Back to School

As Michigan students, teachers and administrators head back to school we wish everyone a very successful school year!

Equity and Transparency: Critical Focus Areas for Michigan

Earlier this week, the Michigan Department of Education released the results from the Michigan Student Test of Education Progress (M-STEP) – the state’s annual test designed to measure how well students are performing against Michigan’s career- and college-ready standards.

The 2018 M-STEP data show clear, troubling achievement gaps across the subject areas. Early literacy outcomes are no exception – only about one-third of Latino third graders and less than a third of African American third graders scored proficient in English Language Arts, despite the state’s major investment in improving early literacy.  Historically underserved students need particular attention as Michigan prepares to implement a third-grade reading retention policy in the 2019-20 school year.

“Equity must go arm-and-arm with greater data transparency,” said Amber Arellano, Executive Director of The Education Trust-Midwest. “Recent changes to the state’s assessment system create important questions about our state’s data comparability, quality, and transparency.”

Because of these unanswered questions, it is unclear how comparable 2018 M-STEP results are to prior years of data. In order to maintain data quality and transparency, Ed Trust-Midwest recommends that the MDE abandon plans to further change the M-STEP in 2019, and reverse the changes recently made to the assessment.

Click here for more information.

Michigan’s New Science Assessment

In the 2017-18 school year, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) administered a new science assessment in grades 5, 8 and 11 as a statewide field test. As a result of this field test, the MDE does not plan to publicly release results this year or next.

While ETM agrees that this year’s science results should not be used for accountability purposes, ETM has urged the MDE to publicly release school-, district- and state- level data and to provide parents with their student’s individual results. This early data should be made available to help educators and parents identify areas for improvement.

For more details, read ETM’s public comment on the MDE’s draft ESSA waiver request.

Capital Update

The State Board of Education met on Tuesday, August 14. To watch a video of the meeting proceedings, please click here.

The House Education Reform Committee will meet on Thursday, September 6 at 9:00 am in Room 521 of the House Office Building. The agenda includes House Bill 5707 (Miller – R), which would weaken Michigan’s educator evaluation system and lessen accountability for student learning. The Education Trust-Midwest opposes this legislation.

Noteworthy News

Tweet of the Week

 Thank you for this @EdTrustMidwest @EdTrust We must continue with an equity lens and have reliable data and transparency! #MichEd Our students and families deserve better! #Michigan