U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has approved the state of Michigan’s plan to meet new federal education standards.
Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015 to replace the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. The new law gives states more authority in overseeing public schools.
Michigan originally submitted its proposal in April. The state’s most recent revisions to the plan were filed two weeks ago.
Michigan’s plan includes less student testing, focuses on student academic growth and gives schools more flexibility.
A state press release shared these new elements of the plan:
- A Parent Transparency Dashboard is being developed to give parents a clearer understanding of where their child’s school is performing on things like student achievement, academic growth, attendance, and graduation.
- It has a well-rounded and whole child focus. Academics in the core subjects, as well as access to the arts, libraries, and physical education are key. Physical, social, and emotional health and support, with assistance from counselors, social workers, and health professionals also are included in the state’s commitment.
- It is supportive, and not punitive. Michigan’s accountability system no longer will be a top-down hammer for low-achieving schools. It will identify “Comprehensive Support Schools” and “Targeted Support Schools” and provide varying levels of support and assistance.
- It continues the Partnership Model that the state has instituted to help schools and districts most in need – developing locally-driven solutions and measures of success, with the help of other state, local, and regional partners.
- Every school will be conducting a Comprehensive Needs Assessment to study their resources and data, to find their school’s needs and gaps, and develop a School Improvement Plan, based on the results of that process.
- There will be greater focus on developing the best educators, providing targeted professional development for teachers; honoring and lifting up Michigan educators; creating a stronger teacher preparation and development system with Michigan colleges and universities and other partners.
“This ESSA plan is a key component of making Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years,” State Superintendent Brian Whiston says in a written statement.