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Opinion: Michigan needs a school system that supports all students’ needs

Opinion: Michigan needs a school system that supports all students’ needs

As this unprecedented school year ends, Michigan educators are continuing to grapple with the many challenges of how to help their students catch up and accelerate following the great disruption of learning due to COVID-19.


Dave Meador,琥珀arellano
Dave Meador is the co-founder and chairman of the Autism Alliance of Michigan. He serves as the vice chairman and chief administrative officer of DTE Energy. Amber Arellano is the executive director of the Education Trust-Midwest. (Courtesy photos)

密歇根领导人应该首先看看顶级教育国家的工作,如马萨诸塞州,领导者汇集在一起历史in 2019 to close the opportunity and achievement gaps among their students.

We can do the same in Michigan, but it will take commitment and courage to ensure that all of our students – and our state – are on a path toward recovery and acceleration.

Investment and Accountability Needed

While there have been many thoughtful conversations recently on how to use state surpluses and one-time federal stimulus funding to address the gaps, state leaders must simultaneously focus on this critical conversation: how to transform Michigan’s不公平的学校资助制度,这是美国最堕落之一。

This is especially important as the pandemic disproportionately took its toll on vulnerable students, including students with disabilities, children in both rural and urban areas, English learners, and students from low-income backgrounds. But it’s also because the COVID-19 hardships experienced by underserved students – from unequal digital access to food insecurity to lack of resources, quality curriculum and school supports – build upon long standing inequities in Michigan’s education system that have worsened the opportunity gap.

事实上,我们的国家长期以来一直是富裕和低收入区之间差距最糟糕的最糟糕。结果:成千上万的学生失去了他们应得的机会 - 我们的州没有足够的人才库,以确保未来的强大劳动力。

事实上,密歇根州的教育危机多年来一直在增长 - 它应该得到一个大胆的反应。

Learning from top education states

前教育国家再保险cognize that all students and schools deserve funding and resources to ensure every student has the opportunity to achieve at high levels. They understand that funding systems must be designed to close persistent and troubling opportunity gaps.

在马萨诸塞州,领导者只是批准了2019年学生机会行为, an overhaul on how the state funds its school that includes a significant investment to address longstanding education inequities. The legislation purposefully directs more funds to school districts that serve greater percentages of lower-income students and English Learners.

Massachusetts' landmark legislation calls for investing up to two times as much money for low-income students in its highest-poverty school districts than students with no additional needs. It did so, acknowledging what研究关于这些儿童的机会差距所需的资金水平。



Michigan should follow Massachusetts' lead by holding its schools accountable for improving student outcomes with a strong state accountability system. And our state must ensure new investments are spent effectively on the students for whom they are intended to benefit through a strong system of fiscal accountability and transparency for those dollars – something that Michigan currently lacks.


Michigan's lack of investment in the needs of every student has a dramatic impact not only on students' learning, but also Michiganders' future earnings and the state's economic development. Reading levels of third-graders, for example, is a predictor of a child's academic success, as well as their future employment opportunities and income.

That's why Michigan cannot afford to continue to be one of 18 states suffering declines in fourth-grade reading since 2003, while national fourth-grade reading scores have been improving. Our state also is in the bottom ten states for Black students’ performance for fourth-grade reading.

不得允许密歇根州的学校不公平。如果我们希望密歇根州成为十大教育国家 - 全国各地的组织的一个规定的目标,包括密歇根教育部 - 然后每个学生都应该获得严谨的课程和丰富的课程,以与世界级的国家和国家竞争。。这将采取忠诚的领导致力于公平投资,并持有我们的教育体系,责任大幅提高结果。


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