The recent public presentation of Governor Snyder's 21st Century Education Commission study on Michigan's public schools sent a chill through everyone in the room.
The study revealed that Michigan's public schools are among the worst performing in the U.S. based on national achievement data.
Take a look at these troubling statistics:
Fourth grade reading scores for African-American students are the lowest in the 50 states.
Fourth grade reading scores for higher income and white students scores rank 48th .
Eighth-grade math achievement for K through 12 students is among the worst in the nation.
This is not just a Detroit school district failure. Many suburban and rural school districts here are also in critical condition.
For all the talk about Michigan being a comeback state, our public education system continues to fall behind our rivals.
After careful study of other states and nations that faced similar challenges, the Governor's commission identified key strategies to begin the turnaround process now:
1) Elevating the importance of the teaching profession and raising the standard for teacher prep programs
2) Providing the money that school districts need to meet performance metrics
3) Setting high performance standards for schools and students and sticking to them
The blueprint in the report for both short and long term action gives our leaders a specific plan on how we can rebuild our schools. They need to follow it.
I believe it is vital that we build a culture that makes working hard in school, getting good grades and achieving an education beyond high school an expectation of every child by every parent.
I am calling for all parents of schoolchildren to call or e-mail your representative in the Michigan Legislature and ask them what steps they are taking to follow the 21st Century public schools action plan.
CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE
CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR SENATOR
You can find the link to the summary of the Governor's 21st Century commission Blueprint for Success by clicking here.