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School summit in Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - State lawmakers and local school leaders are gathering in Kalamazoo Thursday morning to discuss the future of education in Michigan.
 
It's part of a series of education summits being held across the state.
 
The conference will feature more than a dozen panelists including two state representatives and the Kalamazoo Public Schools superintendent.
    
Similar events in Detroit and Lansing drew in nearly 500 people.
 
The focus is to break down a recent report, which surveyed 5,000 people across the state on how to improve student learning.  Those surveyed gave Michigan's public schools a grade of a "C" or lower.
    
The three-hour conference aims to bring key issues, like teacher preparation and early childhood education, to light.
    
The Kalamazoo County Ready 4s is one of the organizations expected to present on the importance of preparing kids for kindergarten.
 
When I was a K-12 educator, we were seeing more and more children entering school who were struggling, says Sandy Standish, executive director of the Kalamazoo County Ready 4s. And so the goal is to work with children younger to help them not only get the academic experience but also just the social emotional readiness for that K-12 learning experience and to really level the playing field. We want every child to begin kindergarten ready to learn and ready to succeed.
 
Thursdays summit today is free and open to the public.
 
It begins at 7:30am at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo.