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Governance
OEAA Fall Conferences Go ONLLINE
By: Joseph A. Martineau, Ph.D, Director
Office of Educational Assessment & Accountability
Michigan Department of Education
February 16, 2010

We have made the difficult decision to replace OEAA fall conferences with an online solution. This means that we will not be holding conferences in locations around the State. We will, instead, carefully select a few topics and provide an electronic media version of those sessions as they would have been presented in the fall conferences. The reasons for this decision are two-fold.
 
First, there is a significant likelihood that State employees will be required to take unpaid leave days again this year throughout the remainder of the year. Our experience last year with this situation was that our work was severely challenged because of unpaid leave days, and we were fortunate that no significant impacts of these were felt in schools. In order to minimize the possibility of impacts of likely state-employee unpaid leave days, it is important for us to reduce demand on our employees to maintain quality and timeliness.
 
Second, Superintendent Flanagan has requested that MDE take advantage of electronic means of communication and meeting in an era of reduced resources. OEAA fall conferences are a prime candidate for this different way of doing business.
 
In order to maintain our face-to-face contact with stakeholders (which we believe is important), we will be asking in our advisory committee for education associations to let us know about their statewide conferences. Rather than sending most OEAA staff to multiple locations, we will do all we can within resources to have a representative at statewide conferences on topics of interest to the associations.
 
If you have any questions, please contact OEAA at oeaa@michigan.gov or at 877-560-8378.
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