GLEP: Legislature Leads on Safely Getting Kids Back to School
New School Year Rapidly Approaching, with No Direction Yet from Governor, Advisory Committee, COVID-19 School Task Force
LANSING – The Great Lakes Education Project today thanked members of the state legislature for stepping up to bat for Michigan students, and putting forth the first tangible reform package aimed at getting students safely back to school this fall.
Students, parents and teachers continue waiting for direction from Governor Gretchen Whitmer on the rules and reforms she proposes before opening school buildings in the upcoming school year.
“Kids deserve healthy schools and open doors this fall, and leaders in Lansing willing to do the tough work to deliver for them,” said Beth DeShone, Executive Director of GLEP. “The legislature today took the first important steps to get our kids and our teachers back in the classroom safely. Families can only hope that Governor Whitmer eventually follows their lead.”
As a reminder, GLEP is encouraging the Governor’s Advisory Council and policymakers to embrace reforms that put students first this fall, including:
- Shifting state education models away from seat time requirements to mastery-based learning. Mastery-based education empowers students by ensuring they comprehend the subject matter before moving forward, creating a solid foundation for future learning and allowing individual students to excel at their own pace.
- Empowering school leaders with broad calendar flexibility to begin instruction as quickly and safely as possible without being delayed having to ask for permission from state bureaucracies.
- Ensuring that every student takes a benchmark assessment when in-person learning begins so all teachers understand what extra help some students might be need.
- Embracing effective distance learning and celebrating schools and districts that use it well by learning from their success.
- Eliminating any additional burdens on students or teachers that would prohibit engaged remote learning, if they are receiving remote instruction due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns while their classmates receive instruction inside the school building. These changes should still allow schools to receive their full per-pupil funding, even when students are away due to health concerns.