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Education Policy Fellowship Program

Policy Evaluation: Michigan Merit Curriculum (MCC):

Under the Microscope

March 31, 2014
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

Purpose: This session will provide a complete review and analysis of the Michigan Merit Curriculum, a rigorous set of statewide graduation requirements meant to ensure that Michigan's high school graduates have the necessary skills to succeed either in postsecondary education or in the workplace. The history, local implementation, research-based outcomes, and proposed changes to the MMC will be discussed in detail. The timing of this discussion is relevant as the MMC is an area of current debate in the Michigan Legislature.


1:00PM Evaluating Static and Dynamic Policies    

History of MMC - Greg Dionne, Supervisor, MDE Office of Curriculum and Instruction

  Local Implementation of the MMC - Patricia Trelstad, Deputy Superintendent, Okemos Public Schools 

The Effects of the MMC on Achievement and High School Graduation - Josh Hyman, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

  Proposed Legislation Changes to the MMC












Speaker Biographies

Gregg Dionne is the Supervisor of the Curriculum and Instruction Unit in the Office of Education Improvement and Innovation (OEII) at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). Prior to his current position, he worked at the MDE as the Alternative Education Consultant for OEII.  Before to coming to the MDE, Gregg worked with adult, alternative, and traditional education programs as a teacher and administrator at Hazel Park Community Schools.


Patricia Trelstad is a deputy superintendent of Okemos Public Schools and director of scholarships/awards committee at the MSU College of Education Alumni board. Patty’s responsibilities as a deputy superintendent include curriculum, instruction and assessment.  She also oversees the administrators in the areas of special education, secondary education, technology and community education programming. She started her teaching career in Colorado after receiving a degree from Central Michigan University, and returned to Michigan to start a long career with the East Lansing Public Schools as a resource teacher and teacher consultant in special education, a reading teacher, and an elementary building principal. Patty moved to a central office position in 2001 with the Charlotte Public Schools as an associate superintendent for curriculum and in 2005 joined the Okemos Public Schools as deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Patty enjoys the extensive collaboration with other professionals, parents, and community leaders that her professional positions have afforded her.  Of particular interest is assisting teachers with curriculum consistency, integrating technology, utilizing data to assess each child’s response to instruction, and professional learning communities to improve instructional practice and student learning.   She is also deeply motivated by making certain that the uniqueness of all students is recognized and embraced so that each can reach his or her fullest potential.   


Joshua Hyman is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He will be starting in August as Assistant Professor of Public Policy at University of Connecticut. His research examines the effects of education policies implemented during primary and secondary school on reducing economic inequality in educational attainment. In past and current work, he has examined the effects on educational attainment of a variety of policies, such as class size during elementary school, Michigan’s requirement that all high school students take the ACT college entrance exam, and Michigan’s 1995 Proposal A school finance reform. Hyman recently earned his PhD in Economics and Public Policy from the University of Michigan. He earned his Master’s in Economics from the University of Michigan, and his Bachelor’s in Quantitative Economics from Tufts University.


Learning Team Members:

Matt Gleason

Naomi Krefman 

Jason Marentette 

Nancy Rotarius

Jen Smith

Angela Son


Resource Material



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