Former U. S. Secretary of Education William Bennett agrees to serve as honorary co-chairman for Kids First! Yes!, a group promoting school vouchers in Michigan. Bennett says the voucher effort will "rescu[e] thousands of children from schools that are failing them."

Michigan's teacher certification requirements should be loosened, Governor Engler told attendees of the 5th Annual Governor's Education Summit on September 23. Burdensome state certification discourages many qualified people from helping public school students, he said.

Students at one New York City elementary school say a convicted scam artist charged with faking his teaching credentials was one of their best teachers. Officials are investigating how Thomas L. Williams fooled the district when it hired him in 1996 and routinely rated his performance highly.

Over 20,000 students scoring well on the 1999 MEAP test are eligible for Michigan's new $2,500 college merit scholarships, say state officials. Overall, MEAP scores are mixed as last April's high school juniors score better in math and reading, but worse in science and writing, than 1998 test-takers.

University-authorized charter schools reach the legal limit of 150 schools, but lawmakers may soon debate a bill to allow for additional schools. Michigan has 173 charter schools, including 23 chartered by school districts or other government entities.

CEO America's privately funded "Horizon" voucher program is not "creaming" the best students from San Antonio's public schools, according to a study released September 16. Two of the study's findings show public school and voucher students' math test scores to be even, while public school students outperform voucher students on reading tests.

Class sizes in Michigan schools drop from 21.7 students per teacher in 1997-98 to 21.3 in 1998-99, according to the 1999 Michigan School Report. The report, available via Internet at www.mde.state.mi.us/reports/msr/, gives data on enrollment, test scores, teacher salaries, and dropout rates.