flexibility, including the development and piloting of evaluation and support systems consistent with Michigan’s guidelines. In the meantime, while ED understands and expects that Michigan may make changes to its guidelines as a result of ongoing development and piloting efforts, Michigan should ensure that any such changes are consistent with Principle 3 of ESEA flexibility by consulting with ED. Depending on the nature and extent of such changes, Michigan may need to submit a request to amend its approved ESEA flexibility request. If you have any questions regarding the amendment process or anything else related to Michigan’s implementation of ESEA flexibility, please contact Leslie Clithero at 202-713-8542 or Leslie.Clithero@ed.gov
A copy of Michigan’s approved request for ESEA flexibility, including its guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems, will be posted on ED’s web site at: www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/esea-flexibility/index.html
I congratulate you on developing guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that meet the requirements of ESEA flexibility and thank you for the work that you and your staff have done. I look forward to continuing to support the State you implement Michigan’s ESEA flexibility request and work to improve the quality of instruction and academic achievement for all students.
Deborah S. Delisle
cc: Sally Vaughn, Deputy Superintendent/Chief Academic Officer