www.mybaycity.com May 1, 2007
Rotary Article 1600

ISD's Anderson Presents Michigan Merit Curriculum

New Education Standards Will Challenge Students Core Competency

May 1, 2007
By: Stephen Kent

Visit RotaryBayCity.org, web site of the Rotary Club of Bay City, Michigan


  • The Pere Marquette Depot renovation project is well underway. As a major contributor, the Club is being asked to come up with suggestions for ways to recognize our gift. A committee has been formed. See President Gates if you are interested.

  • The Rotary Leadership Camp for high school students will be happening in June. Help is needed if you are interested.

  • Host Families needed for our incoming exchange student Mariana from Mexico. See Rob Monroe if you're interested.

  • Bring a friend to Rotary. For prospective new members we have a supply of the "Rotary Basics" brochures that explain the organization very well.

  • The Golf Outing planning is well under way for the June 4 event. Visit www.RotaryBayCity.org for full information and an e-mail link to the Golf committee chair. This is the club's SECOND LARGEST fund raiser after International Night.

  • The Pinconning Club meets every Thursday at noon - Third Street Deli.

  • International Night planning is well under way. This is the club's largest fund raiser. Helpers are always needed and welcome. Contact sub-committee chairs:
    • Larry LaPorte - tickets
    • Brad Kessel - sponsorships
    • Linda Heemstra - greeters
    • Mike Stoner - bar tenders
    • Barb Fisher - decorations, food and setup.


      • The District GSE Team to West Africa has posted pictures and a progress report on their blog. Check www.RotaryBayCity.org for team itinerary and the link to the team's blog.

      • District Conference Report Some of the dozen Bay City Rotarians who attended the District Conference in Frankenmuth reported on what was described as a very positive experience.

        Gena Gates talked about the Baker College Rotaract sponsored by the Owosso Club. The student organization has worked on a multi-cultural program that has taken members to many places and countries to visit cultural and religious centers. The Baker College Rotaract is the only such club in Michigan. SVSU and Delta College programs are inactive at this time for lack of Rotary and faculty sponsors.

        Chuck Cusick was so inspired by one of speakers, a man who swims across the Great Lakes, that Chuck says he may take up marathons.

        Cusick also reported on the status of the Polio Plus campaign. The effort to eradicate Polio world wide is 99% complete with only four countries still reporting any cases. At this time the program needs funds. The Polio Plus Partners program offers a vehicle for donations. RI is offering a 50% match to Club efforts in this cause.

        Jerome Yantz reported that our Club had six members inducted into the Paul Harris Society at the conference. Yantz presented a pin to Wes Timm who was not able to be at the ceremony in Frankenmuth. Timm is one of 32 Society members from the district.

        Don Anker said that when the temperature hit 85 in the southwest it was time to leave. Bit it was still too cold in Michigan so they made a stop in Kerville, Texas. Don brought presented the club with a Kerville Rotary flag which has been added to our flag collection on the RotaryBayCity.org web site.

        Member Anne Trahan presented a program on digital photography at the Pinconning Club last week. Anne has been asked to present the program at our club in the near future.

      Bay City Rotary's Table Display at District Conference
      Thanks to Rob Clark and his committee

      Upcoming Programs (See the official schedule at RotaryBayCity.org)

    • May 8 ABC12 Anchor Terry Camp's behind the scenes look at the Great Lakes Loons.

    • May 15 Dom Monastiere, Jerome Yantz, Joy Baker, Valerie Roof will announce a new community event.

    • May 22 The returning Group Study Exchange Team will report on their trip to West Africa.

      Last Weeks program - May 1, 2007: Bay-Arenac ISD's Steve Anderson reports on Michigan Merit Curriculum

      Steve Anderson is familiar to many Rotarians whose children grew up in the Bay City School system. Anderson was a long time principal in the system and district. Currently he is working with the ISD on the adoption of the new Michigan Merit Curriculum.

      Anderson quoted Time Magazine saying that with the new rules "Michigan is re-tooling to become one of the most rigorous high school programs in the country." The focus has changed so that every student will be on a college prep curriculum. All courses will be more difficult and the emphasis will be on science and math.

      It's vitally important for all parents and students to understand the new law and the new requirements. This is particularly important for 7th and 8th graders who will be in the first class to graduate under the new standards. "The failure of even one semester of a required course could result in your son or daughter being in danger of not graduating with his or her class."

      The new requirements will call for 18 credits with an emphasis on English Language Arts and Mathematics with 4 credits each. Science and social studies are the next emphasis requiring 3 credits. World Languages (which can include anything from Native American to sign language to Latin) gets 2 credits. Visual, Perform and Applied Arts and Health and Physical Education need only 1 credit each. "Arts and Music will certainly take a hit", said Anderson.

      Students will also be expected to have an "online learning experience". This takes on more significance because it may be difficult to meet all the credit requirements without some online work.

      Local school systems have the ability to tailor their own curriculum as long as the core items are covered. Provision is also made for a "personal curriculum" on an individual basis.

      The penalty for students who do not achieve the required credits is that they cannot get a Michigan High School diploma. There has been speculation that this will cause some students to give up and drop out. Anderson says that has not been the experience in other states which have adopted similar programs.

      Many questions remain to be answered as the new program rolls out. Many answers are being considered including dual enrollment in high school and community colleges. There is a question of how Career Centers will play and how Special Ed fits in.

      The initiative is exciting and a bit worrisome. One thing seems sure... the increased requirements and harder courses could well make the "senior blow off year" a thing of the past. Students will have to work right up to the end.

      More information is available at www.baISD.net or by calling the ISD at (989) 667-3280.

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