Push on vocational training would ease curriculum mandate

By CORTNEY ERNDT
Capital News Service
LANSING – A proposal to lower Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) requirements for vocational training students may boost manufacturing careers, some legislators said. Students who successfully complete one year of vocational training would be able to avoid the mandatory algebra II credit, a credit of science, one credit of the arts, and the online/learning experience requirement. Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare, said, “I really feel that we need to make sure those who have an interest in a vocational skill have an opportunity to learn those skills without being penalized.”

An approved career program with math content, such as electronics, machining, construction, welding, engineering or renewable energy would fulfill the requirements. Johnson said, “I think we’ve missed the boat somewhat with our high school students, where we’ve said each student has to be prepared for a university education.”
To graduate, the MMC requires four credits in math, three in science, four in English language arts, three in social studies, one in physical education and health, one in performing and applied arts, and an online/learning experience course. Jon DeWys, president of DeWys Manufacturing in Marne, said, “Those are all great things for college bound students.”
DeWys Manufacturing, is a provider of precision sheet metal components, powder coatings, stampings and other products.

Online courses offer students second chance

By ANJANA SCHROEDER
Capital News Service
LANSING – School districts in the northern Lower Peninsula and West Michigan are offering credit recovery programs to allow students to make up classes, work for better grades and stay on the right track to graduate from high school. The goal is to promote student success, Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Flanagan said. Credit recovery is a way for students, who failed or haven’t finished a course, to take the courses during or after school to catch up and prepare for high school graduation. Rick Seebeck, Gladwin Community Schools superintendent, said his district has been using Plato, a credit recovery program, for the past four years. “Five years ago, kids would fall behind on credits but it wasn’t as big a deal because they had time to make it up.”
Not so now.