GLEP: Population Workgroup K-12 Proposal Is Completely Unserious

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Partisan Org Rejects Parents, Proposes More Cash for Failed Bureaucracy

Great Lakes Education Project Executive Director Beth DeShone provided the
following response today after the release of newly reported spending requests from Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s partisan population K-12 workgroup.

“Michigan’s public school bureaucracy has failed, and Gretchen Whitmer isn’t serious about fixing it. Parents have been clear about what they need to help their kids catch up after the governor locked them out of their schools. Parents need options. The Governor has done nothing but veto them and throw more money at her own failed department.

“The presentation today by the head of the Michigan teachers’ union outlined all the widely known problems in public education, did nothing to accept the blame for past failures, and instead issued statements about continuing to fund the exact system that has perpetuated the failure. Enough is enough.”

The Department of Education is currently illegally hiding school performance metrics from parents and the media. Instead of equipping parents with funding and options to meet the specific and unique needs of their very different children, today’s proposal is expected to simply add a reported additional $3 billion
in funding to an already broken system. All of that is the focus instead of the numerous opportunities

Gretchen Whitmer has had in years past to right her wrongs by locking students out of classrooms and doing nothing to help their learning loss, like:

Every year that Gretchen Whitmer has been Governor, public education spending from the state has increased, while there have been significant declines in educational outcomes for students.

The Michigan Department of Education late last year announced that 54 school districts with a total of 112 schools will be forced to enter into partnership agreements with the state of Michigan to help improve academic outcomes. Hundreds of other schools require additional support from the state.

The number of schools and districts in crisis has risen steeply over the last 4 years. According to a report from Gongwer News Service, the number of schools in need of comprehensive support went up from 162 in 2016-2017 to 255. Those in need of additional targeted support are up from 60 to 68, and those targeted for support and improvement are up from 63 to 138.

Test scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress identified additional devastating learning loss.

The NAEP scores – often referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card” put Michigan’s 4th grade reading scores at 40th in the nation, with 4th grade math scores little better at 35th. The scores plummeted over the last 2 years amidst unscientific school closures mandated by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and public school bureaucrats.

NAEP numbers mirror test results reported in September by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) which also indicated our students have fallen faster and farther behind in reading and math than ever imagined.

According to NCES, average scores for age 9 students fell further than at any time in more than 3 decades, while math scores for the same students declined for the first time since the implementation of the testing.

Learning experts attribute our students’ lost learning to decisions made during the COVID-19 pandemic to lock children out of their classrooms, despite warnings from pediatricians and public health experts that school closures would do more harm than good.

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.