New data released by the Michigan Department of Education shows 112 of Michigan’s K-12 schools received low-achieving marks. This is a dramatic increase from 2018, when 86 schools scored as low-achieving. Once identified, the schools will receive support through partnership agreements with the Michigan Department of Education. However, it’s unclear if partnership agreements actually help. As of the 2021-22 school year, 98 of these schools were already in partnership agreements with the Michigan Department of Education to help improve their academic performance.
Shockingly, State Superintendent Michael Rice blamed the increase in low-performing schools on a lack of funding. This is an alarming comment since schools have recently seen record funding from the Whitmer administration while Rice’s Department of Education and Michigan schools have continued to fail to implement quality measures, like the 3rd grade reading act and A-F measurement of school buildings to give kids the support they need and parents the information they deserve. Rice also blamed the results on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to lower student performance scores across the state.
Despite this blame and deflection, the real story is not being shared: more low-performing schools mean more unsupported students. We are failing Michigan’s children. According to the Michigan Department of Education, schools with a 67% or lower graduation rate increased dramatically, from 162 to 255. Schools with one or more student groups in the bottom 25% increased from 60 to 68. Lastly, schools that had at least one student group in the bottom 25% more than doubled, from 63 to 138.
We need to be concerned and we need to take action now before Michigan students fall further behind. Dismal education doesn’t just damage current academics and the growth of students, but our future workforce and overall state economy.
This upcoming March marks two years since the COVID-19 pandemic rocked Michigan and its education system. Since then, it has been no secret that students are struggling more than ever before. So why are we waiting to take action? We need to demand high standards from our education leaders, make sure the current school funding is going to programs that help students, and increase options for all students.
How can you make a difference? Contact your local legislator by emailing or calling them today. Tell them to lead the Michigan legislature in setting our state’s failing education as a top priority. Right now, this is what needs to be done.