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Meets-Archives 08-09<

Michigan's Economic Outlook

February 2, 2009
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

The purpose of this session is to examine the Citizens Research Council's recent report "Michigan's Weakened Financial Position and the Problem of Dual Deficits." We will discuss the report's findings, its implications for state leaders and how Michigan's current fiscal condition will impact the FY 2010 budget process.


Resource Person

Craig Thiel (EPFP 2000-01)
Director of State Affairs
Citizens Research Council of Michigan
(517) 485-9444
cthiel [at]

Craig Thiel works for the Citizens Research Council (CRC) of Michigan as the Director of State Affairs in its Lansing office. The CRC is a privately funded, not-for-profit public policy research organization that recently celebrated its 90th birthday. Craig joined the CRC in April of 2006 after working for 10 years for the House and Senate Fiscal Agencies to analyze and develop the annual state budget. Craig began his public service career with the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago in 1991.

As the Director of State Affairs, Craig monitors the state budget, including annual spending decisions and monthly revenue collections. During his time with CRC, Craig has analyzed K-12 education finances, transportation policy, corrections policy, and state taxes. Craig helped lead CRC’s project to forecast the State of Michigan’s fiscal future based on its current spending and tax policies. He is currently working to examine issues that may face a constitutional convention, if one is called at the 2010 general election. Also, Craig is engaged in an effort to analyze corrections policy in other Great Lakes states with a focus on how Michigan compares to its neighbors. Craig holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from Kalamazoo College and a Masters in Public Administration degree from Wayne State University. He serves on various professional, non-profit, and local government boards/associations.

Resource Materials

Michigan's Weakened Financial Position and the Problem of Dual Deficits
Powerpoint Presentation

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The Changing Role of Federal Education

January 12, 2009
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

The purpose of this session is to develop some insights into the changes that are likely to occur with the appointment of a new Secretary of Education under the Obama Administration. We will explore several policy issues that will be debated over the next several months including the reauthorization of the NCLB legislation. We will discuss the appointment of incoming Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and examine some anticipated changes for state education agencies and school districts.


Resource Person

Sharif M. Shrakrani, Ph. D. (EPFP 1979-80)
Professor and Co-Director
The Education Policy Center at Michigan State University
201 D Erickson Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 432-0216
shakrani [at]

Dr. Sharif Shakrani is a professor of measurement and quantitative methods and co-director of The Education Policy Center (EPC) at Michigan State University (MSU). His work with the EPC includes providing key audiences in the education policy system with access to timely, credible, non-partisan policy research and analysis. His research interests include analysis of the effects of national and states accountability systems on student achievement; use of research in setting educational policy; impact of national efforts to enhance student’s participation and achievements in mathematics, science, and technology education; and alignment of standards, assessment, and pedagogy. His areas of expertise include Assessment and Testing, Measurement and Testing, and Quantitative Research Methods. Before coming to MSU, Dr. Shakrani served eight years as the Deputy Executive Director of the National Assessment Governing Board in the U.S. Department of Education. He was responsible for technical and policy direction for the National Assessment of Educational Programs (NAEP). He has also worked for the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education, where he guided the design of federal educational assessments. Prior to his work at the federal level, Sharif worked at the Michigan Department of Education, where he was responsible for K-12 general education curriculum assessment and was instrumental in revising the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP). He has provided technical advice in the area of large-scale assessment to the states of California, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, and Oregon. His Ph.D. is in educational measurement from MSU, where he also earned his M.A. in measurement and evaluation after earning his B.S. in mathematics.

Dr. Shakrani has worked extensively with the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Education on several key testing, measurement and evaluation initiatives and he currently serves as a member of a study group to recommend changes to the NCLB Act. The purpose of the study is to query key groups at the state level about perceived strengths and weaknesses of the NCLB Act. The group has been studying problems encountered in fulfilling the Federal reporting requirements, issues of testing and assessment, reporting, and the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) procedures. Input from these studies will help inform policy makers in the process of the reauthorization of the NCLB Act. Dr. Shrakrani is currently serving as a member of the education policy transition team which is working on behalf of both the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration.

Resource Materials

President-elect Obama nominates Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education
The Value of Higher Education - New Educator Fall 2008
Powerpoint Presentation

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Advocacy in Policy Making: Strategies for Becoming Effective Advocates

January 5, 2009
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

The purpose of this session is to examine the role of advocacy organizations and the strategies used by these organizations to impact the policy making process. The Fellows will have an opportunity to reflect on the work of various organizations that serve as advocates at the local, state and national levels. This discussion is designed to encourage and support the development of the 2008-09 EPFP Learning Teams.



12:00 Noon - Lunch

1:00 PM - Debrief the 2008 Leadership Forum - Fellows & Coordinators

1:45 PM - Break

2:00 PM - Advocacy in Policy Making: Strategies for Becoming Effective Advocates

4:00 PM - Continuation of EPFP Learning Team Development Activities

5:00 PM - Adjourn

Resource Person

Michele Robotham Corey (EPFP 1993-94)
Director of Community Advocacy, Michigan's Children
428 W. Lenawee St.
Lansing, MI 48933
(517) 485-3500
corey.michele [at]

Michele Corey is the Director of Community Advocacy at Michigan's Children, a statewide nonprofit and child advocacy organization that works with lawmakers, business leaders and communities to make Michigan a place where all children have the opportunity to thrive. Michele provides intensive technical assistance and support to local community groups by developing local data, creating special reports, conducting training on advocacy skills and assisting with community forums and special events. She has created numerous opportunities for local advocates to become better informed about children’s issues and communicate effectively with local and state level policy makers. Most recently, she has been working with the C.S. Mott Foundation on a statewide initiative intended to build a system in Michigan that encourages more high school graduation through dropout prevention and recovery efforts. This work concentrates on producing multiple pathways to graduation by growing better data about students and the systems that serve them, providing better educational options for young people, and building public support for policy and practice that sustain those options.

