Michigan Merit Curriculum law a positive step

Legislation signed this week by Gov. Rick Snyder that helps ease restrictions put in place by the Michigan Merit Curriculum are a long-awaited change we’re excited to see made.

Upper Peninsula legislators have been fighting this battle for years, trying to make the argument that not all high school students should become college students.

In a recent interview on Northern Michigan University Public TV 13’s “Media Meet” 109th District Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette, said this was not an issue of dumbing down the curriculum, as many have said, but rather is an issue of offering students choices.

They will now be able to include some current Michigan Merit standards in math and foreign language inside technical or arts classes, opening up time for students to take classes geared toward vocational careers rather than college readiness.

Because not every person should attend college. While it is a boost to many, for some the better option – and in some cases the more financially stable one as college tuition prices continue to rise – is to enter an apprenticeship straight out of high school, or earn a two-year associate’s degree before entering the workforce.

We think these changes are long overdue, especially for the students in the Upper Peninsula, where skilled labor is in huge demand and in short supply in the younger generations.

We applaud the governor for signing this important legislation and we further applaud the legislators who worked together to help makes this happen.

It’s examples like this that show us the state legislature is not entirely caught up in bi-partisan bickering and is able to work as a team to ensure it does right by Michigan citizens.