MDE Superintendent Mike Flanagan Responds to My Concerns about Director of un-Special Ed Job Posting

Here is my email earlier this evening to MI DOE Superintendent Mike Flanagan and his immediate response regarding my concerns about the August 14, 2014 job posting for the new director of un-special education. ¬†Clearly, I hit a nerve as Mr. Flanagan doth protest too much….

Dear Superintendent Flanagan-

As a lay advocate for students with disabilities, I am dismayed by the MDE’s job posting for a new director of special education. The job posting does not begin to meet the requirements pursuant to the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education, R 340.1771, Director of Special Education or R 340.1772, Supervisor of Special Education. A “bachelor’s degree in any area of major” does not begin to meet the requirements that include “a minimum of endorsement or certification in one area of special education (including social work and school psychologist); along with a special education administrator cert, or enrollment in a special education administrator program with 12 semester hours completed for a “director.”

Perhaps this is just a big mistake and the wrong information has been posted? Should the MDE hire a supervisor or director of special education who does not meet the aforementioned requirements, the Department will be unable to use any special ed dollars to pay this person’s salary. That is curious enough. Further, this job posting is a complete insult to every special ed administrator across MI with the aforementioned credentials and special education teachers, who have spent hours and dollars, earning special education endorsements and taking tests to meet the highly qualified teacher status. There are already teacher listservs in MI and across the U.S. talking about this job posting.

https://agency.governmentjobs.com/michigan/default.cfm?action=viewJob&jobID=940830

Just another sad day in Michigan for children with disabilities. A sad eighteen years since former Governor John Engler issued the Executive Orders that stripped the SBE of their elected authority and gave it all to a non-elected superintendent.

–Marcie Lipsitt

Here is State Superintendent Mike Flanagan’s almost immediate response. Clearly, I hit a nerve!

“Ma’am- I would call to your attention (and others cc’d) the “preferred” statement in the posting you link. This is the way civil service posts. We are looking for candidates w the “preferred” in that posting. I think and hope we will get candidates with the credentials you cite. I hope you have a good weekend. m”

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