Michigan | Understanding ESSA



April 30, 2015

MI: Officials Approve Alternative Route for Teaching Licensure for Men of Color

May 6, 2021

Michigan education officials have approved a new route for men of color to become teachers in Michigan public schools, citing the fact that less than 2% of educators in the state are Black men, though in many districts, the percentage of Black students may be...

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MI: Accountability Waivers Approved, Though Chances Slim for More Wiggle Room on Testing

March 30, 2021

The Biden Education Department has approved requests from Michigan officials to pause a number of accountability measures amid the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move was in line with flexibilities offered by the department in national guidance released in February. Federal officials are still...

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Michigan Will Have Two Accountability Systems…

August 1, 2019

“Michigan will have two separate accountability systems for its K-12 schools, which is the result of lame-duck legislation conflicting with federal education law,” writes Jennifer Chambers. “Michigan already had an accountability system in place under the Every Student Succeeds Act when state lawmakers in December passed a new state A-F accountability system...

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Michigan School Rating System Running Afoul of ESSA

March 26, 2019

Jennifer Chambers reports for the Detroit News that “Michigan’s new A-F school rating system conflicts with federal law and the state’s federal education plan, officials at the Michigan Department of Education said.” According to MDE spokesman Martin Ackley, “the department has received guidance from the Michigan Attorney...

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“Caught in the Middle” in Michigan

February 23, 2019

Louise Wrege reports for the Herald Palladium that Michigan “now has two versions of statewide school accountability – one from the Michigan Department of Education and the other mandated by the Legislature.” The Michigan Department of Education plan under ESSA “received federal approval for its plan...

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Could A-F Law Mean Loss of Fed Funding for Michigan?

January 10, 2019

Lori Higgins reports for Chalkbeat that leaders from Michigan’s education department will meet this week with the state’s Attorney General to determine whether or not the state’s new school accountability law is in violation ESSA’s provisions. “If implemented, the new mandate, which requires the state...

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Michigan School Ratings Being Reviewed by State Attorney General

January 3, 2019

According to Ron French at Bridge Michigan, the “fight over grading Michigan schools on an A-to-F scale apparently isn’t over yet.” The Michigan Department of Education says it “will hold off on implementing the new accountability system because of concerns that parts of the system...

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MI House Ed Reform Committee Approves ESSA-based A-F Grading System

March 1, 2018

WDIV reports that in the Michigan legislature, a bill “to develop an academic grading style A-F grading system” was recently approved by the state House of Representatives’ Education Reform Committee. The bill would put in place an Education Accountability Policy Commission to implement the grading system, which...

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New Bill Seeks “Middle Road” on School Reporting

February 8, 2018

In Michigan, a new bill has been proposed in the state House of Representatives that would change how the state approaches school ratings. The legislation, introduced by Republican Representative Tim Kelly, would give individual schools an A-F grade on six academic indicators—including graduation rates and...

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Ed Trust-Midwest Not Pulling Any Punches with Michigan Plan…

December 6, 2017

“For more than two decades, the best states for public education have shown the importance of providing the public with honest data on how well schools are serving students,” write The Education Trust-Midwest’s Amber Arellano and Brian Gutman. Unfortunately, Michigan has been “modeling exactly what...

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Michigan Fires Back at Ed Trust-Midwest

December 2, 2017

Brian McVicar reports on MLive.com that the Michigan Department of Education is “firing back against an education research and advocacy organization”— The Education Trust-Midwest —“that issued a statement sharply critical of its plan to comply with” ESSA. Read Ed Trust-Midwest’s statement here.

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Michigan Plan (Finally) Approved

November 21, 2017

Sec. DeVos has approved Michigan’s plan. In a statement, covered by MLive, she noted that, “While the plan meets the statutory requirements, Michigan must not view this as a ceiling, but rather as a baseline upon which to build, strengthen and expand. I urge Michigan’s...

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Michigan Missing the (Bench) Mark

November 5, 2017

Also in Michigan, the state’s new school bench-marking system is being created both because it was mandated by ESSA, and—according to State Superintendent Brian Whiston—“the old system wasn’t working.”

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Michigan Works on Transparency

November 2, 2017

In Michigan, as state officials “work on a new school transparency dashboard—an online tool containing an array of performance indicators for every public school in Michigan—they’re seeking input from parents and residents.”

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State Plan Submissions and Drafts

October 17, 2017

Approved State Plans Alabama: Final Plan Approved (5/7/18) Alaska: Final Plan Approved (5/16/18) Arizona: Final Plan Approved (9/6/17) Arkansas: Final Plan Approved (1/16/18) Colorado: Final Plan Approved (5/7/18) Connecticut: Final Plan Approved (8/15/17) Delaware: Final Plan Approved (8/2/17) District of Columbia: Final Plan Approved (8/28/17) Georgia:...

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MI State Rep. Pushes for A-F Letter Grade System in State

September 8, 2017

State Rep. Tim Kelly has announced that he will “push for an A-F letter grade system in the Michigan Legislature.” According to Kelly, the state needs “to get serious about accountability, and I think that includes an A-F.”

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MI Re-submits ESSA Plan

August 18, 2017

After the U.S. Dept. of Education declined to review Michigan’s plan because of too much missing information, the state has re-submitted its ESSA plan. According to UPMatters.com, “The re-submitted plan includes requested technical detail and clarifications to the first submitted plan, as well as better...

