Dr. Michael F. Rice was appointed Michigan’s 45th superintendent of public instruction by Michigan’s State Board of Education in May 2019. Dr. Rice officially began his work as state superintendent on Aug. 1, 2019. He came to the Michigan Department of Education after serving 17 years as a local district superintendent – 12 years as superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS), and five years as superintendent of the Clifton (NJ) Public Schools.
During his time at KPS, the district improved student achievement in all areas; doubled the number of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses and almost tripled the number of AP courses that students take; increased high school graduation rates; grew by more than 1,300 students (roughly 13 percent); added a dual language elementary school, an alternative middle school, a comprehensive middle school, and an alternative high school program; and built three schools.
Among his honors are the presidency of the state’s urban school district association, the Middle Cities Education Association, in 2013-14, and the Michigan Superintendent of the Year Award from the Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA) in 2016. Rice holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Yale University and master’s and doctoral degrees from New York University, also with honors. He began his career as a French teacher and speech and debate team founder and coach in the Washington, D.C., public schools.
Ray Telman is executive director of the Middle Cities Education Association, which serves urban school districts across Michigan. Telman has lobbied at the state and national level and worked as teacher and principal at the local and intermediate district levels.