A Transparency Crisis at the MI Department of Education

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Why is Michigan’s education bureaucracy trying to hide school performance data?

That’s the question we’ve been asking Governor Gretchen Whitmer for weeks, and the inquiry state Superintendent Michael Rice keeps ducking.

The Michigan Department of Education just days ago filed their 3rd waiver request with the federal government to avoid administering legally required student performance testing that’s used to equip parents and teachers with critical data on our kids’ successes and struggles in the classroom.

It’s the kind of information that’s more important to have than ever, as tens-of-thousands of Michigan kids remain locked out of their classrooms by anti-science pandemic orders from the Governor and local school bureaucracies.

Parents, education leaders, and educators across the state have spoken out against MDE’s disregard for student data and student success, but Governor Whitmer remains silent.

Now’s the time for her to find her voice.

Superintendent Rice should immediately withdraw the Department’s waiver request to the federal government. If he doesn’t, the Governor should hold him publicly accountable.

Beth DeShone
Executive Director, Great Lakes Education Projecthttps://campaign-image.com/zohocampaigns/268876000014843836_zc_v86_saywhat1.png

WLNS TV 6 Lansing: Reactions Pour in after State of the State Address

“Parents certainly weren’t surprised… that the Governor again ignored so many of their kids, or that her Department of Education has filed waiver requests to hide the crisis and critical school data from families.”

The Mining Gazette: GLEP: Representative’s Appointment to House Education Committee a Win for Students, Parents

“Moms like me are thrilled the committee will be led by lawmakers… who are willing to stand up for kids, to stand alongside parents, and to go toe-to-toe with Lansing’s dysfunctional education bureaucracy when it gets in our students’ way.”


Study after study have shown that Michigan’s kids are falling desperately behind. According to one study out of Stanford University, for many students it will require years to make up for the learning they lost because the Governor ignored the science and the CDC guidance about school.

Meaningfully addressing that learning loss can’t start, though, until we know where students are on their education journeys, where they’ve kept up, and where they’ve fallen behind.

That testing is literally more important this year than ever.

The Michigan Department of Education? They don’t want to give the test.

Superintendent Rice? He’s begging the federal government to waive the test.

Governor Whitmer? She refuses to answer questions or to speak up for our kids.

Three questions with answers that provide political cover for the administration but leave our kids behind. The Governor’s willingness to ignore the plight of Michigan children in 2021 will reverberate through the rest of their lives.


You have a voice, and it matters.

The Michigan Department of Education is accepting public comments on their waiver request to hide student performance data from parents and teachers.

You can speak out today by filing your public comment via email to: [email protected] (please include “2021 ESSA Assessment and Accountability Waiver” in the subject line).

Comments are due by Friday, February 12.