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Michigan’s senators support meaningful accountability in federal education overhaul

Last week, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act, which would amend and reauthorized the nation’s major education law. This bill, and a house-passed version, will now be taken up by a conference committee for differences between the versions to be worked out.

According to Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust, “There’s a lot to like in the Senate version, but it falls far short when it comes to ensuring action on behalf of students who are struggling academically.” The bill contains important building blocks for raising achievement among all students and closing stubborn achievement gaps, including:

  • state standards aligned with the demands of college and career;
  • annual statewide assessments to provide objective, comparable data on how all students are performing;
  • rich public reporting on student outcomes and opportunities to learn, including per-pupil expenditures, access to rigorous coursework, and measures of school climate, including chronic absenteeism and exclusionary discipline; and,
  • attention to, and a commitment to addressing inequities in access to ineffective, out-of-field, and inexperienced teachers.

However, the bill lacks meaningful accountability; and obligation for schools, districts and states to do something when a group of students isn’t progressing, a need that civil rights groups and education advocates, including The Education Trust and EdTrust-Midwest, will continue to advocate for.

We thank Michigan senators, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, for their support of much-needed accountability in education. Our senators stood up for Michigan students and against special interests, in voting in favor of amendment 2241, which ultimately failed, but would have held schools accountable for the academic progress of all groups of students.


Graphic: Why accountability matters for Michigan students

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In the years since schools became accountable for all groups of children, performance for all groups has risen dramatically – especially students of color.

But we need to speed up the improvement process, because large gaps remain.

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