This Week & Next (Oct 30, 2015)

M-STEP Results Show Less Than 50% of Michigan Students Proficient
On Tuesday, MDE released results from the 2015 M-STEP test, the new state assessment for students in grades 3-8. Considered a more rigorous test than the MEAP, this new test is aligned to our college-and-career-ready standards and requires more critical thinking over multiple choice answers.  As expected, students performed less proficiently than on the MEAP, and the stats are alarming when you consider that less than 50% of students in the state are proficient in Math and English Language Arts.  MDE only released statewide aggregate numbers this week, and other breakdowns and details will be released this fall via

NAEP Results Show Less Than 6% of Detroit’s 4th Graders Can Read
On Wednesday, results from the 2015 NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress), also called “the Nation’s Report Card,” were also released. This test is taken by a representative sample of students in all 50 states and the top 21 cities in the country.  Considered more rigorous than either the MEAP or M-STEP, our students’ performance here was even more shocking. Just looking at 4th Grade Reading stats, Michigan is close to the national average, however Detroit has solidified their reputation as the worst performing urban school district in the country, with only 6% of 4th graders are considered proficient readers. Can you say “wake up call”? Click here for additional results.

States with K-3 Reading Bills Improve on NAEP
Here are more reasons why GLEP supports passage of HB 4822, the K-3 reading bill?  In the 8 states that recently passed new policies to improve early literacy policy, their 4thgrade reading performance improved by up to 5% in the 2015 NAEP as compared to the 2013 assessment. These state are Mississippi; Arizona, Oklahoma, Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, Washington and South Carolina. Only two states that adopted early literacy laws (Colorado & Florida) saw 1% decreases in reading proficiency.  HB 4822 is pending before the Senate Education Committee, and GLEP recently met with Chairman Phil Pavlov’s key staff to discuss the bill and its prospects for a hearing and action in the Senate.

This Week in Detroit Education Reform
DPS Emergency Manager Darnell Earley and State Treasurer Nick Khouri were in Lansing this week to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid on finances in the state’s largest school district. As one would expect, these two Snyder-appointees support the Governor’s plan for the state to bail out DPS by using $715 million to pay the foll
owing: $266 million in past operating debts; $157 million in payments the district owes to MPSERS; $47 million in overdue vendor bills; $45 estimated cash shortfall for the current year; and $200 million in ‘seed money’ for the new city school district. Khouri also predicted that DPS could be financially insolvent early next year is some sort of legislative bailout isn’t passed. Click here for a copy of Earley’s presentation and here for a copy of Khouri’s presentation to the subcommittee.

Reformer Fired For Suggesting Radical Change in the D
In related news, Greg Harris, former CEO at Excellent Schools Detroit, was fired from his position as state director for Students First-Ohio because he wrote a guest editorialpublished by The Detroit News suggesting DPS be replaced by an all-charter model (like Muskegon Heights, Highland Park and New Orleans).  And we thought education reform meant challenging the status quo and pushing the envelope to help kids. Catch Ingrid Jacques’ position in this morning’s column. We’re pretty sure nobody at GLEP will be reprimanded for putting parents in charge of their childrens’ education.

MPSERS & Failing Schools Next Week in the Legislature
MSPERS, or the Michigan Public Employees Retirement System, will be the topic of conversation in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid during their hearing on Tuesday. As you might be aware, the state is facing an unfunded accrued liability for MPSERS that exceeds $45 billion. That’s a lot of green. Meanwhile, the Senate Education Committee will begin a series of hearings to examine the issue of academically failing schools in the state on Wednesday morning. The committee is expected to examine how we identify, support and intervene in the state’s chronically failing schools.

Education News Clips

Next Week

Monday, November 2

Tuesday, November 3

  • Special Elections in 80th and 82nd House Districts
  • House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid re: MPSERS

Wednesday, November 4

  • Senate Education Committee re: Failing Schools

Thursday, November 5

  • House Education Committee

Friday, November 6

  • MDE School Funding Workgroup meeting

Do you support what GLEP is doing to improve education in Michigan? Please considermaking a donation to help us continue our efforts, and all contributions are very much appreciated!!


Gary G. Naeyaert
Executive Director