By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor
Pittsfield Elementary fourth grade teacher Rez Kayto is one of 24 Michigan teachers selected from more than 300 applicants to serve on a new panel to help guide the state’s plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
The two dozen teachers from K-12 public schools across the state will serve on the newly-created Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council (MTLAC), developed with a $10,000 grant from the national Council of Chief State School Officers.
Kayto said she applied to serve on the MTLAC because teacher input in education policy is pivotal to student success.
“I have a strong commitment to continual growth and this is a great opportunity to express my voice on behalf of all my fellow teachers,” she said.
ESSA is the new federal law that replaced the previous No Child Left Behind Act. Every state is to develop a plan that it will use to improve educational outcomes for children and hold schools accountable and transparent for that success.
The U.S. Department of Education (USED) currently is reviewing Michigan’s ESSA plan, submitted to USED on April 17.
The teachers’ collective talents and experience will be an asset to the council as they collaborate on the state’s plan to implement Michigan’s ESSA and Top 10 in 10 plans, State Superintendent Brian Whiston said in a statement.
“Based on the leadership these educators have demonstrated in our schools and communities, we know that Michigan’s students are in great hands,” Whiston added.
The new MTLAC members were selected from applicants from 10 Prosperity Regions across the state, following an application process open to all Michigan teachers. Council activities will be held outside of school hours. Members receive a $500 honorarium for the 2017-18 school year.
“Educator input is crucial in implementing necessary changes to ensure the success of all students in Michigan,” said Kayto. “I feel honored to be serving on the MTLAC and excited to represent AAPS.”
Kayto will join the other new members at the panel’s only mandatory, in-person meeting, Aug. 9 in Bath. Otherwise, they will participate in online meetings, providing feedback on the state’s ESSA and Top 10 in 10 plans.