Issue: 6                                                        August 2017

Congratulations to Don Kaminar, Arkansas State Commissioner and Rules Committee Chair on his reappointment by the Arkansas Commissioner of Education, Johnny Key, as the MIC3 Representative.

With thousands of U.S. troops still stationed in Afghanistan and other posts, the nation’s armed forces continue to make significant sacrifices. So do their families.

A new NASBE policy update explores the unique challenges that military-connected students face and how state boards of education can ensure the success and well-being of these students through effective policies on data sharing and training in data management. The update also encourages education boards to partner with MIC3.

The Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE) announces a transition centers initiative in honor of the late U.S. Congressman K. Mark Takai.  In partnership with Hawaii 3Rs and the Military Affairs Council, the effort will develop high-quality transition centers for Hawaii public schools.  Takai was a staunch advocate for Hawaii’s students and supporter of military-dependent students throughout his career.

This month we spoke with Deanna McLaughlin, the Commissioner for the State of Tennessee. 


1.  How long have you been involved with the Compact?

I was appointed as the Tennessee Commissioner by Governor Bill Haslam in November 2011.  I am finishing up my sixth year.

2.  What are the main issues that face your students as they transition and how has the Compact helped?

I believe that the biggest concern for military connected students is the thought of losing credit for courses that were taken and successfully completed at their previous schools.  The compact rules clearly define how transitions are to be handled.

3.  Does your organization have any social media or other outlets that our readers could follow that would help spread the word about the Compact?

In Tennessee, we have information on several websites that include;

“In The Nick of Time”
by Richard Pryor, Communications Associate, MIC3

Over the summer, an incoming Senior transferred from a sending state to a Department of Defense, Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary School (DDESS).

A few weeks into the school year, the student was informed that she was 6 credits short in meeting the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) school graduation requirements.  The DDESS school contacted the sending school to confirm if the student could meet their graduation requirements.  To obtain a diploma from the sending state, the student needed to meet state testing requirement in Language Arts and Algebra. The school informed the family of the testing window, and subsequently the parent and student flew back to the sending state in March/April to take both the tests. 

In early April (in preparation for graduation), the DDESS school followed up with the sending school to obtain the test scores, and was informed that the make-up tests were graded at end May – after the DDESS school graduation date.  Without a graded score, the sending school district could not confirm the student met the sending state’s graduation requirements, and the receiving school concluded that the student could not walk at graduation without this confirmation.  Throughout the year, the family, and both the sending and receiving schools were in communication with the Army School Liaison Officer (SLO). 

Outcome:  At this point, the Army SLO reached out to the MIC3 national office who forwarded the case to the State Commissioner and DODEA’s representative.   Speedy consultation between the Commissioner, state Department of Education and DODEA discovered that if the sending state had a local student in a similar situation, that the sending school would allow the student to walk, however receipt of the actual diploma were dependent on the final test scores.  As a result, the DDESS school determined they could make the same accommodation, and the student was informed a few days prior to graduation that she could participate in the ceremony.

A number of individuals assisted with this case – too many to thank individually.  “We still aren't sure of all the trouble everyone went through to make this happen but (whomever) they were and however they were handled, thank you,” said a very grateful mother.

All those involved agreed on the urgency of this case and that finding a solution was paramount.  What mattered most was that the student could walk with her classmates and be recognized for her hard work and achievement.   This case is a prime example of why the Compact is important in supporting kids, and underlines the importance of our Commissioners, School Liaison Officers, schools, and other stakeholders in working collaboratively to ensure successful educational transitions.

The receiving state school shall initially honor placement of the student in educational programs based on current educational assessments conducted at the school in the sending state or participation/placement in like programs in the sending state.   Such programs include, but are not limited to: 1) gifted and talented programs; and 2) English as a second language (ESL). The receiving school may perform subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement and continued enrollment of the student in the course(s). The receiving school may allow the student to attend similar educational courses in other schools within the LEA if the receiving school does not offer such programs.

If you have a story you would like to share please contact MIC3 at
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Executive Committee Meeting

August 17, 2017 | 2:00 AM EDT

Finance Committee Meeting

August 24, 2017 | 10:00 AM EDT

2017 Annual Business Meeting - Providence, RI
October 25-27, 2017 | Providence, RI