175 Days and Counting – Michigan Department of Education Actively Breaking Michigan Law to Hide School Performance Measures from Parents
LANSING – The Michigan Department of Education has for more than 175 consecutive days broken the state’s reporting law, failing to meet transparency requirements and refusing to publish easy to understand school report cards.
MDE’s decision to intentionally break state law just became more outrageous, as the Department quietly published on its website 2018-2019 school index data – the data the Department has long contended it needed before complying with state school transparency law. Even with the data in hand, the Department refuses to comply with the law.
“Time after time the Department of Education has told parents and the press that it needed 2018-2019 school index data to produce the report cards, but with the data in hand, the Department continues breaking the law,” said Beth DeShone, Executive Director of GLEP. “MDE is actively and intentionally breaking the law, and they’re actively and intentionally hiding school performance measures from parents. They’ve broken the law for 175 days and counting, and parents have every right to wonder if they ever intend to comply at all.”
This winter, the Great Lakes Education Project presented the state Board of Education and every member of the state Legislature a new, comprehensive report including A-F letter grades for public schools in the state, calculated using the Michigan Department of Education’s publicly available School Index data. GLEP published A-F report cards for schools to provide parents with additional information about their local schools’ performance, in light of the decision by Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration to knowingly and brazenly break the law to hide performance data from parents.
GLEP used the guidelines found in the state’s reporting law to craft report cards, measuring each school’s performance for students’ math and reading proficiency; math and reading growth; performance with English language learners; graduation rates; and a comparison to like schools.
The details behind the report cards illustrate the need for parents to receive information about the performance of their kids’ schools. Unfortunately, these details paint a bleak picture when examined alongside3rd grade reading proficiency statistics and SAT scores that measure college readiness.
GLEP-produced Michigan public school report cards are available for review by parents, policymakers, and voters at www.glep.org/a-f.