STATE OF OPPORTUNITY. Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?
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New report says Michigan legislature should move on teacher training and evaluation

Jennifer Guerra
Michigan Radio

  Today, the state legislature may expand the Educational Achievement Authority, the state run district for failing schools.  Earlier this week it seemed as if a piece of legislation might pass that would keep third grade students from moving on to fourth grade if they failed a high stakes reading test.

A new report by research and advocacy organization Education Trust Midwest was released in an effort to focus legislators attention on some things the group says were missed in the recent flurry of education reform efforts. The group wants to see more of a focus on several things, but the main focus of the report seems to be on:

  • getting teachers ready to implement the Common Core State Standards and the new Smarter Balanced tests that go along with it. The move to the Common Core and the assessment is supposed to begin next year.
  • More state support for a teacher evaluation model  that can be implemented around the state. Right now there is a state model, but it lacks implementation.

The report says strong teachers are what will help Michigan's students make up some ground against other states. According to Kids Count data, Michigan now ranks thirty-second among states for the quality of public education.  
The report also suggests looking to states like Tennessee and Kentucky as exemplary because they have had success implementing the Common Core and raising student achievement. 

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