As education results in Michigan slip, stakeholders mobilize

The following excerpt is from a May 13 article by Nick Manes in MiBiz. The full article is available here.

Michigan’s beleaguered K-12 public education system continues to take a beating from the state’s business groups.

A March study released by Business Leaders for Michigan, the statewide business roundtable based in Detroit, found that Michigan placed at best middle of the pack nationally in a number of key metrics and ranked toward the bottom in fourth grade reading ability at 46th.

Michigan’s K-12 education system — and how to fix it — also was the focus of a half-day “Solutions Summit” hosted by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and Ann Arbor-based think tank The Center for Michigan earlier this year.

Amber Arellano, executive director of Education Trust-Midwest, a Royal Oak-based nonpartisan K-12 research and advocacy organization, also sees more collective action around finding solutions as the studies continue to pile up.

“I’m excited because I feel like this is really a moment when we’re seeing a shift in the state,” Arellano said during the Chamber summit. “I think we’re seeing a shift from awareness to urgency and a shift from urgency to deep collaboration across many sectors, and we’re seeing a shift to action.”

“Michigan’s K-12 performance lags well behind that of most states, even those long known for their poor educational outcomes,” according to the BLM report, which noted that only one in four high school graduates in Michigan is deemed “college or career ready.”

“Worse yet, Michigan’s results continue to stagnate or drop, even as other states move ahead,” according to the report.

Interim State Superintendent Selected

Sheila Alles has been named Interim State Superintendent by the Michigan State Board of Education. Alles has served as Chief Deputy State Superintendent since March 2017, coming from Livonia Public Schools, where she was Chief Academic Officer.

Capital Update

The Senate Education Committee meets today at noon in room 1300 of the Binsfeld Building. The agenda includes:

  • House Bill 4614 (Miller) regarding renewal of lapsed education certificates;
  • HB 5379 (Hertel) regarding use of sunscreen at school with parental approval
  • Senate Bills 957, 983, 990, and 991 regarding school safety planning requirements.

The House Education Reform Committee will meet on Thursday, May 17 at 9:00 AM in room 521 of the House Office Building. The agenda includes a presentation by Amanda Price, chair of the Governor’s PreK-12 Literacy Commission.

Noteworthy News

Tweet of the Week

 Another huge thank you, this week and every day, to the teachers working with us to enhance public education for #Mi students and students everywhere! #TeacherAppreciationWeek