Lou Steigerwald, Ed. S.

  • School Superintendent in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
  • Plant Wrangler/Gardener
  • Middling Gamer

Home Schooling and Child Neglect

One function of public schools is to assure the safety of children. The school choice movement, with its lack of oversight, makes a mockery of this aim. As a principal and now as superintendent I have seen the neglect unmonitored school choice makes possible.

Public schools are responsible for tracking attendance and for reporting suspected abuse. One way for lousy parents to fly under the radar of intervention on behalf of kids is to pull their children out of public school and to claim that they are home schooling them.

GOP plan would disband state education board

I read with interest Ingrid Jacques’ column about Michigan Rep. Tim Kelly’s plan to dissolve the State of Michigan School Board and replace it with a board appointed by the Governor. Rep. Kelly’s reasoning for wanting to eliminate the School Board are a repugnant example of the poor quality of political leadership Michigan residents are seeing too much of.

Response to Speaker Ryan

A few weeks ago I took the time to write Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan about my concerns regarding increasing partisanship in politics. I received a response from his office today. My response and his office’s email are below:

Dear Speaker Ryan,

Thank you for your response regarding the unceasing partisanship in today’s politics. I agree that we should be working on ideas from both sides of the aisle and would ask you to consider changing one aspect of your observations.

It’s spring and testing season is soon upon us!

High stakes testing and whether once annual tests are worth the time, effort, and costs of such testing has come under a great deal of scrutiny and question throughout our nation. Michigan recently changed from administering the MEAP test to grades 3-9 in the fall to the new M-Step exam which is now given in the spring. Despite the change to a new test, the same questions about the value of any test given one time a year are still relevant. Superintendents in Dickinson and Iron Counties are asking similar questions and they believe the reasons for questioning such tests are valid and that there is a better way and a better battery of tests that should be tried in our schools.

Who needs to do their job? Nobody!

Because I did not vote for the current governor and because I do not like many of the policies he and the Republican legislature pass, I have decided that I will not, from now and until the public elects the people I believe should be in office, do my job. I mean, I’ll show up and sit in my office and interact with my fellow workers…but get anything done? What? Why?

Michigan Burning

In Nolan Finley’s article in the Detroit News today, Mr. Finley accuses the folks involved in the water mess in Flint of doing little but point fingers. While doing a fair amount of finger pointing himself, Mr. Finley is correct that little has been done to actually correct the situation. What Mr. Finley avoids pointing out is that so little is being done in large part due to the current leadership in Lansing in every chamber of elected government. This is not new. Because too many Republicans have taken a pledge to never raise taxes, regardless of challenges, the party cannot provide the leadership the state so sorely needs in many areas. Michigan residents should be appalled at the national and international image of our state being created by the pitiful level of cowardly non-leadership on display in Lansing.

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