Resource Materials

2008 Leadership Forum Agenda Booklet and Notes
Frameworks Institute
Advocacy Powerpoint

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Disrupting Class Book Discussion

October 20, 2008
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

During this seminar we will be engaging in a detailed discussion of Clayton M Christensen, Michael B. Horn and Curtis W. Johnson's Disrupting Class - How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns. Some additional resources are provided below. Fellows will read the book and be prepared to discuss the big ideas presented by Christensen, Horn and Johnson. We are excited to be able to schedule a thorough discussion of Disrupting Class prior to the December 3 seminar sponsord by Michigan Virtual University. The ideas presented will provide us with a 21st Century construct for our ongoing learning around educational policy and leadership. In addition, we will be doing some prep work on developing Learning Teams that will be responsible for leading our learning after the first of the year. As part of your preparation for the Learning Teams, begin focusing on particular areas of interest around which small teams of 4 or 5 Fellows could do some in-depth learning and sharing. These areas could include current policies in the making that will impact education, studies of leadership issues in education, analysis of current policy issues in education, or other. On the 17th, you will have a chance to share your area(s) of interest for learning teams as we begin the process of selecting the final choices for the '08-'09 teams.

Resource Persons:

Fellows and Coordinators


12:00 noon Lunch
1:00 pm

Overview of Disrupting Class and Implications for Michigan Education

Jamey Fitzpatrick (EPFP 1990-91)
President & CEO, Michigan Virtual University

1:45 pm

View DVD Segment of Professor Clayton Christensen's Remarks on "Disruptive Innovation".

Delivered to the Annual Conference of the Education Commission of the States, July 2005

2:00 pm Discussion of Disrupting Class
3:00 pm Break
3:15 pm Summarize Discussion
3:45 pm Preliminary Development of EPFP Learning Teams
5:00 pm Adjourn

Resource Materials:

Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns by Clayton Christensen, Curtis W. Johnson and Michael B. Horn - McGraw Hill 2008

Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning 2008 (Excerpt used with permission


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Establishing a Policy Framework

October 20, 2008
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

This Seminar will focus on a set of concepts and strategies for creating a policy framework. Fellows will explore both the practical and theoretical aspects of how public policy is developed and implemented. Several policy issues of current concern to Michigan citizens will also be examined.


Resource Person:

David C. Hollister
President & CEO
1614 E. Kalamazoo
Lansing MI  48912
(517) 999-3382




David C. Hollister is President & CEO of Prima Civitas Foundation, a new nonprofit organization based in Lansing, that aims at taking a regional approach to boosting Michigan's economy. The organization is focusing on the promotion of four different industries that present job opportunities for area residents.  Those include life sciences, advanced manufacturing, alternative energy and homeland security.

Mayor Hollister was appointed as Director of the Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services in January 2003 by Governor Jennifer M.Granholm. On December 8, 2003, CIS joined with the Michigan Department of Career Development, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Michigan Broadband Development Authority to form the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth.  Under Mayor Hollister's leadership, this new department addressed labor, economic growth, and urban development issues in the State of Michigan.

Mayor Hollister has dedicated his entire life to public service. He began his career as a high school teacher in the 1960s after graduating with honors from Michigan State University. His political career began during his tenure as a teacher in the Lansing Public Schools, when he was elected in 1968 as an Ingham County Commissioner, serving through 1974.  In 1974, Mayor Hollister launched a successful campaign for the Michigan House of Representatives, where he served until 1993. He quickly became recognized as one of the top ten legislators, serving on the powerful Appropriations Committee for 16 years and chairing the Appropriations Subcommittee on Social Services for over a decade.

In 1993, Mayor Hollister ran a successful campaign for Mayor of the City of Lansing and was re-elected to his third term in a landslide victory in November 2001. Hollister's successes as Mayor included over $2.9 billion in investments, including building a new regional transportation center downtown, bringing minor league baseball to Lansing, and striking a partnership with the State of Michigan that includes new buildings for the Legislature, the Supreme Court, and various other departments. Regional partnerships were created with local governments to enable location of a major insurance company’s corporate world headquarters in Lansing and development of a new golf course and upscale housing development. One of the Mayor's most exciting successes was the commitment by General Motors to consolidate operations and build two new state-of-the-art assembly plants in Lansing.

Mr. Hollister has been a presenter to the Michigan EPFP Fellows for the past 24 years and he is consistently rated as one of our most popular and important policy resources. He was awarded the Institute for Educational Leadership's National Leadership Award at the 2000 Michigan EPFP Alumni Seminar.

Fellows should refer to the Michigan EPFP 'Links and Publications' page to review David Hollister's WebBook, "On Organizing" for additional resource material.  In addition, please review the November 7, 2001, Lansing City Pulse article and interview with David Hollister, and the September 2006 Greater Lansing Business Monthly article.

Fellows should also see David Hollister's "Public Policy Primer" published in June 2007 by IEL and The Michigan EPFP.


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