RMSC Director’s Notes

MiSTEM Network Committee Report Released

On December 1, 2017, the MiSTEM Network Committee, led by Transitional Executive Director Megan Schrauben, submitted the MiSTEM Network Plan to Governor Snyder and the Michigan Legislation.  The Report outlines the path forward, as per section 99r of Public Act 108 of 2017 (the State School Aid Act), of the MiSTEM Network Regions in the state of Michigan.

The Report can be viewed in its entirety at http://gvsu.edu/s/0Bl.

The Report was created with input from the Michigan Math and Science Centers Network, and the applicant fiscal agents for the MiSTEM Network Regions across the state.  The Plan focuses on the Network as a “systemic force to capitalize on educational outcomes in Michigan and ultimately improve students’ preparation for an evolving workforce” (p.1) and outlines the recommendation for the formation of a Network across the state, and the staff in each region required to support such ambitious plans as well as a vision for governance and funding for regions.

With regard to staffing levels, according to the report, “[o]ur educational system must build on the current capacity achieved through the MMSCN for STEM (at least 33 math or science professional learning providers), and continue to grow the leadership pool that will support the entire state in shifting practices to achieve desired outcomes” (p.15).  The numbers suggested, are ambitious.  Total, for the state of Michigan, the report recommends nearly 250 professional learning providers, and over 1000 instructional coaches.

Kris Pachla

RMSC Director, Kris Pachla

In Regions such as West Michigan, the recommendation is for over 150 instructional coaches to support teachers, calculated as

  • Estimated number of teachers x 40 hours per teacher, with 4 teachers per coaching day, 6 hours per coaching day, and 80 coaching days per year.

Although the Report notes that much is still in transition, including the permanent executive director of the MiSTEM Network, and the fiscals for the Network Regions, we can point to some certainty in the process.  As put forth in the Report on page 25,

  • “The challenges before us are many, but the potential and motivation for us to collectively meet these challenges has never been greater. The work of the MiSTEM Network is critical to support each region by lifting up and sharing best practices across the state to provide learning opportunities for all. Our plan is to build on the collaborative foundation established by the MMSCN and encourage the growth of shared leadership and responsibility across the state. While it cannot be known exactly which experiences will inspire students or community educators to take their work to the next level, providing the support structure for STEM learning to take place increases our chances to do so. In-depth, substantive experiences for all will get us to our goals.”

The MiSTEM Network is intended to be a collaborative environment to build on the work that has been done in the state, and continue to improve educational outcomes for students and workforce in the state. As director, I encourage you to read the Report, and let me know your thoughts about this process.  I can be reached at pachlkri@gvsu.edu or at 616-331-2273.

Page last modified December 8, 2017