Becoming Top Ten Starts With Honest Data and Best Practice

Michigan’s new plan for improving student achievement shows significant progress in some areas, yet it also disregards best practice in other areas. These findings — from a new report by The Education Trust-Midwest (ETM) — come as the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) solicits feedback on its newly released Every Student Succeeds Act state plan, one of the most important leadership opportunities for educational improvement of this decade. The public comment period runs through March 16th. Click here to read the full analysis, MDE’s draft plan and to submit a comment.

Report findings include:

  • Much improved school accountability
  • An assessment change that would undermine years of work by educators and stakeholders to improve practice and provide honest reporting on how schools are performing against high standards
  • A need to make long-term goals more ambitious
  • More planning needed to ensure that all students have access to excellent educators

“Michigan now has one of this decade’s most important leadership opportunities to get serious about becoming a top ten state,” said Amber Arellano, ETM’s executive director. “The question is, are MDE leaders making the most of this urgent opportunity? And are they putting students – especially vulnerable students – at the forefront of that decision-making?”

Read the full analysis and submit a comment here.


What Will It Take to Close the African American-White College Completion Gap?

More African American students are enrolling in four-year colleges and universities than ever before. But what happens to these students after they arrive on campus? Do they obtain the degrees they are seeking? Not so much. In fact, only about 4 in 10 (41 percent) African American students who start college as first-time, full-time freshmen earn bachelor’s degrees from those institutions within six years — a rate 22 percentage points below that of their White peers.

In “A Look at Black Student Success: Identifying Top- and Bottom-Performing Institutions,” The Education Trust explores African American-White college graduation gaps and what it will take to close these gaps.

Researchers analyzed six year graduation rates of African American and White students at colleges and universities across the country, including many in Michigan. Read the report, recommendations and graduation data here.


Noteworthy News


Capital Update

Senate K-12, School Aid and Education Appropriations Subcommittee met earlier this morning for the quarterly report on deficit districts.

Senate Education Committee meets today at noon in Room 1200 of the Binsfeld Building. Agenda: Senate Bill 27 to repeal section 1280c of the Revised School Code – which authorizes the State School Reform/Redesign Office (Pavlov – R) and SB 174 (Knollenberg – R) regarding the accreditation of public schools.

Senate K-12, School Aid and Education Appropriations Subcommittee meets Wednesday, March 8 at 8:30 a.m. in the Harry T. Gast Appropriations Room on the 3rd Floor of the State Capitol Building. Agenda: Presentations from the Math and Science Centers Network and Children’s Leadership Council, and updates on the 10 Cents a Meal Program and Algebra Nation.

House Committee on Education Reform meets Thursday, March 9 at 9 a.m. in room 521 of the House Office Building. Agenda: Presentation from Innovation Council and Ed Tech Specialists; presentation on competency based models; and House Bill 4163 (Garcia – R) regarding the exclusion of school calendars as the subject of collective bargaining.

State Board of Education meets next Tuesday, February 14, at 9:30 a.m. in the Ladislaus B. Dombrowski Board Room on the 4th floor of the Hannah Building. The agenda will be posted here.

Senate Michigan Merit Curriculum Subcommittee announced. The subcommittee of the Senate Education Committee will be chaired by Sen. Marty Knollenberg (R – Troy) and charged with reviewing the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC). Adopted in 2006, the MMC helps ensure that all high school students have access to rigorous coursework by requiring students to receive at least 18 credits across eight subjects. No hearings for the subcommittee have been scheduled.


Tweet of the Week

What do we make of Mich.'s #ESSA plan? Full analysis at #michEd @mieducation