Michael F. Rice, PhD
Michigan State Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Michael F. Rice was appointed Michigan's 44th superintendent of public instruction by Michigan's State Board of Education in May 2019. He officially began his work as state superintendent on August 1, 2019.
Dr. Rice came to the Michigan Department of Education after serving 17 years as a local district superintendent: 12 years as superintendent in Kalamazoo, Michigan and 5 as superintendent in Clifton, New Jersey.
During his tenure in Kalamazoo, the community passed all ten education-related ballot initiatives, and the district began full-day pre-school, quintupled the number of full-day kindergarten students, and improved student achievement in all board strategic plan areas of reading, writing, math, Advanced Placement participation and success, and graduation rates. The district also built its first three new schools in over a third of a century, started an English-Spanish dual language school, began two new alternative programs, and started a mentoring program that served more than 1,400 students.
During his tenure in Clifton, the community passed eight education-related ballot initiatives. The district began and implemented full-day kindergarten in all of its schools; opened its first new school in 42 years; built an extension and an annex for the high school, at 3400 students the largest on a single campus in New Jersey; and created dual enrollment programs for children at Clifton High School to attend Passaic County Community College and Montclair State University. Student achievement rose in all board strategic plan areas.
Dr. Rice began his career in public education in the Washington, D.C. Public Schools, where he taught high school French, and founded and coached an award-winning speech and debate program. He graduated from Yale University with a bachelor's degree in psychology with honors and from New York University with a master's degree and doctoral degree in public administration, also with honors.
His most rewarding work remains his mentoring and teaching of, and informal discussions with, school children-- which he continues to do as Michigan's state superintendent.