Standardized Tests And Teacher Evaluation

Standardized tests and teacher evaluation

We have explored previously how an over reliance on standardized tests is contributing to students leaving  high school neither college or career ready. To make matters worse we now are putting in place a teacher evaluation system that also over relies on standardized tests. As I wrote in my last post we need to give schools management in public schools––they…

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Michigan’s School Choice Is Resulting In School Segregation

Michigan’s school choice is resulting in school segregation

For decades, research has been clear that the second most powerful driver of student achievement—behind parental income—is the socioeconomic status of a student’s school. Creating socioeconomically integrated schools should be a top priority of anyone looking to improve the performance of Michigan’s schools, which, by the way, need some improvement (as a quick example: we’re 41st in the nation in…

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Creative Accounting  And Michigan’s Weak Safety Net

Creative accounting and Michigan’s weak safety net

This year, as the welfare reforms instituted under President Clinton turned 20, NPR's Marketplace started a podcast called the Uncertain Hour, which takes a deep look at the consequences of those reforms. And in the fourth episode, Michigan takes a starring role. First, some background. In 1996, the United States ended Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), otherwise known…

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Holding Management Accountable For School Results

Holding management accountable for school results

One of the main lessons we learned from our Michigan Future Schools initiative is, contrary to conventional wisdom, the core characteristic of pre K-12 schools nationally that are getting breakthrough gains in student achievement is the commitment and capability of the management of schools (the central office of both charter school networks and traditional public school districts), not building level…

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Finally Rising Household Incomes

Finally rising household incomes

2015 turns out to be the year that a growing economy finally delivered rising incomes for low and middle income Americans and Michiganders. Median household income nationally rose 5.2 percent. In Michigan 2.4 percent. Michigan's median household income in 2015 was $51,084 compared to $56,517 for the nation. The poverty rate fell nationally from 14.8 to 13.5 percent. In Michigan the…

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