One of the more hot-button debates in education over the past few years has been the issue of using student test scores to evaluate teachers. Last month, the results from the second part of the 49th annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools demonstrated that the public is growing more skeptical of using student standardized test scores to evaluate teachers. See also this video about a new Michigan Teacher Evaluations program of a few years ago.
The poll began by asking respondents whether they favored states using standardized test scores to evaluate teachers in 2012. At that time, 52 percent favored using test scores.
The results from 2015 painted a different picture, with 41 percent favoring the use of test scores to evaluate teachers. Last year, the percent favoring the use of test scores fell yet again to just 38 percent. The sub-sample of parents in the most recent survey were even less supportive, with only 31 percent showing support.
With such a large drop, it is worth considering why support has fallen so precipitously. Are Americans growing tired of high-stakes testing? Have critics of standardized tests successfully brought attention to their distrust and potential misuse of high-stakes testing for teacher evaluation?
In our search for the best power digital marketing programs in Michigan, we explored the well-rounded undergraduate degree available through the University of Michigan – Dearborn in the post titled ‘Dearborn Search and Visibility Concept’.
We continued our search by moving north to Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Central Michigan University does offer an undergraduate degree in marketing, however, they do not offer a degree in digital marketing. However, CMU does offer an Undergraduate Certificate in Social Media.
The certificate is available to students who attend on or off campus and to online students. The curriculum dives into the history, evolution, and the impact that social media has had on our society. Social media students will create a personal portfolio, training materials, social media policy, and develop a strategy for a firm.
Continuing the conversation at the University of Michigan–Dearborn Search and Visibility Concept, I would like to talk a little bit about localized SEO in Michigan. Google has evolved over the years and has become more focused on not only providing accurate results but also localized results.
It used to be that if you performed a search for a term like ‘pizza places’, you would end up getting results for pizza places anywhere from Los Angeles to New York. These days, Google is tied to where you are as a user and search results will offer up your local pizza options.
If you would like to know about pizza restaurants in an area outside of your locale, you may need to extend your search keyword and add a geographic tag. For example, if you are in Novi, MI but would like to eat pizza in Dearborn, MI, a likely search would be ‘pizza places in Dearborn’. The results displayed will be a mixture of paid ads, localized results, and organic results.
A very noticeable portion of the localized results will be a map with markers that indicate pizza places in the area. The top organic listings may not be a restaurant’s website but a third party directory website like Yelp or Trip Advisor. The restaurants that dominate these results have the strongest localized SEO strategy.
Due to improvements in drilling technology and newly discovered pockets, there has been a natural gas boom in the United States over the past decade. Increased supply has driven costs down and caused some states to begin the switch from traditional coal-fired plants to natural-gas-powered ones. Michigan’s aging coal-fired plants make it a prime location for natural gas expansion. But is true natural gas still booming in Michigan?
However, natural gas drilling has actually decreased since the initial 2008 boom as environmental concerns, the slow conversion of coal-fired plants and a gas glut has led to decreased demand and controversy surrounding the industry. Still, several plants have already switched over to natural gas even amid these concerns, though the Trump administration has turned things around.
Michigan’s natural gas is primarily located in the northern Lower Peninsula and according to the Public Service Commission, accounts for about 15-20% of the gas consumed in Michigan. The rest of Michigan’s supply comes from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Canada.
This trade imbalance is due to Michigan’s relatively high overall energy consumption due to its northern climate and energy intense manufacturing sector. Still, the Public Service Commission notes that Michigan stores over 10% of the nation’s natural gas supply in underground facilities, more than any other state. In the winter, this gas is then sold to both in and out of state energy suppliers, helping meet Michigan’s high heating demands.
Occasionally, we can enjoy reinventing ourselves. Now, of course, we don’t have the money to undergo a complete transformation, as fun as that would be, but there are little things that we can do (some more than others) to make ourselves feel refreshed. These things may very well help us feel less restless with our appearances and our lifestyle. So let’s look at a few simple ways to feel Fresh and New.
Try something completely new
Personally, I like routines, but sometimes routines can be boring. When I’m feeling stagnant, I like to try something new. This could be anything. Sometimes it’s as simple as visiting someplace I have never been before in my home city or cooking a new recipe.
Sometimes it’s more extreme like purchasing a Groupon for an activity I never thought I’d try. Doing things like this keeps life very interesting and I even end up discovering new interests and things to love. This also helps me stay focused on the things I really like to do such as my contributions to my community as a volunteer.
You are the only person on Earth that can use your ability – Zig Ziglar
New managers go through it. Old managers go through it, but probably won’t admit it. It may not happen often, but it does happen.
What am I referring to? Your confidence as a professional.
Starting out, most would-be professional have that passion and drive to write an expert blog post every day. Then it goes to every other day. Then, a couple times a week. Now, you’re looking at the site once a month. Next thing you know, you forget about the expertise blog altogether.
This happened all because you lost your confidence in your own expertise. I noticed that being part of the GED class helped me to get back on track. Even though I joined online classes, the boost that I get is great.
You will start to think that “Yeah. I can do this.” If nothing else, seeing your blog with a reader with other blogs is an ego boost. And who the hell doesn’t need an ego boost? Hell, we’re writers. Some of us are geeky, tech writers. We were the ones in school who didn’t fit in with the rest of the cool kids, but we studied hard.
In lieu of a post about Citizens Giving something possibly less interesting. Here is part of an interview with Kelly C, a Flint-based volunteer with Citizens Giving. So here’s the Friday Five meme, instead!
1. What would you do right now, if money were not an issue?
I would go on an overseas trip until July, which is when university will start, for me.
2. What would you do for the next three years, if money were not an issue?
Go on overseas trips whenever I could, buy/rent a very nice apartment in the city, employ a personal chef, volunteer the time I would spend working to good causes.
3. What is bringing you the most joy right now that requires little or no money?
Reading and helping other people succeed.
When automakers created the franchise dealer network in the 1910s, they believed they had invented a means of passing off enormous inventory costs to an army of salesmen. But as dealers became the sole point of contact with the auto-buying public, Detroit has often regretted the decision.
Today, simply getting a car to the customer adds more than a third to the sticker price. If manufacturers could just cut the dealers out of the picture, they could increase their margins significantly.
When auto shoppers started flocking to the Web to kick virtual tires years ago-8 out of every 10 car shoppers now browse online before making a purchase-carmakers believed they finally found a cost-effective way to make an end-run around the dealers. Nice try.
They ran head-first into a wall of state laws and other regulations that prohibit manufacturers from selling their vehicles directly to consumers-rules set in motion by Detroit itself decades ago.