Failed Bureaucracy: Disastrous M-STEP Results Show Students Left in the Cold; Parents Left with Desperate Questions

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Failed Bureaucracy: Disastrous M-STEP Results Show Students Left in the Cold; Parents Left with Desperate Questions 

Parents, Students Don’t See Results from Extra $6.1 Billion in School COVID Relief Spending 

LANSING – Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) Executive Director Beth DeShone today asked the Michigan Department of Education to provide parents with answers to numerous critical questions, following the release Tuesday of the state’s M-STEP test results, showing dramatic, but expected, learning loss and tanking performance scores across the state.

The state today released the statewide results of last school year’s student assessments.  The Department and public school bureaucracy fought unsuccessfully last year to waive student assessments, but President Joe Biden’s administration rejected their push to hide data from parents and teachers.

“Governor Whitmer ignored the science, the pediatricians, and the experts, locking students out of their classrooms for months at a time, and today’s test results prove she made a disastrous call,” said DeShone.  “Taxpayers spent an extra $6 billion for schools last year during the pandemic, but Governor Whitmer and the public school bureaucracy left the students behind.” 

Key questions bureaucrats must answer today include: 

  1. What specifically is the Department of Education doing this school year to address the massive learning loss identified in today’s report?  How is it different from their typical failed approach?
  2. How does the Department plan to ensure students get caught up?
  3. With student assessments showing little but lost learning, how specifically was the additional $6.1 billion in federal COVID relief funding for Michigan public schools spent?
  4. With test scores showing challenges in districts across the state, will Governor Whitmer reconsider her recent veto of $155 million in education funding to help struggling readers catch-up after the pandemic?
  5. Some Michigan public school districts encouraged their students to skip their assessments last year, to hide performance from parents.  How will the state Superintendent and the public school bureaucracy ensure students who did not take the assessment have their learning loss effectively addressed?

According to one study from Stanford University, for many students who have fallen desperately behind it will require years to make up the learning they lost as a result of closures mandated by the state.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s anti-science school closures, and the Department’s repeated push to waive a key measuring stick instead of supporting students have had a disastrous impact on underserved, minority, and poorer communities, as well.

According to a news report, these closures happened far more often in economically disadvantaged districts.  Data indicates that 79% of students locked out of the classroom by Governor Whitmer were economically disadvantaged, far above the statewide average of 51%.

The Great Lakes Education Project is a bi-partisan, non-profit advocacy organization supporting quality choices in public education for all Michigan students.  GLEP strongly supports efforts to improve academic achievement, increase accountability and empower parental choice in our schools.