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Dept. of Ed Releases Feedback on MI’s ESSA Plans

August 8, 2017

The Dept. of Education released feedback on Michigan’s ESSA plans. In a departure from the other feedback we’ve seen, Education Week’s Alyson Klein wrote, “The department told the state chief, Brian Whiston, the information it provided ‘was insufficient’ to ‘adequately review’ the section of the...

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24 Teachers Chosen to Serve on MI’s Accountability Task Force

July 31, 2017

Twenty-four teachers were chosen to serve on Michigan’s accountability task force to “help guide the implementation” of ESSA. According to MLive, “the teachers were chosen from a pool of more than 300 who applied for a spot on the Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council.”

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MI Moves to a Dashboard System

July 23, 2017

Michigan will “no longer rank schools based on test scores,” but plans to move to a dashboard system under ESSA. Venessa Keesler, deputy superintendent for the Michigan Department of Education, praised the proposed plan and described the dashboard as a “crown jewel,” focusing on the...

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MI State Superintendent Comments on Conflicting Feedback from U.S. Dept. of Ed

July 14, 2017

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ “home state education chief thinks her department is sending some conflicting signals when it comes to the Every Student Succeeds Act.” Michigan State Superintendent Brian J. Whiston says that “the message he’s heard from DeVos has been all about...

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MI’s ESSA Plan Lacks Clarity and Detail, According to Peer Review

July 5, 2017

In Bellwether and the Collaborative’s peer review, experts found that Michigan’s plan lacked both clarity and detail. Michigan education officials responded to the review and shared their commitment to improving their state’s ESSA plan, saying “We stand by to answer any questions the U.S. Department...

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MI Lt. Governor Requests ESSA Plan Be Sent Back to Officials

April 28, 2017

Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley wrote the U.S. Dept. of Education requesting that the state’s ESSA plan be sent back so officials can “rework [the] plan in order to ensure more accountability for special education students.” In the letter, Calley argued that the state’s “proposed...

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Detroit News Publishes Editorial on the State’s Education Governance Model

April 22, 2017

The Detroit News published an editorial on the state’s education governance model under ESSA. The editorial board argued, “The governor, Legislature, State Board of Education, Michigan Department of Education and the School Reform Office are all involved with creating and implementing school policy in this...

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MI Submits ESSA Plan to Dept. of Ed

April 17, 2017

Michigan submitted its ESSA plan to the Dept. of Education. In his letter, Gov. Rick Snyder criticized the plan’s inclusion of an n-size of 30, noting that it would “leave out many students who deserve transparency and accountability just as much as every other student.”...

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Concerns Raised over Michigan’s Proposed ESSA Plan

April 16, 2017

In an opinion piece, Michael J. Petrilli and Brandon L. Wright of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute raised concerns over the Michigan’s proposed ESSA plan. Petrilli and Wright argued that the state’s plan “to hold schools accountable for student outcomes fails to meet the educational...

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MI Dept. of Ed Submits Draft ESSA Plan to Gov. Snyder for Review

April 4, 2017

The Michigan Dept. of Education submitted its draft ESSA plan to Gov. Rick Snyder for a 30-day review process. Once the governor has reviewed the document, the plan will be sent to the U.S. Dept. of Education. According to State Superintendent Brian Whiston, the plan...

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Ed Trust-Midwest Gives Michigan’s Draft ESSA Plan “High Marks”

March 1, 2017

In an interview about their analysis of Michigan’s draft ESSA plan, Education Trust-Midwest Executive Director Amber Arellano gave the plan “high marks” and said its “focus on raising performance standards for teaching and learning will help Michigan catch up with states like Massachusetts, which has some...

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MI Dept. of Ed Releases Draft ESSA Plan

February 14, 2017

The Michigan Dept. of Education released its draft ESSA plan. The plan is open for a 30-day public comment period, ending March 16.

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ESSA Provides Michigan with Opportunity to Revamp Its School Rating System

November 23, 2016

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy posted a blog on the opportunities that Michigan has with ESSA to “revamp its school rating system” and “change how it’s reported to parents.” The group has been critical of the state’s current system, and hopes the new system...

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MI Dept. of Ed & Saginaw Intermediate School District Host ESSA Forum

November 14, 2016

According to Michigan Live, the Saginaw Intermediate School District will be hosting a forum in partnership with the Michigan Dept. of Education for public feedback on the state’s ESSA plan. To register for the event click here.

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Ways to Improve Michigan’s Education System

November 4, 2016

Last week, Gov. Rick Snyder’s 21st Century Education Commission, a 25-member commission that includes representatives from the education, business, government, and nonprofit communities tasked with brainstorming ways to improve Michigan’s education system, held its first meeting on its statewide ESSA listening tour. The group has created...

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MI Dept. of Ed Released Updated Content on ESSA Implementation Plan

May 31, 2016

State Dept. of Education released an updated presentation on the state’s approach to ESSA and its implementation plan. Read more here.

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Releases State ESSA Primers

May 16, 2016

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s primers include individual state by state accountability system fact sheets, which detail each state’s current accountability system, what could change under ESSA, and what to be asking state leaders. See details about your state here.

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