Michigan's NCLB Waiver Request Fails the Test
May 8, 2012
By DFER Michigan State Director, Harrison Blackmond
As reported by the Detroit Free Press, a coalition of education reform groups including DFER Michigan, Education Trust – Midwest, and StudentsFirst – among others – recently came together to respond to the Michigan Department of Education’s request submitted to the US Department of Education to waive certain provisions of No Child Left Behind.
In the letter sent to Michigan State Superintendent Mike Flanagan, we expressed our concern that the current waiver request does not go far enough to improve Michigan’s school accountability, public reporting and teacher evaluation systems. Specifically, the request does not adequately address how the State will close achievement gaps between certain groups of students. Michigan is currently one of few states that has not narrowed achievement gaps since the early 2000s.
Within the letter, we propose ways in which the Michigan Department of Education can strengthen its waiver application to better benefit our children and educators. The State must begin by closing achievement gaps, making public reporting systems more accessible to Michigan families, and doing more to empower school leaders in the lowest performing schools in their efforts to improve teaching and learning.
By addressing these issues within the State’s waiver application, we can begin to drastically improve Michigan’s education system, enabling our children to receive an excellent education and head down the path toward a successful future.
Read the full letter here.
For more than 35 years, Harrison Blackmond has dedicated his life towards helping children achieve the education they deserve. Harrison has served a multitude of roles within Michigan’s education system, including Chair of the Marygrove College Board of Trustees, President of the Business/Education Training Alliance, Vice Chairman and member of the Executive Committee of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Detroit Black Alliance for Education Options. Read more about Harrison here.
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