What’s up with DPS this week?
Again, despite the lack of formal legislative hearings in Lansing, there continues to be intense negotiations amongst key stakeholders behind the scenes on the pending DPS bailout legislation. Here are a few highlights from the past week:
DPS “Cherry Picks” students in 20 schools
It’s a little known fact that 20 DPS schools require students wishing to enroll must score high enough on entrance exams, have a minimum GPA from their current school, include letters of recommendation or actually interview for the chance to attend. Each of the following schools are “selective” enrollment schools rather than “open” enrollment schools which accept all students who wish to enroll. Here are the DPS selective enrollment schools:
GLEP isn’t taking a position on whether or not traditional public schools should be able to “screen” out students and operate selective enrollment schools. But we think it’s important when comparing academic performance that it is clear which type of student body is being represented.
Check out the graph below and you’ll see that student proficiency on the 2015 M-STEP is considerably higher for students in DPS selective enrollment schools (28% in ELA; 15% in Math) than it is for students in DPS “open enrollment” schools (9% in ELA; 5% in Math). By comparison, charter public schools are required to practice OPEN enrollment, and the proficiency of charter schools in Detroit (19% in ELA; 8% in Math) dramatically exceeds their “apples to apples” counterparts in DPS. Just keeping it 100, as our friends say.
West Michigan teacher named state’s best
Congratulations to Tracy Horodyski, a reading interventionist and literacy coach at Zinser Elementary in Kenowa Hills Public Schools in Kent County, who was named this morning as the 2016-17 Michigan Teacher of the Year. “Tracy is an extraordinary representative of our Michigan teachers and the positive impact they make on our schoolchildren. She is a living, breathing model of best practices, especially when it comes to child literacy,” State Superintendent Brian Whiston said. Whiston noted that child literacy is an area of focus for himself, Gov. Rick Snyder, the Michigan Department of Education, the State Board of Education and state lawmakers. AND GLEP!!!
New Report: Michigan students sliding fast toward the bottom
The Detroit Free Press just highlighted a new report from the Education Trust-Midwest that confirms the poor academic performance of Michigan students. According to the report, Michigan has fallen from 28th in 2003 to 41st in 2015 in 4th grade reading proficiency, and we’re one of the very few states to actually lower our reading proficiency percentage in the past decade. Just more reason to support passage of HB 4822 (Price), the K-3 reading bill currently in a House-Senate conference committee.
GLEP candidate questionnaire available online
All 110 members of the State House of Representative are up for election this fall, and there are 40 open seats in what will be a high-turnout Presidential year election cycle. If you know someone running for State Representative this year, click here to access the GLEP candidate questionnaire. Candidates are only considered for endorsement by GLEP if they return ur questionnaire.
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Gary G. Naeyaert