Statement from Amber Arellano to promote transparency and data following MDE assessment waiver request
“Today the Michigan Department of Education announced it is requesting to the U.S. Department of Education a waiver from assessments of English Language Arts, math, and science, English Language Proficiency (ELP), and alternate assessments for 2020-21, among other public reporting. The MDE also is requesting waiving reporting progress toward long-term goals and measurements of interim progress for academic achievement for Michigan students.
“Michigan’s proposal to move away from assessments that assess the impact of the pandemic on education would greatly jeopardize efforts of parents and educators to help students catch up now and in the years to follow. During the COVID-19 pandemic, national research suggests millions of students have been falling behind during the disruptions to in-person school since last spring. Now is the time to face this educational challenge with great transparency and honesty. Without data that helps Michigan parents, stakeholders and policymakers know how Michigan children have been affected during this school year, it would be extraordinarily difficult to address their educational needs and recovery.
“Indeed, it’s more important than ever to know how students have been impacted by COVID-19’s disrupted learning so that we understand how best to direct resources and supports to students and communities most in need through investments and solution-based, research-driven strategies. This is especially true for children who are traditionally underserved by Michigan’s inequitable education system: African American, Latino, rural students, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities.
“A recent poll underscored the need for reliable information about students.
“We urge the Michigan Department of Education to rescind this request and provide support to schools and students so we can face this education this crisis with honesty and transparency.”