Statement from the Education Trust-Midwest on Michigan’s premature request to cancel assessments of learning and school accountability
The president of the Michigan State Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction have requested a waiver of federal requirements for student assessments and school accountability for next school year. If approved, Michigan would become the first state to waive school assessments and accountability requirements for the 2020-21 school year.
The following may be attributed to Brian Gutman, director of external relations at the Education Trust-Midwest:
“At this high-stakes time for Michigan students, it is critical for parents and educators to have honest information about how their children and students are learning – and how they may need to be supported at a time of unfinished learning and COVID-19. This information is key to informing children’s instruction and bringing transparency to the many educational efforts happening across the state.
“Thus it is deeply disappointing to see Michigan’s move today away from assessments that measure student learning, as well as provide accountability for student learning among schools and districts. If approved by the U.S. Department of Education, this action will undermine educational recovery efforts that should be transparent and data-driven. Instead, Michigan’s proposal would make Michigan’s public education recovery process less transparent and less accountable for helping students to learn at this historic moment for children.
“Indeed, it is more important than ever to understand how well our schools are meeting the needs of students and addressing gaps in opportunities and outcomes. Regardless of where learning happens, next year will be pivotal for ensuring that every student is provided with the supports that they need to accelerate and succeed. Failing to measure and report on learning is a disservice to our students, and especially children who are traditionally underserved by Michigan’s inequitable education system: African American, Latino, rural students, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities.
“It is far too early to cancel assessments for next year. We urge the Michigan Department of Education to rescind this request and provide support to schools and students, while ensuring transparency and accountability for student learning.”