Zorn, education leaders discuss ways to reduce need for remedial math courses

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — Educational leaders from school districts covering Monroe and Lenawee counties, Jackson College, Monroe Community College, Michigan State University, and the University of Texas joined Sen. Dale Zorn for a math summit on Oct. 26 to bridge the gap between high school and college-level curriculums and end the need for remedial courses.

“Our goal is to improve partnerships and better align the curriculum at our K-12 schools with the math expectations at our community colleges, so when students graduate, they can jump right in to earning a certificate or degree and not have to take remedial classes,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “We all know that education is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, but we must find a solution that works for everyone.

“Remedial courses cost students more money and more time. Most importantly, they result in many remedial students becoming frustrated and dropping out.”

When entering college, students usually take a math placement exam. Students whose scores do not meet minimum requirements must take remedial classes to get caught up. Tuition is charged for these remedial college classes, and students usually do not receive credit for them toward graduation.

In Michigan, over 27 percent of students entering college the year after graduating from high school needed to take remedial classes in the 2015-16 academic year. In math, it was 21.3 percent.

The summit was spearheaded by Zorn and held at the Monroe County Community College (MCCC) La-Z-Boy Center. Educators from the Addison, Adrian, Airport, Bedford, Blissfield, Britton Deerfield, Clinton, Dundee, Hudson, Ida, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Onsted, Sand Creek, Summerfield, Tecumseh and Whiteford schools were among those at the summit. Officials from the Lenawee and Monroe County intermediate school districts, Jackson College and MCCC also participated.

“We discussed a wide variety of innovative and different pathways for better preparing our students,” Zorn said. “The possible solutions included incorporating more career-based mathematics in the curriculum and developing a high school transition course for students who are not ready for college math — ensuring students meet college benchmarks and ending the need for remedial courses.”

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Zorn introduces duck hunting clarification bill

Duck hunting is a popular sport in southeast Michigan and across the state. Unfortunately, some of the policies and laws concerning duck hunting are confusing.

Currently, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) allows duck hunting from a motorboat if the motor is off and the boat has stopped, yet Michigan law actually bans hunters from having a loaded weapon in a motorized boat. I have introduced legislation to clear up this contradiction by changing the law to mirror current DNR policy.

Senate Bill 1120 would revise the state law to reflect an existing Wildlife Conservation Order. Under the bill, the law would be changed to allow waterfowl hunters to hunt “from a motorized boat if the boat’s motor has been completely shut off” and its “forward progress has ceased.” It would also allow for easier transportation of hunting weapons on private property.

My bill is part of a legislative package to protect the rights of Michigan hunters and private property owners and make our state a more attractive hunting destination.

In addition to my bill, the package would also:

  • Preserve the right to hunt and fish in Michigan;
  • Encourage the Natural Resources Commission to review the state’s turkey licensure process and lottery program; and
  • Have Michigan join Indiana and Ohio in requiring written permission to hunt or fish on private land.

Hunting plays a key role in the way of life for many Michigan families and contributes more than $2 billion to Michigan’s economy each year. This proactive legislation is about clarifying and improving our hunting laws, maintaining our wildlife conservation system and protecting our outdoor traditions for generations to come.

***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Zorn hosting math summit with education leaders from Monroe and Lenawee counties

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn will host a math alignment summit on Friday, Oct. 26 with educational leaders from 18 local school districts, Jackson College, Monroe Community College, Michigan State University, and the University of Texas.

Who:
Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida;
Superintendents, principals and math teachers from 18 school districts covering Monroe and Lenawee counties;
Officials from Jackson College and Monroe County Community College;
Officials from the Lenawee and Monroe County intermediate school districts;
Experts from the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin; and
Pavel Sikorski, MSU co-director of undergraduate studies.

What:
A summit spearheaded by Zorn to study and discuss ways to improve partnerships between area schools and community colleges to reduce the need for remedial education.

When:
Friday, Oct. 26
9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Where:
Monroe County Community College
La-Z-Boy Center Building
1555 S. Raisinville Road
Monroe

Note:
Last year, Zorn and local education leaders studied ways to enhance the collaboration of area schools and community colleges to reduce the need for remedial education. The summit is an effort to build on that work with local, regional, state and national experts.

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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Governor signs Trooper Jones memorial highway bill

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, joined the daughter of the late Michigan State Police Trooper Calvin Jones on Tuesday for a bill signing ceremony with Gov. Rick Snyder for Zorn’s legislation to designate a portion of M-52 from Carleton Road to the Ohio border as the Trooper Calvin R. Jones Memorial Highway. Jones was the first state trooper to be killed in the line of duty in Lenawee County.

Jones’ daughter Patricia Rowley and her husband Claude Rowley attended a Senate committee meeting in February in support of Zorn’s bill. Lenawee County Commissioner Jim Driskill knew Trooper Jones, who was a close friend of his father, and testified in support of the measure.

Pictured with Snyder from left: Zorn, Patricia Rowley, Claude Rowley, Sgt. Matt Williams, and Driskill.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Photowire.

Senate panel approves bipartisan bills to expand jurisdiction for drug cases causing death

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn and Sen. Vincent Gregory, D-Lathrup Village, to allow a county prosecutor to bring charges in the drug-overdose death of a resident in the county, even if the illegal drugs were purchased in another county.

“As Michigan and the entire nation continues to battle the growing epidemic of opioid addiction, this commonsense legislation would give prosecutors more tools to punish drug dealers,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “We have worked with the Monroe County prosecutor’s office and with law enforcement officials from across the state to craft this reform and give county prosecutors the ability to seek justice on behalf of their residents.”

Assistant Attorney General Bill Rollstin, who leads Attorney General Bill Schuette’s Opioid Trafficking and Interdiction Unit, testified in favor of the legislation. Rollstin has an extensive background in prosecuting drug-related crimes, and as of August 2018, the unit has investigated and prosecuted cases from 24 Michigan counties.

In a recent case titled People v. McBurrows the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that charges of delivery of a controlled substance causing death can only be prosecuted in the county where the drugs were delivered.

The case arose from a heroin-overdose death of a man in Monroe County in 2016. An autopsy determined the cause of death was fentanyl toxicity. Fentanyl is sometimes used by heroin dealers as a cutting agent to make the heroin more potent.

The dealer was charged in Monroe County with one count of delivery of fentanyl causing death. However, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the Monroe Circuit Court lacked jurisdiction because the delivery of the drug occurred in Wayne County.

“We had a case dismissed because of this exact issue; drugs sold in Ingham County were consumed in Jackson County and caused a death,” said Jackson County Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka, who also testified during the committee hearing. “So, had this been the law, venue would not have been an issue in prosecuting this drug dealer.”

Senate Bills 951 and 952 would expand the law to broaden the potential for prosecution of delivery of a controlled substance causing death to three possible venues: The county where the drugs are delivered, the county where the drugs are consumed by the victim, or the county where the victim died from using the drugs.

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