In her article titled “Michigan’s lagging achievement prompts calls for school reform,” Detroit News journalist Beth LeBlanc explained that Michigan is falling behind in student achievement, and that this is prompting a newfound emphasis on school policy reform.
As recently as last week, Michigan ranked 35th in the country for fourth-grade reading and 33rd in eighth-grade math in 2017, according to the National Assessment for Educational Progress.
In light of school policy conversations taking place at the Mackinac Policy Conference, leaders in education, politics, and business have been weighing in on Michigan’s teacher shortages, changing accountability measures, curriculum requirements, literacy levels, and public school choice. LeBlanc quoted Dean Elizabeth Birr Moje, who noted that funding equity among schools ranks high alongside stability in the education system and teacher preparation.
Teachers need more preparation, more ongoing training, more respect, and more than the “suppressed pay” that’s been the general standard in districts across the state, Moje said.
“The supply of well-prepared teachers is probably the most crucial issue facing the entire state,” Moje said. “It’s already a challenge in our more challenged districts. But it will become an even greater challenge across the state as teachers retire.”