Senate Republicans Offer Students, Parent a Desperately Needed Lifeline

Comments:0 Comments

New Education Proposal Unveiled Just Hours after Damning Report Shows Extent of Crisis Swallowing Michigan Kids’ Futures

LANSING – The Great Lakes Education Project today thanked Senate Republicans for taking steps to help Michigan students, just hours after a devastating new report from researchers at Harvard and Stanford University was highlighted by the local media, showing the state’s kids have lost nearly a half a grade level in reading and math education since state officials and public school bureaucrats ignored medical science and locked them out of the classroom in 2020 and 2021.

The Senate GOP this morning unveiled their “MI Brighter Future Plan,” focusing on providing bonuses for highly effective teachers who take positions where they’re needed most, creating Student Opportunity Scholarships to help families afford additional educational assistance like tutoring, restoring the state’s A-F grading scale to help parents better understand how their kids are performing, and more.

“Michigan’s kids are in crisis,” said Beth DeShone, Executive Director at the Great Lakes Education Project. “Lansing spent years brushing this crisis under the rug and now our kids are paying the price with lost learning and a lifetime of educational challenges. The Senate Republicans deserve credit for standing up and offering a path forward that prioritizes students, families, and teachers, not just the broken systems that caused this crisis in the first place.”

This week’s damning report from Harvard and Stanford University is hardly the first warning sign about the educational crisis created by unscientific school closures.

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.