Rothwell: Michigan schools deserve stability

Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, called for state leaders to stay the course on higher standards and aligned assessments in a strongly worded letter published by The Detroit News on Tuesday, May 9. Below is an excerpt; the full article is available here.

Michigan needs to set rigorous educational standards and measure student achievement against them in a way that can be compared to their peers across the nation. After several years of public debate and legislative action around improving standards and assessments in Michigan, we finally reached that goal by adopting the Michigan Standards and M-STEP assessment in 2014.

Now, after spending millions of dollars to rewrite standards and tests, countless hours of training teachers and administrators on how to implement them and just one year’s experience using them, some want to start all over again with little evidence the change will produce better results.

We have a chance to remove uncertainty and support stronger K–12 outcomes by rejecting calls to change Michigan’s education standards for the second time in two years. Read More.

Haycock: 47% of high school grads aren’t prepared for college

Despite widespread rhetoric around college and career-readiness for all students, just 8% of graduates from public high schools complete a full college- and career-preparatory course of study. Rates of college- and career-ready course-taking are consistently low across all student groups, according to The Education Trust’s new report, “Meandering Toward Graduation: Transcript Outcomes of High School Graduates.”

The vast majority of high school graduates expect to earn a postsecondary degree. But according to a recent survey from Achieve Inc., an education reform organization, 78% of college instructors report that public high schools aren’t doing a good enough job preparing graduates to meet the expectations of college coursework. As a result, approximately one in four students who enter college the fall after high school graduation enroll in remedial coursework during their first year of college — costing their families a stunning $1.5 billion annually, according to a new report from Education Reform Now, a think tank and advocacy organization.

The news is not much better from employers, 62% of whom say that public high schools aren’t doing enough to prepare their graduates to meet the expectations of the workplace.

Each spring, more than three million fresh graduates stream out of our schools, diplomas in hand and futures ahead. The America that our high schools need to prepare them for is not yesterday’s — but tomorrow’s. It’s time to ensure that all of our graduates leave with the skills and knowledge they need for college and career.  Their futures — and America’s — are depending on it.

Click here for the full article.

Capitol Update

State Revenue Update

Today, the House Fiscal Agency, the Senate Fiscal Agency and the Treasury Department will hold a Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference, where they will announce revised estimates for the coming fiscal year, which begins in October.