SETDA, the principal membership association of the U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders today announced Michigan leaders, Governor Rick Snyder and the late State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Brian Whiston as the recipients of the 2018 SETDA State Policy Maker of the Year Award. Governor Snyder and Superintendent Whiston were honored for their vision and leadership in support for the effective use of technology in Michigan at SETDA’s 2018 Leadership Summit – Championing Education Leaders in the Digital Age in Arlington, Virginia.
Under Governor Snyder’s leadership, the Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant, which began in 2013, successfully prepared schools to implement digital state assessments. In 2013, the State School Aid Act appropriated $3 million for FIRST Robotics. Governor Snyder has attended the Michigan state FIRST championship since 2013, encouraging student participation in STEM. FIRST funding at the state level has continued every year since.. Michigan is also hosting the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Detroit through 2020. Additionally, he has developed the “Marshall Plan for Talent,” a comprehensive plan to increase career exploration, help schools evolve to competency-based learning, and create multiple pathways for entry into the education workforce, particularly for critical shortage areas.
Along with Governor Snyder, the late State Superintendent Brian Whiston established a vision through the Top 10 in 10 with the goal being to make Michigan a Top 10 Education State. According to the Top 10 in 10, “Every learner in Michigan’s public schools will have an inspiring, engaging, and caring learning environment that fosters creative and critical thinkers who believe in their ability to positively influence Michigan and the world beyond.” The vision that State Superintendent Whiston had set the State of Michigan on a path to becoming a Top 10 education state in 10 years.