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updated April 15th, 2013
Announcing the 2012 SRM Competition
A $24,250 COMPETITION SPONSORED BY
“STUDENTS REINVENTING MICHIGAN”
$10,000 GRAND PRIZE
$5,000 SECOND PRIZE
$3,000 THIRD PRIZE
$2,000 FOURTH PRIZE
$4,250 MENTOR PRIZES
The STUDENTS REINVENTING MICHIGAN Corporation is sponsoring its second annual competition. The Competition is open to all undergraduate students who are attending Michigan universities, colleges, community colleges, high schools or are home schooled. The Competition engages students in finding solutions to contemporary problems that face the Legislature and citizens of Michigan. Each year, students are asked to solve a different and challenging problem that faces our state. Winners will receive cash prizes.
The Topic for the 2012 Competition is:
“How All Students Entering College Can Be College Ready”
Michigan’s greatest resource is its young people. SRM recognizes that the majority of K – 12 students are not prepared for college. Over time the amount of tax money spent on K – 12 education has continually increased. However, only about 17% of graduating high school seniors are college ready. Furthermore, students with educational deficiencies who attend college must take remedial courses. The cost of repeating failed K – 12 courses by taking remedial classes is an extra expense to the student that actually increases the cost of a K – 12 education. In effect, the true cost of educating a student to be college ready is greater than that which is reported, using current per student cost reporting methods.
The 83% of students who are not college ready must take remedial courses at their expense. There are two cost components to financing their education. First, is the tax payer liability for the standard K – 12 education. Second, is the additional cost to the student necessary to pay for their educational deficiencies to become college ready. Current trends show that fewer Michigan students are graduating from colleges and universities with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors than in the past. Greater proficiency in these fields among a higher percentage of students is needed to drive an economy. Michigan is falling behind in this need. A greater number of Michigan students must choose to concentrate in these fields to make Michigan competitive in a global economy.
Our educational system is clearly failing our young people and Michigan tax payers. Have taxes been raised inversely proportional to the quality of education students receive? Past methods of education have been replaced with new and innovative methods of teaching; and yet the quality of education has continued to decline. Is it possible to look back to a time when students received a better education and consider if some successful methods of educating students have been lost and should be reviewed?
The economic impact of a poor education is clear:
- Students take longer to complete their college education and delay entry into the job market thereby reducing their lifetime earnings and earlier contribution to the State’s economy.
- Students taking remedial courses to be college ready pay more for their education than those students who are college ready.
- Redundancy is created by the same classes being taught in high school and college. This means that taxpayers and students are paying twice for the same material being taught.
- An inadequate number of graduation students are prepared to enter the job market in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), sectors, which threatens Michigan’s economic future.
- Students graduation in majors that do not apply to their future job positions are accumulating unnecessary and debilitating debt.
- Taxpayers are not receiving value for their tax dollar.
The quality of public education has been in decline for many years. This is a painful reality that Michigan Legislators have grappled with for too long. This year’s topic allows Michigan students the opportunity to weigh in on the problem and develop workable solutions to make every K – 12 college prep student in Michigan college ready.
One interesting idea submitted to SRM is to make a separation between community colleges and four-year colleges and universities. Until students are prepared for a four-year college or university they will be required to take remedial and pre-requisite courses at a community college. Utilizing community colleges in this way will keep the cost of education down for students, and allow four-year schools to concentrate on teaching students who are ready for an advanced curriculum. Additionally, community colleges can create or strengthen their vocational education curriculums.
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