DEARBORN — Dearborn Public Schools Superintendent Glenn Maleyko was one of 20 superintendents from Michigan invited to meet with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
“I was honored to have been one of the superintendents selected to attend,” Maleyko said in a press release. “I believe the size of our district, the challenges we face and the success of our students all played a role in Dearborn being part of this important meeting.”
Grand Rapids Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal, who arranged the meeting after being contacted by the U.S. Department of Education, said the meeting consisted of diverse superintendents representing urban, suburban and rural districts.
“The secretary specifically asked for superintendents to share how best she and her department could better serve our districts,” she said.
During the meeting, Maleyko spoke about the teacher shortage in Michigan and the need to recruit people into the teaching profession. He said even though 225 new teachers were hired in the last two years, there are still a number of vacant positions in Dearborn, especially in subjects such as special education, science and math.
“Overall the dialogue was very positive and constructive,” he said. “Superintendents offered constructive feedback and shared concerns that are common among districts across our state, such as local control of schools, accountability measures, expanded educational opportunities in the area of skilled trades and technology related careers, promoting more inquiry based learning by students and the possible cut in federal funds known as Title II.”
Title II funds are used for reducing class sizes, elementary literacy, literacy coaches and technology coaches in Dearborn. The district also launched the Dearborn Teacher Reading Academy, a training program for all lower elementary teachers.
According to the press release, the projects are significant to support the “Read by Third Grade” legislation and the district’s large English Learner population.
“As superintendent, I must take advantage of opportunities to advocate for our schools and the students in our classroom,” Maleyko said. “Meeting with the secretary of education allowed me to join together with other state superintendents and have a very positive conversation about public education in our country. I’m delighted to have been able to take part and represent our district.”