Brian Whiston

Brian Whiston, State Superintendent, Michigan Department of Education
Dearborn Public Schools

Flags are being lowered Friday in honor of state Superintendent Brian Whiston, who led the Michigan Department of Education since 2015.

Gov. Rick Snyder ordered that U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff within the state capitol complex for Whiston, who died Monday at age 56. Snyder is encouraging Michigan schools to lower flags in honor of Whiston's career in education.

The Department of Education says Whiston died at his home. He had gone on long-term disability leave last week after being treated for cancer since last fall.

Brian Whiston, State Superintendent, Michigan Department of Education
Dearborn Public Schools

State Superintendent Brian Whiston, who led the Michigan Department of Education since 2015, has died. He was 56.

The department said Whiston died Monday evening at his home, surrounded by family. He had gone on long-term disability leave Friday after being treated for cancer since last fall.

State education board co-presidents Casandra Ulbrich and Richard Zeile issued a statement Tuesday calling Whiston a "wonderful person who devoted his life to serving others." They say his vision to make Michigan a top 10 education state will endure.

flickr.com

The debate over publicizing A-to-F grades for every public school in Michigan is not entirely over, despite the surprise decision by top education officials to back off the proposal.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston will default to report cards without any letter grades, to replace color-coded marks that have been criticized.

But the caveat remains that the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder could still decide that letter grades should be issued.

It will be a tough sell.

Michigan officials present plan to boost state's schools

Feb 9, 2016

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - State Superintendent Brian Whiston has presented a plan aimed at catapulting Michigan schools into one of the nation's top educational systems.

16 Michigan districts to come under treasury oversight

Sep 16, 2015

Sixteen Michigan school districts operating with deficits for more than five years are expected to come under oversight of the state Treasury Department under a new law.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston listed the districts Thursday in a quarterly update to lawmakers.

Five districts - Detroit, Highland Park, Muskegon Heights, Benton Harbor and Pontiac - already are operating under a state-appointed emergency manager or consent agreement.

The other 11 districts will have to submit an enhanced deficit elimination plan to the state treasurer.