Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: Meet Michigan’s new state superintendent

Good morning and welcome to a special Wednesday edition of Rise & Shine.

The big news Tuesday? Michael Rice, the Kalamazoo Public Schools superintendent, has been offered the job of Michigan’s next state superintendent.

He’s been a French teacher. A chief financial officer. A Michigan superintendent of the year.

And now, he’s being tasked with turning around Michigan’s struggling academic achievement. It’s a tall task in a state where performance on a rigorous national exam has been falling or flat for years, while other states have been improving.

The State Board of Education voted 5-3 Tuesday to offer the state’s top education job to Rice, who’s led the Kalamazoo district for 12 years. The board must now negotiate a contract with Rice. He'll replace Sheila Alles, the chief deputy superintendent at the Michigan Department of Education who has been serving in an interim role since the death of Brian Whiston a year ago Tuesday. 

Rice emerged as the top choice for the job after a day of interviews with three finalists.

Read more about it in this story from our partners at Bridge Magazine. And you can read our earlier coverage here, here and here.

Scroll down for more education news. And have a great Wednesday.

Lori Higgins, senior reporter


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NEW LEADER Michigan’s top education leader will be a local superintendent who doesn’t shy away from a fight over issues he believes in. Chalkbeat Bridge Magazine Detroit News Associated Press Michigan Radio MLive

WANTED: INSTRUMENTS The Detroit school district launched a new initiative with a handful of community organizations in which they’re asking the community to donate new and gently used musical instruments and materials. DPSCD

READY FOR COLLEGE These schools are at the top of the rankings when it comes to college readiness on the SAT. MLive

IN-DEMAND A new charter school opening in Michigan received two applications for every available seat. MLive

CRUMBLING BUILDINGS The superintendent for the Detroit school district calls on state lawmakers to address the issues that will help the district fix its crumbling buildings. WXYZ

RESPONDING TO BETSY The head of a national teacher’s union fired back at a dig Betsy DeVos made during the education secretary’s remarks in Baltimore earlier this week. Michigan Advance