College of Education Sitemap
Skip to Main Content

Education Policy Fellowship Program

Education Choices: Like an Iceberg the
Challenges Lie Beneath the Surface

February 9, 2004
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

Education for grades 0-12 in Michigan is now structured and funded differently than when most parents, guardians and adult care givers were growing up and in school. And it continues to change and evolve. In order to ensure our children receive an education of the highest quality, nearly every citizen must better understand the significant changes that have occurred in the educational system and the new opportunities and challenges the changes present. In addition, policy makers, leaders, educators and administrators must understand what issues and concerns prompt parents, guardians, and adult care givers to demand choices in educating their children. This seminar will ask that Fellows read some background information on education choices in Michigan ahead of time. The seminar consists of presentations by a panel of four individuals on some choices available in our State, an opportunity for group discussion on how and why families make certain choices, and asks the audience to predict and prioritize the future of choices, while realizing resources are limited.


EPFP Learning Team Members:

Valerie Belay
Henry Cade
Cheryl Hall
Pat Meaux
Jane Reagan
Bonnie Rockafellow
Malverne Winborne

Resource Persons

Dr. E. Sharon Banks
Superintendent of Schools
Lansing School District
Lansing, MI

Dr. E. Sharon Banks is Michigan’s 2002 Superintendent of the Year and has energized and revitalized the Lansing School District since her appointment as superintendent in July 2000. Her drive, leadership, and commitment to accountability at all levels have resulted in a solid vision and aggressive action plan to meet the present and future needs of Lansing’s youth. She has built her administration around improvement in five key areas: Student achievement, student attendance, student behavior, parent involvement, and community relations. She immediately began implementing an ambitious 17-point plan that focuses on meeting her goals in each of those five areas. Dr. Banks introduced five new magnet schools that focus on such areas as the visual and performing arts, mathematics, science, technology, languages and global studies. She quickly stabilized enrollment after years of decline. She has beefed up efforts to fight truancy and focused resources on improving reading and science skills. The Michigan Association of School Administrators announced Dr. Banks’ unanimous selection as 2002 Michigan Superintendent of the Year on November 15, 2001, citing her impact on school district students and the Lansing community in her short tenure. The panel also cited Dr. Banks’ strong leadership, creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students, communication skills, professionalism, and community involvement. Prior to coming to Lansing, Dr. Banks rose steadily through the ranks of the Fort Wayne School system, serving as teacher, dean of girls, principal, and finally area director. Dr. Banks’ honors are too numerous to list completely, but she previously has been named Fort Wayne Educator of the Year, Principal of the Year for the state of Indiana by the Indiana Parent Teacher Association, and Ball State University’s Outstanding Alumna of 1996. Dr. Banks and her husband, Bill, have two grown children, Jody and Jonathan. While her own personal philosophy is to be a lifelong learner, those who know her say that she is certain to be a lifelong teacher.

Dr. Eugene Cain
Chief School Administrator
Shabazz Public School Academy
Lansing, MI

Eugene Cain currently serves as Chief School Administrator for Shabazz Public School Academy located in Lansing, Michigan. He is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, wherein he attended public schools, graduating from Western Olin High School. Dr. Cain received a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Talladega College, in Talladega, Alabama. He earned a Master's Degree in education and a Doctorate Degree in curriculum and instruction from Wayne State University in Detroit. Dr. Cain has previously served in the capacity of classroom teacher, Curriculum Director, Curriculum Consultant, Assistant State School Superintendent, State Director of Compensatory Education, local school superintendent, principal, and the Southeast Regional Development Vice President for Edison Schools, the nation's largest manager of public schools. Dr. Cain is active as a community volunteer in Lansing, where he mentors several students and is past Chairman of the Education Committee of the local NAACP chapter and the United Negro College Fund. He serves on the Advisory Board of the College of Education at Wayne State University. He also served as a past Chairman of the National Dropout Prevention Network, an organization that he was instrumental in helping to organize.

David A. Kallman J.D.
Attorney at Law
Private Practice
Lansing, MI

Mr. Kallman is a graduate of Schoolcraft Jr. College, and Northwood University where he earned a BA in Business Administration (1979). He is a 1982 graduate of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Mr. Kallman has been in private practice his entire legal career since passing the Michigan Bar Exam in November of 1982. His general practice covers many areas of the law. Mr. Kallman also has handled many cases involving educational issues in public, private and home schools. He was the trial lawyer in the case of People v DeJonge in which the Michigan Supreme Court eventually ruled (in 1993) that home educators did not have to be certified teachers in order to teach their children at home. Mr. Kallman has also worked with a number of charter schools and helped to establish the Noah Webster Academy - a controversial charter school designed to use distance learning in the home. This charter led to much litigation and a final ruling that the State of Michigan did not have to fund the school. He also has much experience with child abuse/neglect cases, which have included some home school cases over the years. Mr. Kallman has been married to Beth for 20 years. They have two children: Stephen (19), a freshman at Wheaton College near Chicago; and Rachel (12), a seventh grader in their own home school program. He is a coach of the boy's varsity home school basketball team for Lansing and the Kallmans belong to a local home school support group.

Paul A. Long
Vice President, Public Policy
Michigan Catholic Conference



Resource Materials

Back to the Monthly Meetings Calendar