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Education Policy Fellowship Program

Good Politics & Conflicting Policies:
A Case Study of Emerging Early
Childhood Policies in Michigan

November 8, 1999
2:00 pm-7:00 pm
Kellogg Ctr., MSU

Current events in Michigan in the area of early childhood policy create a contemporary case study of good politics and mixed policies.

Resource Persons:

Larry Schweinhardt
Chair, Research Division
HighScope Education Research Foundation
Ypsilanti, MI
(734) 485-2000
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Larry Schweinhart is an early childhood program researcher and speaker for policy makers, educators and advocates throughout the United States and in other countries. He has conducted research at the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation in Ypsilanti, Michigan, since 1975 and has chaired its research division since 1989. He currently directs the following projects:

  • High/Scope's Head Start Quality Research Center, a five-year effort to assess the quality and effectiveness of Head Start, with an emphasis on the contribution of staff development activities.
  • The state evaluation of the Michigan School Readiness Program for at-risk four-year-olds and an evaluation workshop series around the state.
  • The Program Recognition Project, which identified and publicized ten early childhood programs across the country that excel in quality, staff compensation, and affordability to parents.
  • The development and validation of the High/Scope Child Observation Record as a developmentally appropriate method for assessing young children's development from infancy through elementary school. He has also assisted with the IEA Preprimary Project, a 15-nation study of the prevalence, quality, and effectiveness of various settings for four-year-olds.

Dr. Schweinhart is the lead researcher on the High/Scope Perry Preschool Study - the landmark study establishing the extraordinary human and financial potential of high-quality early childhood programs; and the High/Scope Preschool Curriculum Comparison Study - which provides persuasive evidence that child-initiated learning activities are central to high-quality early childhood programs. These studies will soon be collecting data from their original preschool participants in midlife, at ages 33 to 40.

Dr. Schweinhart recently completed a four-year term on the Governing Board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, during which he chaired the panel on quality, compensation, and affordability. For the eight years before that, he served as public policy co-chair for the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children and today serves as its public policy chair. He received his Ph.D. in Education from Indiana University in 1975. He has taught fourth and seventh grades as well as graduate and undergraduate college courses. He and his wife have two children who are now young adults.

State Representative Pan Godchaux
40th House District
(517) 373-0824

Professional Experience: House of Representatives, Member House Appropriations Committee. Subcommittees: Consumer & Industry Services/Dept. of Career Development/Michigan Strategic Fund Agency, Chair; Community Colleges, Vice-Chair; School Aid & Dept. of Education; Higher Education; Family Independence Agency.

Caucus/Task Forces: Cultural Tourism and Heritage; Urban Caucus; Child Care, Co-Chair; Fiscal, Oversight and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, Appointed.

Co-convener: Childrens Caucus; SEMCUS (Southeast Michigan Caucus); Women Officials Network.

Awards: Legislator of the Year- Michigan Association of Regions (1999), Michigan Maternal and Child Health (1999), and CAUSE (Citizens Alliance to Uphold Special Education)(1998); Wonder Woman (1998), Womens Survival Center.

Advisory Board Memberships: Oakland County Coordinating Council Against Domestic Violence; Wayne State University School of Education; Birmingham Junior League: Community Advisory Council; Birmingham Historical Museum; Oakland County Child Watch; National Board of Womens Actions for New Directions (WAND); and Womens Legislative Lobby (WiLL).

Birmingham Board of Education, served for ten years and held the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer; Directed the search for Birmingham Schools Superintendent; Member of Central Strategic Plan Committee; Recognized by the Michigan Association of School Boards for outstanding service.

Former third grade teacher in the Detroit Public Schools, former print and broadcast journalist, and returned Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Bolivia.

Personal: Mother of three children: two in college, one in high school; Religion-Unitarian Universalist.

Education: Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, Studying for Masters of Arts in Teaching and The American University, Washington D.C., Bachelors of American Government.

Memberships: Fellow of the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University; Alumnus of Leadership Detroit; Alumnus of Flemming Fellows; Founding Board Member of The League of Women Voters, Oakland County area and editor of the newsletter.

State Representative Lynne Martinez
69th House District
(517) 485-2950

Employment: House of Representatives, 69th District State Representative April 1994-Present

Assignments: Appropriations and Democratic Whip

Sub-committees: Community Health (MVC), General Government (MVC), Family Independence Agency, School Aid and Department of Education

1992-1994 Manager, Franklin Street Housing Cooperative, Lansing, Michigan, Incorporating Member 1987

1985-1994 Ingham County Commissioner

1981-1993 Self Employed, Gentlewood Landscape Designer and Contractor, Lansing, Michigan

Education: Lansing Community College, Landscape Architecture Technology, Associate of Science Degree, 1981

Public Service & Community Involvement: Capital Area Health Alliance, Coalition for Community Concerns, Youth in Government Board Member, Downtown Neighborhood Association, East Side Neighborhood Organization

Dorothy Beardmore
MI State Board of Education
Rochester, MI
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Dorothy Beardmore has been a member of the State Board of Education in Michigan since 1985. She is the current President of the Board. She served eight years on the Rochester Board of Education (1967-75) and ten years on the Board of Education of Oakland Schools (1974-84). She earned an A.B. Degree from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

She has promoted educational reform throughout her time on the State Board, beginning with new teacher certification rules in 1985, requiring focused, relevant professional development for teachers to warrant re-certification at five-year intervals. She chaired a National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) study, "Rethinking Curriculum: A Call for Fundamental Reform:" (1988) and in 1989 focused on "Today's Children, Tomorrow's Survival: A Call to Restructure Schools." These experiences and reports became partial basis for Michigan's education reform and influenced development of Public Act 25 of 1990.

From 1995-97 she chaired the NASBE/CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) "Healthy Schools Network," a fifteen state inter-agency coalition to promote health for school age children and their families. She still chairs Michigan's "Healthy Schools Network" team.

In 1995 and 1996, she was a member of a NASBE study on "State Governance Systems for Education," and in 1999 chairs a NASBE study on "Confronting Social Issues: The Role of Schools."

By gubernatorial appointment, she is one of Michigan's representatives to the Midwestern Higher Education Commission, a consortium of ten Midwestern states and their public and independent post-secondary institutions. She is an appointed "Delegate At Large" of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), a coalition of the seven counties of Southeast Michigan.

Among the honors she has received are: Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow; Oakland-Macomb Center for Independent Living "Spirit of Independence Award"; "Educational Leadership Award" from Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA); Oakland County School Boards' Association "Salute"; Comprehensive School Health Coordinators "Healthy Children Award"; "Distinguished Service to Education Award" from Michigan School Public Relations Association, and induction into the "Michigan Education Hall of Fame."

Sharon Gire
Clinton Township, MI

Mrs. Sharon Gire was elected to the State Board of Education in 1998. She currently serves as the State Board's delegate to the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE).

Prior to her election to the State Board of Education, Mrs. Gire served as an elected representative in the Michigan legislature from 1987-1998, serving on multiple committees including the Human Services and Education Committees, ultimately serving as Chair of the House Education Committee.

She also served as an elected County Commissioner in Macomb County prior to her election to the Michigan Legislature. Her interests have always been focused on issues impacting children and youth.

Mrs. Gire earned a B.S. in Education from the Ohio State University and an M.S.W. from Wayne State University. She has worked with the YWCA at the county and national level, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Macomb County, and the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice in Macomb County.

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