Embrace data-based ed solutions

Dec 12, 2017 by

Michigan can either repeat the mistakes of the past or learn from the lessons of leading states, Arellano and Gutman say

For more than two decades, the best states for public education have shown the importance of providing the public with honest data on how well schools are serving students. They have shown the power of data — to inform parents and community leaders, and make sure that schools actually improve. And these states have proven time and again that when we set a high goal and support students and teachers, achievement follows.

As places like Massachusetts and Tennessee were showing how to get the most out of public education investments, Michigan was modeling exactly what we shouldn’t do.

For years, we’ve lessened accountability and sent confusing signals to parents and schools. Michigan has played with test data to make our schools look good while failing our students. And far too often, the most vulnerable students in Michigan — especially students of color and low-income students — have had less access to high quality schools and educational opportunities. During the same time, we’ve seen the quality of education in Michigan quickly decline, to where we are now a bottom 10 state for important measures, like early literacy.

In recent years, our state has begun to make important changes to overcome this troubling history. We’ve raised expectations for all students and moved to a state assessment that sets a high bar for kids and focuses on 21st century skills, like critical thinking and problem solving.

Source: Column: Embrace data-based ed solutions

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