Stateside: Superintendent Dr. Vickie Markavitch on Michigan's proposed education overhaul

Dec 4, 2012

Yesterday, we covered the proposed education overhaul bill that could drastically change the ways students attend school.

Today, we spoke with Dr. Vickie Markavitch about Michigan’s education system and her view of the proposed changes.

Markavitch, a Superintendent of Oakland County Schools, claims the changes would have a negative impact on Michigan’s schools.

“I’ve been an educator for 46 years. I don’t think we can turn over our next generation to something that is ‘anyhow, any one.’ It’s a corporatization of public education. It really has nothing to do with improving achievement,” she said.

She agreed that changes need to be made, but disagreed with the enormity of those currently proposed.

“We do have to improve public schools. The one huge challenge we’ve had in America is we have not figured out how to get children living in poverty to achieve at the same levels of children not living in poverty,” said Markavitch.

Markavitch suggested implementing a system in which all students begin school at an early age.

“What I would not do is turn over education to for-profit America. The most important resource is early-childhood education,” said Markavitch.

Test scores, she said, continue to improve throughout the state.

“The test scores are going up. We now have more college graduates than we did in the 70’s. My high-poverty districts have raised their achievement scores 25-30% in both math and reading.”

She asserted that nearly 66% of Michigan students are college-ready. While not a number with which she is content, it is far higher than the 16% stated by Governor Snyder.

According to Markavitch, public education is going in the right direction and the proposed changes would only diminish the developing progress.

“You’re going to have money leaving schools. You’ll see orchestras and football teams begin to go away. When the communities lose their comprehensive system, I don’t think the system the governor is trying to sell will be that attractive,” said Markavitch.  

-Cameron Stewart

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