Michigan Broke its Promise and Our Students are Bearing the Burden

In 2018, our state made a commitment to improve our education system when legislators approved a bill that holds schools accountable for their performance and the success of their students. But unfortunately, our current administration hasn’t seen that commitment through, and our students are bearing the burden.

The legislation, which was modeled after Florida’s success and supported by the West Michigan Policy Forum, requires our state to measure the success of K-12 schools through an A-F grading scale across various subjects: English and math proficiency on state exams, English and math growth scores, growth amongst English language learners and high school graduation rates and academic performance compared to similar schools.

Legislation not only helps to identify and improve education where our state needs it most, but it puts information in the hands of parents who deserve the freedom to decide where they send their children to school.

Despite passing grades of teachers, data continues to show us that our students are failing, with 2022 M-STEP scores revealing 58.4% of third-graders failed the state’s English language arts (ELA) proficiency test, and only 28.6% of sixth-graders and 42.3% of third-graders tested proficient or above in math performance. Additionally, only 41.6% of third-graders passed the state’s English language arts test. However, our state’s administration continues to ignore this important data that we promised we’d start using to help our students improve their performance. If we can’t publicly identify where we’re coming up short, how can we improve?

We need our lawmakers to fight for the future of our children. Michigan’s failing education system will be discussed in depth at the West Michigan Policy Forum Conference on October 20. Register for the conference to learn how we can stand-up for our students: wmpolicyforum.com/events/2022-wmpf-conference.

By West Michigan Policy Forum.